Fr

Indice – Financial Reporting 1/2018

 

Financial Reporting

1/2018

 

Related parties disclosure: Is a risk-based approach more effective?

Fabrizio Bava, Melchior Gromis di Trana, Donatella Busso, Piero Pisoni

pag. 5
A theoretical contribution to 21st Century problems in financial reporting

David Alexander, Roberta Fasiello

» 41
Global financial crisis and relevance of GRI disclosure in Italy. Insights from the stakeholder theory and the legitimacy theory

Luca Fornaciari, Caterina Pesci

» 67
Potential of IFRS 8: Managerial “customization”, relevance of subsidiaries and separate financial statements

Andrea Cuccia

» 103
Conceptual shifts in accounting: Transplanting the notion of boundary from financial to non-financial reporting

Laura Girella, Mario Abela, Elisa Rita Ferrari

» 133
Dialogue with standard setters

Mario Monda, Raffaele Fiume

» 177

 

 

Fr

Related parties disclosure: Is a risk-based approach more effective?

Following recent corporate scandals increased attention has been paid to Relat-ed Party Transactions (RPTs), since they have often played a central role in abuses and frauds. Regulators have consequently been obliged to strengthen current regu-lations, introducing new bans and requirements aimed at guaranteeing the substantial and economic fairness of RPTs and a proper level of transparency. This reaction is due to the high inherent risk of these transactions and because companies in crisis tend to resort to this type of operation. In Italy, the regulations on RPTs were completely revamped in 2010. The material RPTs that have to be disclosed through an ad hoc communication were defined by former regulations through qualitative criteria, whereas now a quantitative approach is used in order to reduce subjectivity. The initial results of the new regulations show that a higher number of RPTs has been disclosed to the market, thus improving transparency, but the effects of RPTs remain unreported in Income Statements. Through an online questionnaire this paper, starting from previous research, in-vestigates potential improvements supported by independent directors involved in the RPT evaluation process. These independent Directors are uniquely placed to shed light on the experience of the initial years of application of the new Regula-tion, which may help lawmakers, after the lengthy initial consultation process, in-evitably influenced by divergent (and non-independent) interests without the bene-fit of the hindsight that is now available. It is to be hoped that lawmakers will take note of these results and fine-tune the regulations accordingly, without necessarily abandoning the quantitative approach, in order to increase the transparency of the information made available on RPTs.

Keywords: Related party transactions, disclosure, IAS 24, quantitative criteria.

Fr

A theoretical contribution to 21st Century problems in financial reporting

The Italian tradition known as ‘Economia Aziendale’ is longstanding and well known in Italy. It broadly spans the 20th Century, with its apotheosis appearing in the 1920s with Gino Zappa. It is not very well-known elsewhere. Its logical conclusions for financial reporting are not applied in practice in Italy, and indeed never have been. They are not applied in the (very different) field of IFRS and European Directive requirements either. Our research question is to investigate the proposition that they significantly should be so applied. Our key area of study, therefore, is the complex and multi-faceted problem of income measurement and asset valuation, valuation issues in short. In order to properly investigate these considerations, we present a thorough survey of the theoretical development and arguments of the EA tradition, showing its logicality and usefulness, and contrasting these effects with the present-day regulatory systems. This forms the major theoretical element of the paper. In summary, therefore, the paper could be characterised as an analytical presentation of major theoretical arguments, with significant application to the real world of today and tomorrow. The EA tradition is not new. But we demonstrate its current relevance, and expose it to an international audience.

Keywords: Economia Aziendale, long-run operating capital maintenance, asset valuation, income measurement, Gino Zappa.

Fr

Global financial crisis and relevance of GRI disclosure in Italy. Insights from the stakeholder theory and the legitimacy theory

In this study, we examine the effects of voluntary disclosure on the market value of Italian-listed companies adopting GRI guidelines, interpreting our results in the light of both stakeholder theory and legitimacy theory. From a methodological viewpoint, an index is used to measure the level of disclosure of human resources and environmental information. We consider a sample of firms listed on the Milan Stock Exchange for an eleven-year period (2004-2014). The period chosen gave us the opportunity to assess the value-relevance of environmental and social information before and during the Global Financial Crisis. We supplement the previous literature on the topic of the relationship between social and environmental disclosure and value-relevance by arguing that sustainability tools have to be evaluated, remembering that they express a notion of value in the long term and provide information to a large number of stakeholders. Our findings show that environmental information is only value-relevant during the crisis period, when the shareholder perspective comes more into line with other stakeholder perspectives because they are seeking a middle-to-long run notion of value. Finally, we find that a high level of GRI information disclosure is positively evaluated by investors; this result is important also because it was obtained in the Italian market which is largely considered inefficient, and thus it supports the urgent need to provide high-quality information in each type of market.

Keywords: Social and environmental reports, global financial crisis, global reporting initiative guidelines, stakeholder theory, value relevance.

Fr

Potential of IFRS 8: Managerial “customization”, relevance of subsidiaries and separate financial statements

Nowadays companies are engaged in an increasingly competitive and global arena, where informational imbalances between companies and investors might be seen as a constraint to the correct functioning of markets. Breakdown of infor-mation by segments might be seen as an attempt to intercept different information needs about each circumscribed area of economic activities individually identified within entity-group. This paper is first intended to figure out, by resorting to practical examples, the effects of full management approach on IFRS 8 segment reporting structure. Then, in the light of the state of art arising from IFRS 8 Post-Implementation Review and the latest criticisms, in order to guarantee its useful-ness, it calls for a more awareness of the multi-faceted nature of segment reporting as a planning and control tool. Besides, merit of segment reporting is to recovery subsidiaries data elided within the consolidated financial statements. Following this perspective, separate financial statements, depicting subsidiaries in terms of in-vestments and profits and losses flowing respectively into balance sheet and in-come statements, is bound to provide a synthetic overview of all the business areas occupied by entity-group.

Keywords: Customization, breakdown, subsidiaries, operating segments.

Fr

Conceptual shifts in accounting: Transplanting the notion of boundary from financial to non-financial reporting

In 1998 Miller, in his paper titled “The margins of accounting” observed that “By looking at the margins of accounting, we can understand how this influential body of expertise is formed and transformed” (Miller, 1998: 618). Drawing on this analogy, the boundaries of reporting and the ways these are defined and re-defined, as a consequence of the relationships organisations form with other entities from time to time, and their substantive nature provide insights about the business and its business model. Accordingly, an examination of reporting boundaries helps to better understand and appreciate the objective of an organisation, the logic that underlies its business model and how that is ‘reflected’ and communicated through the reporting entity’s financial statements – which may or may not align with the boundaries of the ‘organisation’. Despite the relevance of reporting boundaries as a critical aspect of the accounting discipline, it remains a relatively unexplored area in the literature. Accordingly, the aim of this work is to offer an initial overview on how the boundaries of reporting have (not) changed in response to the broadening scope of reporting to address both financial and ‘non-financial’ information (e.g. sustainability, governance and intangibles) and attempts to promote greater integration between both sets of information (IIRC, 2013). In particular, the analysis draws on the interpretative schemes of Zambon (1996) and Zambon and Zan (2000) and is combined with the concept of ‘transplantation’. The manner in which reporting boundaries are defined for both financial and non-financial reporting is investigated and compared. This comparison enables similarities and differences between the definition of the ‘reporting boundary’ to be problematised and explored for both financial and non-financial reporting.

Keywords: Reporting boundaries, financial reporting, non-financial reporting, transplantation.

Fr

Dialogue with standard setters

[Dialogue with standard setters]

There had been several international accounting principles about the accounting treatment for business combinations, over the past years. Last June 2016, the International Accounting Standards Board proposed to amend IFRS 3 Business Combinations with the aim of clarifying the definition of a business. The motivation that pushed the Board to propose the Exposure Draft was to inform that there is a diversity in practice in accounting for previously held interests in the assets and liabilities of a joint operation in two kinds of transaction, those in which an entity obtains control of a business that is a joint operation and those in which it obtains joint control of a business that is a join operation. The purpose of the following review is to identify whether the board has reached the desired objective, and leads through the historical analysis of the accounting standards concerning business combinations, the analysis of the Exposure Draft and especially the analysis of the comments letters.

Keywords: Business combinations, IFRS3, Exposure Draft, Purchase Method, Screening test

Fr

Indice – Financial Reporting 2/2017

Financial Reporting

2/2017

 

Italian academia facing an international scenario: Issues and trends

Andrea Lionzo

pag. 3
Toward a learned profession: The future of accounting research

Bruce Behn

» 23
Increasing the value of accounting research: An Italian perspective

Aldo Pavan, Isabella Fadda,

» 29
Some notes about financial accounting research: Research methodology, epistemological approaches and practical implications

Marco Allegrini, Giulio Greco

» 43
Past evolution and recent trends in accounting research

 

Annalisa Prencipe, 

» 51
The points of contacts between academics and professionals

 

Massimiliano Semprini

» 61
The usefulness of accounting research: A practitioner’s point of view

Giovanni Andrea Toselli

» 67
Accounting research production and evaluation: The view of the professionals

Orazio Vagnozzi

» 75

 

Fr

Italian academia facing an international scenario: Issues and trends

The opening up to international debate of Italian accounting studies has required local researchers to deal with scientific paradigms based on assumptions, theories and methods markedly different from those that have been leading for decades the local knowledge production system. In an international scenario, a leading part has been played by the Anglo-Saxon mainstream paradigm. Not surprisingly, the interest of many Italian scholars has been catalyzed by such studies. However, the paradigm behind these studies is not free of criticism, as emerges from a qualified debate arising at international level around the pros and cons of this scientific approach. This paper – and the others collected in this Special Issue – hopes to contribute to the debate, with the aim, on the one hand, of overcoming some unbending defensive positions and, on the other hand, of favoring a conscious internationalization process.

Keywords: Accounting research, academia, positive accounting theory, scientific paradigm

Fr

Toward a learned profession: The future of accounting research

The Pathways Commission (2012) recommended that we devote significant efforts to building a learned profession by purposeful integration of accounting research, education, and practice for students, accounting practitioners and educators. The reason this goal is so important for our broadly defined accounting profession is that we are in market for talent with other traditional learned professions such as medicine, law and engineering (and other future learned professions). Potential students want rewarding successful careers so they will migrate to learned professions that help make a difference in the world. The key aspect to a learned profession is intellectual technique (research) that informs practice and teaching. If our accounting profession can enhance the link between research, practice and teaching, we can move towards a learned profession.

Keywords: Learned profession, pathways commission, intellectual technique, sustainable development.

Fr

Increasing the value of accounting research: An Italian perspective

Accounting research has a speculative and normative tradition. Starting at the beginning of the 1970s, empirical methodologies gained prominence and the boundaries of accounting disciplines have become uncertain. Quantitative and qualitative methods tend to overwhelm the accounting and business objects; often they are only suitable to deal with past and narrow phenomena. Empirical methodologies need reference theories, coming from other disciplines and particularly economics and sociology. In this context, it is questioned if accounting research does exist anymore and if it is relevant to the business world. Some scholars have begun to wonder whether it would be appropriate to revalue normative approaches in order to conduct a type of research which is useful to the society and allows the preservation of specific accounting knowledge. A necessity emerges to come back to the prominence of business and accounting issues over methodologies and sociological theories. Research should be directed to tackle wide and current phenomena, not just the narrow and past ones. Speculative thinking has to be reassessed and empirical findings should be used to strengthen it as starting premises. Explaining phenomena is not enough; empirical research has to go beyond its findings; the emphasis should be shifted to the drawing of policy recommendations.

Keywords: Accounting research, empirical methods, a priori research, research relevance.

Fr

Some notes about financial accounting research: Research methodology, epistemological approaches and practical implications

In this paper, we discuss three issues of current debate about financial accounting research. Firstly, we discuss the popularity of quantitative methods in financial accounting and the research limitations related to this dominance. As second issue, we critically discuss the epistemological approach underlying research methodologies. Finally, we discuss the practical implications of current financial accounting research and the need to search for a real impact factor besides the academic contribution.Keywords: Quantitative methods, qualitative methods, research methodology, epistemology, real impact factor.

 

Fr

Past evolution and recent trends in accounting research

Research in accounting is relatively young compared to other disciplines. Originally, normative research based on a priori reasoning and aimed at improving accounting practice was predominant among accounting scholars. After the 60’s, accounting academics started using an empirical positive approach, aimed to better understand accounting phenomena through empirical tests of hypotheses. As from then, research in accounting has gone through several changes in terms of approaches, research methods and topics. This paper aims at highlighting the main stages of the past evolution and recent trends in accounting research. After describing the main drivers of the shift from normative to positive approach, the dominant traits that have characterized accounting research for the last two decades are briefly analyzed. Particular emphasis is put on methods and topics. In the last section, the main limitations of current accounting research are highlighted, and some directions for future research are outlined.

Keywords: Accounting research, past evolution, future directions, research methods, research topics.

Fr

The points of contacts between academics and professionals

Some argue that the ultimate purpose of accounting research should be to improve accounting practice, rather than simply to describe or understand or critique it. Hence a gap appears to have emerged between practitioners and academics with regards to accounting research. In order to exploit as better as possible the output of the accounting research performed by academic researchers, the accounting profession should create a point of contact; auditing networks might facilitate this link. On the other hand, research performed by academics should become “understandable” by practitioners using a different jargon and simple mathematical formulas.

Keywords: Accounting profession; accounting research; research impact; impact factor.

Fr

The usefulness of accounting research: A practitioner’s point of view

This paper represents a contribution from the point of view of a practitioner who strongly believes that it is essential to continue to invest in accounting research. The cooperation between chief financial officers, auditors and academic institutions is central not only for improving the process of accounting regulations but also for relaunching, at the same time, the industrial system (and not only it), by creating a strong feeling of trust in general economic and financial communication, thus fostering higher level of accountability.

Keywords: Accounting profession, accounting research, research impact, impact factor, accountability.

Fr

Accounting research production and evaluation: The view of the professionals

The existence of a gap between accounting research and accounting practice has been extensively described in literature. In order to be able to publish a research in a high-ranked accounting journal, it seems that methodological issues are more important than those related to the relevance of the topics covered. To improve research and accounting practice and to avoid the risk of accounting research becoming selfreferential, every effort should be made to bridge the current gap between research and accounting practice. To this end, the development of mutual knowledge of the agenda of researchers and practitioners on the one hand, and participation in joint projects on the other, could represent possible future solutions to be pursued.

Keywords: Accounting profession, accounting research, research impact, impact factor.

Fr

Indice – Financial Reporting 1/2017

Financial Reporting

N. 1/2017

 

The Reporting Entity in Private-Public Accounting Harmonisation. Is Control Enough for the Local Government Consolidated Financial Statements?

Cristian Carini, Laura Rocca, Claudio Teodori, Monica Veneziani

pag. 5
Concerned about Going Concern: When do Entities in Liquidation have to be Considered a Non-Going Concern According to IFRS?

Marius Hasslinger, Michael Olbrich, David Rapp

» 31
The Association between Big4 and Cost of Debt in Private Firms

Stefano Azzali, Tatiana Mazza

» 63
Discretionary Accruals in Italian Private Firms and Non-Linear Bank Loan Granting

Elisabetta Mafrolla, Viola Nobili

» 83

 

 

Fr

The Reporting Entity in Private-Public Accounting Harmonisation. Is Control Enough for the Local Government Consolidated Financial Statements?

The European Commission initiated a discussion on the expediency of using the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), based on the IAS/IFRS,as a common base for harmonizing the public sector accounting systems of the member states. However, literature suggests that accounting is not neutral with respect to the economic, social and political dimensions. In the perspective of evolution of the accounting regulation outlined, balanced between accountability, with the need to represent phenomena for reporting purposes, and decision-making issues, which concentrates on the quantitative importance of the values, the paper aims to analyse the effects of the application of different criteria for the definition of the reporting entity of the local government consolidated financial statements (CFS). The Italian PCA 4/4, the test of control and the financial accountability approaches are examined. The evidence that emerged from the case studies examined identifies several criticalities in the Italian PCA 4/4 and support the thesis that the financial accountability approach is more effective in providing a complete representation of the public resources entrusted to and managed by the group, whereas the control approach better approximates quantification of the group results in terms of central government surveillance. The analysis highlights the importance of the post implementation review period and the opportunity to contextualize the adoption of the consolidated financial statement in the broader spectrum of the accounting harmonization process, participating in the process of definition of the European Public Sector Accounting Standards (EPSAS).

Keywords: accounting regulation, accounting harmonisation, consolidated financial statement, IPSAS, public sector accounting.

Fr

Concerned about Going Concern: When do Entities in Liquidation have to be Considered a Non-Going Concern According to IFRS?

The rejection of the going concern premise as the underlying assumption of financial statements has far-reaching consequences for accounting. For that reason, it is vitally important to identify the appropriate point in time at which the entity can no longer be regarded as a going concern. Focussing on entities that voluntarily decided to liquidate their operations, the analysis shows that both the IFRS taxonomy and the accounting literature are rather vague on the question of the point in time at which the going concern premise is no longer appropriate. Therefore, we identify the reporting stages that are necessary in the liquidation phase. Contrary to expectations, the paper argues that the going concern assumption should not be immediately abandoned, as retaining it can provide users of financial statements with decisionuseful information. In fact, the paper recommends a value chain based approach. Accordingly, the going concern assumption should not be rejected before the entity has terminated its activities at all stages of its value chain.

Keywords: going concern, liquidation, IFRS, winding-up.

Fr

The Association between Big4 and Cost of Debt in Private Firms

This study investigates the association between choice of a Big4 audit firm and Cost of Debt compared with non-Big4 in Italian firms. Based on a sample of Italian companies audited by an audit firm in the period 2007-2012, we perform OLS regressions to test the Big4 association with Cost of Debt. Results confirm our expectation that audit firm size is a significant criterion of audit firm choice and we find that Big4 is associated with lower Cost of Debt than non-Big4 in private firms. The choice of Big4 audit firm reduce the specific agency conflict between banks and owner/management in private firms. We also find that private firms benefit from lower Cost of Debt than public companies. This research makes a contribution to the literature by extending previous results (Gul et al., 2013, Cano Rodriguez and Alegria, 2012, Karjalainen, 2011) to private firms and to the setting of Italy. Results may also be useful for companies choosing auditors in private firms and in the mitigation of agency conflict.

Keywords: Big4, cost of debt, private firms.

Fr

Discretionary Accruals in Italian Private Firms and Non-Linear Bank Loan Granting

This paper investigates whether and at what extent private firms reduce the quality of their accruals in order to signal a better portrait to the bank and obtain new or larger bank loans. We measure earnings discretionary accruals of a sample of Italian private firms, testing whether new and larger bank loans are associated with a higher (lower) quality of earnings in borrowers’ financial reporting. We study bank loan levels and changes and how they impact discretionary accruals and found that, surprisingly, private firms’ discretionary accruals are systematically positively affected by an increase in bank loans, although they are negatively affected by the credit worthiness rating assigned to the borrowers. We find that the monitoring role of the banking system with regard to the adoption of discretionary accruals is effective only when the loan is very large. This paper may have implications for policy-makers as it contributes to the understanding of the shortcomings of the banking regulatory system. This is an extremely relevant issue since the excessive amount of non-performing loans held by Italian banks recently threatened the stability of the European Banking Union as a whole.

Keywords: Discretionary accruals, private firms, bank loans, non-performing loans, private loans.

Fr

Indice

Financial Reporting

n. 2/2016

 

Sommario

Put Your Money where Your Mouth is: The Difference between Real Commitment to Sustainability and Mere Rhetoric

Laura Bini, Marco Bellucci, Francesco Giunta

pag. 5
Income Smoothing via Loan Loss Provision in Credit Cooperative Banks

Stefano Azzali, Luca Fornaciari, Tatiana Mazza

» 33
 
The Connectivity of Information in Integrated Reporting. Empirical Evidence from International Context

Alberto Incollingo, Michela Bianchi

» 55
 
Web-Based Financial Reporting: An Interpretative Model for Corporate Communications on Social Media

Paola Ramassa, Costanza Di Fabio

» 79
 
Book Review

Roberto Di Pietra, Stefano Zambon

» 113
 
 
Fr

Put Your Money where Your Mouth is: The Difference between Real Commitment to Sustainability and Mere Rhetoric

Companies exhibit growing interest in sustainability rhetoric. Such an interest is alternatively justified by a company’s need to address legitimacy instances, rather than to satisfy stakeholders’ requests about its sustainability performance. Whatever the case, a main debated issue concerning sustainability rhetoric deals with the difficulties in understanding whether companies’ commitment towards sustainability is “real”, or it only consists of “empty words” that hide opportunistic strategies. Our paper contributes to this debate, proposing a methodological approach, which is based on a company’s business model (BM) representation. We argue that the inclusion of adequate sustainability information in a company’s BM representation can testify to a real company’s engagement, as it illustrates how sustainability affects its value creation process. Compared to extant methodological proposals, mainly based on linguistic analyses, our approach does not require specific competences to be applied. Moreover, it saves user’s time, as it allows the assessment of entire company’s sustainability rhetoric through the analysis of the information reported in its BM. Our approach is consistent with previous contributions that propose a company’s BM as a representation device able to illustrate strategic information that cannot be represented in the traditional corporate reporting. Our approach proposes a possible answer to address the challenges faced by regulators and standard setters involved in the regulation of sustainability disclosure. Such approach has found a first step of implementation in the UK, where since 2013, listed companies are requested to describe their BM in Strategic Reports.

Keywords: Sustainability rhetoric, business model, corporate social responsibility, non-financial disclosure, mining industry

Fr

Income Smoothing via Loan Loss Provision in Credit Cooperative Banks

This research investigates whether income smoothing via loan loss provision is lower for Credit Cooperative Banks than for non-Credit Cooperative Banks. Using data collected from the financial reporting of a sample of private banks, and Ordinary Least Square models based on net income or its variation, as used by previous literature, we find that income smoothing through loan loss provision is lower in Credit Cooperative Banks than in banks with different ownership structures. Results remain the same using several robustness tests (decomposition of loans, quality of loans, change in economic growth, cluster and fixed effect, effect of financial crisis). Mutual ownership, smaller size, and the local boundaries that characterize Credit Cooperative Banks may reduce the need for managers to manipulate earnings. Our findings give a positive evaluation of the recent Italian Law No. 18/2016 which reforms Credit Cooperative Banks, and imply that benefits of Credit Cooperative Banks ownership structure may derive from the group structure which gives a higher level of stability and solidity.

Keywords: Income smoothing, loan loss provision, credit cooperative banks

Fr

The Connectivity of Information in Integrated Reporting. Empirical Evidence from International Context

In recent years, an increasing number of accounting scholars have been investigating the concept and the purpose of integrated reporting. After the issue of IIRC Framework, which is principle-based, it is now recognized that there is an urgent need for empirical analysis of the content of the reports at their first development stage. This in order to understand if the aims of this new reporting approach are realistic and achievable in practice. This paper responds to such call and it tries to contribute in two ways. Firstly, it illustrates the way in which the Guiding Principle of Connectivity of Information is applied at international level. In particular, we analyzed the compliance of disclosure practices in integrated reports of 2013 with the key forms of Connectivity of information presented in the Framework. Secondly, the paper tries to interpret the practices observed, in order to identify useful implementation criteria of this Guiding Principle. This is light of the fact that the Guiding Principle was noted as the most important to obtain a truly integrated report, but, at the same time, difficult to interpret and problematic to apply. The results of the analysis indicate an application of the principle extremely heterogeneous (and in such cases disappointing), confirming the need to establish practical guidelines to apply it. By this study, we made a preliminary attempt to identify some characteristic attributes of Connectivity of information within integrated reporting. The findings carry implications for eventual refinement of the IIRC Framework and, especially, to support companies wishing to prepare an integrated report.

Keywords: Integrated reporting, non-financial information, connectivity of information, IIRC Framework

Fr

Web-Based Financial Reporting: An Interpretative Model for Corporate Communications on Social Media

This paper aims at contributing to financial reporting literature by proposing a conceptual interpretative model to analyse the corporate use of social media for financial communication purposes. In this perspective, the FIRE model provides a framework to study social media shifting the focus on the distinctive features that might enhance web investor relations. The model highlights these features through four building blocks: (i) firm identity (F); (ii) information posting (I); (iii) reputation (R); and (iv) exchange and diffusion (E). They represent key aspects to explore corporate communication activities and might offer a framework to interpret to what degree corporate web financial reporting exploits the potential of social media. Accordingly, the paper proposes metrics based on this model aimed at capturing the interactivity of corporate communications via social media, with a particular focus on web financial reporting. It tries to show the potential of this model by illustrating an exploratory empirical analysis investigating to what extent companies use social media for financial reporting purposes and whether firms are taking advantage of Twitter distinctive features of interaction and diffusion.

Keywords: Investor relations, web financial reporting, social media, Twitter

Fr

Indice

Financial Reporting

n. 1/2016

 

Sommario

“The ‘Real’ Impact Factor: Accounting Research, Practice, and Users: Towards a New Relationship between Academia, Professionals, and Standard Setters in Accounting

Anne McGeachin, Alan Teixeira, Stefano Zambon

pag. 5
The “Real” Impact Factor: Reflections on the Impact of the Research Excellence Framework

Jane Broadbent

» 15
 
The Real Impact Factor and the Gap between Accounting Research and Practice

Alberto Quagli, Francesco Avallone, Paola Ramassa

» 29
 
Accounting Research: Relevance Lost

Andrew Higson, Rasha Kassem,

» 59
 
Who Influences Whom? An Exploratory Analysis of the Interrelations between Accounting Research and the IASB’s Standard Setting Activity

Michele Pizzo, Nicola Moscariello, Claudio Teodori, Monica Veneziani, Laura Rocca, Alberto Quagli, Elisa Roncagliolo

» 77
 
Accounting Theory and Accounting Practice as Loosely Coupled Systems: A Historical Perspective on the Italian Case (1930-1990)

Stefano Zambon, Laura Girella

» 95
 
Commentary. Research and practice in accounting: A collaborative perspective

Allister Wilson

» 135
 
Fr

“The ‘Real’ Impact Factor: Accounting Research, Practice, and Users: Towards a New Relationship between Academia, Professionals, and Standard Setters in Accounting

Researchers are facing a growing demand to demonstrate that their work has consequences – an impact. Those who fund the research are increasingly seeking evidence that the research has practical, or real-world, implications. For example, the Research Excellence Framework (REF – formerly Research Assessment Exercise – RAE) currently run in the UK includes the need for explicit and documented information on the effect of the scholarly work on “real life” and professional realms. The governments of the Netherlands, Canada and Australia are following a similar line. There is nothing new in thinking about who is your audience. Brown (1993) provides 10 qualities good research will possess. He suggests that good empirical research is motivated by the choice of a question that is important to others and an outcome that is believed will add to knowledge or understanding. The author(s) should also have a sound appreciation of the study’s implications and limitations. The other seven qualities are more closely associated with the robustness of the research itself. Research Councils UK (RCUK) defines research impact as “the demonstrable contribution that excellent research makes to society and the economy”. RCUK also differentiates between academic impact and economic and societal impact. The former is the impact the research makes to scientific advances, such as, in understanding, method, theory and application. The latter is the contribution the research makes to society and the economy, of benefit to individuals, organisations and nations. The quality of the research remains paramount. Researchers are not being forced to limit their work to areas that might lead to immediate and observable practical implications, or we hope that they are not. But some funding bodies are providing greater weight to good research that also has demonstrated practical consequences. Bodies such as RCUK want funding applicants to think about the audience for the research, from the outset […]

Fr

The “Real” Impact Factor: Reflections on the Impact of the Research Excellence Framework

This paper is an argument for the importance of academics undertaking some (but not only) research that relates to the practical issues faced by practitioners and policy makers and that is geared to achieving impact. It offers a normative argument informed by my experience as a practitioner and an academic and by my experiences in the assessment of impact as part of the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) in 2014. The paper introduces the nature of the REF and how it was implemented. It also addresses the implications of the performance measurement of impact of REF for Higher Educational Institutions and the individual academics that work within them. In that respect it recognises that performance measures give extrinsic encouragement to particular behaviours. The paper argues that academics should also be intrinsically driven to research that has impact. In order to achieve impact, the paper suggests that we should not see a gap between academics and practitioners, but should instead see practice and academic endeavour as different but complementary elements of the same profession. We should seek to develop better discourses between academics and practitioners and should not attribute greater importance to the views of either party. Instead we should have an engagement that is open to the generation of disagreement as well as agreement but that nevertheless does not see disagreement as the basis for closing down communication.

Keywords: Research impact, engagement, evidence for policymakers and practitioners, Research Excellence Framework

Fr

The Real Impact Factor and the Gap between Accounting Research and Practice

This paper explores the gap between accounting research and practice with two primary objectives. First, it provides a review of the main results obtained by the impressive literature on the topic to get a comprehensive picture of this phenomenon, considering the different perspectives and research methods used so far. This review aims not only at summarizing results, but also at outlining a logical framework that could be useful for both our analysis and future studies on the topic. Against this background, our second objective is to carry out an empirical analysis on scholars’ motivations and incentives – rather neglected by prior literature – with a particular focus on their relationships with professional associations. Evidence from our survey (with 447 questionnaires completed by EAA members) suggests that there is a hierarchy of objectives informing scholars’ motivations and that the first one is to publish on highly ranked journals. In such a context, the positive attitude of academics towards practice can be sometimes in conflict with scholars’ expectation about effort, individual result and peers’ consideration. In other terms, our study supports the idea that there is a gap between research and practice, together with a risk of an increasingly closed community of scientists. Our results seem in line with studies stating that the reasons for this gap essentially lie in the current evaluation logic driving scholars’ incentives. Additionally, evidence on scholars’ incentives might be helpful in finding new solutions to bridge the gap and supporting future research sharing the same objective.

Keywords: Research-practice gap, research impact, real impact factor, accounting research, accounting practice