More than 50 accounting and finance professors and graduate students converged at the third Ontario Universities Accounting & Finance Symposium. Representatives came from 11 universities across Ontario, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The event, which took place Oct. 6 and 7 was co-hosted by York University’s School of Administrative Studies (SAS) in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS) and Brock University’s CPA Ontario Research Excellence Centre.
The importance of forging links between the academic and professional communities was stressed by Carol Wilding, president and CEO of Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario, who welcomed the attendees and brought additional high-level industry perspectives.
The symposium is unique in that it draws together both accounting and finance researchers. Although the two fields are closely related, there are few opportunities for researchers to interact and share ideas. The organizing committee — consisting of Professors Joanne Jones and Nabil Tahani of SAS, along with Professors Samir Trabelsi, the symposium’s founder, and Mohamed Ayadi of Brock’s Goodman School of Business — conceived a thought-provoking program.
“We had a very engaged audience,” said Jones. “There were lots of insightful questions, compelling presentations and a very lively debate.”
Ananya Mukherjee-Reed, dean of LA&PS, spoke at the symposium’s dinner. “The leadership position of our School of Administrative Studies in the world of accounting and finance scholarship was very visible at the symposium,” said Mukherjee-Reed. “Additionally, the increasing presence of women in the top tiers of research in accounting and finance was impressively represented here.”
Six of the eight invited research papers were presented by female professors, which is indicative of the increasing level of participation of women in the accounting and finance fields in universities in Ontario.
“We enjoyed a rich and a very diverse program with papers and panel discussions from both quantitative and qualitative research,” said Co-organizer Nabil Tahani.
The research papers were presented by professors from seven Ontario universities on a wide range of topics:
- Ownership structure and corporate social responsibility reporting (Stella Peng, SAS, York University)
- Public policy considerations for retirement in Canada (Chris Robinson, SAS, York University)
- Resilience in social reporting of negative events: The case of Loblaw and the Rana Plaza building collapse (Merridee Bujaki, Carleton University)
- Information and liquidity of over-the-counter securities: Evidence from public registration of private debt (Madhu Kalimipalli, Wilfrid Laurier University)
- Accruals anomaly and earnings fixation (Rosemary Luo, McMaster University)
- CEO stock ownership requirements and risk-taking (Tu Nguyen, University of Waterloo)
- The value implications of tax avoidance across countries (Tanya Tang, Brock University)
- Managing reputation: Evidence from biographies of corporate directors (Aida Sijamic Wahid, University of Toronto)
Additionally, two panels discussed current issues in accounting and finance research. The panelists explored themes such as under-researched topics in accounting and finance; the contribution of qualitative and mixed-methods research in expanding our understanding of accounting practices and institutions; the relevance of research to regulators and practitioners; and the need to encourage and reward interdisciplinary work within accounting, finance, and across other disciplines.
Panelists included A. Rashad Abdel-Khalik, Professor of accountancy and Director of the V. K. Zimmerman Center for International Education and Research in Accounting, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; S.P. Kothari, Gordon Y. Billard Professor of Accounting and Finance, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Avanidhar (Subra) Subrahmanyam, Goldyne & Irwin Hearsh Chair in Money & Banking and Distinguished Professor of Finance, Anderson School of Management, University of California at Los Angeles; Partha S. Mohanram, CPA Ontario Professor of Financial Accounting, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto; Fred Pries, Associate Professor of Accounting, University of Guelph, and Vice-Chair of the Canadian Auditing and Assurance Standards Board; and Alan Richardson, Odette Research Chair and Professor of Accounting, Odette School of Business, University of Windsor.
The symposium was financially supported in part by the Office of the Dean, Liberal Arts & Professional Studies and by the Office of the Vice-President Academic & Provost of York University, as well as the Goodman School of Business Dean’s Office and CPA Ontario.