Earlier this year, accounting professor François Brouard helped create the Professional Accounting Research Group (PARG), which serves as a bridge between academics and practitioners in the area of accounting research. When CPA Ontario reached out to the Sprott School of Business to offer funding for the creation of a research group, François said that was the incentive to turn the idea of a research group into a reality.
“We will organize a conference next year that will bring together academics and the practitioners on topics of interest for both,” said François. “[CPA Ontario] funds some research papers and some research projects. We’ll also have some videos and briefing notes and summaries of the research projects and results.”
The accessibility of the videos and summaries may create more general interest in the research. François said that rather than having to read 50 pages of a research project, practitioners can get a sense of the research in a shorter format.
François explained that many of the professors have relationships with the public sector accounting industry, for example student internships, but PARG makes the connection between academics and practitioners on an institutional level for research.
“There’s a lot of connection already but it was more for students and not on the research side. With PARG, there’s more of a research component which is different—building on those connections. There was already community engagement but at a different level,” François shared.
PARG also helps to strengthen the accounting research community at Carleton. While there are Sprott research seminars open to all Sprott researchers, François said that there was a need for a research group specifically for accounting faculty and PhD students that would offer the environment to discuss less mature research ideas.
“PARG brings together a group of people who were working more individually and less as a group,” François explained.
François said this research group provides accounting faculty a forum to share what they are working on with their colleagues. PhD students also benefit from the research group because it is a low-pressure environment to talk about their early research. This exposure can also lead to interested professors taking on PhD students as research assistants, or PhD students discovering potential supervisors.
“This was a way to formalize exchange between faculty and also PhD students—with the PhD students already in the program, and to integrate the new or potential students,” said François. “If someone is not sure, they could come to the seminar and see what it is like, meet the different faculty and other PhD students and have a better sense of if it is what they want to do.”
This growing group has over a dozen faculty and graduate student members who meet for monthly seminars during the academic year. The research topics of the members is quite diverse, spanning from accounting professional recruitment, to accounting and the cannabis industry, to measuring the impact of social enterprises. For more information please visit the PARG webpage.
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