Swiss accounting landscape and its trend against accounting convergence
A literature review of the prevailing trend towards accounting conversion, supported by a comparison between IFRS, Swiss GAAP FER and the Swiss Code of Obligations.
João Araujo, 2021
Bachelor Thesis, Ernst & Young AG
Betreuende Dozierende: Silke Waterstraat
Keywords: accounting convergence, conversion, Swiss GAAP FER, IFRS
Switzerland's accounting convergence trend has reached a standstill. Although Swiss-listed companies widely use IFRS, they are predominantly applied voluntarily. The financial reporting of listed companies should follow an accounting standard such as IFRS, in addition to the Swiss Code of Obligations. Nevertheless, the Swiss GAAP FER provide an enticing alternative that similarly adheres to the principle of a true and fair view. Listed companies have consequently shown a tendency to convert from IFRS to FER over the past decade.
By synthesising existing literature, this thesis addresses the topic of accounting convergence and IFRS adoption. This thesis also discusses the migration path from IFRS to FER by drawing on research studies culminating in conclusions concerning the subject matter. The accounting requirements of the aforementioned standards are subsequently contrasted. Due to the arguments against IFRS adoption and favouring a transition to FER, this thesis also examines ongoing expert commentary and critiques concerning selected IFRSs.
The results show that the reasons for switching from IFRS to FER include the increasing complexity of IFRS; the rising costs of IFRS reporting; the perception that FER's true and fair view reflects economic reality; and the belief that FER is similar to IFRS regarding transparency and disclosure quality. Examination of selected standards exemplifies the concern that today's IFRS may not accurately represent the fundamental drivers of value. Businesses considering the transition to FER may therefore find a common denominator in the ongoing debates. On occasion, FER may be suitable since it appears to be more focused on the interests of Swiss stakeholders while aiming to achieve a fair presentation, unlike the SCO, which entails a differing interpretation of the principle of prudence.
Therefore, adopting a particular accounting standard because it is currently fashionable does not provide a reasonable basis for decision-making. Instead, selecting an accounting standard is seldom uncomplicated due to various variables, including costs and benefits, stakeholder nationalities, implementation difficulty, and reporting requirements, and must be accomplished via extensive analysis.
Studiengang: Business Administration International Management (Bachelor)
Fachbereich der Arbeit: Accounting, Banking, Controlling and Finance