Why Do African Countries Adopt IFRS? An Institutional Perspective

Pran Krishansingh Boolaky*, Vincent Tawiah, Teerooven Soobaroyen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examine the institutional drivers of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) adoption in Africa. The study covers all 54 African countries and relies on data from 2010 to 2015. Our results support the neo-institutional theoretical predictions that coercive, mimetic, and normative isomorphism influence IFRS adoption in Africa, although the circuits of isomorphic pressures differ from previous studies investigating adoption at the worldwide level and in emerging economies. Specifically, we find evidence of the influence by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund on African countries made subject to the Report on Observance of Standards and Codes — Accounting and Auditing program of assessment. We also found that the presence of global audit firms and the years of membership in the International Federation of Accountants are strongly associated with a country’s decision to adopt IFRS. Also, countries with a more structured and active professional accounting organization (PAO) are more likely to adopt IFRS. Our findings provide insights into the significant role played by local PAOs in the promotion of IFRS. Furthermore, we provide empirical evidence that the nature of the isomorphic pressures in Africa is different from those suggested in prior studies, reinforcing the view that IFRS adoption is primarily driven by social and political dimensions, rather than the economic dimension usually professed by IFRS proponents.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2050005
JournalThe International Journal of Accounting
Issue number1
Early online date1 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Why Do African Countries Adopt IFRS? An Institutional Perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this