ACCA challenges Academics on Research issues
Roger Adams, ACCA Executive Director - Technical, challenged academics on research issues needing attention and the role of accounting professional bodies. He was addressing the international research conference, held by the Southern African Accounting Academics (SAAA) and the International Association for Accounting Education and Research (IAAER), sponsored by ACCA, which took place in Durban from 30th June to 2nd July 2004. About 400 national and international delegates attended the conference.
"Professional accounting bodies act primarily as facilitators in the research domain, providing funds and sometimes the sample base. Often we enable researchers to gain access to decision makers and thought leaders when otherwise they might have none. Always, we seek to promote and distribute research outcomes to as wide and audience as possible and in the most appropriate manner" He said.
Roger highlighted the following research topics:
- Small company audits: do users of small company financial statements really want to have them independently audited?
- Why are more and more companies "going private" or "de-listing"? and what are the implications for financial reporting standards and corporate governance codes?
- How far up the professional curriculum can we push computer-based assessments?
- Does one size fit all in Financial Reporting - what about the cases of the European banks and the global SME community
- Does better governance and/or an impressive CSR/ethical credential lead to better performance in terms of shareholder value added - if so, for how long does the effect persist?
- Does audit firm rotation work?
- How come Australia got away with a proportionate liability regime change whereas the UK couldn't?
- What are the real costs and benefits of quarterly reporting? Do continuous disclosure regimes work?
- Has Sarbanes Oxley pushed up audit costs - by how much?
- Can auditors satisfactorily comment on the adequacy on internal control systems and corporate governance processes?
- Do users of financial statements think that the MD&A/OFR are useful additional statements?
- Does the inclusion of ethics in the curriculum improve or reduce ethical behaviour?
- How far advanced is the preparation for convergence in Europe (2005 deadline)?
- Do national standard setters have a viable future?
- Do professional accounting bodies have a future? Will MBAs and CFAs take over the world?
Guests at the conference included : Clem Sunter (Chairman of the Anglo American Chairman's Fund), Prof. Peter Wilson (Chair of Accounting at Boston College,USA), Prof. Jim Ohlson (Acting Chair of the Accounting Department at Stern School of Business, New York University), Prof. Valery Kovalev from Russia and Prof. K Satyapal (Executive Dean - University of Natal).