Why? Well, in academia a professor must publish, or perish. Professors learn to write down everything and try to get it into print.
Should you be interested in my answers to these questions? Probably not. However, a writer for one publication was interested enough to inquire.
What is the most important issue currently facing the accounting profession?
In my opinion, it is the loss of investor confidence in audit firms and their opinions. A close second is loss of investor confidence in financial statements. Related is the loss of investor confidence in the fairness of capital markets (Mary Schapiro has made speeches about this very issue). Unfortunately, much of this has been caused by large firm audit opinions somehow being associated with accounting scandals and audit failures.
I’m an industry insider, and I have almost no confidence in audit opinions or published financial statements.
Other than pointing out the problems, I’m not much help here. I don’t know what to do to fix the problems.
Are we likely to see large-scale tax reform in the next year? If yes, what form do you think it will likely take? If not, why not?
No, Congressional gridlock will not be broken, so nothing pertaining to taxation will change. We have a history of using taxation to promote political, social and economic policies. All of a sudden throwing this out onto the trash heap runs in the faces of sound reason and voter desires. Nothing is going to change, in my opinion.
What digital devices do you use?
I’m a college professor who can’t afford much. Moreover, American universities are under such budget pressure that I’ve not received anything other than the basic office machine. Personally, I have a relatively powerful laptop (Dell XPS i7) and a basic digital camera. I also have a cell phone which is used for texting.
I am hopeful that one day I might acquire
- really nice mic
- “air” card for mobile Internet access
- smart phone
- someone to teach me how to use all of the above
Who do you feel are the three most influential people in the profession, and why?
There are a lot of influential people. Last year I was touting several bloggers. This year, I’m talking about some other people.
Three influential people are: Michael Rapoport (WSJ), Jonathan Weil (Bloomberg), and Daniel Hood (EIC of Accounting Today). Reporters and editors of the traditional press wield significant power in this day and age. They interact with bloggers, and many people are now reading both the key journalists and bloggers.
The dialogue between journalists and bloggers builds, creating a media discourse that has mass, awareness and consciousness.
How involved are you on the social media web?
My blog is The Summa. I Tweet, am on LinkedIn, and have a Facebook page.
I also have a Klout score, which measures public online profile and influence. Like many online professionals, I expend effort creating, managing and promoting my professional brand. I try to integrate my social media presence, brand and message.
I could go on and on about this. In this day and age, the influential must be on almost all communication and social media channels in order to have the broadest delivery of message. Without communication channels, there is no delivery of message.
I believe anyone who is not out there in the social media world is part of the last century, and not a part of this century. If anyone either wants to have or actually has influence, they absolutely must be part of the new social media world. If not, then a statement of his/her credibility is simply not believable.
During the past 10-12 months, I think the influence of bloggers and other commentators (like myself) has been shown by publication of the recent SEC report on IFRS. That the SEC has not already adopted IFRS is due in large part to the bloggers and commentators keeping the issue alive, and convincing readers that (1) it is cool to disagree with the establishment, and (2) there are many others of like mind.
I continue to use social media in an attempt to lead other academics by setting a good example. I believe I’ve had some impact. How much would have to be debated.
I am particularly interested in helping other professors to start blogging about accounting. I seem to be a crusader on this issue.
Debit and credit – - David Albrecht