Harmonisation of accounting standards: disclosure policies and practices of european commercial banks
par Michael Forzeh Fossung
Gothenburg University - Master of Science (MSc) Accounting 2002
We believe that in order to formulate a reliable purpose, we have to carry out a reliable literature review. This gives insight into what harmonization and practice actually are; hence, an understanding of the specific problem area is possible. Case study analysis of European banks will be used to support our analysis on a practical level and, by this, we have used two commercial banks from three European countries that have different cultural backgrounds. This section, therefore, sets up a framework and the approaches to solving our problem.
The strategy one uses when doing a study depends on how much knowledge he has about the problem area and how well the problem is structured and formulated. The strategic approach we deem appropriate is the descriptive approach, within which we have made some analysis. We have used the 2000 annual reports of six European banks to describe the divergence in reporting practices existing among the European banks.
1. Sample: Cultural Background
2. Sample: Measure of size
Choice of Banks
Reporting Practice Measurement Practice
Within a country
4. Difference in Practice
With other countries
Benchmark: EC Directives
Summary of research results
Since we are doing comparative studies across national boundaries in order to obtain a broad based coverage of the European community, we have classified countries with related culture and history into groups; namely, Anglo-Saxon, Nordic, and Germanic. In the Anglo-Saxon group, we have chosen two banks from the United Kingdom. In the same vein, we have chosen two banks Germany to represent the Germanic group, and two banks from Sweden to represent the Nordic group.
While the choice of UK and Germany is obvious, we deem it necessary to give an explanation on our choice of Sweden as representative of the Nordic model. We believe that to assure validity, Sweden constitutes a good representation of the whole of Scandinavian due to its size, which is second to none in the region. We have also considered its industrial nature and its international attachments. Another reason for choosing this country is that this research has been conducted in Sweden (being students of the Graduate Business School of Gothenburg University.)
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