Musings on Accounting Research by Steve

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Onto AFAANZ

I will be “girding my loins” to enjoy the doctoral symposium of AFAANZ today.  I was a guest of the symposium in 2011 when I was a plenary speaker at AFAANZ main conference.  I promised that I would return one day as a regular resident faculty member and this is that day.  Thanks to David Smith and company for having me.

I must say that one thing that strikes me about AFAANZ doctoral symposium both this year and in 2011, for a country that has such a diverse research tradition, the representation of students at AFAANZ is strongly capitial markets and finanical economics.  Any American faculty member would not feel out of place here with 75% or more of the students being some version of finanical economics based.  One of those strange puzzles about the big down under (or up there depending on your perspective).

In any case, as being the faculty member in the miscellaneous group I am looking forward to a set of really great presentations if the papers provided are any indication.

GMARS doctoral symposium

I like to pickup on ideas in my rare trips around the world.  I had heard of the GMARS doctoral symposium but I had never managed to talk my way into it.  This year I was allowed to observe.  Most interesting approach.  Students present research, faculty do a formal discussion (as Eddy Cardinaels learned at the last minute that means powerpoint slides) and then a general discussion ensues.  It seemed to me to be a real risk!  What if faculty blew away the paper, would doctoral students have any comments that did not mimic the faculty member’s discussion, etc????  Well it worked and worked well.  I think you need to have a very special set of faculty to make it work, but apparently the UNSW Sydney (the only U I know that has rebranded three times in five years) can make it work.  Salute to Kerry Humphreys and her gang especially her main assistants Paul Andon and Yee Shih Phua as well as the key faculty.

GMARS is still the best MA conference

Without doubt GMARS is by far the best Management Accounting conference on the planet.  While others may be larger, or have individual years where they excel, for consistent high quality management accounting research you cannot beat GMARS.

This year in Sydney was no exception.  Under relatively newbie conference chair Jane Baxter there was an excellent selection of social and behavioral management accounting research with a bit of economics based work thrown in.  The latter was a bit of a disappointment but it just may have been a thin year for archival based MA research.

The social and behavioral work was excellent with experimental economics, psychology based, case and field studies, survey based research all well represented.  I got to present a paper for the first time in 11 appearances at GMARS (those who know me know that my management accounting work has been spotty in recent years after three top tier papers at the turn of the century), notched another discussion (11th discussion I believe) and a late breaking addition to the program – an editor’s panel.

I was so kind, I did not mention the SSCI during my time on the editor’s panel 🙂  Maybe I can be a diplomat in my old age.

The SSCI – more sillyiness

What one American Senior Editor saw when he read the latests Business/Finance results for the Social Sciences Citiation Index two year impact factor focusing on accounting journals.

  1. JAE 3.839
  2. JAR 3.0
  3. TAR 2.304
  4. CAR 2.269
  5. AOS 2.158
  6. AJPT 1.937
  7. RAST 1.756
What the SSCI actually listed for accounting – see any difference????
1 JOURNAL OF ACCOUNTING & ECONOMICS 3.839
2 JOURNAL OF ACCOUNTING RESEARCH 3
3 Management Accounting Research 3
4 Accounting Auditing & Accountability Journal 2.732
5 ACCOUNTING REVIEW 2.304
6 CONTEMPORARY ACCOUNTING RESEARCH 2.269
7 ACCOUNTING ORGANIZATIONS AND SOCIETY 2.158
8 British Accounting Review 2.135
9 European Accounting Review 2.107
10 AUDITING-A JOURNAL OF PRACTICE & THEORY 1.937
11 REVIEW OF ACCOUNTING STUDIES 1.756
12 Critical Perspectives on Accounting 1.5
13 Accounting and Finance 1.396
14 Journal of Business Finance & Accounting 1.276

ISAR a most successful gig!!!

Well ISAR was excellently run Liz Carson in her first solo attempt at chairing the conference.  Her long time sidekick/mentor/etc (Roger Simmett) was off being a standard setter this weekend so Liz ran the show.  And well run it was.  When the final plenary has nearly as many attendees as the opening plenary, you know something has gone well.

From a social and behavioral perspective it was great to see the diversity of methods on display.  We had a number of field studies, the usual set of experiments, a couple of experiential surveys plus some attempts to use psychology research in archival audit settings.  The topics ranged from critical audit matters, the use of specialists, audits of estimates, some CSR assurance related research etc etc etc.

Next year the conference moves to Maastricht.  One week after the EAA Congress in Milan.  Now if GMARS gets with the program, I may be able to do the trifecta in Europe next spring!!!  Ah, perchance to dream. . . . . .

The return of social and behavioral research in auditing

For quite a while now, it has been a bit depressing as a social and behavioral researcher attending ISAR.  In the early days (i.e. in the 1990’s) the room was dominated by experimental researchers.  Then came SOX and audit fee disclosures in the USA.  Gradually the experimental room grew smaller and smaller with the archival room getting larger and larger.  Finally, it became the norm that the plenary room would be the archival audit presentation room and the “extra” room would be the social and behavioral room (as we gradually got experimental audit into a broader headspace including surveys, case studies as well as experiments).  Further, this is not just an Australian thing as I have noticed this in the last two ISARS, social and behavioral research in auditing is back.  Indeed, this year the organizers made the mistake of putting social and behavioral in the other room which meant that the hotel staff had to bring int extra chairs and that the room was constantly crowded.  As Arnie once said “we’reeeeee backkkkkkkkk!!!!!!!”

Check out BRIA’s new home page

The ABO’s section webmaster, Michael Meyer, and I have colloborated on updating BRIA’s on line presence.  Check out the new site at

http://aaahq.org/ABO/Publications/BRIA

While not at 100% yet, we are hoping to consolidate all BRIA trafic to two entry points, the Allentrack site where you submit, do reviews, edit etc and the ABO site that contains all the needed background information about the journal.  So if you see a link that leads to an older BRIA site, please inform the webmaster and we will try to get the link fixed.

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