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HI6008 Business Research Project - Topic Approval Assignment, Holmes Institute, Australia

Learning Outcomes -

  • Clearly identify your chosen topic, having carried out some basic review of available secondary data to secure your interest.
  • Clearly state the Research Problem and ONE main research question.
  • List the student numbers and names of your team members and complete the Team Charter, indicating what role(s) each will contribute throughout the project.

Purpose: This unit aims to give you an opportunity to combine many facets of your acquired MBA skills into the production of a high-quality research project.

1. Say why this topic interests your team.

2. Discuss your team's initial search for relevant literature and show that it has provided you with a good contextual understanding.

3. Define the Research Problem that your team intends to address.

4. Propose at least ONE main research question that your team will be seeking to answer through your research project.

5. List the student numbers and names of your team members and complete a Team Charter.

Answer - BUSINESS RESEARCH PROJECT

Introduction

The aspect of accounting is a vital stage for every firm as it provides a clear picture of the financial stability of a firm. Relevant to accounting is the role that auditors play, which is to provide credibility to these financial statements. The paper presents the notion of gender diversity being a positive influence to improve audit quality and constraint any kind of aggressive accounting.

Aim and motivation of the Literature review

This paper aims to focus on the aspect of gender diversity in the fields of accounting and auditing in various firms. The objective of the study is to provide proper details to ensure that the topic has been researched on thoroughly. It entails the generation of the idea that how the heterogeneous board for auditing and accounting as well helps a firm to improve its credibility and financial stability in the international market while being true to the structure of the IFRS. Gender diversity ensures consistency and reliability of a firm and that is what the study aims to achieve.

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Research design

The content of the study provides detail on how the presence of women on the audit and accounting committees of a firm helps the firm to improve the readability of all the key matters of an audit or the KAM disclosures. The activities of monitoring are stricter leaving no chance for mistakes and the audit committee as well as the accounts department is able to avoid greater risks (Menezes and Bras, 2015). The diversity programmes in the firms have much significance in the economic as well as the social life of the firms. The presence of gender diversity has an impact on the status quo of a firm and firms need to adapt it accordingly.

However, all these aspects are linked to the International Financing Reporting Standards or the IFRS that has been designed in order to bring certain level of consistency within the languages of accounting, the statements and the practices of it as well so that it can help business organizations and investors to make educated financial decisions and analysis (Christensen et al., 2015). It enhances transparency and efficiency along with the growth of economic stability on a long-term basis. It has proper rules for various accounting practices such as the:

  • Financial position statement or balance sheet
  • Comprehensive income statement or the profit and loss statement
  • Equity change statement
  • Cash flow statement

The guidance and the principles of the IFRS that have been set by the International Accounting Standards Board invest in the improvement of a firm through its accounting practices that result in a strategic audit planning, which can be improved through a heterogeneous board (Ammer and Ahmad-Zaluki, 2017).

Literature review

According to Khlif and Achek (2017), the studies on the board gender in any firm shows that the female directors of the company are risk-averse to a greater degree than the male directors who are present in the firm in relation to the various financial matters as well as corporate reporting (García-Sánchez et al., 2017). Women have unique attributes that often affect the timeliness of financial reports. In a heterogeneous board, the men and the female population has different attributes while they take any audit-related decision; they also possess different beliefs and norms on which their judgments are based. As stated by Ho et al. (2015), the female directors and associates of the auditing or accounting committee have different forms of expectations from the operational units, and those are based on the notions of self-fulfillment and personal development. The men, however, focuses on the career and views the work in a similar light, which will help them grow in the international or national market and move them up on the hierarchal ladder along with the security of the availability of better compensations (Chen et al., 2016). Along with these, it can also be added that the female directors are prepared in a better way while dealing with stockholders and investors in the board meetings and they also have better records of attendance in the audit committee meetings.

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It has been mentioned by Wahid (2018), that the presence of women in the accounting and audit departments enhances the aspect of monitoring and the quality of financial reporting improves too, which in its course enhances the timeliness of the financial reporting process (Velte, 2018). The presence of the female public accountants who are certified partner helps in the establishment of a higher quality audit too. However, there is the issue of the female auditors facing the underlying patriarchal assumptions of the professional identity as well as of their career progression. There is still the notion of higher supportive levels of teamwork practices that are present in firms that have female auditors and accountants along with the institution of the better verification standards of all the practices of accounting of different client firms (Lai et al., 2017).

It has been stated by Ammer and Ahmad-Zaluki (2017) that the gender of the board of directors and of various departments has an association with the concept of accepting change and adapting to risks and threats. The female directors have the quality to improve the efficiency of the monitoring functions of the board (Wahid, 2018). They are also able to recruit auditors of better quality in order to help their reputation in the market. Finally, if the auditors are of higher quality then there is the possibility of the improvement in the internal system of control that eventually reduces the chances for asymmetric information, which helps the reliability of the accounting information and influences it positively. The incorporation of the diverse levels of information as well as expertise is not hampered when the authority levels are similar. There is also a difference in the lags of audit reporting in firms with heterogeneous audit and accounting boards in comparison of firms with homogeneous partners (Khlif and Achek, 2017). It can, therefore, be stated that the presence of gender diversity affects the quality of accounting and auditing positively starting from the hiring of individuals to various operational standards.

Conclusion

The findings of the paper clearly suggest that firms that have gender-diverse boards for auditing, as well as accounting, have to pay more money as the fees of the auditors that firms that have homogeneous audit boards. However, the female accounting or auditing staff are responsible to demand a higher quality audit, and all other equal things.

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