Accounting enforcement in a national context: an international study

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The purpose of this study is to investigate whether the national characteristics of culture, religion and political factionalization are associated with the strength of accounting enforcement. The study uses data on percentages of religious adherents in a sample nation, the Hofstede cultural dimensions and political factionalization. National legal code (e.g., Common Law or Civic Code) and market liquidity are controlled for. Factor analysis is used to generate factor scores from the data. The dependent variable, accounting enforcement, is drawn from Brown et al. (J Bus Finance Account 41(1/2):1–52, 2014). The findings demonstrate that this set of national characteristics is strongly associated with national accounting regulatory enforcement. The implications of this research are that national characteristics should be taken into account in considering the impact of accounting standards on accounting comparability across nations. The limitation of this study is that, like much international research, the sample size is limited, here to 42 nations. The authors collectively have many years of research examining/studying domestic and international regulation, its determinants and consequences. This study importantly extends previous research on the determinants and consequences of regulation in the auditing and accounting arenas. This study provides an important contribution to the literature by helping establish that national characteristics do affect accounting enforcement efforts cross-nationally. This helps researchers and regulators better understand whether international standards can provide the link in comparability across nations that proponents are seeking. It does so by focusing on the variation in enforcement across nations rather than on the standards themselves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-67
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Disclosure and Governance
Issue number1
StatePublished - 7 Mar 2019


  • Accounting enforcement
  • Accounting quality
  • Culture
  • IFRS
  • Political factionalization
  • Regulation
  • Religion


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