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Title: The relevance of international financial reporting standards to Saudi Arabia : stakeholder perspectives
Author: Alkhtani, Sultan S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2693 0951
Awarding Body: University of Stirling
Current Institution: University of Stirling
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis investigates the suitability of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) for Saudi Arabia by examining the perceptions of accounting users and preparers. It explores the information needs of the main users of accounting, the factors that represent barriers to the adoption of IFRSs, and the costs and benefits of the adoption of IFRSs. The study compares Saudi Accounting Standards (SASs) and IFRSs. In addition, a questionnaire survey was conducted and semi-structured interviews were carried out to examine the issues in greater depth in order to answer the research questions. The political nature of accounting standards is investigated, as well as theories of accountability and decision usefulness in order to interpret the results and explore to what extent and in what manner these frameworks function in the Saudi environment. The Islamic accountability framework would suggest that companies represented by owners and managers are accountable to their stakeholders’ interests, and owners and managers must protect those interests and disclose everything that may help them to discharge their accountability. However, the findings presented in this thesis suggest that practice of the Islamic accountability framework is limited. The influence of religious factors on the accounting system is limited in some cases as there is inadequate disclosure and transparency, such as a lack of information required for Sharia compliance; this affects users’ ability to make decisions. The results also reveal some evidence that accounting standard setting is dominated by political (rather than ‘user-needs’) considerations. Furthermore, economic factors override social and cultural factors, including religion, in terms of their influence on the accounting system. The results suggest inter alia that religious factors will not represent a barrier to the use of other standards such as IFRSs. The findings suggest that the adoption of IFRSs would contribute to enhancing the quality of financial reporting. The results also reveal that financial reporting prepared on the basis of IFRSs provides more of the information required for decision-making. The results also suggest that there is, to some extent, agreement among participants as to the suitability of IFRSs to Saudi Arabia, and that their benefits would eventually overcome the difficulties and problems that may arise from their adoption, although it is still be necessary to consider certain specific requirements, such as those related to Sharia law.
Supervisor: Evans, Lisa ; Fraser, Ian Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Accounting ; Saudi Arabia Economic conditions ; Corporations Saudi Arabia Accounting