Prof. Desmond Yuen, Dr. Morris Liu and Ms. Vanessa Lu, members of the Department of Accounting and Information Management, received three best paper awards at the second Annual Conference of Accounting, Business, Leadership and Information Management, which was held by the University of Loyola, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.

Employment by Clients of Former CPAs from Different Non-audit Services Departments on Auditor Independence co-authored by Prof. Desmond Yuen and Dr. Philip Law won the Emerald Best Paper in Accounting Theory and Practice. It is not uncommon for auditors to accept employment with their clients upon leaving their audit firms, but regulators have expressed concerns that this may impair auditor independence. The purpose of the study is to examine the perceptions of Hong Kong “Big 4” CPAs and the fund managers (users) of the impact of the employment by clients of former CPAs from different non-audit services (NASs) departments on auditor independence. Findings show that employment by clients in departments providing accounting-related opinions has less impact on auditor independence than employment in departments providing financing-related opinions.

A Piece-wise Linear and Curvilinear Analysis of the Impact of Directors’ Ownership and Corporate Governance on Accounting Fees by Dr. Morris Liu won the Emerald Best Paper in Corporate Governance. The study investigates how directors’ ownership and corporate governance quality impact accounting fees in listed companies in Hong Kong. The empirical results reveal that the association of directors’ ownership and accounting fees is non-linear, i.e. directors’ ownership is significantly and negatively associated with accounting fees at low and high levels of directors’ ownership, while at the intermediate level, directors’ ownership is positively related to accounting fees. Regarding the effects of corporate governance, the study findings confirm that accounting fees are negatively related to corporate governance quality, i.e. good corporate governance practices can enhance the effectiveness of firms’ internal and external monitoring mechanisms and reduce auditors’ risk and accounting fees accordingly.

Ownership Concentration and Earnings Attributes: A Comparison between West Europe and East Asia by Ms. Vanessa Lu, Graduate Assistant of the Department of Accounting and Information Management, won the Best Conference Paper in Accounting Research. The purpose of the study is to examine the effects of ownership concentration on two earning attributes, namely accruals quality and accounting conservatism. The sample for the study covers listed companies in 13 Western European and 9 Eastern Asian countries. Study shows that the reporting of the accounting earnings is expected to be less conservative in a highly concentrated ownership structure, which is less prominent in Western Europe firms than in Eastern Asian ones. Moreover, accrual earnings management is expected to be severe with high ownership concentration, and this effect should also be less prominent in Western Europe firms. This study provides an empirical evidence for the comparison of those effects between Western European and Eastern Asian firms.