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Strong research focus for Otago’s new Professor of Accountancy

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Tuesday 5 April 2011 2:31pm

David LontProfessor David Lont

The new Professor of Accountancy at the University of Otago School of Business, Professor David Lont, believes the University is in a strong position to significantly bolster its research into the complex world of accounting and company behaviour.

Otago Vice-Chancellor Professor David Skegg today announced the appointment of Professor Lont, of Kai Tahu descent, a well-respected researcher in quantitative accounting at Otago.

“Professor Lont has already made excellent contributions to research and teaching. I am also impressed by his commitment to the profession of accountancy,” says Professor Skegg.

Professor Lont is the incoming New Zealand President of the Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, the premier body representing the education and research interests of accounting in the region.

Professor Lont is looking forward to the challenge of his new role, and to enhancing Otago’s growing reputation for research in the field of quantitative accounting, which looks into the part played by audited financial information and accounting regulation in the commercial world.

He adds that recent financial crises provide further research opportunities to help the investing public, regulators and the profession better understand the environment they operate in.

“This opens some doors and provides extra credibility with fellow researchers and regulators. It will also give me the chance to help others emerging in this field,” he says.

“A shortage of expertise in this type of research within New Zealand creates challenges though. Part of the role, therefore, is to create a rich, sharing environment so we are able to undertake world class research from New Zealand. It’s an exciting time to be part of that.”

He hopes to attract more PhD students who want to conduct empirical research in quantitative accountancy.

He says quantitative accountancy is a challenging area in which to do research and do it well.

“This is such a global field and the competition is immense. There are a lot of well-resourced US universities conducting this research so the bar is high,” he says.

However, recent investment by Otago in accounting databases at the Central Library has given the University a strength not shared by many New Zealand, Australian and even mid-sized US universities in this research area.

This in turn has led to more collaborative research efforts between Otago and the US, such as his department’s long standing relationship with the University of California, Davis. Otago’s research reputation in quantitative accountancy therefore has a bright future, he believes.

For more information, contact

Professor David Lont
Tel 64 3 479 8119
Mob 021 783 531

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