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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2020

Hani Tadros, Michel Magnan and Emilio Boulianne

This study aims to examine the disclosure determinants of environmental performance indicators (EPIs) for a sample of US firms to understand if these disclosures are…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the disclosure determinants of environmental performance indicators (EPIs) for a sample of US firms to understand if these disclosures are reliable or whether they are biased towards the reporting of positive information.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses a panel data analysis to examine the association between firms’ EPIs disclosures and their environmental performances, and other economic and legitimacy factors.

Findings

The results show that firms’ disclosures are not associated with the level of environmental performance and that firms continue to provide EPI information even if they witness a decline in their environmental performance. The evidence suggests that firms’ environmental disclosures are reliable and indicative of their environmental performance.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that mandating EPI disclosures may increase the level of the information reported and reduce firms’ discretion over the disclosure of such information.

Originality/value

Reporting of EPIs is directly linked to firms’ environmental performances. By examining the association between EPI disclosures and environmental performance, the study contributes to the ongoing debate about firms’ reporting and whether it is informative to its stakeholders or whether firms use this type of information to legitimize their operations and portray it in a positive light.

Details

Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1985-2517

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Article
Publication date: 29 May 2018

Emilio Boulianne, Leanne S. Keddie and Maxence Postaire

This study seeks to identify how professional accountants in France are educated in sustainability; we examine the French accounting programs in regard to sustainability…

Abstract

Purpose

This study seeks to identify how professional accountants in France are educated in sustainability; we examine the French accounting programs in regard to sustainability accounting education recommendations.

Design/methodology/approach

We analyze a variety of documents to ascertain what comprises the typical accounting education program in France. Additionally, we conduct five interviews of various stakeholders to understand the importance of sustainability accounting and education in the French context.

Findings

We note an interesting paradox in the French context: while the government requires the reporting and auditing of corporate sustainability information, we find that sustainability is not greatly present in the government-funded French accounting education program. We determine that the government’s power in setting the education agenda combined with its budget restrictions and ability to defer responsibility to other parties has resulted in this paradox in the French setting.

Practical implications

This research draws attention to the consequences of society ignoring sustainability education for professional accountants.

Social implications

This paper contributes to the discussion on how to educate responsible professional accountants and the implications for the planet if accountants are not trained in sustainability.

Originality/value

This research contributes to the important domain of sustainability accounting education. We also explore additional implications for the accounting profession and the general public.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2017

Tarek El Masri, Matthäus Tekathen, Michel Magnan and Emilio Boulianne

Family firms possess dual identities, being the family and the business, which can be segmented and integrated to various degrees. This study examines whether and how…

Abstract

Purpose

Family firms possess dual identities, being the family and the business, which can be segmented and integrated to various degrees. This study examines whether and how management control technologies are calibrated to fit into the dual identities of family firms.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative study of 20 family firms was conducted using semi-structured, in-depth interviews with owner-managers, drawings of mental maps and publicly available information. The notion of calibration was developed and used, with its three components of graduation, purpose and reference, as an organizing device for the interpretive understanding of the management control usage and its relation to family firms’ dual identities.

Findings

The study finds that the use of calculative, family-centric and procedural management controls – in sum the pervasive use of management control technologies – are associated with a professionalization of the family firm, a foregrounding of the business identity and a reduction of the disadvantageous side of familiness. In comparison, the pragmatic and minimal use of management control technologies are found to be associated with an emphasis on family identity. It transpires as liberating, engendering trust and unfolding a familial environment.

Research limitations/implications

Because results are derived from a qualitative approach, they are not generalizable at an empirical level. By showing how the use of management control technologies is calibrated with reference to family firms’ dual identities, the paper reveals the perceived potency of control technologies to affect the identity of firms.

Practical implications

The study reveals how family firms perceive management control technologies as strengthening their business identity while weakening their family identity. Thereby, this study provides an account of how management control technologies are expected to change the identity of firms.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the management control and family business literatures because it uncovers how management control technologies are calibrated in reference to family firms’ dual identities. It shows that calculative, family-centric and procedural management controls are used to professionalize the firm and strengthen its business identity as well as to reduce the negative effects of the family identity. The paper also illustrates how the liberating force of using pragmatic and minimal control technologies can serve to give prominence to the family identity.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

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Book part
Publication date: 14 July 2006

Emilio Boulianne

For many years management accountants have been involved in the design of information systems for decision-making. To be effective in system design, accountants need…

Abstract

For many years management accountants have been involved in the design of information systems for decision-making. To be effective in system design, accountants need pertinent and reliable performance measures within a valid framework. The Balanced Scorecard (BSC) has received a great deal of attention as a comprehensive model of performance that takes into account both financial and non-financial measures. This paper examines the empirical reliability and validity of the BSC framework and its associated measures. With reference to content validity, internal consistency reliability, and factorial validity, results show that BSC, with measures grouped into its four dimensions, is a valid performance model.

Previous studies have called for better reliability and validity of BSC measures. The present study may help in the design and implementation of BSCs in business units by adding robustness to the BSC framework, and by suggesting a set of valid measures associated with the four BSC dimensions. The results may lead to reduced costs of BSC design and implementation, and enhanced consistency of future studies of the BSC.

Details

Advances in Management Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-447-8

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Article
Publication date: 25 February 2014

Emilio Boulianne

This study investigates the impact that software utilization may have on students' knowledge acquisition of the accounting cycle. Differences in knowledge acquisition are…

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2436

Abstract

Purpose

This study investigates the impact that software utilization may have on students' knowledge acquisition of the accounting cycle. Differences in knowledge acquisition are examined between three groups of students: those who completed an accounting case manually using the traditional pencil and paper approach, using software, and first manually and then using software. The main research question is: “To what extent does using computers to study the accounting cycle lead to better knowledge acquisition?” This paper aims to inform changes in accounting education.

Design/methodology/approach

The survey method was employed to collect information from accounting students in a Canadian business school. A total of 1,053 usable questionnaires were returned. Declarative knowledge and procedural knowledge are the theoretical underpinnings.

Findings

The results indicate that students who first completed the case manually and then completed the same case using accounting software experienced the best knowledge acquisition. This suggests that the best manner for students to acquire concrete knowledge of the accounting cycle is by completing cases using both methods. The results also indicate that students who completed the case using only the software experienced better knowledge acquisition than did students who completed the case only manually. This suggests that software can be effectively utilized and integrated in class to improve knowledge acquisition of accounting information systems.

Originality/value

Little investigation has been performed on the usefulness and impact accounting software utilization may have on students' level of learning. The findings may benefit students and faculty members by helping in curriculum design changes, course design, and computer implementation decisions. The findings of this study have the potential to make a difference in the way that educators teach and business students learn. Business education may be improved by the judicious use of software in the classroom.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 17 April 2018

Emilio Boulianne and S. Leanne Keddie

This study explores how Canadian CPAs (Chartered Professional Accountants) are trained in sustainability. The main research questions are: What place should sustainability…

Abstract

Purpose

This study explores how Canadian CPAs (Chartered Professional Accountants) are trained in sustainability. The main research questions are: What place should sustainability take in the accounting program? What place does sustainability occupy in the CPA accounting program? And, over time, has sustainability gained or lost ground within the Canadian professional accounting education program?

Methodology/approach

Content analysis and interviews.

Findings

We find that sustainability is not a key component of the CPA education program since its sustainability content has shrunk over the years. We believe that the groupthink phenomenon may have influenced the selection of CPA Competency Map participants (whose backgrounds reveal a lack of sustainability expertise) as well as the participants’ discussions. Additionally, a lack of consideration for society as a key stakeholder may have also influenced the shortage of sustainability content. Finally, power dynamics might have contributed to the financial accounting and reporting competencies dominating the new map.

Research limitations

We did not have access to the live meetings when the Map was created, although we conducted interviews with representatives involved in the process. This research is bound by a confidentiality agreement that limits us from providing sensitive details. However, we do not consider that these limitations undermine our contribution or reduce the relevance of our research.

Originality/value

Our research contributes to the under-researched domain of sustainability education and to understanding how groupthink, stakeholder theory and power dynamics may have contributed to the dearth of sustainability coverage in the new Canadian CPA program.

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Book part
Publication date: 4 August 2008

Emilio Boulianne

The Balanced Scorecard (BSC) proposes four dimensions to represent business performance: Financial, Customer, Innovation and Internal Business, and Learning and Growth…

Abstract

The Balanced Scorecard (BSC) proposes four dimensions to represent business performance: Financial, Customer, Innovation and Internal Business, and Learning and Growth. Surprisingly, little attention has been paid to the BSC as a valid construct representing performance. Despite surveys reporting that a growing number of firms use the BSC, little is known about the reliability and validity of the measures and dimensions it proposes. Validity problems impact on the importance and credibility allocated by management to certain BSC measures.

This study's objective is to empirically examine the construct validity of the BSC. Through a literature review and field study, a set of measures associated with all four BSC dimensions is selected. Next, survey research is conducted to examine the reliability of selected measures and the structure of BSC dimensions. Lastly, we examine the convergent and discriminate validity of the BSC's measures using the multitrait–multimethod (MTMM) matrix.

Results show that the BSC – with its four dimensions and related measures – represents a valid construct. This study responds to research calls on the importance of validating the BSC framework – and its associated measures – in order to enhance consistency on BSC research.

Details

Performance Measurement and Management Control: Measuring and Rewarding Performance
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-571-0

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2005

Emilio Boulianne

Provide a better understanding of the functionalities and benefits of the procurement card technology (P‐Card), and examines the card's impact on management control and…

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2957

Abstract

Purpose

Provide a better understanding of the functionalities and benefits of the procurement card technology (P‐Card), and examines the card's impact on management control and the audit function.

Design/methodology/approach

Describes the recent published works on P‐Card's benefits in costs reduction and data integration with information systems, aiming to provide comprehensive research and practical advices.

Findings

Provides information about the impact of P‐Card on business processes, along with opportunities to set managerial reports. The future of P‐Card technology is elaborated in order to broadening P‐Card usage.

Research limitations/implications

To explain the determinants of and outcomes from the adoption and usage of P‐Card, contingency variables such as size, business environment, and structure may be examined. Also, studies on P‐Card have only used the survey method as the way to gather information, while interviews, observation, and system documentation examination should be performed to corroborate the survey results obtained. Intangible benefits such as improved decision‐making, better management control, or improved job satisfaction should be considered to provide more robust assessment of P‐Card usage and benefits.

Practical implications

A useful source of information to help management auditors to take proactive approaches to improve business efficiency, design effective control systems, and streamline accounting processes.

Originality/value

The paper describes ways to integrate P‐Card data directly to computer‐based accounting information systems via electronic posting to the ledger offered by software capabilities.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 20 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 22 March 2011

Downloads
1006

Abstract

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

Content available
Article
Publication date: 16 March 2012

Downloads
281

Abstract

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

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