n Meditari : Research Journal of the School of Accounting Sciences - Empirical results of the accounting policies chosen by South African listed companies




Although the intention of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) is not to permit choices in the accounting treatment of similar transactions and events, International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) still contain various choices of accounting treatment. Different accounting alternatives for similar transactions limit the comparability of financial information. Certain accounting policies result in differences in recognition, measurement and disclosures. This article identifies 16 such accounting policy choices and presents the descriptive empirical results on which accounting policies were in fact chosen by a sample of 157 South African listed companies, in cases where IFRSs allow a choice between alternative accounting policies. Disclosure of accounting policies is necessary for the users of financial statements to enable them to compare the financial statements of various entities in making economic decisions. The research also found a lack of disclosures relating to chosen accounting policies in limited cases.


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