This page is older archived content from an older version of the Emerald Publishing website.

As such, it may not display exactly as originally intended.

Research to inform Accounting Standard Setting

Special issue call for papers from Accounting Research Journal

Guest Editors

Associate Professor Bryan Howieson (University of Adelaide);
Associate Professor Brad Potter (University of Melbourne),
Professor Ellie Chapple (QUT).

What is the special issue about?

The Accounting Research Journal provides a valuable forum for communication with academics and practitioners on topical research issues in the contemporary business environment. The Journal was established over 30 years ago. The editors welcome submissions encompassing research specific to the areas of accounting, accountability, governance, finance, auditing, regulation and tax.
This year, we are targeting accounting standard setting as a special issue topic, and we invite manuscripts from both established and emerging researchers.
Consistent with the approach of the IASB, the AASB seeks academic evidence to fill a vital role in the development of high-quality accounting standards. Communication in all sectors of our economy continues to increase in complexity and importance. The need for timely and relevant research about financial and non-financial reporting has never been greater. Accordingly, ARJ is pleased to announce a call for papers on topics of interest to the AASB that will inform the decision making of the Board.
The Special Issue will focus on providing relevant and timely information for standard setters. Therefore, papers will be reviewed by an academic and a practitioner to maximise the contribution of the paper to practice. Authors must be able to work to a shorter than usual time frame.

The papers to be included in the Special Issue are expected to have the following features:

1. For the selected topic, the paper should address the questions posed below. It will also explain why the topic is important to the standard setters. It will outline the current reporting problems, the extent to which current research provides answers to these problems, and the ways research could assist the standard setters to solve these problems.
2. The paper will present preliminary evidence on the topic. This may be in the form of a pilot study or descriptive statistics. The paper should provide directions for researchers regarding future work and more detailed study on the topic.
3. The paper must be presented in a way that the content can be easily understood by practitioners who are knowledgeable in the subject area. The maximum length of papers is 4,000 words (excluding tables and appendices).

Topics of interest to the AASB include the following:

  • Discount rates – discounting long term liabilities
  • Fair value measurement for property plant and equipment
  • Accounting for licences
  • Financial Instruments – Disclosure
  • Remuneration Reporting
  • Digital Financial Reporting Discount rates

Discounting long term liabilities
Discounting of long term liabilities is required by AASB119 Employee Benefits and AASB 1056 Superannuation Entities, for entities in the for-profit and not for profit sectors. What discount rates are used by entities? How do entities determine if there is a deep market for high quality corporate bonds? Should public sector entities refer to high quality corporate bonds or government bonds and what is the rationale they use in making this decision? What are the arguments for and against the use of the different discount rates?

Fair value measurement for property plant and equipment
Entities in the private sector (listed companies) and public sector (government departments and government business enterprises) apply AASB116 Property, Plant when accounting for property, plant and equipment (PPE) held for the long term. Some of these entities revalue their PPE to fair value on subsequent measurement and apply the guidance in AASB13 Fair Value Measurement when revaluing their PPE. What are current approaches (for example depreciated replacement cost) that entities use to fair value their PPE in accordance with the guidance in AASB13? What are the benefits and challenges of the current approaches (including using the depreciated replacement cost as a basis)?

Accounting for licences
Many entities hold valuable intangible assets in the form of licences. What are current practices regarding recognition, measurement and disclosure of licences or the underlying asset (for example intangible asset) giving rise to the licence by private sector and public sector entities (government departments and government business enterprises). What are the costs and benefits of current practices? How might current practices be improved? Please indicate whether you are considering licensee or licensor or both.

Financial Instruments – Disclosure
AASB 7 Financial instruments: Disclosures and AASB9 Financial instruments have extensive disclosure requirements. To what extent are these disclosures useful for financial statement users in the for-profit and not for profit sectors? What factors should be considered regarding reducing disclosure requirements for all entities (including not for profit entities)?

Performance Reporting
Entities in the for-profit and not for profit sectors provide a range of information to inform users about their current and expected future performance. Voluntary disclosures include: non-GAAP earnings measures, non-financial information and KPIs, forward looking information and information about value creation (value added statements). To what extent do Australian entities provide these additional disclosures? What would be the costs and benefits of making such disclosures mandatory? (A study may focus on one sector, or a limited range of items, depending on the choice of the researchers.)

Remuneration Reporting
Australian listed entities provide extensive disclosures in their annual reports about the remuneration of senior executives, in compliance with a range of reporting requirements. Considering listed companies’ current disclosure practices, what information is most useful for investors? What company attributes are associated with high-quality disclosures? How might disclosures be streamlined?

Digital Financial Reporting
Technology has created large opportunities for changes in listed companies’ financial reporting practices. To what extent have Australian companies changed their reporting using digital technologies? What innovations have been adopted and how useful are they to investors? What are the barriers and enablers for greater adoption of digital technology in the financial reporting of Australian companies? In addition, papers relating to other topics on the research or technical agenda of the IASB or AASB are also welcome.

Scedule and deadlines

  • Closing date for submissions: 28 February 2018
  • Proposed publication date: December 2018