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The latest results from a three-year research project spearheaded by Deakin University’s Warrnambool Campus into accounting services in rural and regional Australia will be unveiled on March 11.
The $288,000 research project was funded by an Australian Research Council linkage grant in association with CPA Australia.
The latest research monograph compiled as part of the project will be launched in association with the annual meeting of the Western District branch of CPA Australia in Warrnambool on March 11. The monograph is based on a large-scale survey of small and medium sized enterprises from 95 towns and cities in rural and regional Australia.
The research has been spearheaded from Deakin University’s Warrnambool Campus by Professor Graeme Wines, Dr Rodney Carr and Dr Phil Hellier from the Faculty of Business and Law. It also involved Professor Colin Ferguson, University of Melbourne, Professor Barry Cooper, Deakin University, and Professor Beverley Jackling, Victoria University.
Professor Wines said the monograph would be useful to public accountants in providing background information on the views of their clients on the range of public accounting services provided.
“The monograph reinforces the picture of accounting practices as a significant contributor to the operations of rural and regional businesses and the health of regional areas,” he said.
Professor Wines said the businesses surveyed were generally very satisfied with the quality of the services received from their accountant.
The majority of respondents engaged an accounting practice also located in a rural and regional area. “This reinforces the view that businesses do not need to move outside their region to procure high quality accounting services,” Professor Wines said.
He added that the majority of respondents had developed long-term relationships with their accountants and had selected their accounting practice based on the standard of service they received, family history or recommendations from others. “This reinforces the importance of personal connections in the accountant-client relationship,” he said.
The research is a follow-up to an earlier monograph based on a survey of public accounting practitioners.