The process of achieving global accounting harmonization faces several obstacles. The obstacles to accounting harmonization are often related to environmental factors. In this study, we investigate the environmental obstacles associated with the adoption of IFRSs in the Arab world, taking Jordan as a case study. Via a questionnaire, we received responses from 102 preparers and users of fi nancial statements in Jordan. We also conducted seven interviews with key players, mainly from enforcement bodies. We fi nd, in general, that environmental factors indeed impede the successful adoption and application of IFRSs in Jordan. The educational setting and the business environment cause most diffi culties. To a lesser extent, factors relating to the content of IFRSs, the regulatory environment, the organization of the accounting profession, international infl uences and the cultural context also cause problems. Jordan, and by extension, other countries in the Arab world, were not suffi ciently prepared to adopt and apply IFRSs. We conclude that both internal and external initiatives are needed to facilitate the process of IFRSs adoption and application. Within Jordan, steps must be taken to adapt or improve some of the environmental conditions. Externally, the IASB needs to consider the special needs of developing countries including Arab ones.