The National Institute of Accountants (NIA) is providing direct financial support for research by University of New England academics under a joint research initiative recently announced by the NIA and the University’s Graduate School of Business (GSB).
The research initiative, focusing on the small-to-medium enterprise and small-to-medium practice sector, has already seen the allocation of $40,000 by the NIA to five research projects within UNE’s School of Business, Economics and Public Policy (BEPP).
Andrew Conway, the Chief Executive Officer of the NIA, said that the aim of the program was to address issues faced by accountants in their professional lives. “This research initiative provides us with a tangible opportunity to contribute to academic efforts in the sector while at the same time strengthening the already significant ties we have with UNE,” Mr Conway said.
In welcoming the research initiative, the Program Director of GSB, Valerie Dalton, said: “We have been pleased with both the number and standard of first-round applicants for funding, and have been pleased to offer support to five high-quality research projects. There is considerable research activity in the sector which is of interest to the local community and which we believe will have a practical impact.”
Dr Jennifer Rindfleish and Dr Sujana Adapa have been successful in securing two research grants for the 2010 NIA/BEPP Joint Research Program. [The photograph displayed here shows Dr Rindfleish (left) and Dr Adapa.]
The first, “Investigating the rhetoric and realities of the concept of corporate social responsibility in small and medium-sized accountancy firms in regional Australia,” received $8,294. The second project (allocated $11,381) will see them exploring the importance of personal selling skills for accountants in small and medium-sized accountancy firms in Tamworth and Armidale.
“We expect promising results from these studies,” Dr Adapa said, “since there has so far been little focus on personal selling or corporate social responsibility concepts in small and medium-sized accountancy firms. We are planning to carry out qualitative interviews in order to obtain data from accountancy firms in Armidale and Tamworth.”
“The findings will be presented to NIA/BEPP and to appropriate academic journals, and will also be presented at international conferences,” she said.
Dr Adapa’s research will be building on her interest in practical solutions to creating value for business customers – the subject of research that led to her award of a PhD degree during a graduation ceremony at UNE last month.
The other three projects funded through the 2010 NIA/BEPP Joint Research Program are: “Exit plans and strategies of regional accounting practices” (Associate Professor Bernice Kotey, Dr Ashfaq Khan and Robyn Marshall – $6,775), “Corporate governance and payout policies of corporate firms in Australia” (Dr Subba Reddy Yarram – $5,520), and “The relationship between business owners’ forecast accuracy, use of financial reports, engagement in business planning and networking activity” (Brent Gregory and Professor Brian Gibson – $5,255).