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Annual Research Report 2008-09


Message from the Dean Accounting at The University of Sydney has a long and distinguished history of intellectual and educational excellence. Building on the internationally acclaimed scholarship of the late Professor Ray Chambers, who was appointed to the Foundation Chair of Accounting in 1960, the Discipline of Accounting remains dedicated to contributing to accounting education, research and professional engagement at the highest levels both nationally and internationally. The hallmarks of accounting at Sydney are intellectual rigour, educational excellence, and a vital engagement with the practising profession. These are exemplified by the Discipline’s: • outstanding success in winning competitive ARC Discovery and Linkage research grants; • editorial leadership of three of Australia’s leading accounting journals – Abacus, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal and Australian Accounting Review; • publication record; • teaching and research programs accredited by AACSB International; • engagement with public debate on matters affecting the accounting profession, including submissions to professional and legislative inquiries; and • Pacioli Society and Accounting Foundation. We are proud of our intellectual and educational heritage and deeply committed to the provision of world class scholarship in teaching, learning and research. Led by five distinguished professors – Graeme Dean, James Guthrie, Stewart Jones, John Roberts and Robert Walker – the Discipline of Accounting is located within an intellectually rich and vibrant community of scholars in the Faculty of Economics and Business.

I warmly commend Accounting at The University of Sydney to you.

Professor Peter Wolnizer Dean, Faculty of Economics and Business

Welcome from the Chair The Discipline of Accounting is an established leader in teaching and research in the field of accounting. The Discipline has an outstanding international reputation in research, learning, development of resources and journal publishing, including three leading international journals. The Discipline works in close cooperation with industry, commerce and the accounting profession. The critical mass and relevance of our research agenda is reflected in our involvement in several major ARC Discovery and Linkage projects, and in our substantial research collaborations with industry and government. As well as active engagement with professional practice, the Discipline is home to three well known and highly rated journals: Abacus; Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal; Australian Accounting Review.

Professor Stewart Jones Chair, Discipline of Accounting


Journals Three journals are closely associated with the Discipline of Accounting and are edited by accounting staff. In addition, many staff have authored scholarly books that have been published by major international publishing houses as well as several leading textbooks in accounting. The Discipline’s staff have published in Abacus; Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal; Australian Accounting Review; Contemporary Accounting Research; Accounting, Organisations and Society; The Journal of Business Finance and Accounting and many other leading accounting journals.

ABACUS Abacus, published by Blackwells on behalf of the Accounting Foundation, is an internationally acclaimed academic journal which concentrates on research articles on accounting, finance and business studies. It is edited by Professor Graeme Dean and Professor Stewart Jones in the Discipline of Accounting. Abacus is the fourth oldest international academic accounting journal. Since 1965, Abacus: A Journal of Accounting, Finance and Business Studies has consistently provided a vehicle for the expression of independent and critical thought on matters of current academic and professional interest in accounting, finance and business. The journal reports current research; critically evaluates current developments in theory and practice; analyses the effects of the regulatory framework of accounting, finance and business; and explores alternatives to, and explanations of, past and current practices.

ACCOUNTING, AUDITING & ACCOUNTABILITY JOURNAL Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal (AAAJ), published by Emerald, is internationally acknowledged as a leading interdisciplinary research resource for academics working to advance current accounting theory and practice through contextual, critical and historical inquiry. It is now ranked in the top echelons of refereed accounting research journals internationally. It is co-edited by Professor James Guthrie in the Discipline of Accounting. The journal provides a forum for the publication of double blind refereed, leading edge research concerning the interaction between accounting/auditing and their socio-economic, institutional and political environments. It offers detailed analysis and critical assessment of current practice, discusses the implications of new policy alternatives and explores the mutual interaction of accounting, auditing and accountability with their multidimensional environments. Internationally recognised as a leading journal in its field, AAAJ challenges conventional wisdom, explores alternatives and offers new perspectives for the accounting discipline. AAAJ has developed a strong reputation for cutting edge research that challenges conventional wisdom and the status quo, being prepared to support research that in content and format pushes the boundaries of the discipline.



AUSTRALIAN ACCOUNTING REVIEW Australian Accounting Review (AAR), published by CPA Australia and financially supported by the Accounting Foundation, is an internationally acclaimed academic and professional journal which discusses developments in the discipline and practice of accounting in Australasia. It is edited by Dr Linda English in the Discipline of Accounting. AAR is CPA Australia’s pre-eminent journal, providing in-depth discussion and critical analysis of developments which affect professionals working in all areas of finance, accounting and business. It publishes articles by academics and researchers as well as leading practitioners. Recent volumes have included coverage of such important issues as accounting change in the public sector; international standards; and auditor independence. An internationally recognised journal, AAR is published three times a year (March, July and November) and is available in printed and electronic formats by annual subscription.


Accounting Foundation The Accounting Foundation within the Discipline of Accounting has been established since 1982. The objectives of the Foundation are to assist the Senate and the Vice-Chancellor on matters associated with the study of accounting and finance by working with industry, commerce and the accounting profession to promote excellence in all fields of accounting and financial management in Australia, and in particular to: • work in close cooperation with industry, commerce and the accounting profession, bringing together the coordinated skills of the various branches of accounting; • provide financial support for the Accounting Research Centre in furtherance of the aims as set out in the Constitution of the Centre; • assist in bringing to the Centre as ‘visiting fellows’ stimulating persons of outstanding achievement in order that they may influence practice and research in accounting in Australia; • arrange a series of annual lectures to be known as the ‘R.J. Chambers Research Lectures in Accounting’; • provide an organisation and a mechanism to assist accountants from the University to work in practice and vice versa, to enable a widening of experience and skills by both parties to assist, where appropriate, accountants from Australia to study a particular problem abroad; • provide scholarships to be known as the ‘R.J. Chambers Research Scholarships’; and • assist candidates enrolled for a degree majoring in accounting at the University.


Pacioli Society The Pacioli Society was established in 1968 on the initiative of Professor R.J. Chambers, the foundation Professor of Accounting at The University of Sydney. It aims to provide a forum on matters related to accounting, business and finance, and to foster the expression of both academic and professional views on topical issues based on informed opinion and debate. The Pacioli Society now operates under the auspices of the Accounting Foundation and provides a valuable contact between academics from Sydney and other universities and the business community. Up to four meetings are held each year. In line with the aims of the Society, each meeting is presented by a panel of speakers to ensure several perspectives of the topic are put forward. Attendees are always given opportunities to ask questions and to voice their own opinions about the topic. Recent Pacioli Society topics have included: Does the global financial crisis mean we should abandon mark-tomarket accounting? Stewart Jones, Professor of Accounting, University of Sydney Charles Littrell, Executive General Manager Policy, Research and Statistics, APRA Hosted by Ernst & Young The Pitfalls of Hedge Funds David Schneider, Unisuper, Head of Research and Risk Management Hosted by Deloitte


R.J. Chambers Collection After several developmental years, the R.J. Chambers Collection is operational and currently consists of four fully searchable libraries: • personal papers (over 12,000 correspondence items classified using three of his classificatory systems); • personal library (over 2,500 books classified using his library system); • personal reading material (over 2,000 items classified using an ‘abridged Dewey’ system); • published works (over 300 items classified using his auto-bibliographical system). The Collection is fully functional. It comprises hard copies in The University of Sydney Archives Unit (USA P202) of more than 15,000 items, as well as a digitised version. Presently every item in the four library digitised version has a one paragraph summary which is fully searchable across about 20 classificatory types – it also has standard ‘Boolean’ search option functionality. The electronic version is being accessed by both national and international academics. The Collection has already attracted substantial overseas interest, and it has been integrated into an international accounting history database of archives called GADAN (Global Accounting Digital Archive Network), a joint American Accounting Association (AAA) and European Accounting Association (EAA) project that combines many sources of freely available digital information and archives related to accounting in various parts of the world. Recently, the collection has been updated with additional correspondence items on the collection website: and additionally it now has five tutorials to assist researchers with accounting materials in the collection.

Research News 2008-9 SUSTAINABILITY RESEARCH The Discipline of Accounting is at the forefront of sustainability accounting, reporting, accountability and auditing research in the world. At a time when politicians and practitioners are grappling with issues of sustainability, the Discipline is home to several leading international scholars in the field. Significant research is being undertaken by a group of academics looking at the measurement and reporting of organisations’ economic, environmental and social performance using the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). A group of international sustainability accounting experts from The University of Sydney, CPA Australia and the GRI Council gathered in Sydney at the end of 2008 to discuss the state of sustainability reporting in Australia and evaluate the reporting practices of Australian companies. The group included Mr Ernst Ligteringen who welcomed the opportunity to have all the key players in sustainability reporting in the one room at The University of Sydney.

BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL ETHICS GROUP (BPEG) The Business and Professional Ethics Group (BPEG) in the Faculty of Economics and


Research News 2008-9

Business was formed in 2006 through a seed donation from Irene Moss. The main focus of BPEG is to draw on the breadth of existing ethics knowledge and expertise in the Faculty and to seek to provide leadership in promoting and developing high quality ethics focused research, teaching and outreach activities in the Faculty, University and broader business and community settings. The Discipline of Accounting is leading the research group through its significant membership representation and Dr Nonna Martinov-Bennie, who is the current General and Research Convenor. BPEG aims to: • provide a scholarly environment for the production and dissemination of leading-edge and relevant business/professional ethics research to a broad range of interest groups in Australia and overseas; • undertake high quality teaching and practice of ethics-based education both within and outside the University. In particular, to equip our graduates with the analytical and methodological tools to enable them to be more ethically informed in their organisational decision making; • develop research and consultancy relationships with organisations across different sectors of the economy in order to achieve a range of mutually beneficial outcomes; and • provide a forum to shape and inform public policy debate through community outreach activities (e.g. media comment, school visits, public lectures) so that The University of Sydney is regarded as an institution of excellence in business and professional ethics. BPEG’s membership consists of 40 academics and represents a wide range of Disciplines including Accounting, Business Information Systems, Business Law, Government and International Relations, International Business, Marketing, and Work and Organisational Studies. Recently a BPEG Student Society has been formed with the aim of organising and promoting BPEG events for students. It will act as a ‘bridge’ between the Faculty and students, creating greater awareness of business ethics and opportunities for students to be involved in projects within the Faculty and with industry partners. Further details can be found at the BPEG website,


METHODOLOGICAL AND EMPIRICAL ADVANCES IN FINANCIAL ANALYSIS (MEAFA) The Discipline of Accounting is leading the research group Methodological and Empirical Advances in Financial Analysis (MEAFA) through Dr Demetris Christodoulou (MEAFA General Convenor), Professor Graeme Dean (Advisory Board), Professor Stewart Jones and Dr Neal Arthur. MEAFA is a research network that promotes cross-disciplinary collaborative work for investigating issues of analytical correctness, precision and reliability of estimates in applied financial analysis, by bridging research expertise across the disciplines of Accounting, Economics, Finance, and Operations Management and Econometrics. To achieve this primary goal, MEAFA holds an annual research meeting that is now nationally and internationally acknowledged as a high profile event of its kind. The Second Meeting on MEAFA, 29-30 Jan 2009, enjoyed the contribution of four major international keynote speakers: Professor Stephen Penman (Columbia University), Professor Stuart McLeay (Bangor University), Professor Mark Tippett (Loughborough University) and Professor Paul Dunmore (Massey University). The research papers presented in the annual research meetings can be accessed through MEAFA’s website. MEAFA is also preparing a major showpiece publication that collects international opinions on advances in methodological financial analysis. In the light of the recent global economic crisis, MEAFA hosted a Forum on the Crisis in Financial Markets, 2 April 2009, which consisted of a number of short talks from distinguished scholars from The University of Sydney. The Forum covered an eclectic range of topics related to the global financial crisis; the presentations can be accessed from MEAFA’s website and a report on the Forum can be viewed from MEAFA’s blog. MEAFA has established strong links with other international research initiatives such as the Centre for Analysis of Investment Risk at the Manchester Business School, the Centre of Finance and Investment XFi at the University of Exeter, the EU-wide INTACCT research network that examines the European IFRS revolution and others. MEAFA is also concerned with designing and delivering high quality cross-disciplinary research training with a quantitative focus. Locally, MEAFA offers the unit of study ECOF7904 Advanced Research Methods that is offered to Faculty PhD students and visiting CEMS PhD students. Nationally, MEAFA offers an annual Professional Development Workshop on Quantitative Analysis Using Stata every July, to academics from other universities and professionals from the industry and governmental agencies. Internationally, MEAFA is involved in cross-institutional structural research training with major centres of excellence such as the Centre for Doctoral Studies in Business at the University of Manheim and the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research. For more information on MEAFA’s strategic goals and research interests, as well as updates on research activities and output visit its official website: and blog,

SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF ORGANISATIONS GROUP (SMOG) The Discipline of Accounting is leading the SMOG research group through Professor James Guthrie and Associate Professor Geoff Frost. 12

Research News 2008-9

The group was established in October 2007. It is a purposely formalised research group set up to focus on: • the management of sustainability • the evolving meaning of sustainability for organisations • social and environmental accounting • social, ecological and environmental economics • philosophical, geographical and cultural aspects of management in relation to sustainability Sustainability is both an interdisciplinary subject and an area of developing theory, within which discussion of appropriate methods is also emerging. SMOG aims to foster relationships between like minded academics and university professionals with the intent of the identification of common ground for publication and research collaborations. The group consists of academics across the Faculty. The strength of the Faculty’s expertise in this area is reflected by the increasing number of early career researchers and PhD students working in this field. The programs developed will prepare students for the reality of the future, equipping them with an understanding of the social, environmental and economic perspectives required for organisational survival in a global economy. The group intends to address the following strategic issues: • Network (Exchange and Build) • The aim of the network is to enhance and consolidate relationships between researchers in the Faculty and potential users of information and knowledge about organisational sustainability. • Collaborate • To further develop relationships with international institutions, such as The University of Bologna, with whom the Faculty has a Memorandum of Understanding. International collaborations will provide a global perspective to the group and raise the profile of the faculty internationally. It is envisaged that this will entail (but is not limited to) an exchange of academics between the two universities.


• Investigate • To examine theories and methodologies associated with organisational sustainability via discussion and workshops. These may develop into collaborative research grants. • Disseminate • To raise the profile of sustainability and make visible the research expertise in the Faculty to interested parties both within and outside the University. • Forecast • To promote discussion about, and signal changes in, sustainability within organisations, in order to detect opportunities for collaborative research. Further details can be found at the SMOG website,

Recent Research Events The Discipline of Accounting has participated in and sponsored various conferences and workshops. CSEAR CONFERENCE DECEMBER 2008 Since 2001, the Australasian Conference on Social and Environmental Accounting Research (CSEAR) has been organised by Australian Universities. In December 2008, the Discipline of Accounting at The University of Sydney co-hosted the international CSEAR conference. The 2008 Conference, which took place at The University of South Australia, was very successful, thanks to the principal sponsorship of CPA and The University of Sydney. The conference’s main theme was ‘Sustainability Accounting – A Question for Management’ and included a parallel stream on Environmental Management Accounting. The Conference is a deliberately informal gathering of researchers, teachers, students, and practitioners concerned with research, teaching and practice in social and environmental accounting in the very widest sense. Normally limited to a maximum of around 60 delegates, the emphasis was on a high level of interaction, discussion and debate in a friendly, supportive and relaxed atmosphere. The next CSEAR conference will be held by The University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand in December 2009. Further details can be found at the website,


Recent Research Events

BPEG SEMINARS The Business and Professional Ethics Group organises a range of events to promote ethics in the Faculty and more widely. On 3 February 2009, BPEG hosted a dinner seminar and debate on the topic of “The Business School is a Creature of its Time: What are the Ethical Challenges for the Academic and Professional Communities?”. The Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University, Dr Michael Spence, welcomed guests and introduced the presenters, Professor James Guthrie and Suzanne Ryan, a PhD student in the Discipline. A lively discussion moderated by Associate Professor Nonna Martinov-Bennie followed the presentations with spirited participation from many of the guests, who included BPEG members, academics from the Faculty and University, representatives from accounting firms and the professional bodies, academics from other universities and international visitors. A second research seminar for 2009 was delivered in February by Professor Sally Gunz from the School of Accounting and Finance, The University of Waterloo, Canada. Professor Gunz is also the Director of Waterloo’s Centre of Accounting Ethics. The topic was “Client Capture and the Professional Service Firm” and examined the impact of client/lawyer relationships on ethical decision making for lawyers in large commercial practices. The discussion was wideranging across many other professions. The importance of the issue was reflected in the large attendance from BPEG and other Faculty members, colleagues from the Faculty of Law at Sydney and other universities and members of the BPEG Student Society. Further details can be found at the BPEG website,

R.J. CHAMBERS MEMORIAL RESEARCH LECTURE The Accounting Foundation and the Faculty of Economics and Business recently hosted the annual R.J. Chambers Memorial Research Lecture in September 2008. The Memorial Research Lecture titled “Accounting Research and the Accounting Standardsetting Process: Has Academic Research Made Any Difference?” was presented by visiting Professor Kenneth Peasnell, Professor of Accounting and Finance and Associate Dean for Research, Lancaster University Management School.


Recent Research Events

ABACUS FORUM, Valuation of Intangibles An Abacus Forum took place at The University of Sydney in November 2008. Keynote speakers included Professor Suresh Radhakrishnan (Philip Bardes Professor of Accounting, Stern School of Business), Professor Andrew Stark (Coutts Professor of Accounting and Finance, Manchester Business School) and Dr Martin Bloom (Director, Deloittes, Sydney Office). These speakers are all eminent in their field and the event was a great success. Each speaker brought a different perspective to the debate. For discussion was the pivotal factors in the valuation of intangibles, including key capital allocation decisions, particularly in relation to mergers, acquisitions, new ventures, brand acquisitions, research and development initiatives and licensing agreements. A special issue of Abacus will publish the papers from the Forum.

PACIOLI SOCIETY MEETINGS For the second successive year the Pacioli Society of the Accounting Foundation arranged a series of seminars in collaboration with the Institute of Chartered Accountants to present the research findings of staff members of the Accounting Discipline. A similar series of events will be held in 2009.

ACCOUNTING FOUNDATION RESEARCH SEMINARS Throughout the year the Accounting Foundation organises a seminar series, held at the University, highlighting the work of Discipline of Accounting academics, as well as hosting seminars by international and national visitors. This activity is part of the Foundation’s stated aim to promote excellence in the fields of accounting and financial arrangement and in particular to work in close cooperation with industry, commerce and the accounting profession. The seminars are open to all and occur throughout the year. Further information can be found on the website,



Forthcoming Events ABACUS FORUM, DECEMBER 2009 There will be an Abacus Forum on Whole of Government Accounting taking place at The University of Sydney in December 2009. Keynote speakers will include Professor David Heald (University of Aberdeen, UK), Professor James Chan (University of Illinois at Chicago) and Professor Bob Walker (University of Sydney) The anticipated uses of whole of government financial reports include macro-level monitoring of fiscal policy and sustainability, as well as micro-level uses relating to improved public sector management. The claimed objectives raise political issues, while diversity in presentation highlights a series of technical issues that have yet to be addressed. With whole of government accounting still evolving, the forum aims to explore objectives and probe some of the technical issues. Papers presented at the forum will be considered for publication in a special issue of Abacus in 2009.

1ST INTERNATIONAL SMOG CONFERENCE, ITALY 2009 The Sustainable Management of Organisations Group (SMOG) in the Faculty of Economics and Business is led by Discipline of Accounting academics, Professor James Guthrie and Associate Professor Geoff Frost. The 1st International SMOG Conference on Sustainable Management of Public and Not for Profit Organistions will take place from 1 – 3 July 2009 at The University of Bologna, Italy. The conference is jointly sponsored by The University of Bologna, the Discipline of Accounting at The University of Sydney, the Italian International Research Society for Public Management (IRSPM) and the Italian Academic Network for the Development of Management in the Public Sector (SIVMAP). Further details can be found at the SMOG website,

Forthcoming Events

APIRA 2010 CONFERENCE The sixth Asia Pacific Interdisciplinary Research in Accounting (APIRA) Conference will take place from 11–13 July 2010 in Sydney. With a reputation for academic rigour, and the participation of some of accountancy’s foremost thinkers, APIRA 2010 promises to attract strong representation from accounting researchers the world over. Some of the most prolific researchers from the United Kingdom, Europe, North America, the Asia-Pacific region, and many other countries are represented in APIRA’s International Editorial Committee. A strong interdisciplinary program of research papers and forums addressing the relationships between accounting, auditing and accountability and their social, institutional, economic and political environments will be included in the program. The conference is being organised jointly by several universities: The University of Sydney (Discipline of Accounting); Macquarie University; Australian National University; University of Technology Sydney; University of New South Wales; University of Western Sydney and Wollongong University. It will be hosted in Sydney, Australia in 2010. This will be APIRA’s 6th triennial conference, after successful conferences in Sydney (1995), Osaka (1998), Adelaide (2001), Singapore (2004) and Auckland (2007).


Research Staff Activities ARC RESEARCH GRANTS Staff in the Discipline continue to be very successful in securing large research grant funding from the highly prestigious competitive funding source, the Australian Research Council. The Discipline of Accounting is the only accounting grouping within Australia to be consistently awarded large ARC Grants. Recent grants have included: James Guthrie, Linda English, Sue Newberry & Broadbent J., Laughlin R.: ARC Linkage Grant 2005–2008 (with Macquarie University). Partner Organisations: CPA Australia; Victorian Auditor General’s Office; Warringah Council; Maddocks. Developing a Model for the Evaluation of Australian Public Private Partnerships. Stewart Jones, Janice Loftus, Geoff Frost, Sandra van der Laan, Philip Lee & Dey C.J.: ARC Linkage Grant 2005-2008. Partner Organisation: CPA Australia. The Role of Accountants and Accounting in Improved Sustainability Management and Reporting.


Visiting Scholars Program The Discipline of Accounting hosts visiting scholars from around the world for periods ranging from a few days to several months. Visiting academics contribute widely to the Discipline, including conducting research seminars, collaborative research and publishing, mentoring our PhD students and lecturing.


Professor Stuart McLeay

Innsbruck University, Austria

Columbia Business School, USA

Bangor Business School, University of Wales, Bangor, UK

Professor Carol Adams

Professor Mark Tippet

La Trobe University, Australia

Loughborough University, UK

Professor Riccado Silvi

Professor Sally Gunz

University of Bologna, Italy

University of Waterloo, Canada

Professor Michael Hommel

Professor Bel Needles

Judge Business School, Cambridge University, UK

Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Germany

De Paul University, USA

Professor Michael Bradbury

Professor John Holland

Massey University, NZ

University of Glasgow, UK

HEC Graduate School of Management, France

Professor Jane Broadbent

Professor Ken Peasnell

Dr Danny Chow

Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Roehampton University, London

Lancaster University Management School

University of London, UK

Associate Professor Matti Skoog

Assistant Professor Ana Yetano

Professor Richard Laughlin

Mälardalen University, Sweden

University of Zaragoza, Spain

King’s College London, University of London, UK

Professor Blanca Perez Gladish

Professor Richard Baker

University of Oviedo, Spain

Adelphi University, USA

Professor Jan Mouritsen

Professor Mar Arenas Parra

Professor John Richard Edwards Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, UK

Professor Geoffrey Whittington

Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

Associate Professor Federica Ricceri University of Padua, Italy

Dr Federica Farneti Assistant Professor, Bologna University, Italy

Professor Martin Piber

Professor Carlos Ramirez

University of Oviedo, Spain

Dr Marta Marsilio Bocconi University, Italy

Professor Maria Martensson Stockholm University, Sweden

Professor Stephen Penman


Accounting PhD Program Being a world-class research centre in economics, business and related fields, the Faculty of Economics and Business receives annually many PhD applications from prospective students all over the world. The Accounting PhD program is completed by coursework and thesis, although it may be completed entirely by thesis in certain circumstances. Students undertaking this degree will work with an allotted supervisor and, usually, an associate supervisor. As at 30 June 2008 there are 28 PhD students in the Discipline of Accounting. The PhD program is available in full-time or part-time modes. Full-time candidature requires at least three years’ study, and part-time candidature six years. PhD students are admitted with probationary status until completion and acceptance of an extended research plan, usually by the end of their first year of full-time study, or part-time equivalent. Examination is by presentation of a thesis, the normal length of which is usually around 80,000 words. The Faculty and University offer extensive financial and academic support to research students in the form of office space and equipment; a Postgraduate Student Research Scheme; access to short courses on research skills and thesis production through the Institute for Teaching and Learning; and access to a number of research methods courses. An extensive range of scholarships and prizes are also available to research students.



private partnerships: Modernisation in the

at the July 2008 AFAANZ conference.

Australian public sector.’ (Supervisors:

The Discipline was well represented at the

Dr James Gifford. Thesis title: ’The

Professor James Guthrie / Associate

Doctoral Colloquium of the conference,

effectiveness of shareholder engagement

Professor Sue Newberry)

with PhD students Matthew Egan and

by pension funds and their agents in Notable PhD student activities:

performance of companies.’ (Supervisor:

PhD students in the Faculty have organised

representative to attend the 2008 Doctoral

Professor Stewart Jones)

a ‘PhD circle’ to offer support to each


Dr Laurence Lock Lee. Thesis title:

other during their studies. The circle

‘Corporate social capital and firm

meets monthly and discusses topics of

performance in the global information

relevance to research students, including

technology services sector.’ (Supervisor:

time management, how to write a literature

Professor James Guthrie)

review, grant application writing, etc. They also have presentations from visitors in

Dr Johannes Dumay. Thesis title:

the Faculty. The nature of the circle is

‘Intellectual capital in action: Australian

informal and provides invaluable advice and

studies.’ (Supervisor: Professor James

assistance to students undertaking research.

Guthrie) Two PhD students in the Discipline of Dr Linda English. Thesis title: ‘Public


Angela Hecimovic selected to attend. Grace

improving the social and environmental

Accounting were awarded best paper awards

Chuang was nominated as the AFAANZ

A PhD student in the Discipline of Accounting, Vijaya Murthy, has been invited to present a paper at the prestigious Accounting, Organizations and Society Workshop in New York in 2009.

Honours Program The Honours Program offered by the Discipline of Accounting offers a number of benefits to graduates of threeyear accounting programs who wish to make a significant contribution in a future career in accounting, finance or management. Features of the honours program include: • An emphasis on problem identification, problem solving and critical thinking. • Development of analytical, report writing and presentation skills. • Close interaction with research staff within the Discipline and a limited number of other elite students. • The choice to pursue your interest within a semi-structured program. Our Honours Program provides our students with considerable experience in undertaking research, in developing their writing skills and in structuring arguments. It places emphasis on self-motivated learning. One side benefit of this approach, besides encouraging independent thinking, is that the students learn the importance of meeting deadlines, of writing within tight constraints and learning to manage their time in a way which enables them to perform to the best of their ability in meeting externally set tasks. The Discipline of Accounting also offers an Honours Preparation Program, which is designed for exceptional students and will provide an avenue for them to pursue advanced studies in the financial and management accounting Honours programs. Congratulations to our students who completed their Honours degree in 2008:

Tina Huynh Megan Jones Dominic Soh Kassim Durrani


Publications Selected publications 2008/9 Journal Articles 2009 Carlin T, Finch N and Laili H 2009

Egan M 2009 forthcoming ‘Sydney

Murthy V and Guthrie J 2009

forthcoming ‘Investigating audit

water sector change and industrial

forthcoming ‘Past present and

quality among big 4 Malaysian firms’,

water management: research

possible future developments

Asian Review of Accounting, vol.17:2.

note’, Journal of Accounting &

in human capital accounting: a

Organizational Change, vol.5:2.

tribute to Jan-Erik Grojer’, Journal

Carlin T and Pham C 2009

Greer S 2009 ‘”In the interests of the

– evidence from a transitional

children”: accounting in the control

economy setting’, Australian

of Aboriginal family endowment

Parker L and Guthrie J 2009

Accounting Review.

payments’, Accounting History,

‘Championing intellectual pluralism

vol.14:1-2, pp. 166-91.

(Editorial)’, Accounting, Auditing

Carlin T 2009 ‘Goodwill impairment – the canary in the coal mine’, FSR

Haigh M and Guthrie J 2009

Forum, February pp. 7-10.

‘A political economy approach to

Christodoulou D 2009 forthcoming ‘Bounded variation and the asymmetric distribution of scaled earnings’, Accounting and Business Research, vol.39:4. Dean G and Pilcher R 2009 forthcoming ‘Implementing IFRS in local government – value adding or additional pain?’, Qualitative Research in Accounting and Management. Dean G, Clarke F and Edwards J 2009 forthcoming ‘Merchant accounts, performance assessment and decision making in mercantilist Britain and Europe’, Accounting, Organizations and Society. Cuganesan S and Dumay J 2009 forthcoming ‘Reflecting on the production of intellectual capital visualisations’, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal. Dumay J 2009 forthcoming ‘Intellectual capital measurement: a critical approach’, Journal of Intellectual Capital.


of Human Resource Costing and

forthcoming ‘From public to private


& Accountability Journal, vol.22:1, pp. 5-12.

regulated Australian information

Poullaos C 2009 forthcoming

disclosures’, Business Ethics:

‘Profession, race and empire:

A European Review, vol.18:2,

keeping the centre pure, 1921-

pp. 192-208.

1927’, Accounting, Auditing &

Haigh M and Guthrie J 2009

Accountability Journal.

forthcoming ‘Management

Ricceri F and Guthrie J 2009

practices in Australasian ethical

forthcoming ‘Strategic management

investment products: a role for

of knowledge resources’,

regulation?’, Business Strategy and

International Journal of Learning

the Environment.

and Intellectual Capital.

Hecimovic A, Martinov-Bennie N and

Ryan S and Guthrie J 2009

Roebuck P 2009 ‘The force of

forthcoming ‘Collegial

law: Australian auditing standards

entrepreneurialism: Australian

and their impact on the auditing

graduate schools of business’,

profession’, Australian Accounting

Public Management Review.

Review, vol.19:1, pp. 1-10. Martinov-Bennie N and Pflugrath G 2009 forthcoming ‘The strength of an accounting firm’s ethical environment and the quality of auditors’ judgments’, Journal of Business Ethics.

2008 Abeysekera I 2008 ‘Intellectual

Boyce G, Greer S, Blair B and Davids

Clarke K, Flanagan J and O’Neill

capital practices of firms and

C 2008 ‘Integrating sociological

S 2008 ‘The financial information

the commodification of labour’,

concepts into the study of

value chain: repositioning

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability

accounting: yielding the benefits of

accounting knowledge’, The

Journal, vol.21:1, pp. 36-48.

team teaching’, Asian Social Science,

Australasian Accounting Business &

vol.4:3, pp. 49-59.

Finance Journal, vol.2:1, pp. 82-94.

‘Motivations behind human capital

Broadbent J and Guthrie J 2008

Dean G 2008 ‘Inaugural Abacus

disclosure in annual report’,

‘Public sector to public services:

Manuscript Award Winner and the

Accounting Forum.

20 years of “alternative” accounting

Abacus Forum on Fair Value and the

research’, Accounting, Auditing &

Conceptual Framework – Editorial’,

Accountability Journal, vol.21:2,

Abacus, vol.44:2, pp. i-viii.

Abeysekera I 2008 forthcoming

Adams C and Frost G 2008 forthcoming ‘Managing social and environmental performance:

pp. 129-69.

Dean G, Clarke F and Margret J 2008

do companies have adequate

Carlin T 2008 ‘King hit’, National

‘Solvency solecisms: corporate

information?’ Australian

Accountant, October/November,

officers’ problematic perceptions’,

Accounting Review.

pp. 24-27.

Australian Accounting Review,

Adams CA and Frost G 2008

Carlin T and Finch N 2008 ‘Goodwill

‘Integrating sustainability

– new approaches, new problems’,

Dean G and Jones S 2008 ‘Changes

reporting into management

FSR Forum, vol.10:5, pp. 7-13

to the submission process and the

practices’, Accounting Forum, vol.32:4, pp. 288-302.

Carlin T and Finch N 2008 ‘Goodwill impairment – a ticking bomb’,

vol.18:1, pp. 71-80.

Board structure - Editorial’, Abacus, vol.44:1, pp. i-v.

Beck C and van der Laan S 2008

National Accountant, December/

Dumay J 2008 ‘Narrative

‘Editorial: social and environmental

January, pp. 16-19.

disclosure of intellectual capital:

accounting research (SEA) – a special issue?’, Australasian Accounting Business and Finance Journal, vol.2:1, pp. 1-3.

Carlin T, Finch N and Ford G 2008 ‘Fair value impairment testing under IFRS: examining

A structurational analysis’, Management Research News, vol.31:7, pp. 518-37.

Australia’s disclosure quality’,

Farneti F and Guthrie J 2008 ‘Italian

Bell A and Mladenovic R 2008 ‘The

Financial Reporting, Regulation and

and Australian local governments:

benefits of peer observation of

Governance, vol.7:1, pp. 1-25.

balanced scorecard practices. A

teaching for tutor development’, Higher Education, vol.55:6, pp. 735-52.

Carlin T, Finch N and Laili NH 2008 ‘Audit quality differences among big

research note’, Journal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting, vol.12:1, pp. 4-13.

Boedker C, Mouritsen J and

4 auditors: casess from Malaysia’,

Guthrie J 2008 ‘Enhanced business

Studia Universitatis Babes-Bolyai

Gebhardt G and Dean G 2008

reporting: international trends and

Oeconomica, vol.53:2, pp. 29-45.

‘Commentary on Siena Open

possible policy directions’, Journal

Forum: conceptual framework’,

of Human Resource Costing &

Abacus, vol.44:2, pp. 217-24.

Accounting, vol.12:1, pp. 14-25.


Journal Articles 2008 – continued Guthrie J and Farneti F 2008 ‘GRI

Loftus J and Purcell JA 2008 ‘Post-

Walker R 2008 ‘Disclosure of financial

sustainability reporting by Australian

Asian financial crisis reforms: an

commitments’, Australian Accounting

public sector organisations’, Public

emerging new embedded-relational

Review, vol.18:2,

Money and Management, vol.28:6,

governance model’, Accounting,

pp. 161-72.

pp. 361-66.

Business & Financial History, vol.18:3,

Guthrie J, Cuganesan S and Ward L

Unerman J, Guthrie J and Striukova L 2008 forthcoming ‘Corporate

2008 ‘Disclosure media for social

Mladenovic R 2008 ‘An incremental

reporting of intellectual capital:

and environmental matters within

approach to occupational health

evidence from UK companies’,

the Australian food and beverage

and safety’, Safety Solutions (Trade

British Accounting Review.

industry’, Social and Environmental

magazine), vol.6:2, pp. 56-57.

Accountability Journal, vol.28:1, pp. 33-44.

Murthy V 2008 ‘Corporate social disclosure practices of top software

Guthrie J, Cuganesan S and Ward L

firms in India’, Global Business

2008 ‘Intellectual capital reporting

Review, vol.9:2, pp. 173-88.

media in an Australian industry’, International Journal of Learning and Intellectual Capital, vol.5:1, pp. 48-62.

Murthy V and Abeysekera I 2008 ‘Corporate social reporting practices of top Indian software

Guthrie J, Cuganesan S and Ward

firms’, Australasian Accounting

L 2008 ‘Industry specific social

Business and Finance Journal,

and environmental reporting: the

vol.2:1, pp. 36-59.

Australian food and beverage industry’, Accounting Forum, vol.32:1, pp. 1-15.

Newberry S and Robb A 2008 ‘Financialisation: constructing shareholder value … for some’,

Jones S, van der Laan S, Frost G and

Critical Perspectives on Accounting,

Loftus J 2008 ‘The investment

vol.19:5, pp. 741-63.

performance of socially responsible investment funds in Australia’, Journal of Business Ethics, vol.80:2, pp. 181-203. Lee TA, Clarke F and Dean G 2008 ‘The dominant senior manager and the reasonably careful, skilful, and cautious auditor’, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, vol.19:5, pp. 677-711.


pp. 335-55.

Petty R, Ricceri F and Guthrie J 2008 ‘Intellectual capital: a user’s perspective’, Management Research News, vol.31:6, pp. 434-47. Striukova L, Unerman J and Guthrie J 2008 ‘Corporate reporting of intellectual capital: evidence from UK companies’, The British Accounting Review, vol.40:4, pp. 297-313.


Edited Book/s




Dumay J forthcoming ‘The utilization

Abeysekera I 2008 Accounting and the

Jones S and Hensher DA 2008

of technology in the academic

group, Thomson, Melbourne.

Advances in the modelling of credit

research process’, Chandos, Oxford.

Abeysekera I 2008 Intellectual capital

Dumay J 2009 ‘Intellectual capital in

accounting: practices in a developing

action: a critical approach to putting

country, Routledge, New York.

IC theory into practice’, VDM Verlag Dr.Muller, Saarbrucken.


Luff L 2008 Accounting for corporate combinations and associations,

‘Financial accounting theory 3rd

Pearson, Sydney. Bugeja M 2008 Jack’s Jewels and

Carlon S, Mladenovic R, Loftus J, Palm

Gifts Pty Ltd: A manual accounting

C, Kimmel P, Kieso D and Weyghant

practice set, John Wiley & Sons

J 2009 ‘Accounting: building business

Australia, Milton.

skills’, John Wiley & Sons, Milton.

Cambridge University Press,

Arthur N, Grose R, Campbell J and

Jones S and Belkaoui R forthcoming Edition’, Cengage, Sydney.

risk and corporate bankruptcy,

Walker R and Con Walker B 2008

Carlon S, Mladenovic R, Palm C,

‘Privatisation: sell off or sell out –

Kimmel P, Kieso D and Weyghant J

the Australian experience’, Sydney

2009 ‘Financial Accounting: building

University Press, Sydney.

accounting knowledge’, John Wiley & Sons, Milton.


Book Section/s 2009 Farneti F, Siboni B and Guthrie

Kramar R, Murthy V and Guthrie

J forthcoming ‘Critical analysis

J forthcoming ‘Measuring and

of international guidelines for

valuing human capital and its

developing sustainability reporting

influence on organizational

in public and not-for-profit

effectiveness’ in Oxford Handbook

organisations’ in Social Audit, Social

of Human Capital, eds A. Burton-

Accounting and Accountability:

Jones and J-C Spender, Oxford

Environmental and Societal

University Press, Oxford.

Sustainability in the Twenty First Century, Routledge, United Kingdom.

‘Scandals’ in The Routledge

Ford G, Carlin T and Finch N 2009

Companion to Accounting History,

forthcoming ‘Value at risk, capital

eds J. Edwards & S.P. Walker,

standards and risk alignment in

Routledge, London, pp. 408-29.

banking firms’ in The VaR Modelling Handbook: Practical Applications in Alternative Investing, Banking, Insurance and Portfolio Management, ed. G N Gregoriou, McGraw-Hill, New York.

Martinov-Bennie N, Hecimovic A and Guthrie J forthcoming ‘Audit assurance for sustainability: a case study of natural resources within the Australian public sector context’ in Social Audit, Social Accounting and

Ford G, Sundmacher M, Finch

Accountability: Environmental and

N and Carlin T forthcoming

Societal Sustainability in the Twenty

‘Operational risk disclosure

First Century, Routledge, London.

in financial services firms’ in Operational Risk Toward Basel III: Best Practices and Issues in Modeling, Management, and Regulation, ed. G N Gregoriou, Wiley, New York. Greer S and Neu D 2009 ‘Indigenous peoples and colonialism’ in The Routledge Companion to Accounting History, eds J. Edwards & S.P. Walker, Routledge, London, pp. 470-84.


Lee TA, Clarke F and Dean G 2009

Poullaos C 2009 ‘Professionalisation’ in The Routledge Companion to Accounting History, eds J. Edwards & S.P. Walker, Routledge, London, pp. 247-73. Ricceri F and Guthrie J forthcoming ‘Critical analysis of international KR guidelines for knowledge intensive organisations’ in Handbook on Research on Knowledge Intensive Organisations, Information Science Press.

2008 Guthrie J and Boedker C 2008 ‘The

Jones S and Peat M 2008 ‘Credit

Singh R and Newberry S 2008

hidden wisdom: a sustainability

derivatives: current practices

‘Corporate governance and

vision of Karl-Erik Sveiby’ in Inspired

and controversies’ in Advances in

international financial reporting

by Knowledge in Organisations:

Credit Risk Modelling and Corporate

standards (IFRS): the case of

Essays in honor of Professor Karl-Erik

Bankruptcy Prediction, eds S Jones

developing countries’ in Research in

Sveiby on his 60th birthday 29th

and D.A Hensher, Cambridge

Accounting in Emerging Economies

June 2008, ed. G.Ahonen, Swedish

University Press, Cambridge,

– Corporate Governance in Less

School of Economics and Business

pp. 207-41.

Developed and Emerging Economies,

Administration, Helsinki, pp. 26-38.

Jones S and Walker R 2008 ‘Local

eds Mathew Tsamenyi and Shahzad Uddin, JAI Press Emerald Publishing

Guthrie J, Neuman R and Ryan S

government distress in Australia: a

2008 forthcoming ‘Australian higher

latent class regression analysis’ in

education transformed: from central

Advances in Credit Risk Modelling

Srivastava R and Jones S 2008

coordination to control’ in European

and Corporate Bankruptcy Prediction,

‘A belief-function perspective

universities in transition: issues,

eds S Jones and D.A Hensher,

to credit risk assessments’ in

models and cases, ed. C Mazza, P

Cambridge University Press,

Advances in Credit Risk Modelling

Quattrone and A Riccaboni, Edward

Cambridge, pp. 242-68.

and Corporate Bankruptcy

Elgar, London.

Newberry S and Jacobs K 2008

Hensher DA and Jones S 2008

‘Obtaining the levers of power:

‘Mixed logit and error component

the treasury and the introduction

models of corporate insolvency

of New Zealand’s public sector

and bankruptcy risk’ in Advances

financial reforms’ in Envisioning A

in Credit Risk Modelling and

New Accountability – Advances in

Corporate Bankruptcy Prediction,

Public Interest Accounting -13, ed.

eds S Jones and D.A Hensher,

Cheryl R. Lehman, Elsevier, London,

Cambridge University Press,

pp. 115-50.

Cambridge, pp. 44-79.

Group, Bingley, pp. 485-518.

Prediction, eds S Jones and D.A Hensher, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 269-94.

Ryan S, Guthrie J and Neuman R

Jones S and Hensher DA 2008 ‘An

2008 ‘Australian higher education

evaluation of open- and closed-

transformed: from central

form distress prediction models:

coordination to control’ in European

The nested logit and latent class

Universities in Transition: Issues,

models’ in Advances in Credit Risk

Models and Cases, eds C. Mazza, P.

Modelling and Corporate Bankruptcy

Quattrone and A. Riccaboni, Edward

Prediction, eds S Jones and D.A

Elgar, Cheltenham, pp. 171-87.

Hensher, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 80-113.


About the Faculty of Economics and Business The Faculty of Economics and Business at The University of Sydney is the oldest economics faculty in Australia and one of the leading schools of business in the Asia-Pacific region. Since it was established in 1920, the Faculty has been dedicated to delivering a program of research and education that is second-tonone. That commitment to academic excellence continues today as demonstrated by the Faculty’s three prominent accreditations. The Faculty was selected from all the business schools in Australia to become the country’s sole member school of CEMS (the Community of European Management Schools and International Companies), the prestigious network of preeminent business schools and multinationals. It is also the only Australian learning institution with both business and accounting programs accredited by AACSB International, the world’s leading accrediting agency for business schools, and it holds EQUIS accreditation from the European Foundation for Management Development.

education informed by the cutting-edge research findings of its academic staff, who include some of the world’s most eminent researchers in fields ranging from accounting and business strategy to international security. Teaching programs are also enhanced by the Faculty’s links with its many partners throughout the global business community and government, ensuring students gain an education that is both intellectually rigorous as well as practical and highly relevant. As a result, a Faculty degree propels students into a successful career in their chosen field as well as providing a passport into a worldwide network of high-achieving alumni.

Students of the Faculty of Economics and Business gain an

About The University of Sydney The University of Sydney was established in 1850 as the first university in Australia. It has retained its place at the forefront of higher education in Australia and is now the nation’s premier research-intensive university. As proof of its dominance in research, University of Sydney scholars were awarded more than A$49 million by the Australian Research Centre for 120 research projects commencing in 2007, the largest amount awarded to any university in Australia. Of that total, Sydney received $40.5 million for 97 new Discovery Grants commencing in 2007, $5.4 million more than its nearest national competitor.

The University of Sydney, which is located in the heart of Australia’s harbour city, has an equally outstanding reputation for its world-class teaching and learning, its renowned campus culture, and for the landmark contributions made by its alumni. Sydney graduates include four Australian Prime Ministers, a President of the World Bank and thought leaders in Australia and overseas. On the global stage, The University of Sydney continues to strengthen its position among the world’s top 40 universities. It is one of only three Australian institutions in the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), a group of prestigious universities drawn from Asia, the United States and South America.


Contact us Discipline of Accounting H69 – Economics and Business The University of Sydney NSW 2006 Australia t. +61 2 9036 5473 or +61 2 9351 8988 f. +61 2 9351 6638 e.

Usyd Accounting Annual Research Report 2008-09  
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