Implementing IFRSs in the UK devolved administrations

Anthony Wall, Ciaran Connolly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Utilising concepts drawn from the governmentality literature, the purpose of this paper is to examine the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) in the UK’s devolved administrations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales in order to assess why they were adopted and how their introduction has been governed.

This research applies a combination of three different approaches, namely: a content analysis; an anonymous online questionnaire; and semi-structured interviews.

These include: the transition has had minimal impact upon policy setting and the information produced to aid budgeting and decision making; IFRSs are not entirely appropriate for the public sector; the time, cost and effort involved outweighed the benefits; public sector accounting has become overly-complicated; and the transition is not perceived as part of a wider privatisation programme.

Research limitations/implications
As this study focuses upon the three UK devolved administrations, the findings may not be applicable in a wider setting.

Public sector change must be adequately resourced, carefully planned, with appropriate systems, trained staff and interdisciplinary project teams; accounting change should be based on value for money; and a single, coherent financial regime for the way in which government uses budgets, presents estimates to Parliament and publishes its resource accounts should be implemented.

This study highlights that accounting change is not just a technical issue and, while it can facilitate a more business-like environment and enhance accountability, all those affected by the changes may not have the requisite skills to fully utilise the (new) information available.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-225
JournalAccounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal
Issue number2
Early online date15 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished online - 15 Feb 2016


  • Governmentality
  • New public management (NPM)
  • International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs)


Dive into the research topics of 'Implementing IFRSs in the UK devolved administrations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this