Evaluering van twee groepe dubbelgenoteerde maatskappye, wat op die JSE Sekuriteitebeurs van Suid-Afrika genoteer is, vir suksesvolle omskakeling na internasionale finansiele verslagdoeningstandaarde teen 2005
Thesis (MAcc (Accountancy))--University of Stellenbosch, 2005.
The fact that investors increasingly invest in companies from another country than the investor himself and the consequential globalisation of capital markets, resulted in the European Parliament and Council (EP) accepting Regulation No. 1606/2002 during 2002. The consequence of the regulation was that uniform accounting standards had to be implemented throughout the European Union (EU). The accounting standards that were accepted, are the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) (previously known as International Accounting Standards (IAS)). The regulation further determined that the effective date of this required compliance with IFRS was 1 January 2005. At the time when the regulation was accepted, most companies that were listed on the JSE Securities Exchange of South Africa (JSE) still prepared their financial statements in accordance with South African Statements of Generally Accepted Accounting Practice (South African SGAAP). The implication of the acceptance of the regulation by the EP was that in the event that a company was not only listed on the JSE but also on a stock exchange in the EU, the financial statements of that company would have to be prepared in accordance with IFRS. In this study two groups of companies were selected for evaluation. The one group consists of companies with a primary listing on the JSE and a secondary listing in the EU (first group) and the other group has a primary listing in the United Kingdom (UK) and thus the EU, with a secondary listing on the JSE (second group). The purpose of the study is to identify the implications of the acceptance of abovementioned regulation on the financial reporting of the selected companies. Firstly, a study was made of the differences between the Generally Accepted Accounting Practice of the United Kingdom (UK GAAP) and IFRS. The reason for this largely relates to the fact that there are still substantial differences between these two sets of accounting standards. No such study was conducted in respect of differences between South African SGAAP and IFRS as South African SGAAP was completely replaced by IFRS during 2004 and hence no differences exist any more. The only exception relates to the 500 series of standards that are unique to South Africa. There are, however, only two issued standards in this series and hence no further attention was paid to that. Hereafter the 2002 financial statements of all the selected companies were evaluated by measuring it against an IFRS disclosure checklist for 2002. The purpose was to identify the extent to which the selected companies comply with IFRS by focusing on the areas with regards to which they do not comply with IFRS. It was found that the companies of the first group largely fail to comply with IFRS in respect of matters of disclosure, whilst the second group of companies sometimes also, in their application of recognition requirements and measurement guidelines, used different practices to those suggested by IFRS. This was largely attributable to the fact that there are substantial differences between UK GAAP and IFRS, whilst South African SGAAP and IFRS already were very similar until recently. Consequently, questionnaires were sent to interested selected companies in which they could give feedback on their level of awareness and perceptions of the required transition to IFRS by 2005 as well as the procedures that they have followed or will follow in their process of transition to IFRS. Fourthly the 2003 financial reports of the selected companies were evaluated for compliance with IFRS by measuring it against the IFRS disclosure checklist that would be applicable on their 2004 financial periods. This was done in order to determine whether the selected companies showed any progress in their level of compliance with IFRS. This process also identified which IFRS, which were issued during 2003/2004, will be applicable on the 2004 or later financial periods of the selected companies, as these are further areas that will demand the attention of the selected companies in their process of becoming IFRS compliant. It was found that all selected companies showed rather little progress in their level of IFRS compliance. It is however concerning that even though South African SGAAP were previously very narrowly aligned with IFRS, the companies of the first group still fail to comply with fairly simple disclosure requirements. It would thus appear that they do not take the process of transition to IFRS serious enough. The fact that the second group of companies also did not make much progress can still be justified by the fact that UK GAAP were not aligned closer to IFRS during 2003 and most of the selected companies were still busy with the planning process for the transition to IFRS. It is expected that the financial statements of these companies will display substantial progress in their 2004 financial periods. Finally the compliance mechanisms were studied in order to determine which processes are in place to ensure that companies will indeed comply with IFRS. This study was done in respect of the EU, the UK and South Africa. All three these regions either already have or will have bodies in the near future that will have the task of evaluating the financial statements of listed companies for IFRS compliance. The conclusion is however that as a result of the negative consequences of noncompliance with IFRS sufficient factors do exist that will motivate companies to fully comply with IFRS. In addition, the listing requirements of the JSE has changed and financial reporting in accordance with IFRS is now a requirement.