Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Rasoul H. Tondkar


Using China as the case of a developing country, this study empirically evaluates whether the efforts made by China since the early 1990s to harmonize their domestic standards with IAS have been successful. Four research questions are addressed and eight hypotheses are developed to investigate the current level of harmonization and whether the extent of harmonization improves with the issuance of the most recent Chinese GAAP. Chinese 1992 GAAP, 1998 GAAP, and 2001 GAAP are reviewed and compared with IAS to evaluate de jure harmonization of Chinese GAAP with IAS (that is, harmonization in standards). Firms that issue both A and B-shares in China are used to evaluate de facto harmonization of Chinese GAAP with IAS (that is, harmonization of practices). The final sample includes the 1999 and 2002 annual reports of 79 Chinese listed firms that issue both A and B-shares. A checklist instrument containing 77 measurement items was developed from IAS1-40. Different measures are used to evaluate harmonization, including rank of closeness, compliance index, consistency index, and conservatism index.Overall, the findings of this study indicate that the accounting reform in China has been effective in harmonizing Chinese GAAP with IAS. Nevertheless, noticeable variances between Chinese GAAP and IAS still exist in key financial measures. The study provides strong evidence showing that the harmonization of accounting regulations is highly relevant to the harmonization of accounting practices, as improved compliance of Chinese listed firms with IAS, improved comparability of firms ' accounting choices in their annual reports prepared under Chinese GAAP and IAS, and reduced earning gap between Chinese GAAP-based and IAS-based net incomes are detected with the issuance of the most recent Chinese GAAP in 2001.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008

Included in

Accounting Commons