Chair, Moss Adams' International Services Group
Presentation: "Accounting Education in a Global Environment"
Opening Plenary Session
Monday August 2, 2010 ~ 8:30 am - 9:45 am
In this plenary session, Robert L. Bunting—president of the International Federation of Accountants—discusses accounting education in a global environment. Topics to be covered include the globalization of standards, the reporting model of the future, and the implications of the sovereign debt crisis on government reporting.
Robert S. Kaplan
Baker Foundation Professor, Harvard Business School, Harvard University
Presentation: "The Role for Academic Scholarship to Advance Professional Knowledge in Accounting"
Wednesday August 4, 2010 ~ 8:30 am - 9:45 am
Much accounting scholarship of the past five decades has taken a social science perspective, studying statistical and behavioral patterns in existing accounting practice and standard setting. Unlike other professions, such as medicine, engineering and law, accounting faculty have rarely taken the lead in advancing professional practice. Such a situation would be tolerable if there were few opportunities for innovation and if the demands on the profession were stable and predictable. But the recent financial crisis has revealed severe deficiencies in companies’ reporting of their asset positions and their risk management practices. Similar deficiencies have also occurred with governments; the financial crisis in several US states and in countries, such as Greece, has revealed weak financial reporting and inadequate management controls.
The talk will provide several illustrations where academic research, grounded in documenting and influencing best practices, can play a much more constructive role to improve the accounting practices of companies, states, and countries. It will urge academics to play a leadership role in helping organizations adopt innovative practices based on sound theory and scholarship, and to improve their students’ education in the more complex models required for improved fair value reporting and risk management. All this will require major changes to the academic system of scholarship, including the incentive and rewards for faculty research, publication standards in academic accounting journals, the content of accounting courses and textbooks, and the recruitment and training of doctoral students. These innovations will not be easy nor will they initially be welcomed by many. But they are necessary if accounting research and education are to be responsive to contemporary and future challenges in their profession.