The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia has called on the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr, to place more emphasis on the ‘impact’ of academic research, especially for the accounting profession.

The need for a measurement of research ‘impact’ is the subject of a new academic thought-leadership publication, Bridging the Gap between Academic Accounting Research and Professional Practice, developed by the Institute and the Centre for Accounting, Governance and Sustainability (CAGS) in the School of Commerce at the University of South Australia.
The issue of ‘impact’ raised in the book is based on a forum held earlier in the year where leading Australian and overseas academics, practitioners, public policy representatives and Institute members openly debated the need for relevance and greater understanding of the impact of academic accounting research.

The Institute’s CEO, Graham Meyer, states in the book, ‘The Institute recognises the important role of accounting research and the potential costs to the accounting profession and the wider community if academic accounting research loses its relevance or does not have a demonstrated impact on public policy or practice.’

Professor James Guthrie, the Institute’s Head of Academic Relations, added, ‘It’s a topic that is timely, as the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) 2012 draft guidelines currently set by Senator Carr do not refer to measuring the impact or relevance of academic research.’

‘Research must align with what policy makers and practitioners need. To do this, a shift needs to occur whereby we talk about research in terms of quality outcomes. Is it relevant to practitioners? How does it impact policy makers and society?

‘Going forward, what we need are detailed discussions to take place with key stakeholders from across policy, practice and academia, with defined roles and responsibilities agreed. Through more collaboration, research outcomes would deliver tangible outcomes for the accounting profession and the public.’ 
A complimentary PDF copy of the new book can be accessed on the Institute website or the CAGS website.