TRANSACT

Transformative capabilities of the accounting profession: Study of the Norwegian small and medium accounting practices

Om TRANSACT


TRANSACT-prosjektet tar for seg små og mellomstore regnskaps- og revisjonspraksiser (SMP) i Norge. Prosjektet studerer hvilke faktorer som påvirker lederne i disse SMP’ene, og deres evne til proaktivt å tilpasse seg et raskt skiftende samfunn. Dette gjelder blant annet innenfor utvikling av produkter og tjenester til andre små og mellomstore selskaper som legger vekt på å ha oppdatert, relevant og tidsriktig informasjon som muliggjør en bærekraftig utvikling – både innenfor næringsliv og offentlig forvaltning. Tidligere forskning viser at SMP’er sliter med å ta i bruk innovasjoner og ny kunnskap for å forbedre regnskap og revisjonstjenester. Gjennom TRANSACT-prosjektet skal det utvikles ny kunnskap om hvordan proaktive evner - og transformative muligheter for SMP’ene – kan sikre fremtidig overlevelse og velstand både for næringen selv og for samfunnet.

Prosjektet er et samarbeid mellom Handelshøgskolen (HHN) ved Nord universitet, flere andre norske aktører, og nasjonale og internasjonale akademiske partnere. Siktemålet med prosjektet er å levere tverrfaglig akademisk forskning - av høy kvalitet - som kombinerer regnskap, revisjon, framsyn, entreprenørskap og innovasjonsdisipliner i ett og samme forskningsprosjekt. Gjennom prosjektet skal det utvikles nye metoder som skal analysere samfunnstrender, og identifisere de dynamiske og transformative evnene som profesjonen trenger. Målet er at disse skal kunne brukes til både til å forbedre dagens regnskap- og revisjonspraksis, og til å utforme relevante utdanningsprogrammer.

Prosjektet vil bidra til: 1) å forbedre utdanningen av fremtidige endringsagenter i regnskap og revisjon - ved å innføre nye og innovative utdanningsmetoder; 2) øke konkurranseevnen - ved å gi aktører i regnskaps- og revisjonsbransjen nødvendige analyseverktøy som proaktivt kan forme deres fremtid; 3) å forbedre private og offentlige aktørers beslutningsevne.

Brief project description


The TRANSACT project aims to strengthen the research-based foundation for professional accounting education and practice at the project's partners, by creating new knowledge about the dynamic capabilities of the accounting small and medium accounting practices (SMPs) and transformative capabilities of accounting profession in Norway. This knowledge will facilitate the development of professional practices in line with the needs of a changing society, especially the ability of the accounting profession to adapt proactively to changing regulatory and business environments. This includes the development of new methods for analyzing societal trends, identifying the dynamic capabilities needed for the accounting and auditing SMPs and translating these into the design of relevant education programs.

The project aims at high quality cross-disciplinary academic research which combine accounting, auditing, foresight, entrepreneurship and innovation disciplines in one research project. Such an approach contributes to properly addressing the complexity of the transformative change faced by the accounting profession today. The project aims to strengthen research competences of HHN in the strategically important research area of accounting and auditing that is relevant for the institution's educational programs on Master and PhD levels. This approach will add value to education and professional practices because it can demonstrate the necessary skills, knowledge and abilities needed by future accounting professionals and, therefore, improve the ability to capture the necessary dimensions constituting proactive change at the individual, organizational and industrial levels. For that purpose, the project excels in bringing together several national stakeholders that will contribute to a dynamic interplay between research, education and industry. By developing and testing foresight prototypes, special education packages and use of new innovative communication platforms, the project aims to contribute to two-way communication between stakeholders and academia to disseminate and share project results.

 


Project's rationales and objectives


IFAC's (2018) Global SMP Survey Report indicates that a significant number of SMPs worldwide (ranging from 50 to 70% of appr 5.000 surveyed) sees significant challenges to accommodate transformations in digital technologies, services they can offer, ways to recruit talents and changes in regulation/regulatory institutions. There is lack of knowledge about what factors can facilitate adoption of new technologies in order to find appropriate ways of gaining sustained competitive advantages for SMPs accounting/auditing practices, their customers and society at large. As one of possible explanation, current accounting and auditing education is criticized for being unable to produce graduates with the skills required by practitioners (Bromwich and Scapens, 2016; McGuigan & Kern, 2016). Thus, the tighter dialogue between researchers as well as between users of research and education in the accounting profession is required (Guthrie & Parker, 2016) to produce dynamic interactions, idea generation, the production of (academic) texts to change the education and training of accounting and auditing specialists. There is, therefore, a related knowledge gap in understanding how to design relevant professional educational and training programs for accounting and auditing professionals of the future.

TRANSCACT research project therefore addresses the transformative capabilities of the accounting industry to ensure the survival and prosperity of the accounting profession in general and SMPs in particular. The main objective of the TRANSACT project, therefore, is to empirically and analytically investigate the factors and processes that impact the ability of the accounting and auditing SMPs to transform themselves in order to adapt to a rapidly changing society. This objective also includes an analysis of how those factors and processes affect the design of accounting education and professional training programs that are capable of addressing the future needs of the accounting profession, by allowing it to rejuvenate its services to suit the new emerging context. Specifically, the project addresses the following 5 objectives:

Objective 1) To develop and test novel theoretical models about factors and processes that impact the ability of the accounting profession to dynamically transform itself in order to adapt to a rapidly changing society and apply it in the context of Norwegian accounting/auditing SMPs.

Objective 2) To strengthen the research capacity of Nord University Business School (HHN) in the areas of accounting and auditing by improving institutional attractiveness, recruiting and professionally developing relevant personnel.

Objective 3) To ensure a solid and durable cooperation with representatives of the accounting profession in the private and public sectors and with other relevant stakeholders, by exploring various new forms of dialogue, cooperation and knowledge dissemination.

Objective 4) In cooperation with stakeholders, graduates and students, refine and develop new courses and education/training programs with future relevance for the accounting and auditing profession.

Objective 5) Influence development of policies and recommendations for international and national regulatory authorities.

 

The project aims to bring issues of strategic management and innovations into transformation of accounting profession. Well developed in innovation and entrepreneurship literature, use of dynamic capabilities as a factor for proactive transformation is rather novel in accounting field. The project is original because it also answers the recent call for bringing institutional theory into strategic management research (see Schilke et. al., 2018) promising novel insights into how embeddedness of SMPs in different types of institutions facilitate or limit development of dynamic and transformative capabilities necessary to create sustained competitive advantage.



Prosjektperiode: 
2020-2024
 
Prosjektleder: Professor Anatoli Bourmistrov
 
Samarbeidspartnere:
Den norske Revisorforening, Econa, INTUNOR, Nordland Fylkeskommune, PowerOffice, Regnskap Norge, Samarbeid mot Svart Økonomi, Økonomiforbundet
 
Finansiering:
Forskningsrådet programmet PROFESJON