International Trade and Accounting Policy Choice: Theory and Canadian Evidence

Document Type



Published by Elsevier in International Journal of Accounting, volume 34, issue 4, pages 597-607.

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International Trade



Publication Source

International Journal of Accounting


The accounting policy choice literature has identified many factors which have been shown to be useful in explaining cross-sectional variation in the accounting methods used by public companies. One relationship which has been relatively unexplored in this literature is the potential effect of international trade on accounting choice. This study proposes that international trading activities may create incentives for firms to choose income increasing accounting policies. This proposition was tested by examining the depreciation choices of a sample of Canadian firms. Results suggest that importers were more likely to choose income increasing accounting methods than non-importers, while exporting was not found to be related to this accounting choice. These diverging results may be caused by the declining value of the Canadian dollar (relative to the US dollar), which tends to benefit exporters, but is of detriment to importers.