Musings on Accounting Research by Steve

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Evidence based decision making . . .

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At the information systems assurance symposium sponsored by UW (one of the several schools that claims a bit of my life) the lack of reliance on evidence, where evidence is available, continues to shock me.

First, in data visualization, it is as if they are reinventing the wheel.  We know so much from research about presentation format effects that this should be an easy win for those involved in the business. Instead, it is presented as an art with a series of ah hoc not supported “principles” about how to present data.  But part of the fault is ours as we have not yet learned to readily communicate the common conclusions in our research to practitioners rather than emphasize the diversity of small disagreements.

BUT for a practitioner ready to engage with the literature, it can be done.  The amazing presentation by a former CPA Canada staffer showed that an intelligent practitioner was able to read the literature and see the commonalities from the research. That is so much more delightful to see than to see a practitioner rolling out the excuse that we academics give them every time we emphasize differences – there is no consensus in the research so we can do whatever we want!!!!

Second, see next p;ost . . . . .


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