In this paper, we examine the factors that influence the development of accounting and reporting practices in Sri Lanka in the backdrop of its political and economic environment. We find that the early days of accounting in Sri Lanka were heavily influenced by the British colonial system. Subsequently, its greatest influence was derived from the regulatory and institutional framework backed by local and British professional accounting bodies. We also interview key stakeholders to draw insights on how the institutional factors contribute to the development of financial reporting in Sri Lanka. We discover that the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (ICASL) is a key player in developing and implementing accounting standards and the best financial reporting practices. We observe that although the Sri Lankan Government has undertaken many initiatives to improve the quality of financial reporting, monitoring and enforcing regulations remain weak partly due to political interference. Therefore, we suggest that strengthening the existing regulatory mechanisms will help to improve the reporting quality and build investor confidence.