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Counting the cost of accounting scandals

16 November 2005

Counting the cost of accounting scandals

The public’s lack of trust in the accountancy sector, exacerbated by the high-profile financial failures of companies such as Enron and Worldcom, will be explored by more than 200 international accounting and auditing experts at a major conference in Wellington next week, organised by Victoria University and California State Fresno University.

Key speakers at the 17th Asian-Pacific Conference on International Accounting Issues, which runs from 21-23 November, include National Party finance spokesperson, John Key, the European Commission’s Karel Van Hulle, and Ernst &Young New Zealand partner, Warren Allen.

Professor Brenda Porter, Head of Victoria’s School of Accounting & Commercial Law, says the conference is an important forum for academics and practitioners, and this year’s theme The Ramifications of Accounting and Auditing Scandals will result in constructive discussion and research outcomes which will help prevent scandals from occurring in the future.

“The financial marketplace plays an important part in the lives of everyone, whether they are aware of it or not. People’s savings, insurance, retirement, and even jobs are so entwined in the financial system that the role of transparency, and strong internal control and reliable financial statements are critical.

“Hosting this conference is a wonderful opportunity for Victoria’s academics and students, and also the New Zealand accountancy profession, to exchange ideas and information with colleagues from throughout the Asia Pacific region and the rest of the world.

“Significant research, addressing current international accounting issues, has been presented and published as a result of this conference in the past and these studies have provided important contributions to standard setters and policy makers of national and international accountancy bodies.“

More than 120 papers will be presented during the conference by experts from countries including New Zealand, Brazil, Taiwan, Japan, India, Australia, the U.K. and the United States. Topics include: An American Dream: Theory of Corporate Executive Fraud; CEO Remuneration Disclosure Quality: An Australian Perspective; and How Cultural Difference Affects the Development and Implementation of International Accounting Standards. The full programme is available at

As part of the conference, members of the public are invited to a special Business Links Seminar, entitled Curing the ills of accounting scandals - Is regulation the answer? on Tuesday 22 November (5.30-7pm at the Ilott Theatre, Wellington Town Hall).

This panel discussion and question and answer session will feature keynote speakers, Karel Van Hulle of the European Commission, and Warwick Hunt, Chief Executive Officer of PricewaterhouseCoopers New Zealand. Former Auditor General of New Zealand, Adjunct Professor David Macdonald, will be chairing the panel.


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