Harmonising public sector accounting laws and regulations of the EU member states: powers and competences

This paper analyses the powers and competences of the EU to standardise public sector accounting of the member states and to take other EU action in the field of public sector accounting. We argue that public sector accounting forms part of the administrative organisation of the member states that is not a core EU competence. EU initiatives such as the European Public Sector Accounting Standards project, which aim to increase transparency and comparability, therefore need to follow the rules set out for administrative matters in general. The study reveals on the one hand that EU actions are essentially limited to voluntary cooperation and influences of other policy areas. But on the
other hand, it shows that they do not need to be limited to the initiatives currently driven by Eurostat.

Karoline Helldorff and Johan Christiaens. International Review of Administratieve Sciences, 2021.
https://doi.org/10.1177/00208523211060007

Finance talks a lot about transformation, but has a long way to go

Executive Finance, Controllers Magazine and the Institute of Management Accountants have joined forces in an international research group (with among others the University of Amsterdam and Ghent University) in order to investigate the impact of digital technology on the finance function. Results from this exclusive international research show that finance people have not come that far yet in digitalization . But they do see the urgency though.

Sophie Hoozée: ‘This digital transformation will not be completed in an afternoon and is heavily underestimated in my opinion. ”

Read the full article here (in Dutch) https://cmweb.nl/2021/12/it-vision-finance-heeft-mond-vol-van-transformatie-maar-is-eigenlijk-helemaal-nog-niet-zo-ver/

And then there was COVID-19: do the benefits of cooperative learning disappear when switching to online education?

In the spring of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic induced a rapid shift to online education. Before, cooperative learning has been demonstrated to surpass lecture-based learning (LBL) regarding students’ learning processes; therefore, the question arises as to whether the perks of cooperative learning (in terms of good teaching, satisfaction, and performance) still hold when switching to online education. A quasi-experiment in an undergraduate advanced accounting course compared a non-COVID-19-affected semester to a COVID-19-affected semester for the tutorials. Quantitative survey data (N = 455) indicate TBL outperforms LBL, even when switching to online tools. Good teaching was perceived as even better in the COVID-19-affected semester, and even more so by students in the team-based setting, compared to the lecture-based setting. Students’ course satisfaction and performance were unaffected by the switch to online education. This paper shows that cooperative learning still benefits students, even in a blended environment.

Blondeel, E.; Everaert, P.; Opdecam, E. (2021). And Then There Was COVID-19: Do the Benefits of Cooperative Learning Disappear When Switching to Online Education? Sustainability 13, 12168.

https://doi.org/10.3390/su132112168

New publication: Website module to guide students in writing a critical report on the performance of a company

We have developed a digital self-contained module in a website format to help accounting students succeed in writing a report on a company’s financial, social, and environmental performance. Combining e-learning and visualization techniques with traditional classroom teaching, the innovative web-based module is designed and developed to guide and educate students through the assignment. The step-by-step approach in the writing process and the self-explaining tips and hints (e.g., on academic literacy) were the highest-rated features, according to students. By completing the assignment, the students experienced how to apply a reasoned judgment regarding the financial, social, and environmental performance of a company.

Everaert Patricia, Safari Maryam (2021). Digital self-contained module to assist a writing task on evaluating the financial, social, and environmental performance of a company: Teaching note.  Journal of Accounting Education, 57, 100752.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaccedu.2021.100752

Entrepreneurial intentions of business students: a matter of masculinity and femininity

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the entrepreneurial intention of business students, with an emphasis on their masculine and feminine characteristics, instead of the usual classification male / female. While recent studies have increased the understanding of the implications of being a man or woman (sex differences) on entrepreneurial intention, papers which examine whether masculinity and/or femininity (gender differences) impact entrepreneurial intention are rare. The Theory of Planned Behavior is used as underlying framework, with entrepreneurial intention as dependent variable and its three antecedents (‘attitude towards behavior’, ‘subjective norms’, and ‘perceived behavior control’). Masculinity and femininity are measured by the Bem Sex Role Inventory Model. The results are analyzed by structural equation modeling. Students with high masculinity have significant higher entrepreneurial intentions than students with low masculinity. There is a significant association between masculinity and entrepreneurial intentions through the mediating role of attitude towards behavior and subjective norms. Furthermore femininity has a positive impact on entrepreneurial intentions with subjective norms as mediator. This study contributes to the debate which personality traits influence entrepreneurial intention and further deepens the discussion how educators could approach different types of students in order to stimulate their interest in entrepreneurship. Previously conflicting results about the impact of sex on entrepreneurial intention can perhaps be solved if studies are in the future enriched with socially constructed gender variables.

Davy Vercruysse, Stephanie Birkner, Entrepreneurial Intentions of Business Students: A Matter of Masculinity and Femininity, European Business & Management. Vol. 7, No. 3, 2021, pp. 72-84. doi: 10.11648/j.ebm.20210703.13

Business planning for starters: Accountants do make a difference

This study investigates the value of business planning for starters, based on survey research of 283 Flemish starters.  First, the quality of the business plan was perceived higher by starters, who consulted an accountant during the planning stage.  The results show that the business advice of the accountant supports entrepreneurs in the preparation stage and in anticipating “the unexpected”. Second, the starters differed in terms of their view on the value of the business plan, finding support for the 4 types of motivation from the self-determination theory (SDT).  For instance, some entrepreneurs made a business plan because it is legally required (external motivation), whereas others developed the business plan because they knew it is important to reflect upfront (introjected motivation). The results show that entrepreneurs, scoring high on introjected and identified motivation developed a high-quality business plan, which also increased their effectiveness in taking management decisions in the early years after the official launch of the company.

De Bruyckere Stefanie & Everaert Patricia, 2021, The Role of the External Accountant in Business Planning for Starters: Perspective of the Self-Determination Theory? Sustainability, 13, 3014. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063014

How to stimulate Online formative assessment (OFA) of students in accounting?

This study investigates the effect of two mandatory take-home tests on the voluntary use of additional learning material (OFA), offered as online exercises with automatic correction and immediate feedback. A quasi-experiment control-group design was set up. The results show that more students start to use the OFA when take-home tests are introduced. In addition, students make more intensive use of OFA and students also start earlier in the semester with the use of OFA. Providing structure within a course is of tremendous importance, which is ratified with these results.

Blondeel Eva, Everaert Patricia, Opdecam Evelien, 2021, Stimulating Higher Education Accounting Students in Using Online Formative Assessments: The Case of Two Mid-Term Take-Home Tests, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education.

https://doi.org/10.1080/02602938.2021.1908516

COVID-19 and Accounting Education: the Belgian Case

This paper presents a compilation of personal reflections from 66 contributors on the impact of, and responses to, COVID-19 in accounting education in 45 different countries around the world. It reveals a commonality of issues and a variability in responses, many positive outcomes, but many more that are negative, primarily relating to the impact on faculty and student health and wellbeing, and the accompanying stress.

Opdecam Evelien & Everaert Patricia, 2020, “Insights into Accounting Education in an COVID-19 World: Belgium.”, Accounting Education, edited by Alan Sangster et al., vol. 29, no. 5, 2020, pp.  455–57, doi:10.1080/09639284.2020.1808487

 

Chapter in Routledge Handbook of Environmental Accounting

This handbook (edited by Jan Bebbington, Carlos Larrinaga, Brendan O’Dwyer and Ian Thomson) showcases the broad spectrum of diverse approaches to environmental accounting which have developed during the last 30 years across the globe.
In chapter 14 of the handbook, Lies Bouten and Sophie Hoozée provide an overview of prior research on eco- control practices and to offer critical reflections and avenues for future work.

 

Full reference: Bouten, L., Hoozée, S., 2021. Designing eco-controls for multi-objective organizations. In Bebbington, J., Larrinaga, C., O’Dwyer, B. & Thomson, I. (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Environmental Accounting, Routledge, Abingdon, UK, pp. 194-206.