Saturday, November 9, 2013

URSP Student Jane Osborne Researches the Economics of Jurisdictional Exceptions to International Financial Reporting Standards and the Effects on Comparability of Financial Information

The economics of jurisdictional exceptions to International Financial Reporting Standards and the effects on comparability of financial information
I remember in Introduction to Microeconomics when Dr. Boudreaux joked that if you were having trouble falling asleep, you should pick up and read an economics textbook and that would take care of the problem…I laughed then, but ultimately, I found that the relationship of economics to daily life was pretty interesting! My research topic is interdisciplinary in nature, and I am using the lense of economics to scrutinize and evaluate an accounting topic, which is how the information in financial statements is affected by economic factors. The goal of my research is to assess if there is relationship between a country’s main industries and any changes that they made to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) when the country adopted the standards. Due to the nature of our global economy, adoption of IFRS is expected to make comparisons easier between companies from different countries since the financial reporting rules would be the same; however, the question is whether inconsistently applied rules affects comparability. In the US, this topic is relevant since the Securities and Exchange Commission is evaluating whether or not to adopt IFRS.

The research process has been exciting and challenging. Early in the semester I met with my academic mentor, Dr. J. K. Aier, to establish a plan to accomplish the background research, data collection and analysis, and presentation preparation. At this point, the background research is substantially finished. This week, I have continued working to find specific data relating to the processes used by countries to adopt IFRS, and also, whether they fully adopted all of the standards. At times, I have felt like a super-sleuth when my search queries have yielded exactly what I wanted to find – and then, there have been other times when I can’t seem to phrase the search terms in that magical way that returns anything worth using. This project has taught me the importance of documenting searches that are productive so that I can try variations of them, and, also which databases are especially relevant in my disciplines. Another particularly helpful resource is Jo Ann Henson, who is the GMU library liaison for the business disciplines; her suggestions and assistance have enhanced my productivity. With data collection winding down, I am looking forward to focusing on analysis in the next project phase.