The University of Macau (UM) Faculty of Business Administration (FBA) and Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management jointly held an online conference on auditing and public policy in China. The event was held in preparation for a special issue of the Journal of Accounting and Public Policy (JAPP) to be published later. During the conference, over 200 experts and scholars from around the world exchanged ideas on opportunities and challenges in auditing research in China.

Papers that were presented at this conference had gone through a rigorous selection process in order to ensure high quality and a better chance of being published in the upcoming special issue of JAPP, a leading international accounting journal regularly ranked among the top ten in the world. Jason Xiao, head of UM’s Department of Accounting and Information Management, chaired the conference. He will serve as a joint-editor of the special issue. Jean Chen, dean of the FBA and chair professor of accounting and finance, gave a welcome speech at the conference, in which she said the conference was timely and significant because it not only connected China with the rest of the world in auditing practice and research, but also provided a platform for UM scholars to exchange ideas with their counterparts at leading universities overseas. She added that the success of this conference would enhance the international reputation of the FBA and UM in accounting research.

Three internationally renowned scholars delivered keynote speeches at the conference. They were Jeffrey Pittman, deputy editor-in-chief of Contemporary Accounting Research, who discussed opportunities and challenges for auditing research in China; Divesh Sharma, editor of JAPP, who shared his views on issues related to replication studies, and Marco Trombetta, editor-in-chief of JAPP, who explored the implications of the transparency reports of audit firms in the European Union for Chinese regulators and audit firms. Trombetta also shared his view on how to increase the chances of getting published in leading international journals from an editor’s perspective. The papers presented at the conference investigate various aspects of auditing in China, such as auditor independence in a society where ‘guanxi’ (social connections) play a pervasive and entrenched role, the effects of dissident minority shareholders on audit quality, and how the market interprets the United States legislature’s action against Chinese companies listed in the US to whose access by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) is denied by Chinese local authorities.

The event attracted over 200 participants from the US, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Spain, mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macao, including UM scholars and students. Faculty members and administrative staff in the FBA’s Business Research and Training Centre and Department of Accounting and Information Management also made important contributions to the preparation and organisation of this event.