A Preliminary Study of Student Perspectives on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Education

Xueyu Chen


The increasingly borderless global economy has led to the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) around the world. However, U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) is still the set of standards required by Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for financial reporting in the United States. Despite the fact that the SEC believes transitioning to IFRS is in the best interest of the U.S. securities markets generally and U.S. investors specifically, efforts to converge IFRS and U.S. GAAP have not succeeded. Still, under the background of globalization of business, IFRS education has increasingly become important for business majors especially accounting major students. While much of the extant IFRS curricular research has focused on the educator and employer perspective, this paper using survey research methodology explores student perspective on IFRS education and student IFRS knowledge level. During fall 2013, the author conducted an online survey targeting the business major students involved in different level of accounting courses at Purdue University and three other universities including University of Colorado, Weber State University, and Louisiana State University. Based on survey results, this paper examines seven influencing factors (student education level, major, nationality, professional experience, interest in taking CPA exam, career interest and expected workplace) that affect student appreciation of IFRS education. Results also indicate that most students already realize the importance of IFRS education, but with the current accounting education, many students haven’t gained a solid foundation for the entry-level IFRS knowledge and skills that meet the expectations of educators and employers. The paper concludes with recommendations and strategies for incorporating IFRS education into the universities' accounting curriculum based on the research findings.


IFRS education, university accounting curriculum, student knowledge of IFRS

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