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Economic models: toyshop or practical workshop?

6 May 2016

Professor John Creedy

Professor of Public Economics and Taxation John Creedy will draw on over 40 years of research and experience for his inaugural public lecture on Tuesday 10 May

Professor of Public Economics and Taxation John Creedy will draw on over 40 years of research and experience for his inaugural lecture to provide insight into how economic modelling has helped shape tax and welfare policies.

Renowned internationally for his work in labour economics, public economics and the history of economic thought, Professor Creedy has promised a "non-technical talk" where he explains how models have contributed to policy analysis specifically in tax and welfare.

'Economic models: Toyshop or practical workshop?' will address a common misconception that economic models are too abstract and bear little relevance to real problems and issues.

For example, tax, he says, matters to everyone.

"Tax changes inevitably involve winners and losers. So it’s important to have as detailed a picture as possible of the tax structure and how it can affect things like income distribution and labour supply."

Professor Creedy has been at the School of Accounting and Commercial Law since 2011, and shares his time between Victoria University and New Zealand Treasury, where he is a principal advisor in the Tax Strategy section.

Since graduating from University of Bristol and then University of Oxford in the United Kingdom (UK), Professor Creedy has been a professor at a number of universities including Durham University in the UK, Pennsylvania State University in the United States, and most recently University of Melbourne where he was the Truby Williams Professor of Economics.

Victoria University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Grant Guilford says Professor Creedy's wealth of experience and knowledge is an asset to the university.

"As well as extensive experience in the academic world, Professor Creedy’s skills have proven hugely valuable to the public sector, particularly in his current position at Treasury and through his links with government departments in the UK and Australia," Professor Guilford says.

"His output of research is phenomenal, with thirty-six books, fifty-eight book chapters and about 275 journal articles bearing his name.

"His published material is indicative not only of the breadth of his knowledge, but also demonstrates the many ways his expertise can provide insight into some of the big social issues of our time such as pensions, welfare changes and social inequality.

"It is a privilege to count Professor Creedy as a member of the Victoria community."

  • What: Inaugural lecture by Professor John Creedy – Economic models: Toyshop or practical workshop?
  • When: 6pm, Tuesday 10 May
  • Where: Old Government Building, Lecture Theatre 1 (GBLT1), Lambton Quay
  • RSVP: rsvp@vuw.ac.nz with 'Creedy' in the subject line, or call 04-463 6700.

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Accounting students recruited to represent CA ANZ on campus

10 May 2016

Victoria and Massey CA ANZ student reps for 2016

Victoria Business School students recruited to represent Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, with their Massey University counterparts

Victoria Business School students have been recruited by Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand to be their representatives on campus during 2016.

These BCom students, all majoring in accounting, will be working with students, educators, and employers to promote the profession and the benefits that a career in business and commerce can provide.

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand is the trans-Tasman professional body for chartered accountants and represents more than 100,000 current and future professionals and business leaders operating throughout the world.

Students are welcome to find out more at the CA ANZ drop-in sessions, held regularly on Thursdays during term time.

  • Where: Rutherford House, Room RH G16 (behind the Information Counter on the Ground floor)
  • Time: 11.30am-12.30pm

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Summer scholars win Summer Gold

15 April 2016

Congratulations to David Cheng and Charlotte Langman, two of our Summer Scholars who won prizes this week for their posters in the Summer Gold Competition.

David Cheng: Economic Effect of Cartels
Summer Gold prizewinner David Cheng

Prizewinner David Cheng

David Cheng won best poster prize in the Accounting and Commercial Law / Information Management academic group for his research on the "Economic effect of cartels".

Hosted (and partly funded by) the Commerce Commission, David's literature review focused on cartel overcharging, length of collusion and prevalence.

David's research was particularly pertinent to his double major in Economics and Law, and has made this trimester’s course in Competition Law even more relevant.

He has also enjoyed the opportunity to be part of a busy and productive organisation.

David was supervised by Lilla Csorgo at the Commerce Commission, and Jonathan Barrett and Trish Keeper in the School of Accounting and Commercial Law.

Charlotte Langman: Understanding Paramedic Staff Requirements
Summer Gold prizewinner Charlotte Langman

Prizewinner Charlotte Langman

Charlotte Langman won a prize for Most Engaging Demonstration of Research with her poster on "Understanding paramedic staff requirements – a project with Wellington Free Ambulance (WFA)".

WFA hosted and partly funded Charlotte, who found learning more about our local ambulance service very valuable.

As an Honours student in Information Systems, Charlotte extended her skills to establish WFA's needs in understanding the costs and flows of paramedics.

From this, key principles were distilled to help WFA to develop software to better capture and report these costs and flows.

Charlotte was impressed by the complexity of WFA and its service delivery, enjoyed being part of an invigorating not-for-profit business, and is inspired to engage further with the community.

She was supervised by Sarah Lewis at WFA and Carolyn Cordery in the School of Accounting and Commercial Law.

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Accounting student featured online as a 'Future Leader'

15 April 2016

BCom student Carlo Lim

Carlo Lim, a Bachelor of Commerce student majoring in Accounting and Information Systems at Victoria Business School, has been featured as a 'Future Leader'

Carlo Lim, a Bachelor of Commerce student majoring in Accounting and Information Systems at Victoria Business School, has featured in a recent online column profiling 'Future Leaders'.

The Naked CEO website selects students they regard as rising stars studying at universities internationally, and asks them what their hopes and career dreams are.

Carlo's goals include becoming a CEO of a large and well-respected organisation, which upholds its integrity to benefit not only the company itself but also society, and become a positive example for people doing business worldwide.

"Of course, I know I do not have to be a CEO of a large company to start being a positive role model, I try to leave a positive mark on people who I meet," he says.

To this end Carlo has looked for volunteering opportunities, both within Victoria University and in the wider community.

One of his first involvements was with CPA Australia, initially as a Student Ambassador.

"On my second year, I wanted to pass on my knowledge and experience to the new students, so I became a Campus Coach, Class Representative, and I'm planning on becoming a tutor for the upcoming year."

Outside of the university, Carlo decided to concentrate on roles that would give him the most relevant experience for his Commerce degree.

"I chose to become a Budget Adviser, which has not only taught me how to enable clients to become financially independent, it has given me experience in dealing with finance agencies such as banks and creditors on behalf of clients."

Carlo credits his parents' influence with the initial choice to study for an Accounting degree, and says his interest in Information Systems grew as he became more aware of the increasing technological advancements that are used in major aspects of business.

"I also believe that having a major in both would give me an excellent foundation in doing business in the unpredictable workplace."

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Top SACL students celebrated

12 April 2016

The Excellence Award and other prize winners  with, in the front row, the sponsors of the prizes

SACL Excellence Award winners and other prize winners seated with sponsors in the front row

Top students in the School of Accounting and Commercial Law were recently honoured at the School's annual achievements ceremony.

Awards were presented for excellence in Accounting, Commercial Law, and Taxation, along with a number of students also commemorated for prizes they had won in some of the School's sponsored courses.

The ceremony was held in the Hunter Council Chamber in the presence of family and friends of the award-winning students, SACL staff members, representatives from the sponsoring firms and organisations, and friends of SACL.

Keynote speaker Garth Ireland congratulated the award-winners and encouraged them to appreciate the high quality of the courses they were studying.

Garth is chair of the SACL and CAGTR Advisory Board, a director of financial advisory firm Ireland, Wallace & Associates Limited, and is an alumnus of the Victoria Business School.

Full list of award winners

  • Siobhan Rachael Bassett - KPMG Prize in Advanced Financial Accounting
  • Sarah Boyle - Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand Prize for Law of Organisations
  • Sarah Ashleigh Burr – KPMG Prize in Auditing
  • Rebecca Kate Clarke - Deloitte Prize for Advanced Taxation
  • Bianca Heffernan* - KPMG Prize in Taxation
  • Mohamed Akmal Idris* - CPA Australia Prize in Accounting
  • Michelle Kai Lu - KPMG Prize in Advanced Domestic Taxation
  • Olayinka Moses - RW Steele Scholarship in Accounting
  • Muhammad Firdaus Muhammad Nadzri - Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand Prize for Accounting
  • Callum Oliver* - Auditor-General's Prize for Government Accounting & Finance
  • Daniel O'Sullivan - Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand Prize for Introduction to Accounting Information Systems
  • Shane Philipsen - Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand Prize for Advanced Management Accounting
  • Vladimir Samoylov - RW Steele Scholarship in Accounting
  • Jonty Sanders - Internet NZ Prize
  • Muhammad Faris Zulkifle - KPMG Prize in Financial Accounting

Certificate of Excellence in Accounting
Callum Brazier - Rebecca D'Souza - Aimee Edwards - Ramachandran Gnanasekaran - Henry Graham* - Zoe Hawthorne - Courtney Hook - Georgia Ingham - Millicent Jackson - Chun Kwan* - Cameron Martin - Greer Mullin - Roshan Patel - Daniel Phillips - Scott Riordan - Siti Samsul - Alison Snellen* - Muhammad Faris Zulkifle

Certificate of Excellence in Commercial Law
Shaun Bradley - Ruby Campbell - Anneka Herdson* - Phoebe Ikin - Natasha Ingram - Ashleigh Parker – April Richardson - William Townsend - Lauren Walker

Certificate of Excellence in Taxation
Michael Chatterley - Ashleigh Dale - Kelly David* - Blake Hawes* - Mohamed Akmal Idris* - Rosemary Murphy - Alice Niland-Williment* - Chelsea Spencer - Harry Tothill*

Certificate of Excellence in Two Disciplines
Accounting and Taxation - Georgia Allen
Accounting and Commercial Law - Sarah Boyle

* in absentia

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Discovering why New Zealand entities need to adopt integrated reporting

12 April 2016

A panel of integrated reporting experts at a ‘Business Links Seminar’, organised by the Centre for Accounting, Governance and Taxation Research

(L-R): Warren Allen, Jane Diplock, Paul Druckman, Professor Tony van Zijl (CAGTR director), Ann Webster, and Mark Hucklesby at the recent Business Links seminar

Presentations from a panel of integrated reporting experts featured at a recent Business Links Seminar organised by the Centre for Accounting, Governance and Taxation Research.

The panel discussed the importance of New Zealand adopting integrated reporting, a process that captures how an organisation’s strategy, governance, performance and prospects lead to the creation of value over time.

The seminar attracted nearly 100 attendees from academia and the public and private sectors. As well as the benefits of integrated reporting, discussion covered integrated reporting's domestic and international progress and the actions needed to make it more "top of mind" for decision-makers.

International Integrated Reporting Council chief executive officer Paul Druckman gave the keynote address, which was followed by presentations by Jane Diplock, deputy chairman and lead independent director of the IIRC Board; Warren Allen, chief executive of the External Reporting Board; Ann Webster, assistant auditor-general; and Mark Hucklesby, technical director at Grant Thornton.

The same seminar was also delivered at University of Auckland Business School, jointly organised with Auckland's Department of Accounting and Finance.

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“Copyright, Libraries, New Zealand, and the World” - an APCA Seminar

6 April 2016

Image from APCA seminar featuring Professor Kenneth Crews

A/Prof Susan Corbett, Professor Kenneth Crews, and NZCIEL director Professor Susy Frankel

While copyright law in New Zealand has been in the spotlight recently as a result of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, for many years agreements administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) have in fact had greatest influence.

WIPO commissioned Professor Kenneth D. Crews, a renowned attorney, author, professor and international copyright consultant, to undertake worldwide studies of copyright exceptions for libraries and archives.

Professor Crews, whose research, policymaking, and teaching over the past 20 years have centred on copyright issues of importance to education and research, presented some of his findings in a seminar at Victoria Business School during March.

Hosted by the Asian Pacific Copyright Association (APCA) and the New Zealand Centre for International Economic Law (NZCIEL), Professor Crews reflected on the law of New Zealand and other countries in the region during his presentation "Copyright, Libraries, New Zealand and the World".

The event was well attended by representatives from both the public and private sectors, libraries, and academia.

APCA general secretary Associate Professor Susan Corbett, who introduced Professor Crews, mentioned the crucial importance of educational and library provisions in copyright law for economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region as discussed at APCA's recent inaugural conference.

She also noted that it was a privilege for APCA members and other attendees to hear from a scholar of such international repute.

A recording of the presentation by Professor Kenneth D. Crews is available below.

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Victoria innovation showcased to world’s business schools

2 February 2016

Professor Bob Buckle

Professor Norman Gemmell, Chair in Public Finance

Victoria Business School’s programme of professorial chairs has been internationally acknowledged by a leading global business network in Miami, Florida today.

The Partnering Professorial Chairs programme, which connects Victoria Business School with businesses, the public sector and community organisations, was selected as one of the ‘Innovations That Inspire’ to be showcased at the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International conference.

Victoria Business School’s Chairs programme allows high calibre academics to focus their research, teaching and graduate supervision on contemporary and critically important issues for New Zealand, and to engage more extensively with stakeholders.

Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Commerce Professor Bob Buckle is thrilled the Victoria Business School programme has been selected as one of 30 initiatives to feature at the conference.

"Business schools were invited to share ways in which they have challenged the status quo through an innovation.

"Our Partnering Professorial Chairs programme is exactly that, and exemplifies how the School is reaching out to stakeholders, sharing expertise and addressing important issues for businesses and the wider community," he says.

Victoria Business School has been building its programme over several years and currently has six established Chairs.

The Chairs works closely with stakeholders in research, implementing initiatives, and training staff on critical issues. Each is supported by an advisory board comprising of partnering organisations from businesses, government agencies, and private trusts.

"We are most grateful to our partners who have worked with us to establish these Chairs, which have now gained international recognition," says Professor Buckle.

William H. Glick, chair of the AACSB Board of Directors and Dean of the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University in Houston, Texas said: "We are proud to spotlight Victoria Business School's innovation, as the ideas found within demonstrate how institutions are embracing out-of the-box thinking – creating global solutions that shape best practices, form new business ties, and improve the educational experience for students and faculty alike."

The six Chairs are:

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Reshaping accounting systems for women’s empowerment

6 January 2016

VBS accounting graduate Farzana Tanima

Accounting graduate Farzana Tanima

Accounting and feminism are not academic disciplines that often go together but their convergence is exactly the area that Victoria Business School graduate Farzana Tanima wanted to explore in her doctoral research.

The accounting graduate grew up in Bangladesh and moved to Wellington in 2006 to study at Victoria.

During her Honours year the keen mathematician was introduced to the idea that accounting was more than a "number-crunching discipline", but also could shape organisational and societal realities.

With a personal interest in the growth and socio-political issues in her home country, she focused on Bangladesh where there is widespread poverty and few education opportunities, particularly for women.

"I wanted to undertake research where I could reflect on how the disadvantaged social position of Bangladeshi women could be transformed by accounting and accountability systems such as financial reports," Farzana says.

"A distinguishing feature of Bangladesh is its poverty alleviation efforts through microfinance. It is a critical, anti-poverty tool of the poorest of the poor.

"Extending financial services to poor people, mainly women, allows them to generate income through self-employment and lessen the burden of seasonal employment."

Farzana argues microfinance practices can therefore empower Bangladeshi women, who are more vulnerable to poverty because they lack working opportunities.

By increasing their earning potential, microfinance also improves women's importance and influence in the household and local community.

Conflict between social and commercial imperatives

However, Farzana points out that microfinance companies’ core economic principles are driven by commercial imperatives, such as maximising profit and meeting responsibilities to their investors.

Herein lies the conflict which, she says, is too often weighed towards economic imperatives.

"For example, NGOs' accountability duties, such as annual reporting and financial statements, lean towards more powerful groups such as donors and funders.

"This takes NGOs attention away from broader social goals such as empowerment and poverty alleviation and their beneficiaries who are the purpose of NGOs existence in the first place.

"I argue that in order to address women’s empowerment issues, you need to understand that accounting is the core language of the day-to-day running of NGOs and hence accounting itself as a tool needs to be revised."

Farzana recognises there is no easy fix to transforming accounting and accountability systems into a more socially responsible tool.

But by shining the light into this little understood topic, she has created awareness and provided a platform for wider discussion and eventually change.

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