Contrary to their increasingly important role in the global economy, little is known so far about the financial reporting practices in emerging economies. This study therefore analyses the financial reporting practices of listed firms in Brazil and South Africa. It also investigates the determinants of financial reporting quality and its effect on information asymmetries. In addition, the author compares the results for the two emerging economies to those for Germany representing a developed economy. The empirical findings have several implications for researchers and lecturers as well as for practitioners, such as preparers and users of financial reports, legislators, standard setters and auditors.