The thesis presents the results of a study on the impact of International Financial Reporting Standards on the analysts information environment. The analysis is concentrated on the role of specific IFRSs and corporate disclosure. The effect of IFRS adoption on the information asymmetry between firms and outsiders is examined through properties of analysts earnings forecasts. A contribution to the existing academic literature is made by examining the role of goodwill, intangible assets and acquisitions before and after IFRS adoption in Europe. The results show that the IFRSs for goodwill, acquisitions and intangible assets are related to improvements in the analysts information environment. Another contribution to knowledge is made by investigating the effect of corporate disclosure quantity on the analysts information environment before and after IFRS adoption. For this purpose, a new approach and text analysis technique to assess the impact of corporate disclosure quantity is developed. This involves the creation of a new custom dictionary and the collection of an extensive set of qualitative data. The results show that corporate disclosure quantity under IFRS, is related to improvements in the analysts information environment but that there are differences in this effect across European countries. The results also demonstrate that the improvements in the accuracy of analysts earnings forecasts are related particularly to disclosure concerning financial instruments and operating segments. Overall, the findings of the thesis suggest that the adoption of IFRS resulted in an increase in the quality of reported earnings, which is likely to derive from higher comparability of financial statements, enhanced transparency and an improved analysts information environment. It is also established that fundamental differences across countries remain after IFRS adoption and that the development and harmonisation of financial reporting standards alone are not sufficient to increase the quality of financial information and decrease information asymmetry between market participants.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.