Transformation of accounting through digital standardisation: tracing the construction of the IFRS Taxonomy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


External organisations

  • The University of Adelaide
  • The Open University


Purpose: Corporate reporting infrastructure and communication are being transformed by the emergence of digital technologies. A key element of the digital accounting infrastructure underpinning international corporate reporting is the IFRS Taxonomy, a digital representation of international accounting standards that is required by firms to produce digital corporate reports. The purpose of this paper is to trace the development, governance and adoption of the IFRS Taxonomy to highlight the implications for accounting practice and standard-setting.

Design/methodology/approach: The authors mobilise Actor Network Theory and a model of transnational standardisation to analyse the process surrounding the formation and diffusion of the IFRS Taxonomy as a legitimate “reference” of the IFRS Standards. The authors trace the process using interview, observation and documentary evidence.

Findings: The analysis shows that while the taxonomy enables IFRS-based reporting in the digital age, tensions and detours result in the need for a realignment of the perspectives of both accounting standard-setters and taxonomy developers that have transformative implications for accounting practice and standard-setting.

Originality/value: The study explains how and why existing accounting standards are transformed by technology inscriptions with reflexive effects on the formation and diffusion of accounting standards. In doing so, the paper highlights the implications that arise as accounting practice adapts to the digitalisation of corporate reporting.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-162
Number of pages30
JournalAccounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2018


  • Actor network theory (ANT), Circulating reference, IFRS, IFRS Taxonomy, Standardisation, Translation