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Ernst & Young Establishes Business School Chair

Ernst & Young Establishes New Business School Chair

The University of Auckland Business School has partnered with accounting firm Ernst & Young to establish the Ernst & Young Chair in Financial Accounting.

Ernst & Young Chief Executive John Judge said the establishment of the Chair demonstrates the commitment of the Business School and Ernst & Young to thought leadership and the commercial relevance of academic endeavour.

"We believe that by combining academic knowledge and insights with commercial knowledge and experience there are synergistic benefits to both our organisations and to the wider community," Mr Judge said.

"The new Professor will play a high-profile national role in building strong working relationships with the practising profession and programmes in New Zealand, as well as showing leadership in accounting and financial reporting issues nationally and internationally."

Dean of The University of Auckland Business School, Professor Barry Spicer, welcomed the new partnership and said it was a significant contribution to building a world-class business school for Auckland and New Zealand.

"This contribution will strengthen the School in a core discipline and also cement the already strong partnership between the Business School and Ernst & Young, one of the world's leading professional services firms," he said.

"Ensuring that we develop strong expertise in the core business disciplines is central to the School's strategy to develop an enterprising, research-led business school that is highly respected internationally for teaching and research, and for the contribution it makes to our economic competitiveness and capacity.

"Financial accounting is a core discipline that is critical to the development of all businesses, organisations and, indeed, nations. It attracts large numbers of top quality students.

"The partnership will give the School extra resources to attract top professorial talent to this key area. This will be good for students, good for the School's research profile, and good for raising the analytical and research capability in New Zealand generally.

"We have built a strong partnership with Ernst & Young over the years, particularly as co-developers of LEAP+. The Business School looks forward to the new level of partnership that the Chair in Financial Accounting will bring," Professor Spicer said.

LEAP+ is an online financial reporting tool that illustrates how annual reports should be prepared for New Zealand corporates. It is unique because all the financial information it contains has been rendered using a new computer language called XBRL - eXtensible Business Reporting Language - which allows the worldwide financial community automatically to exchange and reliably summarise financial information prepared in any language and under any generally accepted accounting practices (GAAP).

The University of Auckland Business School will receive $1 million from Ernst & Young to establish the Chair. The partnership with Ernst & Young to establish a Chair is part of efforts to develop a world-class, international business school at The University of Auckland. The Government will match donations dollar-for-dollar up to $25 million, so the Ernst & Young donation in effect brings the School $2 million.

The University has so far received commitments for over half the private sector funding it requires to take full advantage of the Government's funding offer. The money will be spent on attracting and retaining quality staff, supporting research activities, course and programme development, and the construction of new facilities.

This is the second Chair for which funds have been raised by the University. A new Chair in Entrepreneurship was announced last month, with Professor Wendell Dunn appointed to that position.

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