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Transitioning to IFRS in Japan: Corporate Perceptions of Costs and Benefits

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Australian Accounting Review

Published online on


This paper examines the ongoing transition to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in Japan with a particular focus on recent institutional developments and corporate concerns. While Japan has committed to the convergence of Japanese generally accepted accounting principles (J‐GAAP) with IFRS it has not as yet formally adopted IFRS. This paper reports on Japanese corporate perceptions of the likely costs and benefits of adopting and implementing IFRS using survey data collected from senior financial executives of 292 Japanese listed companies in 2013–14. Our findings reveal that Japanese companies identify a number of major areas of general concern with the adoption and implementation of IFRS. Most importantly, uncertainty regarding the interpretation of standards followed by staff training, IT systems, technical knowledge and differences between J‐GAAP and IFRS were reported as major concerns. Our survey also highlights that revenue recognition, depreciation, consolidated financial statements, financial statement presentation and the retrospective application of IFRS were viewed as key IFRS accounting issues. While the large majority of companies expected a moderate degree of benefits to arise from IFRS, substantial benefits were perceived more likely to apply to large and overseas listed companies mainly arising from improvements in the international comparability of financial statements.