This study explores whether accounting and disclosure quality have been achieved in the current reporting practice (i.e. post-IFRS period) in Australian non-financial listed companies and whether stock market is sufficiently responsive (i.e. value relevance) to quality accounting numbers. Given the role of IFRS in enhancing reporting quality, it explores whether post-2005 reporting practice sufficiently effective (i.e. sustainable) in mitigating earnings management concerns of the investors and stakeholders’ at large, as well as explaining predictive value and return under the current regulatory environment. Applying GLS regression in a full sample of 2000-2014 and sub-samples of pre-IFRS and post-IFRS adoption periods, we document that accounting quality has been improved marginally in explaining change in profitability and cash flow in post-IFRS period as compared to pre-IFRS period. However, there is no significant progress in explaining change in receivables and sales between the pre and post-IFRS periods. Despite expectation of high value relevance of accounting information in post-IFRS period, our results suggest the opposite, i.e. value relevance is either disappeared or counter active in post-IFRS period as compared to pre-IFRS period. However, significant accounting quality improvement is observed in restraining earnings management practices in post-IFRS period. Overall, the findings highlight a mix representation of accounting/disclosure quality in post-IFRS period, which suggest that accounting quality still remains as a matter of concern in delivering quality financial reporting. Our findings raise questions, in an asymmetric information environment, about long-term decision usefulness of accounting numbers and sustainable financial reporting practice in Australia. Policy makers, regulators, accounting standard setters, investors and other stakeholders should understand that for Australian companies the accounting quality journey has not fully achieved yet as per expectation even after adopting IFRS and more to be done in this direction. While some improvements are commendable, further road-map is warranted for sustainable financial reporting practices in Australian companies.


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pp. 175-189
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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