A meeting of minds on accounting issues

Shirley Lam

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More than 130 international accounting professionals shared their latest research and insights into contemporary accounting and auditing issues at CityU's Asia-Pacific Journal of Accounting and Economics Symposium on 3 and 4 January.

The accounting symposium, the third of its kind in Hong Kong, attracted academics, auditors, accountants, and regulators from the US, UK, Australia, Southeast Asia, the mainland and Hong Kong. The two-day event was organized by the Department of Accountancy and Accounting and the Corporate Law Centre. It was co-sponsored by the Hong Kong Society of Accountants.

Topics covered at the symposium included: the impact of insider selling, market segmentation and value relevance of accounting information, associations between institutional ownership and corporate earnings management, and disclosure of asset revaluations.

"A disclosure-based system that works well is fundamental to market competitiveness, failing which we risk nothing less than the loss of investor confidence and a robust market," said Mr Andrew Sheng, Chairman of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, whose keynote speech kicked off the Symposium. "The accounting profession, auditors and the market each have a crucial role to play within a disclosure-based system and hence in helping to ensure good corporate governance of our markets."

Another keynote speaker, Dr Jesse Wang Jianxi, Deputy Secretary General of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, discussed disclosure issues and developments in accounting practices in China. "There are many problems in China's market, which, personally, I would attribute them to the historical baggage caused by state ownerships and the central planning economic system," Dr Wang said. He suggested to participants that "China may be a very good example for your study, as you can see whether such problems arising from the economic systems can be solved by accounting professions or if they can help in any way to improve the Chinese stock market."

At the research forums chaired by Professor Judy Tsui, Head of CityU's Department of Accountancy, Professor Terrence J Shevlin of University of Washington, Professor Ross L Watts of University of Rochester, and Professor Dan A Simunic of the University of British Columbia discussed the interplay between taxes and financial accounting research, issues in international financial accounting research and international auditing research.

At a Corporate Governance Forum chaired by Dr Zhang Weiguo, China Securities Regulatory Commission, Dr Jesse Wang, Mr Edward Chow, Professor Ferdinand A Gul, Director of CityU's Accounting and Corporate Law Centre, and Dr Mak Yuen-teen, National University of Singapore, reported on recent developments in corporate governance in their respective countries.

 

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