Insights towards ifrs’ legitimation and institutionalisation based upon perceptions of statutory auditors: The Portuguese case

Conference proceedings article


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Publication Details

Author list: Martins A, Fontes A, Silva A P
Publication year: 2019
Start page: 11
End page: 21
Number of pages: 11
ISBN: 1849-7535
Languages: English-Great Britain (EN-GB)


Drawing upon the experience of adoption of an International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)' based model by Portuguese non-financial unlisted companies in 2010, designated Sistema de Normalização Contabilística (SNC), this research sheds light on the potential of the IFRS model to conform to countries and jurisdictions whose accounting system is remarkably disparate as it was Portugal's. From a vantage point in 2017, seven years after the formal implementation of the IFRS-based model, sixteen detailed interviews with statutory auditors were carried out to explore their perceptions regarding dimensions of relevance and suitability of the new accounting model to the Portuguese setting, major difficulties and benefits brought about. Evidence were gathered suggesting a significant level of legitimation and institutionalisation of the IFRS-based model: (i) the perceived motivations for SNC adoption are a good fit with the theoretically acknowledged motivations underlying accounting convergence; (ii) two major innovations introduced in the Portuguese accounting system by the IFRS model- the principle-based standards and the fair value, were largely perceived favourably; and (iii) in spite of criticisms concerning a set of in-country adaptations, SNC resembles the IFRS model at least close enough to have brought about a number of benefits that according to relevant literature would result from the application of such an accounting model: contextual benefits at the country and business levels, operational benefits, and benefits at the level of statutory auditors’ profession. Despite all these encouraging evidence towards the success of the adoption process of the IFRS model in Portugal, this was not exempt from its early difficulties or problems, with some of them still ongoing such as those related to fair value implementation and Notes preparation.


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Last updated on 2019-12-09 at 12:25