The Impact Of Cultural Factors On The Implementation Of Global Accounting Standards IFRS In Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material for Accountancy / Accounting

The Impact Of Cultural Factors On The Implementation Of Global Accounting Standards IFRS In Nigeria


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

As globalization increases at a blistering pace, more and more business entities continue to get involved in cross-border capital investments (Napier, 2009). A considerable cost can be applied to these types of transaction for the translation of financial statements prepared under dissimilar accounting guidelines into a comparable form. There exist a multiple number of accounting systems that create these dissimilarities, because accounting is a language of business that has been created by society to provide information as to the economic health of an entity. Similar to any other language, varying types of “accounting language” are used across different regions of the globe to convey this information.

The increased frequency of the resulting costs has created a demand for an internationally comparable set of accounting standards. The creation of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) has tried to fulfill this demand. The desire to have comparable standards has thus resulted in the adoption and implementation of, as well as the convergence to IFRS (Gray, 2011).

Despite the push towards convergence of these accounting standards, significant diversity still remains (IAS, 2011). The resulting discussions on how to achieve worldwide accounting convergence oftentimes only involve the differences between specific accounting standards and how to eliminate them. However, in order to know how to eliminate differences one must first fully understand why they occur. One major reason for these differences is culture. Unfortunately, the role of culture is frequently absent from this discussion, regardless of the fact that it is at the heart of many differences that exist between one accounting system and the next.

However, culture can be thought of as the collective values of a society that influence its behavior. It is no secret that significant differences in these values exist internationally, and that these differences have a profound effect on all elements of society.

Therefore, accounting, as a societal creation, is influenced by these values as well. Given the goal of internationally adoption and comparability, it is important to explore the effect that culture can have on the implementation of IFRS. This study will present an overview through an examination of IFRS, aspects of its implementation, and the difficulties it faces because of culture to assess the level of implementation and adoption.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

This study is aimed at investigating the impact of cultural factors on the implementation of global accounting standards in Nigeria. The IASB has a goal to develop a single set of principle-based global accounting standards, which is the IFRS. Nigeria has embraced the principle-based regime and its accounting standards have converged substantially with the IFRS. However, research shows that accounting is influenced by the social, cultural and political environment. It is therefore questionable whether the IFRS-based standards can be implemented effectively in a different social and cultural environment. The application of professional judgment is essential in order to operate within a principle-based regime. Therefore, the question is how effectively professional judgment can be exercised in Nigeria. Accounting professionals from different backgrounds may reach different judgments, because professional judgment is often influenced by cultural values.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The following are the objectives of this study:

  1. To examine the impact of cultural factors on the implementation of global accounting standards IFRS in Nigeria.
  2. To examine the level of the implementation of global accounting standards IFRS in Nigeria.
  3. To identify the factors limiting the implementation of global accounting standards IFRS in Nigeria.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What is the impact of cultural factors on the implementation of global accounting standards IFRS in Nigeria?
  2. What is the level of the implementation of global accounting standards IFRS in Nigeria?
  3. What are the factors limiting the implementation of global accounting standards IFRS in Nigeria?

1.6 Significance of the Study

The following are the significance of this study:

  1. The results of this study will help educate the stakeholders in the business sector, entrepreneurs and the general public on the impact of cultural factors on the implementation of global accounting standards IFRS in Nigeria.
  2. This research will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, if applied will go to an extent to provide new explanation to the topic

1.7 Scope / Limitations of the Study

This study will cover the level of the implementation of global accounting standards IFRS in Nigeria and cultural differences among nations that can influence effective implementation.

Limitation of Study
Financial constraint

Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint

The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.


Chapter Five


Findings, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Findings

The objective of the study was to know if cultural factors have significant impact on the implementation of global accounting standard IFRS in Nigeria. Findings from the study reveals that majority of the respondents are of the opinion that cultural factors have significant impact on the implementation of global accounting standard IFRS in Nigeria.

Another finding from the study reveals that, auditors are not in support of the implementation of global accounting standard IFRS in Nigeria because of the cumbersomeness of IFRS. (See table 7)


5.2 Conclusion

The goal of convergence as well as the eventual comparability of international accounting standards is a feat that cannot be achieved without the consideration of the cultures of the adopting jurisdictions. Previous works have established that there is a connection between a society’s culture and the accounting system that it uses. Therefore, the differences that exist between the values of nations will translate to differences in accounting systems.


5.3 Recommendation

The following recommendations are made from this study. Nigerian government should adopt the carve-out system so as to suit the economic system of the country, also, more awareness on the importance of implementing a global accounting standard should be made known to all to increase the level of acceptance of IFRS in Nigeria.


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