Symposia Programme

 

SYMPOSIUM 1


BEYOND CAPITAL MARKET EFFECTS: REAL AND MACROECONOMIC IMPLICATIONS OF ACCOUNTING INFORMATION


Wednesday 30 May: 15:00 – 16:30, Aula Magna, via Röntgen 1


Accounting literature devoted a lot of effort in analyzing the capital market effects of transparency, corporate disclosure and financial reporting regulation. Yet, going beyond capital market effects and focusing on the real and macro-economic implications of financial reporting are on the rise and are crucial to broaden the relevance of accounting research.

The symposium aims to foster discussion on these issues by zooming on the potential implications of accounting information and financial reporting regulation on firms’ real decisions and behaviors, social outcomes and the overall allocation of resources in the economy. For instance, how does accounting information affect the type and the timing of firms’ investing, financing and operating decisions? Can firm’s accounting information influence other firms’ strategic choices shaping industry dynamics such as the type and degree of competition as well as the level of innovation and productivity? Is corporate disclosure able to affect consumers’ behaviors and their consumptions decisions? Can financial reporting have environmental and social consequences related to health care, pollution, employees’ safety and mobility in the labor market? When are the real effects of accounting information more likely to occur and what is the role of auditors and gatekeepers? Do changes in financial reporting regulation have market-wide effects? Are they always desirable and intended? Is there a link between corporate transparency and economic growth and, if yes, does financial reporting convey information about macro-economy?

Panellists will discuss the theoretical underpinnings as well empirical challenges related to such topics that received scant attention in the literature but are fundamental for better understanding the role of accounting information in the economy and society.


Chair: Claudia Imperatore, Bocconi University

Panellists: Haresh Sapra, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business (short format University of Chicago) | Rodrigo Verdi, MIT Sloan School of Management (short format MIT) | Bjorn Jorgensen, London School of Economics and Political Science (short format LSE) | Massimiliano Semprini, Partner in the Professional Practice Director Office – Italian IFRS Specialist and Leader of the Italian IFRS Centre of Excellence


SYMPOSIUM 2


INTEGRATED REPORTING (IR): ACHIEVEMENTS AND CHALLENGES FROM A MULTI-STAKEHOLDER PERSPECTIVE


Wednesday 30 May: 17:00 – 18:30, Aula Magna, via Röntgen 1


There is a wide consensus that increasing the extent of corporate information disclosed (i.e., quantity) does not necessarily imply a better disclosure (i.e., quality) of a firm’s activities and performance. Integrated Reporting (IR) represents the latest international attempt to connect a firm’s financial and non-financial performance in one single document to overcome the drawbacks in the format and usefulness of current corporate reporting. In particular, the International Integrated Reporting Council’s Framework identifies two goals for IR: improved information for outside providers of financial capital and better internal decision making. A key question is whether IR achieves these goals. This symposium thus aims to discuss IR as an emerging, innovative disclosure form and to critically reflect on its capital-market effects and real effects, as well as on its potential (and realized) benefits for broader audiences. Concepts such as IR information quality and credibility will be problematized with the aim of understanding whether and how it is possible to improve the relevance of and the confidence in non-financial performance data for both internal and external decision making.


Chair: Ariela Caglio, Bocconi University

Panellists: Mary E. Barth, Stanford University | Richard Barker, University of Oxford | Brad J. Monterio, Colcomgroup and Institute of Management Accountants


SYMPOSIUM 3


EAR -  NEW DIRECTIONS IN AUDITING RESEARCH


Thursday 31 May: 09.00-10.30, Aula Magna, via Röntgen 1


This symposium aims to stimulate debate around issues that advance our understanding of auditing from a broad range of perspectives, thereby recognizing the significant need that continues to exist to produce thought-provoking empirical and theoretical knowledge in the auditing literature.

The debate will consider what an audit never became and present some critical perspectives on auditing in an effort to understand what its future may hold and the directions it may take. It will reflect on the potential impact of the creation of independent regulators, the rise of artificial intelligence and the jurisdictional expansion of auditors on their work practices. Finally, it will look at the profession’s efforts to retain talents and create a more open, diverse, and inclusive work environment by exploring gender inequality in the profession through a psychosocial lens.

The symposium will present the views of different speakers on these issues and is related to the European Accounting Review Special Issue on ‘New directions in auditing research’. The special issue is Guest Edited by Mary Canning (University College Dublin, Ireland), Bertrand Malsch (Queen’s University, Canada) and Brendan O’Dwyer (Alliance Manchester Business School, United Kingdom and University of Amsterdam Business School, The Netherlands).


Chairs: Mary Canning, University College Dublin | Bertrand Malsch, Queen’s University

Speakers: Chris Humphrey, Alliance Manchester Business School | Yves Gendron, Université Laval | Darren Thomas Baker, University College Dublin | Bertrand Malsch, Queen’s University | Mary Canning, University College Dublin

 

SYMPOSIUM 4


ACCOUNTING AND BIG DATA


Thursday 31 May: 11:00 – 12:30, Aula Magna, via Röntgen 1


Data is growing faster than ever and more data has been created in the past two years than in the history of the human race. As data becomes cheap and easily obtainable, it is only valuable to an organization when knowledge can be derived from it. Yet, Big Data is much more than simply storage of large datasets: it is a set of techniques that rely on the abundance of very detailed data to produce knowledge. Big data comes with challenges to the accounting profession and fosters innovation in teaching and practice of the accounting discipline. This symposium will bring together international academics and practitioners to discuss the opportunities and challenges of big data for accountants and academics, including the impact on teaching and research, including:

  • How can we as accountants fit in the digital age and what are the challenges and opportunities for the accounting profession?

  • What is the impact of big data on the profession on a variety of issues from audit through to ethics and governance?

  • What are the implications of ICT development and opportunities relating to artificial intelligence and professional skepticism?

  • What does big data means for research?


Chair: Gabriel Pündrich, Bocconi University

Panellists: Robert Hodgkinson, ICAEW | Jacqueline Birt, UWA and IAESB | Glen Gray, California State University, Northridge

This symposium is sponsored by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

 

SYMPOSIUM 5


CREATIVITY, INNOVATION AND FUTURE MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTING RESEARCH


Thursday 31 May: 14:00-15:30, Aula Magna, via Röntgen 1


In order to gain and maintain a competitive advantage, organizations require a constant flow of new ideas from employees, partners and more in general the business environment. While this makes creativity, innovation and the identification of novel opportunities among the main drivers of success, it also means that the importance and complexity of managing these processes increase. The symposium will illustrate what we know about the role of management accounting in steering creativity and what we do not know yet. In particular, it will show avenues of research related to the multifaceted nature of creativity and to the management of collaborative creativity with partners outside the firm. It will also discuss the myths of the complementary process of innovation, its recent analysis in related disciplines, and the potential contributions deriving from management accounting research. Finally, the symposium will stimulate the debate around the paradox that while today's complexity of the business environment is orders of magnitude larger than the complexity of the inside of organizations, management accounting is orders of magnitude better at modelling the inside than the outside. Future management accounting research needs to adapt to these new realities and help businesses better cope with ideas generation and implementation as well as with the exploration and selection of original opportunities.


Chair: Angelo Ditillo, Bocconi University

Panellists: Clara Xiaoling Chen, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign | Antonio Davila, Iese Business School | Isabella Grabner, Maastricht University

 

SYMPOSIUM 6


HOW TO MAKE ACCOUNTING RESEARCH MORE IMPACTFUL: THE EDITORS’ VIEW


Thursday 31 May: 16:00-17:30, Aula Magna, via Röntgen 1


The impact of accounting research on regulation and practice has been a long debated issue. While there is some evidence of such impact, a few academics argue that accounting research is becoming increasingly rigorous but less and less relevant for decision makers. A major role in such a process is played by tenure and promotion rules, for which academic research is a key element, and by editorial policies of main accounting journals.

In this panel, five editors of leading accounting journals will share their views on the impact of accounting research and will debate over questions like:

  • Is accounting research really becoming less impactful?

  • To what extent do regulators and practitioners use accounting research?

  • What are the issues that reduce the relevance of accounting research?

  • Are PhD programs providing the right training to make accounting research impactful?

  • Are editors/reviewers giving the right prominence to potential impact when they make publication decisions on a paper?

  • How can accounting journals contribute to make accounting research more impactful?

  • What are the potential benefits of a more impactful accounting research?
     

Chair: Annalisa Prencipe, Bocconi University

Panellists: Marcia Annisette, Joint Editor, Critical Perspectives on Accounting | Mary Barth, Senior Editor, The Accounting Review | Christian Leuz, Joint Editor, Journal of Accounting Research | Araceli Mora, Editor, Accounting in Europe | Hervé Stolowy, Editor, European Accounting Review

 

SYMPOSIUM 7


FAIR VALUE ACCOUNTING: THE ETERNAL DEBATE


Friday 1 June: 09:00 – 10:00, Aula Magna, via Röntgen 1


The last financial crisis led to a vigorous debate still in place about the pros and cons of fair-value accounting (FVA). While detractors basically argue its potential negative impact on procicality and financial stability or inadequacy in illiquid markets or specific business models, IASB pushed to extend FVA in the new financial instruments standard and issued IFRS 13 to clarify its meaning and application. Some empirical research shows the usefulness of fair value accounting information to investors and contradicts its negative impact on stability, while other studies argue about its limitations in the contracting and stewardship role of accounting. The panelists of this symposium will present their views to contribute to the debate, which should be of interest not just to academic researchers, but also to practitioners and standard setters to deal with implementation issues and potential needs to address in the standards.


Moderator: Araceli Mora, Editor AinE

Panellists: Richard Barker, Saïd Business School | Mary Barth, Stanford University | Peter Joos, INSEAD | Anne McGeachin, IASB | Alfred Wagenhofer, University of Graz

 

SYMPOSIUM 8


AUDIT ANALYTICS – OPEN ISSUES IN AUDIT QUALITY RESEARCH


Friday 1 June: 11:00 – 12:30, Aula Magna, via Röntgen 1


Leveraging on the international background of the panellists, the Symposium will discuss different perspectives on audit quality, including the role and effectiveness of national and international bodies in setting and managing standards.

The concept of "quality" is indeed core to audit research, but the Symposium will also seek to explore beyond this concept. Could an excessive emphasis on "audit quality" as a research term over the past years have affected our understanding of the links between auditing and financial reporting? Would moving the focus beyond the all-encompassing term of 'audit quality' give new insights and help designing innovative research objectives?

This Symposium brings together leading academics and practitioners in what we think will be a stimulating discussion of how cutting-edge research on auditing can keep informing financial professionals, standard setters and regulators.


Chair: Angela Pettinicchio - Università Bocconi

  • Panellists: Roger Simnett - UNSW Business School | Mark DeFond - USC Marshall |Stuart W. Turley - Manchester Business School | Giovanni Andrea Toselli - Territory Assurance Leader, PwC

  

SYMPOSIUM 9


EFRAG-OIC: DIFFERENT BUSINESS MODELS AND CONSISTENT REPORTING


Friday 1 June: 14:00 – 15:30, Aula Magna, via Röntgen 1


Consistent application of accounting standards is a recurrent theme in the reporting world: consistency over time and consistency between entities. In the Conceptual Framework consistency is one of the elements that contributes to comparability. Comparability does not mean uniformity of accounting for the same transactions and events. The principles-based nature of IFRS Standards compared to a more rules-based approach comes into play. Many believe that accounting needs to reflect the business model of an entity, and difference in business models may warrant differences in accounting treatment. There are several potential sources of inconsistency including different interpretations, differences in culture, education and expertise, options and flexibility in standards as well as in accounting policy choices. The use of judgement and inherent estimation uncertainty are other important factors. In addition, there are different players in the process: standard setters, preparers, auditors and enforcers. What is the contribution that academics can bring to the debate? Are more interpretations needed in a principles-based environment? How important is consistency and comparability for users? Is there a trade-off?


Moderator: Angelo Casò, OIC and EFRAG

Panellists: Sue Lloyd, IFRS Interpretations Committee and IASB | Ana Martínez-Pina, Spanish National Securities Market  Commission and ESMA | Luca Cencioni, OIC, EFRAG and ENI | Peter Pope, London School of Economics | Jacques de Greling, EFFAS FAC, SFAF and  EFRAG