Accounting and Finance

Research Area Leader:

Dr Nick Pawsey

Dr Nick Pawsey

This Research Area (RA) is focused on measurement, reporting and accountability in both traditional and non-traditional accounting contexts.  Within this broad research area, topics include reporting on non-incorporate entities, non-banking financial institutions and non-industrial entities such as agricultural concerns.

Reporting practices of such entities applies traditional financial data but also includes reporting environmental, social and other qualitative data. This research area also includes topics on the audit and assurance of these reporting practices.

Finance research focuses on the performance and risk measurement in financial markets.  These markets not only include non-banking financial institutions but also banks, derivative markets and the market for new equity.  Such research includes the analysis of accounting as well as non-accounting data.

Consistent with CSU's primarily regional location, our research includes that which is focused on the regional context; however we also conduct research at a national and international level given the university's stated aim to "create new knowledge and practice that creates solutions for the benefit of our communities locally, nationally and internationally".

Our Research Area members have expertise in a range of qualitative and quantitative techniques.  This includes the common qualitative analysis approaches, as well as narrative analysis.  Multivariate approaches are commonly employed in quantitative analysis.

Researchers in the Accounting and Finance RA have attracted support from a number of external agencies including the Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, Australian Research Council, Australian Accounting Standards Board, Commonwealth Department of Families and Housing and Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA), Essential Services Commission, the Salvation Army, Mission Australia and Anglicare.

Our research has been published in a range of reputed peer-reviewed accounting and finance journals, including Accounting Forum, Behavioural Research in Accounting, Corporate Governance: an International Review, International Journal of Public Sector Management, Pacific Basin Finance Journal, Managerial Auditing Journal, Qualitative Research in Accounting and Management, Research in Accounting in Emerging Economies and Australasian Accounting, Business & Finance Journal.

Warwick Baines  Warwick Baines Senior Lecturer Bathurst
Nick Davis  Nick Davis Lecturer Bathurst
Jenny Kent  Jenny Kent Associate Professor Wagga Wagga
Julia Lynch  Julia Lynch Associate Professor Bathurst
Dianne McGrath  Dianne McGrath Associate Professor Albury
Daniel Murphy  Daniel Murphy Lecturer Albury
  Nick Pawsey Senior Lecturer Albury
Chiu Phua  Chiu Phua Associate Lecturer Wagga Wagga
Alfred Wong  Alfred Wong Senior Lecturer Bathurst
Peir Peir Woon Peir Woon Lecturer Wagga Wagga

Current Projects

Project Name Brief DescriptionInvestigators
Tertiary education sector reporting: a review This study reviews past literature of the tertiary education sectors' global reporting. The motivation of this study results from a dearth of research on the tertiary education sectors' reporting and reform in countries such as Australia. It reviews Dawkin's education reform in 1987, Nelson's reform
in 2005 and Bradley's review in 2008. The study thematically analyses issues facing this sector in regard to reporting and outlines future research opportunities.
Chiu Phua and Bikram Chatterjee
Credit Union's sustainability reporting Business sustainability recognises the impact of businesses on society from a financial, social and environmental perspective.  This study investigates the sustainability reporting practices of credit unions and the usefulness of such reporting to stakeholders. Dianne McGrath
Reaping what you sow:  structured work experience for accounting This project engages with high school students to disconfirm the negative stereotyping of accounting. The study draws on the social psychology literature to propose, develop and test an intervention designed to positively impact on the perceptions of the accounting profession held by secondary school
students at the time they are planning their careers. The research also intends to contribute to the accounting literature by adopting an action research approach.

Dianne McGrath and Daniel Murphy

A critical discourse analysis of the debate in the 'public sphere' surrounding Australia's compulsory superannuation scheme A critical discourse analysis of the debate in the 'public sphere' surrounding Australia's compulsory superannuation scheme. This research will critically analyse the discursive and conceptual bases of the social goals embedded within Australia's compulsory superannuation regime and whether in fact
the superannuation legislation serves to reinforce the hegemony of the shareholder wealth maximisation norm. It is proposed that this research will investigate and debate the validity of claims made about the success of the Superannuation Guarantee in improving the lives of workers both when the legislation
was introduced, and now.
Daniel Murphy

Exploring the Generalisability and Usefulness of Professional Scepticism

The findings of this project will contribute to the development of professional scepticism in the accounting discipline. In particular, by broadening the usefulness of the Hurtt Scepticism (2010) measure and re-evaluating its importance to both research and practice. We look to expand the meaning and
consequence of professional scepticism.

This research is funded by the Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand (AFAANZ) 2017 grant.

Jahanzeb Khan and Rachel Hogg (School of Psychology)

Examining the Impact of Client Presentation and Effective Debriefing on Auditors’ Sceptical Perception and Sceptical Application.

Appreciating that auditors are exposed to a number of cues when engaged with the client office environment, cues that are viewed to be non-diagnostic in making an objective assessment of the client, thereby impeding the application of professional scepticism. In identifying the potential confounding
influence of the client office environment, by way of the trait of aesthetic engagement, on professional scepticism, we propose and test two interventions aimed at overcoming the undue influence of non-diagnostic cues present in the client office environment, thereby increasing sceptical application.
Jahanzeb Khan and Noel Harding (UNSW Sydney)
Accounting For The Disabled: Examining The Effectiveness of Australia’s National Disability Welfare Program. This project examines the impact of the NDIS on the lives of people with disabilities. The project explores participants’ experiences of the NDIS from a financial accountability perspective. Freda Hui (UOW)

Corinne Cortese (UOW)

Mona Nikidehaghani (CSU)

Past Projects

Project Name Brief Description Funding BodyInvestigators
Heritage reporting by the Australian Public Sector: Possibilities from the concepts of new public governance This paper seeks to contribute to the future development of heritage reporting in Australia. Public sector reporting of heritage has been a long-standing issue, due to shortcomings in (sector-neutral) for-profit-based financial reporting standards. Australia’s sector-neutral approach does not meet public
sector users’ information needs. We develop a heritage reporting model to balance community and other stakeholders’ interests and address prior critiques.
  Peir Woon, Bikram Chatterjee, and Carolyn Cordery
Annual reporting in an Australian Government department: a longitudinal study of accounting and organisational change This study attempts to identify and critically interpret changes to the annual reports of Australian Government Departments by examining the layout and inclusions of selected, key reports from the 1940s through to the early 1990s, applying Luk√°cs (1971) Marxian.   Nick Davis and Jayne Bisman
Capital market efficiency in emerging markets The project investigated the market efficiency issues in emerging economies (e.g. India, China and Vietnam) and also that of Australia. It also explored the impact of the Euro debt crisis on the Australian capital market. This research has resulted in a number of publications in journals such as Asia
Pacific Journal of Economics and Business and International Business & Economics Research Journal.
  PK Basu and Gupta Rakesh (Griffith University, Brisbane)
Why is Trait Scepticism not Consistently Reflected in State Scepticism? An Exploratory Study into the Role of Aesthetic Engagement. We examine whether a predisposition towards engagement with the client environment (aesthetic engagement) can help explain why trait scepticism is not consistently reflected in audit judgments. We develop a scale to measure an individual’s aesthetic engagement inclination to demonstrate its importance
in understanding the relationship between trait scepticism and state scepticism. We find that aesthetic engagement attenuates the positive relationship between trait and state scepticism. With increases in aesthetic engagement, not only is the positive relationship between trait and state scepticism
reduced, but with further increases in aesthetic engagement, the relationship between trait and state scepticism turns negative.
UNSW ASB Small Projects Grant Jahanzeb Khan and Noel Harding (UNSW Sydney)
P-hacking in Experimental Audit Research. A focus on novel, confirmatory, and statistically significant results by journals that publish experimental audit research may result in substantial bias in the literature. We explore one type of bias known as p-hacking: a practice where researchers, whether knowingly or unknowingly, adjust their collection,
analysis, and reporting of data and results, until non-significant results become significant. We discuss some potential remedies that, if adopted, may (to some extent) alleviate concerns regarding p-hacking and the publication of false positive results.
  Jahanzeb Khan and Per Tronnes (UNSW Sydney)
Conducive environment for professional scepticism: Role of values. Motivated by ongoing calls for auditors to exercise an elevated level of professional scepticism, we examine the relationship between values and trait scepticism. Values guide the choice and assessment of actions and may be associated with traits. Understanding the values that are associated with higher
and lower levels of trait scepticism will not only help in the design of audit environments that make the application of an underlying sceptical disposition more likely, but also help understand the ideal environment for encouraging those with high levels of trait scepticism to join and remain committed
to the audit profession.
UNSW ASB Small Projects Grant Jahanzeb Khan and Noel Harding (UNSW Sydney)
Accounting and pastoral power in the Howard Government’s disability welfare reform 2005. This project draws on Foucault’s concept of pastoral power in order to explore the role of accounting in the reform of Australian disability welfare reform (2005), as initiated by the Howard Government (1996-2007).  Mona Nikidehaghani (CSU)

Freda Hui (UOW)

Corinne Cortese (UOW)
Accounting and Accountability for Disability Benefits in Australia (1909–1961) This study examines the role that discursive regimes of accounting and accountability played in Australian disability welfare program between 1909 and 1961, focusing on the Means Tests employed.  Mona Nikidehaghani (CSU)
Freda Hui (UOW)
AASB Research Report No. 3 - The impact of IFRS adoption in Australia: Evidence from academic research , Nicholas Pawsey, AASB Research Centre, October 2016 To assist the AASB and Financial Reporting Council (FRC) assess the impact of adopting International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in Australia in 2005, a detailed literature review was conducted. Australian Accounting Standards Board Nick Pawsey
Review of the Statutory Asset Values of Victorian Water Businesses This report documents the results of an analysis of the statutory reporting practices of the 19 state owned water businesses operating in Victoria. Given their significance, the focus of the report is on the extent to which the statutory infrastructure asset measures of water businesses provide relevant,
reliable and comparable information.
Essential Services Commission Nick Pawsey and Lin Crase (UniSA)
Victorian water businesses: Profits, taxes and dividends This report presents the results of an analysis of the (1) profits (before and after tax), (2) income taxes paid, and (3) dividends paid of the 19 state owned Victorian water businesses. This analysis spanned the period of time since the Commission began setting maximum prices for the respective Metropolitan
(2005/06 through 2012/13), Regional Urban (2005/06 through 2012/13) and Rural and Hybrid water businesses.
Essential Services Commission Nick Pawsey
Chiu Phua DBA Reporting by Australian universities Dr Bikram Chatterjee
Professor Ian Eddie
Southern Cross University
Hany Salib PhD Stakeholder Engagement (SE) and
Sustainability Reporting (SR) in
The Victorian Water Sector: Is There a Link?
A/Prof Ramudu Bhanugopan

Prof Eddie Oczkowski
Leanne Walsh Honours
NSW local government and stakeholder engagement in
sustainability issues: A regional perspective
Dr Nicholas Pawsey
02 6051 9327

Dr Jahanzeb Khan (Co-supervisor)
02 6933 2752
Shaun McFarlane Honours PDD Costing and Effectiveness Analysis

Dr Nicholas Pawsey
02 6051 9327

The following opportunities exist in Accounting and Finance:

Dr Nick Pawsey
02 6051 9327

Discipline: Accounting and Finance

  • International accounting convergence
  • Water policy and management
  • Public sector accounting
  • Accounting education
Dr Mona Nikidehaghani
02 6338 6341
  • Accounting theory and study of accounting in a social and political context
  • Social and environmental accounting and accountability
  • Qualitative research in accounting
  • Accounting history
  • Theoretical development in accounting
  • Interrelations between accounting and governance in diverse settings
Dr Jahanzeb Khan
02 6933 2752

Discipline: Accounting and Finance

  • Professional scepticism
  • Auditing
  • Behavioural accounting
  • Experimental accounting
  • Scale and construct development
  • Quantitative research methods
  • Controlled experiment design
  • Structural Equation Modelling