Country-specific barriers to international convergence of accounting standards

Audra Ong, University of Windsor

This article was originally published in Financial Reporting, Regulation and Governance, 2005 Vol. 1. Copyright Curtus University


The current arguments for international accounting harmonization accepts that for some countries convergence will be a monumental task. Little analysis has been made of the nature and size of the task. The present study adopts and refines the generic barriers to international accounting harmonization and further examines the experiences of one country i.e. Taiwan, R.O.C. In-depth interviews were conducted with twenty-one participants consisting of professional accountants, senior financial executives and accounting regulators involved with the standard-setting process in Taiwan. The study not only identifies varying perceptions between different groups but also explains the nature of the country-specific barriers. The experience of Taiwan is probably not unique amongst the financially sophisticated, smaller countries in the Far East that have particular issues which are overlooked by the broader accounting community. The study provides valuable lessons for policy-makers and corporate management in their pursuit of accounting harmonization.