Academics to study IFRS implementation

Academics at the University of Lancaster are to study the impact of
International Financial Reporting Standards across Europe.

The university’s Accounting and Finance department has obtained a €2m bid for
an international project to consider the harmonising of financial reporting
across Europe.

The grant, courtesy of the European Commission-funded Marie Curie Research
Training Network, will see the department working with nine other universities
across the continent.

The partner institutions include the Tilburg University in Holland, JW Goethe
University in Germany, HEC School of Management in France, University of
Valencia in Spain, University of Porto in Portugal, University of Cyprus,
University of Ljubljana in Slovenia, Varna University of Economics in Bulgaria
and the University of Macedonia in Greece.

The four-year project, commencing January 2007, aims to examine the
introduction of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) across

This follows stipulations set out by the EU, which required publicly-listed
European companies to prepare financial statements using IFRS instead of the
accounting rules specific to each country since last year.

The standards have however been controversial, with some finance directors
saying they make accounts more opaque.

The Lancaster team head, professor Peter Pope, will also act as network
co-ordinator in developing doctoral training opportunities and research

‘Potential benefits [of IFRS] include a reduction in firms’ cost of capital,
enhanced investor protection, and better informed stakeholders, including
creditors and employees,’ Pope said.

‘If these predictions are correct, then the efficiency of the European
economy could improve significantly.’

Pope has also warned that the benefits of adopting IFRS will only be realised
if countries across Europe comply with the new rules, which is why the Network
is needed to research the implications of the regulations.

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