This paper provides an academic perspective on the development of the EU's harmonisation project based on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), on the costs and benefits of IFRS adoption in Europe, and on the research challenges that arise. The paper reviews the accumulating academic evidence, emphasizing the effectiveness and transparency of the enforcement framework, and documenting the main lessons to be learned from the research programme on EU IFRS implementation conducted within the INTACCT network. Results on the consequences of IFRS adoption and the quality of implementation are far from uniform across Europe, and depend on factors reflecting preparer incentives and the effectiveness of local enforcement. The paper also outlines a possible alternative proposal for the organisation and development of enforcement activities in Europe.
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