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Article
Publication date: 22 December 2021

Lin Mei Tan, Fawzi Laswad and Frances Chua

Employability skills are critical for success in the workplace, even more so in this era of globalisation of economies and advancement in technologies. However, there is…

Abstract

Purpose

Employability skills are critical for success in the workplace, even more so in this era of globalisation of economies and advancement in technologies. However, there is ample evidence of the gap between the skills acquired by graduates at universities and the skills expected by employers in the workplace. Applying the modes of grasping and transforming the experience embodied in Kolb’s experiential learning theory (ELT) (1976, 1984), the purpose of this paper is to examine the development of employability skills of accountancy students through their involvement in two extracurricular activities: community accounting and an accountancy club.

Design/methodology/approach

Underpinned by Kolb’s (1976, 1984) four modes of ELT and work-integrated learning to develop professional competencies required for future work, an online survey of accounting students was conducted to assess their reflections on involvement in these two aforementioned extracurricular activities over a two-year period.

Findings

The findings indicate that the students had developed useful cognitive and behavioural skills from their participation in these extracurricular activities. These findings are consistent with the literature on internships and service-learning, both of which have been associated with transferable skills development.

Originality/value

Prior studies focused on in-classroom learning activities or internships to help students develop various essential skills required in the workplace. However, extracurricular activities have received little attention in the accounting education literature. This study provides insights into skills accounting students can gain from extracurricular participation in community accounting and an accountancy club.

Details

Pacific Accounting Review, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0114-0582

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 November 2017

Dimu Ehalaiye, Nives Botica-Redmayne and Fawzi Laswad

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the financial determinants of local government debt in New Zealand.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the financial determinants of local government debt in New Zealand.

Design/methodology/approach

To investigate the financial determinants of local government debt in New Zealand, the authors analyse the relationship between key financial variables with local government debt in New Zealand based on the theories of fiscal accountability and moral hazard using a panel data methodology, specifically the pooled ordinary least squares regression model.

Findings

The findings suggest that council income is the major financial determinant of local government borrowing in New Zealand rather than infrastructural spending and that during the global financial crises (GFC) borrowing levels of New Zealand local councils was not significantly impacted. However, the findings indicate that post the GFC, low interest rates have stimulated increased borrowing activity by New Zealand local governments to fund infrastructure.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to examine the determinants of local government debt in New Zealand. The findings of this study contribute to better understanding of local government/municipality debt in New Zealand and internationally by providing evidence on the financial determinants of debt of local governments and the indirect use of government policy to control local government borrowing. The findings of this study are anticipated to affect local government practices and national government policies in relation to local government finances.

Details

Pacific Accounting Review, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0114-0582

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 November 2017

Radiah Othman, Fawzi Laswad and Nirmala Nath

The purpose of this paper is to examine local councils’ response to the Environmental Reporting Act 2015(ERA), stakeholder identification and implications for the state of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine local councils’ response to the Environmental Reporting Act 2015(ERA), stakeholder identification and implications for the state of the environment management and monitoring of by local councils in New Zealand.

Design/methodology/approach

Informed by stakeholder salience theory, this study uses an interpretative approach in analysing survey data collected from all 78 local councils. Ninety-two key individuals responded to the survey which was administered a month before the Environmental Reporting Bill was passed as an Act.

Findings

The findings suggest that focus and priorities of the councils varied depending on the influential power of various group stakeholders. Legal requirements were a very significant factor for reporting environmental sustainability information and the availability of funding and resources posed a significant challenge. Environmental sustainability was considered as both a risk and an opportunity. Compliance with legislation was the utmost priority of the local councils.

Research limitations/implications

The results suggest that stakeholders with power received more attention from the local councils. In addition, the tension between the central government, the elected representatives and the public became apparent.

Originality/value

This paper offers insight on how the local councils viewed risks, opportunities and potential implications of a new legislation, and whether the stakeholders were considered in these contexts.

Details

Pacific Accounting Review, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0114-0582

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 May 2020

Radiah Othman, Fawzi Laswad and Matthew Berkahn

The purpose of this paper is to examine the causes and consequences of financial crimes perpetrated against New Zealand small businesses.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the causes and consequences of financial crimes perpetrated against New Zealand small businesses.

Design/methodology/approach

A random sample of 200 court cases was selected from 2010 to 2017. A total of 12 cases involving 14 small businesses were analysed.

Findings

The results reveal that financial crime is a systemic problem and involves people with diverse demographics, and the victims are not restricted to any specific type of small business. The offenders are mostly middle-level managers. The length of offence varied from 1 year to 12.5 years. Most of them funnelled the stolen money into their personal accounts. The common motive is “keeping up appearance”. The management placed immense trust in their employees and did not vet candidates before employment. The losses suffered by small entities ranged from $6,000 to $590,000 and liquidated one business. The severity of the actual court cases indicates the necessity of an employee screening as the first line of defence in these businesses.

Research limitations/implications

The small sample of court cases is a limitation, but the study contributes to the fraud auditing literature by examining actual court cases involving small businesses. Small businesses as victims of employee fraud and their lack of internal controls are known but under-researched to promote thought about fraud risk severity in these businesses.

Originality/value

The C.R.I.M.E model has yet been tested on fraud cases involving small businesses.

Details

Journal of Financial Crime, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 February 2022

Nives Botica Redmayne, Fawzi Laswad, Dimu Ehalaiye and Warwick Stent

New Zealand (NZ) has no reporting standard or guidance for management commentary (MC) that accompanies financial reports. This is unusual, considering MC is provided by…

Abstract

Purpose

New Zealand (NZ) has no reporting standard or guidance for management commentary (MC) that accompanies financial reports. This is unusual, considering MC is provided by many entities and valued by users. Further, the guidance on MC provided by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) in their Management Commentary Practice Statement 1 (MCPS1), which was issued in 2010, is currently under review. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to examine the views of NZ’s financial reporting stakeholders, particularly users, preparers and auditors of financial reports for insights regarding the usefulness of MC.

Design/methodology/approach

To gain insights into the views of NZ’s financial reporting stakeholders on MC, this paper surveyed users, preparers and auditors of financial statements. This paper includes an analysis of their views on the objectives, content and principles that should underlie MC in financial reporting, based on the IASB’s MCPS1 with consideration of recent work by the IASB on the revision of MCPS1. In addition, the analysis provides insights as to whether the reporting of MC should be made mandatory, and whether assuring MC would increase its usefulness.

Findings

This study found that auditors generally view MC as less useful and more in need of assurance than do preparers and users. Respondents’ ratings indicate that the most important objective for MC is “to enable the assessment of the quality of management’s stewardship”. “Assessing the entity’s future prospects”, and “assessing future cash flows” are also highly rated objectives. The most important principle in preparing MC is identified as “focus on the most important and relevant information”, while the most important content element identified is “the entity's financial performance and position, and cash flows”.

Originality/value

This paper highlights the views of various stakeholders regarding MC reporting, particularly preparers and auditors whose views have not been noted previously in the literature. Also, this study should be of interest to both international and national financial reporting standard setters and regulators. It is particularly timely in view of the current IASB work towards revision and updating of MCPS1, as it provides current insights into what users, preparers and auditors perceive as the most important considerations for MC. This study also has implications for the XRB in NZ, where there is no prior research on stakeholders’ views on MC.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 May 2020

Mohammed Ali Al Mallak, Lin Mei Tan and Fawzi Laswad

The purpose of this exploratory study is to examine the perceptions of Saudi university accounting students of the importance of developing generic skills in their…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this exploratory study is to examine the perceptions of Saudi university accounting students of the importance of developing generic skills in their accounting education, the levels of competence they should acquire and expect to achieve during the academic study, and the constraints that may hinder the development of generic skills in accounting education.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses the skills outlined in the IFAC’s International Education Standards (IES) 3 (intellectual, personal, organizational and business management, and interpersonal and communication) and IES 4 (ethics in accounting/business). A survey questionnaire was used to collect the data.

Findings

The findings show that students perceived all five generic skill categories to be important, with ethical skills rated as the most important. However, the students expected that they would achieve a somewhat lower level of generic skill by the end of their studies in all areas, and they perceived a number of constraints that impede their skill development. The results indicate the importance of developing generic skills in accounting education and suggest that the Saudi accounting education system could do more to provide students with opportunities to develop generic skills to enable them to succeed in their future careers.

Originality/value

As little of the current literature has focused on generic skills in accounting education in a non-Western country, this research contributes to the literature on generic skills in a developing nation.

Details

Asian Review of Accounting, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1321-7348

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 January 2020

Nirmala Nath, Radiah Othman and Fawzi Laswad

This paper aims to provide insights into how the New Zealand Office of the Auditor-General (NZOAG) legitimised the selection of topics for performance audit in the New…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide insights into how the New Zealand Office of the Auditor-General (NZOAG) legitimised the selection of topics for performance audit in the New Zealand public health sector over a 10-year period, 2003-2013, by fulfilling the key actors’ “taken for granted beliefs” of the dual roles of the NZOAG: its independence and accountability.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses evidence gathered from interviews with representatives of the District Health Boards, the Ministry of Health (including Health Advisory Committee members) and NZOAG staff, along with publically available documentary evidence over a 10-year period. The authors draw on Suchman’s (1995) authority on institutional legitimacy to inform the research findings.

Findings

The New Zealand Auditors-General (NZAGs) get inputs from various sources such as their own audit teams, parliamentary deliberations, the Ministry of Health, the District Health Boards, media and public concerns and complaints. These sources initiate ideas for performance audits. Subsequently, the NZAGs use the recurring themes and risk assessment criteria while simultaneously consulting with the auditees (the MOH and the DHBs) and other actors, such as health advisory groups, to select topics for such audits. This signals to the key actors, such as the MOH and the DHBs, that the NZOAG is addressing the topics and concerns relevant to the former while discharging its public accountability role. Furthermore, the consultative approach acts as a catalyst, ensuring that the actors involved with public sector health service delivery, specifically the auditees, accept the selected topic. This leads to a lack of resistance to and criticism of the topic; the selection process, therefore, is legitimatised, and credibility is added to the audits. Because of the consultative approach taken by the NZAGs, the actors, including the performance auditors, continue to believe that the Office acts independently from third party influence in selecting their audit topics, elevating the NZAGs’ moral legitimacy with respect to their public accountability role.

Research limitations/implications

The study’s focus group does not include parliamentary representatives, only representatives from the DHBs, the MOH and the NZOAG; therefore, the conclusions on effective discharge of the NZOAG’s accountability role and Parliamentary acceptance is not conclusive – the NZOAG acts on behalf of the Parliament in discharging its accountability role and the latter is also the formal recipient of the reports.

Practical implications

The implications for practitioners and policymakers are that the use of a consultative approach to select topics for performance audit in the absence of performance auditing standards ensures auditee readiness and acceptance of such audits. This also promotes mutual benefits and “trust” between the AG and auditees. Such audits can be used to bring about efficacy in health service delivery.

Social implications

The selected topics for audits will have an impact on citizens’ lifestyles, with improved health services delivery.

Originality/value

There is a dearth of research on who initiates the ideas for performance auditing and how the Office of the Auditor-General selects topics for such audits. This study adds a new dimension to the existing performance auditing literature. The authors reveal how the NZOAG seeks to legitimise the selection of topics for such audits by consulting with the auditees and other actors associated with public sector health service delivery, while upholding its independent status and making transparent how it discharges its accountability role within the context of performance auditing.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 January 1999

Fawzi Laswad and Y.T. Mak

This study extends the study by Laswad and Mak (1997) on the interpretation of probability expressions used in accounting standards by New Zealand standard setters, by…

Abstract

This study extends the study by Laswad and Mak (1997) on the interpretation of probability expressions used in accounting standards by New Zealand standard setters, by comparing the interpretations of standard‐setters with practicing accountants. The results generally show that the ranking of phrases of probability expressions by accountants is similar to standard‐setters. Further, similar to standard‐setters, accountants interpret many different probability expressions used in accounting standards as if they denote similar probability levels. This suggests that some probability expressions are redundant. The reduction of probability expressions may facilitate greater consistency in the application of accounting standards and consequently greater comparability in financial reporting. The results also indicate that, similar to standard‐setters, there is considerable disagreement among accountants in the interpretation of probability expressions, which suggest that to enhance comparability in financial reporting, guidance in the interpretation of such phrases is needed.

Details

Pacific Accounting Review, vol. 11 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0114-0582

Article
Publication date: 1 January 2000

Fawzi Laswad and Melvin Roush

Financial reporting standards on foreign currency translation in many countries such as New Zealand, US, Australia, and Canada and the international standard issued by the…

Abstract

Financial reporting standards on foreign currency translation in many countries such as New Zealand, US, Australia, and Canada and the international standard issued by the International Accounting Standards Committee require the classification of foreign operations for translation purposes into two mutually exclusive types: integrated or independent. This classification determines the translation method. In judging whether a foreign operation is either integrated or independent, the accounting standard requires the evaluation of five qualitative factors. The standard neither describes the judgement process nor identifies the relative importance of the determining factors. It has been asserted that this lack of clarity may yield dissimilar results for firms whose circumstances are similar and consequently may reduce the comparability of financial statements across firms. Using a repeated measures design, this paper examines the judgement of preparers of financial statements (financial controllers) in determining the designation of foreign operations for translation purposes. The results indicate that the relative importance of the determining factors is about equal. No support is found for the assertion that the use of qualitative factors in accounting standards results in dissimilar judgements (lack of consensus) across respondents. Further, the results show that the subjects demonstrated consistency and self‐insight in their judgements. The results also indicate that the judgements of respondents are not biased toward either classification of foreign operation. This suggests that the observed bias may be motivated by economic factors rather than the outcome of using the qualitative cues in the accounting standard. When the respondents were debriefed, several of them identified ‘managerial independence’ as another determining factor that has not been included in the standard.

Details

Pacific Accounting Review, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0114-0582

Article
Publication date: 1 July 2005

Helen Bishop, Michael Bradbury and Tony van Zijl

We assess the impact of NZ IAS 32 on the financial reporting of convertible financial instruments by retrospective application of the standard to a sample of New Zealand…

Abstract

We assess the impact of NZ IAS 32 on the financial reporting of convertible financial instruments by retrospective application of the standard to a sample of New Zealand companies over the period 1988 ‐ 2003. NZ IAS 32 has a broader definition of liabilities than does the corresponding current standard (FRS‐31) and it does not permit convertibles to be reported under headings that are intermediate to debt and equity. The results of the study indicate that in comparison with the reported financial position and performance, the reporting of convertibles in accordance with NZ IAS 32 would result in higher amounts for liabilities and higher interest. Thus, analysts using financial statement information to assess risk of financial distress will need to revise the critical values of commonly used measures of risk and performance when companies report under NZ IAS

Details

Pacific Accounting Review, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0114-0582

Keywords

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