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Team: Henry Haszler and Professor Hristos Doucouliagos from Deakin; Sakiusa Tubuna, Paula Taukei, Apenisa Tuicakau, and Waisiki Gonemaituba from the Fiji Islands Ministry of Agriculture, Sugar and Land Resettlement; Epeli Waqavonovono from the Fiji Islands Bureau of Statistics; and Chris Ryan and Garth Parry from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community based in New Caledonia.
Funding body: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)
Description: Following a recent WTO ruling, the price support for Fiji s sugar production under the current EU sugar regime is set to be phased out with possibly devastating effects on the industry and the economy in general. The chances of developing and implementing appropriate agricultural policies in Fiji to deal with this and related problems are currently constrained by the lack of the fundamental economic information required for informed decision making. For example, policy makers do not have access to reliable information on critical market parameters such as the responsiveness of producers and consumers to food price changes. Nor is there is any framework for quantifying the likely impacts of food and agricultural policy changes on community well-being. And at the most fundamental level, policy makers have no reliable information on the production, sales and consumption of smallholder or subsistence farmers and fishermen who are generally counted among the poorer people in Fiji. This means there is no basis for reliably estimating either the present size of the agriculture and fishing sectors as a whole, or the full dimension of the impacts of policy changes on these sectors. This project is aimed at building the capacity of the local policy community to deal with these problems through a series of targeted collaborative research projects.
Team: Professor CB Ferguson, Professor BJ Cooper, Associate Professor GL Wines and Associate Professor BF Jackling. Additional investigators P. Hellier and R. Carr
Funding body: 2006 ARC Linakage Project
Linkage Grant Partner: CPA Australia
Description: Rural and regional areas accommodate more than a third of Australia's population and generate two-thirds of its net export income. While accounting firm services provide substantial economic benefits to society, there are significant differences in the provision of these accounting services in rural and regional areas compared to metropolitan areas in Australia. Rural and regional accounting firms face servicing difficulties arising from industrial restructure, changing population densities, and difficulties in professional staff recruitment, but there has been little systematic analysis of rural and regional accounting and allied services. This research aims to build and test a model of factors affecting the demand for and supply of accounting services. The model can be used to monitor and manage accounting firm services to advance regional development in Australia.
The project will assist the accounting profession in establishing effective strategies and policies for the education, training and recruitment of professional staff in regional communities. The project will assist in ensuring that professional accounting and allied services can meet future regional demands, with the potential for the modelling developed by the research to be applied to other rural and regional services.
Team: Professor Paresh Narayan
Funding body: University of South Pacific
Team: Associate Professor Steven Dellaportas
Funding body: CPA Australia
Description: The not-for-profit sector is made up of approximately 700,000 entities employing around 600,000 people and controlling assets up to $70 billion, with the largest charities comparing favourably in size and value to big business. While it is expected that many charitable organisations are well-managed and make a significant contribution to society, a lack of good governance and/or accountability could have devastating affects on the community. Official inquiries into the not-for-profit sector have questioned the lack of transparency and accountability created by a complex legal and regulatory regime. Critics of the existing regime have called for reforms including mandatory financial reporting requirements and an independent regulator to enhance public accountability and organizational efficiency and performance. The purpose of this research is to investigate accounting practice and related issues in the charity sector in Australia. The specific objectives of this study are twofold. The first aim is to undertake a content analysis of publicly available information from large charitable organisations in order to describe current technical accounting practices. The second aim of the study is to elicit opinions from key personnell in large charitable organisations on issues associated with accounting for charitable organisations.
Team: H. Haszler, and C. Doucouoliagos
Funding body: Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation
Team: Dr Hoa Nguyen and Professor Gerard Gannon
Funding body: AFAANZ
Description: This project aims at investigating the factors that determine the credit default swap spread in Australia. The credit default spread, expressed as a percentage, is what the buyer of a credit default swap pays the seller in exchange for protection in the event of default on a reference asset. This project will empirically examine various factors including credit ratings, time to maturity, interest rates and liquidity that potentially determine this spread. The findings of the project are important for Australia where the credit default swap market is in an early stage of development but is showing signs of enormous growth.
Team: T. McDowall and Associate Professor B. Jackling
Funding body: AFAANZ
Description: This project investigates secondary school students' perceptions of the work of an accountant and the accounting profession. The aim is to identify factors influencing secondary school students to study accounting at university. The significance of the project is that it is designed to assist in identifying the attractiveness of the profession and therefore addressing the skills shortage in accounting in the longer term. The study specifically addresses personal and social influences on choice of career of secondary school students with reference to the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA). Using this model, behavioral and normative beliefs are identified and examined as motivating forces in students' possible career selection of accounting. The project will provide insights to identifying influences on perceptions of the profession so that ultimately the profession can identify ways of more adequately meeting the needs of the market place for graduate accountants
Team: Professor Gerard Gannon and Chee Jin Yap
Funding body: AFAANZ
Description: Following the refinement cointegration estimation technique with a large high frequency dataset on the trading of currencies on six emerging economies plus four currencies from the developed economies in the region, This project attempts to update the findings of studies on establishing currency bloc and the potential anchor currency for the currency bloc.
Team: Christopher Ratcliffe and Associate Professor Monica Keneley
Funding body: AFAANZ
Description: The Australian Real Estate Investment Trust (A-REIT) (formerly Listed Property Trust) market has become a significant part of the financial sector over the past decade. However, a limited supply of investment grade property in Australia has forced A-REITs to target other trusts in order to grow to meet the demand of higher returns. The resulting merger and acquisition activity has seen the number of A-REITs decreased from 51 in 1999 to 25 in 2006.
The purpose of this research is make an assessment of the impact of merger and acquisition activity within this industry. Using an event study methodology it is intended specifically, to investigate wealth effects accruing to A-REIT shareholders from both the bidding and target firms viewpoint.
Team: Helen Yee and Professor Barry Cooper
Funding body: National Institute of Accountants
Description: One of the phenomena commonly found within the 'internal dynamic' of the professionalisation process is professional segmentation, characterized by intra-professional competition and the emergence of conflicting segments within the profession. Amid such intra-professional competition, the ''newer', and thus less advantaged, segment of a profession is arguably an important force in shaping the profession. This research, through using the National Institute of Accountants (NIA) as a case study, explores the role played by the NIA in defining and re-defining the parameters of professionalism as it strives to raise its level of recognition, as well as decrease the status differential with that of the 'elite' segments. It is by attempting to address this question that a more complete understanding can be gained on the dynamic process of defining professionalism within the context of a particular society.