Crunching the numbers to prove the benefit of a global accounting standard
Change is never an easy thing to work through. Familiar routines are disrupted before a new ‘normal’ becomes the known way. Change is often difficult to accept when things are running smoothly and perhaps even better than the standard. But as the world increasingly becomes more connected, there can be a benefit to changing processes to become in sync with those in other parts of the world. Familiar with change in the accounting realm, University of Tasmania lecturer Alia Alshamari completed her PhD studying Australia’s formerly unpopular change to an internationally recognised accounting standard. She uncovered the data to prove that, in this instance, change was definitely a good thing.
In 2005, Australia adopted the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) after much debate and criticism. With an existing national accounting standard held highly regarded as one of the best in the world, not everyone saw the benefit of making the change while others argued it would only further grow the Australian economy.
“A lot of critics of the IFRS viewed accounting within Australia as the touchstone of all accounting practices because it was already held at such a high standard. This combined with the economic cost of change, made the switch in 2005 heavily debated, explained Alshamari.”
It was difficult to measure the success of the adoption of IFRS due to dozens upon dozens of uncontrollable variables including Australia’s mining boom seen from 2003-2013, and the ever-fluctuating exchange rate and GDP. But Alshamari was determined to find out if the positive change experienced by Australia following the switch was directly due to IFRS.
Alshamari uncovered findings that supported the implementation of the IFRS. While Australia’s own accounting standards were high, adoption of IFRS facilitated a significant increase in foreign investment into the Australian economy. The new standard allowed an ease of communication between countries due to the comparability of accounting information. The IFRS enhanced investors’ understanding of the financial reporting of the host country, which increased foreign investor confidence in investing in the host country.
Global acceptance of a universal accounting language
While Australia has witnessed a positive change following this adoption, there are countries including the United States, Japan, India and Russia who are reluctant to make the switch. Changing accounting processes on a national scale is no easy task, requiring an enormous amount of time and money. But Alshamari says that the change would be of benefit. And her research proves it.
“We need to thoroughly understand the reasons why countries are hesitant to adopt this international standard, and find a way to make the transition to IFRS as seamless as possible. “Australia has seen a huge benefit that other counties are also likely to see as well. This research makes a strong case in favor of the IFRS.”
Alshamari’s findings are highly useful for the Australian Accounting Standards Board, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
While the Australian home front has witnessed a benefit from her research, it also helps support the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) in its own quest to facilitate global application of the IFRS.
International Accounting Standards Studied to Boost and Protect Economies and the Environment
Living in an increasingly globalised world, the decisions of one country can often have an impact on a global scale, both positive and negative. Major actions taken by a country that will have a direct impact on its citizens and businesses, must be looked at critically to ensure the wellbeing of not only a county’s population but the rest of the world as well. Using her accounting background, University of Tasmania lecturer Alia Alshamaria is doing just that by taking her research to a global level, examining the impacts of the International Foreign Investment Reporting Standard (IFRS).
Alshamaria began her career in accounting in Iraq, lecturing on various accounting principles for nearly a decade before making the journey to Hobart to pursue her PhD at The University of Tasmania. Completing her PhD in 2018, Alshamira investigated the impact of Australia’s adoption of the IFRS in 2005, which is an internationally recognized standard of accounting widely used across the world. With Australia’s accounting system and practices at the time widely regarded as world class, the change to the IFRS did not come easily and was highly debated at the time of implementation. A decade on, Alshamira’s research points to a definitive answer.
“I discovered a positive structural break in 2005, meaning that there was definitely a change and one that worked to the advantage of the Australian economy.
“I then followed these findings with other studies to make sure all variables were considered, and found that the IFRS has boosted foreign trade since 2005.”
“These findings are not only useful to Australia but also to the remaining countries who have not yet adopted this accounting standard.
“While it does carry a big financial burden and time to set up, my findings prove that the switch to the IFRS will pay off because of the ease of accounting language that helps facilitate foreign trade and investment.”
Green Accounting – Using the IFRS to Police Environmental Protection Laws
Noting the impact that the IFRS had on Australia, Alshamira’s thoughts went back to the middle east and to other developing countries where more and more companies are choosing to grow due to their scarce environmental protections. Adding a green spin to her accounting research, Alshamira is now investigating the relationship between foreign investment and environmental disclosure under IFRS.
“Growing up in Iraq, I saw first-hand the implications that some of these huge companies had on the environment and the health problems that resulted from their lack of corporate social responsibility.
“Using IFRS, we’re able to investigate if a company respects environmental protection laws and requirements and if they also disclose how they are going to make investments to reverse existing damage and prevent it in the future.”
While Alshamira’s current focus lies abroad, she says conducting her research from The University of Tasmania has helped increase her research knowledge and build her skills.
“I’m inspired by the constant discovery that happens as a researcher. My colleagues at the University of Tasmania have continued to support my drive to uncover the truth to ensure the survival and wellbeing of our environment across the world.”
Dr Alshamari is a Lecturer of Accounting at the Tasmanian School of Business and Economics. Her teaching and research interests lie in the areas of Management Accounting, International Accounting, International Business, Economic resources, and Environmental issues.
Dr Alshamari enrolled as a PhD student at the University of Tasmania in 2014. During this time, she was employed as a casual academic, which enabled her to develop her teaching skills, both at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. In 2018, upon completion of her PhD in Accounting, Dr Alshamari was appointed as a full-time academic (tenured track) at the Tasmanian School of Business and Economics. Prior to joining University of Tasmania, Dr Alshamari held academic position at the University of Basra, Iraq.
Date of award
University of Tasmania
18/ 12/ 2018
University of Basra
31/ 12/ 2003
BSc (1st Class Hons)
University of Basra
Languages (other than English)
Honours Committee member in 2020
Alshamari was a member of the Examination Committee in Iraq, her role was:
Verified and collated exam results.
A member in the honours committee members.
Management Accounting; Accounting and Financial Decision making; Principles of Accounting; Auditing
Dr Alshamari has more than 8 years (from 2004-2012) of teaching experience overseas, in different accounting subjects such as management accounting, principle of accounting, national accounting, Financial math, as well as auditing. In UTAS, she taught various accounting units at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.
Econometrics (time series data analysis using EViews software)
Change is never an easy process to work through; it disrupts familiar ways of doing things and is often difficult to accept when things are running smoothly. However, as the world becomes increasingly connected, many researchers believe that there are real benefits in introducing change, in the form of an internationally recognised accounting standard, that will bring accounting processes into line with those used in other parts of the world. Such benefits are the topic of a PhD, by the University of Tasmania, lecturer Alia Alshamari. Dr Alshamari studied Australia’s change-over, in 2005, to the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS). She aims to continue her research in this area. She also undertakes research in various areas of international accounting, Corporate Governance, and teaching.
Dr Alshamari is currently involved in various projects, which are primarily related to IFRS, Pollution, Corporate Governance, and teaching. These collaborative projects include a partnership across Accounting and Finance disciplines at TSBE and across universities in Australia and overseas.
The effect of A-IFRS on foreign investment inflows:
Currently, the focus of this research is to examine the effects of A-IFRS implementation on the magnitude of foreign investment flows into Australia. With a focus on foreign investment flows, the project will be expanded to assess the relationship between foreign investment flows and environmental disclosures under IFRS.
Appropriateness of Goodwill Impairment: Evidence from Australia:
This project examines whether, in the context of Australian companies, intangible items such as goodwill, which are recognised in financial statements, are value relevant. It also explores the issue of whether earnings management motives underlie management decisions to adjust the book value of goodwill when it becomes impaired.
Technical and Professional skills: the role of accounting education:
This project aims to examining the professional and technological skill requirements of accounting graduates and the role of accounting education.
Fields of Research
- Financial accounting (350103)
- International accounting (350104)
- Sustainability accounting and reporting (350107)
- International economics (380110)
- Finance services (110201)
- Balance of payments (150201)
- Other environmental management (189999)
View more on Ms Alia Alshamari in WARP
Conference Publication(2 outputs)
|2020||Alshamari A, Raghavan M, Shantapriyan P, 'An Analysis of A-IFRS in foreign investment inflows to Australia using structural break tests', Virtual AFAANZ, 5-7 July 2020, online (2020) [Conference Extract]|
Co-authors: Raghavan M; Shantapriyan P
|2019||Shahwan Y, Alshamari A, 'Appropriateness of Goodwill Impairment: Evidence from Australia', 53rd International Business Research Conference, 21-22 November 2019, Melbourne, Australia (2019) [Conference Extract]|