The interests of users of financial statements are, in theory, paramount to accounting standard-setters. However, there is a dearth of research into users’ participation in, and influence on, the process of setting accounting standards. (George Georgiou, Birmingham Business School, Birmingham University, Edgbaston Park Road, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK).
In 2001 the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC) restructured itself into the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB).1 Since the adoption of the International Accounting Standards (IAS) regulation by the European Commission and the convergence agreement with the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), the IASB has grown in importance and has, arguably, acquired the status of a private standard-setter whose activities are of primary interest to a global audience (Jorissen, Lybaert, & Van de Poel, 2006).
In the context of the UK’s Accounting Standards Board (ASB) process, Weetman, Davie, and Collins (1996) investigated lobbying on the issue of the Operating and Financial Review (ASB, 1993). They reported that, out of a total of 104 comment letters, 14 were submitted by report user groups. In addition to the examination of comment letters, the authors undertook interviews with 20 financial statement users, partly in order to establish the reasons why they had not made written submissions. Reported to IASC 1989-1992 out of a total of 764 letters, only 26 were submitted by financial analyst organizations (submitted by 5 different respondents). In contrast, in their examination of the history of the IASC, Zeff and Camfferman (2007) reported that financial analysts ‘were very active in board discussions, and considerable attention was paid to their views’ (page 220).
In summary, the literature review highlights the dearth of empirical evidence on financial...