• A study of adoption rates and financial effects of IFRS for SMEs

      Conway, Elaine; University of Derby (2017-09)
      The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) issued IFRS for SMEs in July 2009. It was the first set of international accounting standards for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The IASB’S aim was to encourage SMEs to adopt comparable international standards but with a reduced burden of detailed disclosures and complexity in comparison with the full international financial reporting standards. The benefits of IFRS adoption are to provide better information to investors, lenders and other capital providers, given the more consistent and comparable approaches used under IFRS. This study examines to what extent SMEs across Great Britain (encompassing the UK and Ireland) have adopted IFRS for SMEs and whether this has potentially affected their financial performance. A sample of 5,080 unlisted SMEs were analysed between 2009 and 2015 to ascertain how many firms have made the switch to IFRS for SMEs away from UK GAAP and whether those firms exhibited better financial performance. Only 5% (254) firms had adopted IFRS by 2015, only 2 more than in 2009. SMEs who have remained using UK GAAP have outperformed those with IFRS in terms of profitability, but they demonstrate poorer liquidity, gearing, sales growth and cash flow from operations. This study is of interest to standard setters who wish to understand the potential effects of IFRS adoption and promote wider engagement of SMEs with IFRS for SMEs.