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Earnings quality: evidence from Canadian firms’ choice between IFRS and U.S. GAAP

Burnett, Brian M., Gordon, Elizabeth A., Jorgensen, Bjorn N. and Linthicum, Cheryl L. (2015) Earnings quality: evidence from Canadian firms’ choice between IFRS and U.S. GAAP. Accounting Perspectives, 14 (3). pp. 212-249. ISSN 1911-3838

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Identification Number: 10.1111/1911-3838.12051


For fiscal years starting on or after January 1, 2011, Canada abandoned Canadian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and adopted International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), but permitted firms cross-listed in the U.S. to adopt U.S. GAAP instead. We document that the number of Canadian firms reporting under U.S. GAAP increased after Canada adopted IFRS. We find that cross-listed firms are more likely to choose IFRS if IFRS is the standard most commonly used by the leading global firms in their industry. In addition, we find that firms more likely to choose IFRS are larger, of civil law legal origin, have less U.S. operations, report exploration expense, have fewer U.S. shareholders and report higher stockholders’ equity under Canadian GAAP than under U.S. GAAP. Of these, we find that the convergence benefits of comparability with industry peers is the most significant determinant in firms’ choice of standard. Further, we are unable to document changes in earnings quality from cross-listed firms adopting IFRS or U.S. GAAP or that earnings quality changed for firms adopting IFRS relative to firms adopting U.S. GAAP.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 CAAA/ACPC
Divisions: Accounting
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5601 Accounting
K Law > K Law (General)
JEL classification: M - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting > M4 - Accounting and Auditing > M41 - Accounting
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2015 16:29
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2024 07:51

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