2013 Illinois International Journal of
May 17-20, 2013
Symposium on Tax Research
September 19-20, 2013
Department of Accountancy
University of Illinois
360 Wohlers Hall
1206 South Sixth Street
Champaign, Illinois 61820
Office of Accounting Research
Paul Beck, Director
The Office of Accounting Research (OAR) was established in 1983 as the research arm of the Department of Accountancy. Its purpose is to promote and support basic and applied research in accountancy and related fields and to encourage linkages of research findings to improving accounting practice and education.
OAR was founded in honor of Professors Norton M. Bedford and Robert K. Mautz, two of the leading accounting educators and scholars of this century, and is supported entirely by competitive grants and private contributions.
In the business world, leading-edge companies are known for their research and development of innovative products. Likewise in education, the leading schools conduct research which leads to new developments in the classroom and in practice. During the past 20 years, accountancy has matured as a scientific discipline, and quality research has yielded significant improvements in, for example, the way we teach and practice auditing. If we at Illinois are to play a major leadership role in accounting education as we enter the 21st century, our faculty and students must be involved in state-of-the-art research and in translating that research into new approaches to teaching and practice. It is quite reasonable to conclude that an investment in today's research is an investment in tomorrow's curriculum and practice.
To foster research that will advance the study and practice of accountancy.
To strengthen the links between the teaching and research missions of the Department of Accountancy and provide increased opportunities for interactions among students, scholars, and professionals in the field.
To support faculty and doctoral student research by providing research grants, travel funds, research assistance, research-related data and materials, and other staff and institutional support.
To disseminate research results to the academic and professional communities through publications, conferences, and symposia and to foster interactions among University of Illinois accounting researchers and accounting scholars at institutions worldwide.
To develop state-of-the-art facilities for research and experimentation in accounting.
To involve accounting professionals in the teaching and research programs of the Department of Accountancy and the Office of Accounting Research.
Objectives and Actions
The objective of the Office of Accounting Research since its founding in 1983 by Rashad Adbel-Khalik has been to promote and publicize research activities of faculty and students in the Department of Accountancy. To this end, OAR has sponsored research conferences and symposia, an annual lecture series, and a weekly accounting research forum.
The Office of Accounting Research is one of ten research and learning centers within the College of Commerce. The college-wide strategic planning process has included a review of the mission and activities of the Research and Learning Centers in the context of the overall college program. The college plan calls for an increasingly important role for the centers as vehicles for topically-focused research, teaching, and outreach that in some cases cuts across departments. While all centers will not be interdisciplinary due to the nature of their topical focus, all are expected to expand the scope of their activities to include teaching, research, and outreach to the business community and to engage to the greatest extent possible students, faculty, and professionals.
The new OAR mission and goals stated above take into account the expanded role of the office. OAR will continue many of its traditional programs and will undertake a number of new initiatives. Below are the specific objectives that OAR has identified and the actions to be taken to achieve them.
Objective. Provide support for faculty research in accounting.
Action. Offer research assistance grants for faculty research projects. OAR plans to support faculty research by offering two to four research assistance grants each year. Research assistance grants not only help facilitate faculty research, but also provide important opportunities for doctoral students to work with faculty in their areas of interest and to learn about research and publication. Grants will be awarded through an annual competition.
Objective. To disseminate results of accounting faculty research.
Action. Develop Research in Accounting Working Paper series. Working papers are an important vehicle for scholarly exchange among researchers in a particular field. They familiarize scholars with current projects undertaken by colleagues in the field and enable authors to solicit valuable feedback on work in progress. The CBA Office for Research produces a number of working paper series related to business and economics and maintains a working paper exchange with many business schools. OAR plans to launch a new Research in Accounting working paper series to showcase the work being done by accounting faculty and doctoral students. Papers will be disseminated to accounting departments, business schools and libraries, and individual scholars of the author's choice. Working paper titles and/or abstracts can also be listed on the Accountancy Department's home page on the World Wide Web.
Objective. Foster interactions among UIUC faculty and students and prominent accounting scholars from other institutions.
Action. Sponsor seminars, lectures, and conferences in accounting research. OAR sponsors a weekly research forum featuring presentations by leading scholars in the field of accounting. The forum provides an outstanding opportunity for department faculty and students to gain exposure to the latest research in the field and to exchange ideas with colleagues from other institutions. OAR will continue to offer the forum, and, if funds permit, will increase the number of speakers invited each year.
OAR also sponsors the annual Roedger's Lecture. The office plans to expand the lecture into a two-day summer research conference. The conference will bring together accounting researchers from institutions nationwide to present current research to counterparts from UIUC and other Big Ten institutions. Attendance at the conference, including room, board, and conference materials, will be covered by OAR for all participants.
Objective. Provide opportunities for joint research between UIUC accounting faculty and faculty at institutions abroad to complement activities of the Center for International Education and Research in Accounting.
Action. Develop Faculty Residence Abroad program. The University of Illinois has been known for its international accounting program for many years. For more than thirty years, the Center for International Education and Research in Accounting has brought accounting scholars from around the world to the University of Illinois campus to conduct research. However, because of the impact of globalization on business and financial institutions today, it is important for accounting scholars in the U.S. to improve their understanding of accounting teaching and practice in other parts of the world. OAR plans to develop a Faculty in Residence Abroad program designed to encourage faculty to spend time at a foreign institution in order to develop relationships with colleagues that can eventually lead to joint research projects, the organization of joint conferences, and other collaborative endeavors. Approximately five awards will be made each year to enable department faculty to spend two weeks at an institution overseas. In addition to working with faculty at the host institution, faculty will be encouraged to visit public accounting firms in the vicinity.
Objective. Better serve teaching and research needs of Accountancy Department students and faculty through improved computing facilities and information access.
Action. Upgrade data subscriptions to provide increased access to financial and accounting data for students and faculty. The Department of Accountancy currently subscribes to Mead Data Central's Lexis service, which provides access to the National Automated Accounting Research System (NAARS). The NAARS database is a critical resource for accounting research and instruction, providing access to an extensive library of accounting literature, annual reports for companies and government agencies, and financial data that can be used to identify accounting policies within industries and to locate companies' financial documents using Fortune rank, SIC code, or range of assets. Access to this data is needed by all faculty, doctoral students, and master's students conducting empirical research in accounting and taxation. In addition, because professional research plays an important role in many courses in Project Discovery, undergraduate students enrolled in the program also make use of financial and accounting data.
The Department of Accountancy currently has a very limited subscription to the NAARS database, and its restrictions have severely limited access to the data. The current subscription allows only three users to access the Lexis-NAARS database, and printing of data is not permitted. OAR proposes to purchase an enhanced Lexis-NAARS site license that would give access to six users and would provide printing capabilities. In addition, OAR plans to set up a discretionary fund to purchase other data on an as-needed basis for special projects.
Objective. Facilitate interactions among professional accountants, students, and faculty in both the teaching and research programs of the department.
Action. Use teleconferencing and interactive videoconferencing capabilities to enable UI students and faculty, as well as professionals at remote sites, to observe and/or participate in conferences or meetings hosted by academic institutions, professional boards, or other organizations. Teleconferencing and interactive videoconferencing is a cost-effective means of engaging participants from many institutions in discussions about the accounting education and the accounting profession. The technology would enable UIUC students and faculty to participate in conferences like the Public Meetings of the FASB and the Committee on Corporate Reporting of the Financial Executives Institute. It would also facilitate the participation of accounting professionals, often too busy to travel to academic conferences, in symposia and workshops hosted by the University of Illinois Department of Accountancy. This type of interaction would be extremely useful, not only for faculty research, but also for instruction. Courses like the Project Discovery Lyceum, taught by Professor Art Wyatt, may be enhanced by the use of this technology. The Lyceum is designed to bring accounting professionals to campus to discuss important issues in accounting with students. Videoconferencing would provide access to many more professionals than the course currently brings, because it requires a much smaller time commitment from them. Because the college has satellite uplink capabilities, funds are needed only to cover communication linkage charges.
Action. Involve accounting professionals and faculty in writing cases to be used in accounting courses. The use of cases to teach and study accounting is becoming increasingly common, and there is a need to develop more cases for instructional use. The real-world experiences of accounting professionals provides a valuable resource for the development of meaningful cases. To fill this need, OAR plans to pair accounting professionals with faculty to collaborate on the writing of cases to be used in the department's teaching program. The project will not only yield useful instructional materials, but will provide opportunities for accounting professionals and faculty to work closely together. OAR will work through the department's Professional Advisory Board to identify appropriate professionals to help with the project.
Audit Research Symposium
The Audit Research Symposium is a biennial conference held at the University of Illinois and is sponsored by KPMG LLP.
Tax Research Symposium
The Tax Research Symposium VI Program is a biennial conference held at the University of Illinois and is sponsored by Deloitte & Touche LLP.
The Roedger's Lecture is an annual lecture sponsored by OAR. The conference will bring together accounting researchers from institutions nationwide to present current research to counterparts from UIUC and other Big Ten institutions.