Posted By Brennon Thompson,
Tuesday, March 01, 2016
On Friday February 26th GBSN hosted a webinar called, "The Vices and Virtues of Conducting Sound Accounting Research,” featuring Dr. Wayne Landsman, the KPMG Professor of Accounting and Associate Dean of the PhD Program at University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School.
The webinar discussed the fundamentals of research that can be applicable to any archival field. Professor Landsman started at the very beginning, asking the question “Why do we do research?” evoking Sir Isaac Newton’s gravitational observations and the scientific method. Landsman addressed some of the major pitfalls that researches face when developing new theories. One biggest mistake researches can make is being too attached to their theories. It is always important, when conducting research to never set out to prove anything.
Within the field of accounting research is conducted to inform regulating bodies and standardizing institutions. Accounting research can also be useful in examining how auditors make judgments based on accounting information e.g. are their audit pricing decisions reflective of risk. Research is also done in a practical sense to keep the field current and cultivate the intellect of educators, practitioners, and students alike.
Professor Landsman continues to discuss the nuances of the cost and benefit analysis of experimental data. For example, investigators can set up a controlled experiment; however, this can be expensive and replicable. It is important that researches are aware of potential biases and steer clear of sampling errors. These mistakes can damage the integrity of a study and distort findings. Empirical testing is essential to any study and in the webinar Dr. Landsman offered insider tips on how to avoid some of the most common mistakes.
In his concluding remarks Professor Landsman reminds us that research is a life long process of discovery and we must continue to ask questions.