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The Great Debate

29 Apr 2011

Great DebateIt was bitter sweet for a group of accounting academics at the University of Sydney Business School who successfully argued at the inaugural 'Great Debate' that "Accountants are Boring!".

Four passionate accounting academics out-witted four students from the Accounting & Auditing Society in front of peers and academic staff at the first of a series of debates which were co-hosted by the Discipline of Accounting and the student-run Society.

Merewether Lecture Room 2 was packed to the rafters with students cheering on their peers Shirley-Anne Hu, David Webb, Rebecca Chang and William Thomas or poking fun at their lecturers who were dressed to the nines in stereotypical 'dorky' accounting attire. Angela Hecimovic's, Wes Hamilton-Jessop's, Max Baker's and Rosina McAlpine-Mladenovic's mantra was; "Boring at work, boring at play, that's what they all say."

The students put up a solid fight; David Webb was first to the podium with his witty accounting humour. "I must CREDIT the audience for being here today, I'm sure for all of you it must have been a massive EXPENSE, however hopefully it will generate plenty of INTEREST amongst you all," he said.

With crowd pleasing references to Katy Perry, Chuck Norris and How I Met Your Mother's Barney Stinson, David insisted that accountants CAN party past 2am, that they CAN bench press 360kgs, and that they CAN kiss a girl and like it.

Great DebateBut it was lecturer Angela Hecimovic who put her team in the lead, sporting some over-the-top bushy eyebrows and giving the audience an insight into her average day. "Are accountants boring? Affirmative! I'm a boring accountant with a boring personality and a boring job. I have discovered that all domestic chores such as shopping, cooking, and cleaning can be posted to T-accounts. I am a boring accountant and I cannot wait for the thrill of the year-end to do my own tax return. "

Wes and Max took some time to share with us how boring they are in the media and society, and to conclude Rosina summarised the team's debate. It was student Will Thomas who delivered the harsh truth. "I have the empirical evidence. I know where the exciting accountants are, they're just not in academia." He went on to tell a story of his boss who was head of one of the Big Four banks, who, at Friday night drinks got drunk, took his shirt off and climbed over a fence proving that not all accountants are boring.

After they had all stated their case, Professor Graeme Dean tallied the points. It came down to a very close (and very precise) 34.35 points to 33.75, with the lecturers taking the crown.

View video footage of the debate and stay tuned for news of the next Great Debate.