Projects

Addressing social change challenges with accounting and auditing

Globalisation and changes in technology are creating new challenges and opportunities for accounting and auditing. Increasing demand for greater transparency, effective controls and higher levels of assurance raises questions about the role of gatekeepers, managers, accountants and assurance providers. New technologies fuel business innovation, but also disrupt established processes of producing and disseminating accounting information. The demand for social change in the global economy re-evaluates the fair and equitable allocation of financial and non-financial resources and responsibility for externalities. So how do businesses and regulators best respond to social change, innovate and adapt to enable economic growth, and improve reporting and accountability to stakeholders?

Progressive firms anticipate new information demands and threats to information dissemination. In doing so, they seek new and credible information across a variety of metrics measuring financial and non-financial performance. Our program investigates and evaluates existing frameworks of reporting and disclosure of financial and non-financial information and the role of auditing in providing assurance and adding credibility to reporting. From this, we aim to recommend innovation and reform to the existing frameworks. For example, professional standards, nationally mandated stipulations and international best practice voluntary codes of practice all have a role to play – but in this new era how are they best designed and implemented?

Key research themes

In a contemporary setting, such as the capital markets, managers of firms and organisations are charged with the responsibility of making a variety of decisions about reporting, disclosure and the level of assurance. ‘Reporting’, ‘disclosure’, ‘auditing’ are all action words denoting a dynamic process in producing and disseminating new and credible information. Characterizing these functions for each of the industry stakeholder roles will be a major outcome of this research. Their future roles and responsibilities are evaluated through a focus on five research themes.