It gives me a great pleasure and a rare privilege to stand before this august assembly of erudite scholars, captains of industry and respected professionals in Accounting and Finance to present a Lead Paper. I thank the organisers of this Conference for their thoughtfulness in selecting such a relevant topic and for considering me worthy of this honour to address you. I fully intend to utilize the opportunity to share my thoughts on a number of contemporary issues that I hope will stimulate further insightful discussions, public policy intervention and corporate action for an overall meaningful and positive impact on our economy.
The theme of this year’s international academic conference on Contemporary Issues in Accounting, Finance and Corporate Governance is germane considering developments across the globe. We have witnessed the collapse of big corporations and the state rescue of others that are now commonly referred to as “too big to fail” or “systemically important institutions”. We have seen accounting treatment of transactions and preparation of financial statements moving towards a universal convergence under the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS). We have also seen Accounting responding to new waves of emerging issues in the world including climate change, sustainability etc. leading to new specializations such as environmental accounting, forensic audit and sustainable finance. We are seeing new frameworks of corporate governance in financial reporting and continuous changes in the roles of enterprise managers, directors and shareholders. The new corporate governance framework is evolving and defining new areas of attention to risk management and the roles of enterprise stakeholders. Indeed, Accounting and Finance are responding to an ever-changing world.