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Wednesday 17 July 2013

Article Publication : "A French Experience of an IFRS transition" by Prof. C. Bonnier, Prof. F. Demerens, Prof. C. Hossfeld and Prof. A. Le Manh

This study focused on accounting education in France, bookkeeping vs. financial reporting, GAAP change, IFRS accounting education and principles-based accounting.

BONNIER C., DEMERENS F., HOSSFELD C., LE MANH A., (2013), "A French Experience of an IFRS transition", ISSUES IN ACCOUNTING EDUCATION, Special Issue "The Transition to IFRS in the Classroom", Vol. 28, Issue 2, pp 221-234, 14 p.

In 2005, IFRS became mandatory for consolidated financial statements of French-listed companies. Our students had increasingly international backgrounds, internships, and jobs after graduation. Therefore, we felt the need to modify our French GAAP-based introductory accounting class to a course using IFRS. This article describes the challenges we faced and the solutions we adopted. Since French GAAP are rules-based and IFRS principles-based, the adoption of IFRS modified our learning goals, the learning strategy, and the assessment methods. We changed from a bookkeeping-oriented approach to one in which students have to define and analyze various transactions with respect to the conceptual framework using broader economic and financial concepts. We also had to modify student behavior from a learning attitude of repeating answers to one of finding answers, which meant further developing their analytical, synthesis, and judgment skills. Class material had to be adjusted to better reflect the complex reality and to allow students to make judgments, thus raising the question to what degree of detail certain topics are taught. This new approach also raised challenges in terms of providing feedback to students, grading, and student evaluation. By raising awareness about these issues, we want to contribute to a smoother transition when switching accounting classes from local GAAP to IFRS in other countries.

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