Assessing the Preparedness of Small and Medium-sized Entities in Sweden : to Adopt International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) for Small and Medium-sized Entities (SMEs).

University essay from Umeå universitet/Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet; Umeå universitet/Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet

Abstract:

SMEs serve as a backbone to keep an economy going and to boost it up in times of difficult hours like recession, for example. They are considered as the main source of modernization, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. Like rest of Europe, 99% of enterprises are SMEs in Sweden which form a ratio of approximately 58 SMEs per 1000 inhabitants. Moreover SMEs employ around 60% of Sweden‟s manpower which shows their concern toward social responsibility.

Several companies irrespective of their size are bound by the statutory rules of a particular country in which they operate to prepare financial reports that conform to specified set of accounting principles. There has been much ongoing debate regarding the suitability of one set of accounting standards in a country for all its operating enterprises, regardless of their size. In July 2009 the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) published the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) for Small and Medium-sized Entities (SMEs). The IFRS for SMEs is intended to be applied to the general purpose financial statements of entities that do not have public accountability. The main theme of our thesis is to examine the suitability and difficulties faced by SMEs in Sweden towards IFRS for SMEs. Furthermore, this thesis will identify the problems that will be faced by SMEs in Sweden, in the process of adopting IFRS for SMEs. Lastly, this study will be conducted to check whether SMEs in Sweden prefer to choose and use IFRS for SMEs or Swedish GAAP.

In order to achieve the determined objectives, the study "Assessing the preparedness of small and medium-sized entities in Sweden to adopt International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) for Small and Medium-sized Entities (SMEs)" was conducted. A qualitative research employing semi-structured interviews was carried out with eleven interviews in order to solidify the quality criteria of our research work. Sample was selected based on convenient sampling from Umeå due to the limitations of resources in terms of cost and time; opinions from three different categories of respondents (audit firms, SMEs and experts‟ opinion from the academic perspective) would be gathered. All collected data would be analyzed against the theoretical framework, and with the help of analysis conclusion regarding this study would be drawn.

Based on the qualitative results, the findings exhibits that SMEs in Sweden are not inclined towards IFRs for SMEs and are not ready in any way to adopt these standards. The Swedish GAAP has been designed over years and all SMEs are very much familiar with the rules and principles applicable in Swedish GAAP. Therefore, according to our research inclination of SMEs in Sweden is towards Swedish GAAP rather than IFRS for SMEs.

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