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Accounting Foundation

Fostering engaged research in accounting
The Accounting Foundation aims to promote excellence in the fields of accounting and finance by supporting collaboration between researchers and external organisations.

Our objectives

The diverse objectives of the foundation are to:

  • promote excellence in the fields of accounting and financial arrangement
  • work in close co-operation with industry, commerce and the accounting profession
  • assist in bringing Visiting Fellows of outstanding achievement to the Foundation
  • arrange the RJ Chambers Memorial Research Lectures in Accounting
  • assist accountants from the University to work in practice and vice versa, to enable a widening of experience and skills by both parties
  • assist, where appropriate, accountants from Australia to study a particular problem abroad
  • provide RJ Chambers Research Scholarships
  • foster interdisciplinary collaboration with cognate disciplines in the Business School
  • promote and foster relationships with Business School alumni
  • promote and foster relationships with external organisations and regulatory authorities which have an interest in accounting and financial management
  • contribute to public discussion and debate on matters of public policy in the field of accounting and financial management
  • publish works of present and past members of the Discipline of Accounting
  • sponsor research, publications and activities in the Discipline of Accounting.

Foundation governance

The Foundation is governed by a Council comprising of leaders from the business community and senior University academics. Download the Accounting Foundation Governance Guide (pdf, 90KB).


Paul Brunner

Mr Paul Brunner, President (PwC)

Martin McGrath

Mr Martin McGrath (KPMG)

Paul Bull

Mr Paul Bull (BDO)

Professor Stewart Jones

Professor Stewart Jones (Editor-in-chief, Abacus)

Associate Professor Maria Cadiz Dyball

Associate Professor Maria Cadiz Dyball (Academic Director, Discipline of Accounting)

Professor Greg Whitwell

Professor Greg Whitwell (Dean, Business School)

Melissa Bonevska

Ms Melissa Bonevska (Development Manager, University Foundations, Representative of the DVC)

Engaged Research Scheme

The Accounting Foundation launched an Engaged Research Scheme in 2018 to help contribute to business, government and community. The Scheme provides funds over an 18-month period for multidisciplinary, cross-faculty and cross-institution collaborative projects to assist accounting researchers with commencing or continuing engaged research.

2018 Projects

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales claims that blockchain technology is fundamentally an accounting technology. This project will examine this claim by exploring the views of technology and accounting professionals on the new opportunities and risks created by blockchain technology for the practice of accounting. It will canvass: 1) the blockchain’s impact on business processes, and, the delivery of assurance services, and, 2) the implications for accounting professional development and education. It will provide valuable insights that will inform how the accounting profession could best equip its current and aspiring members to respond to this disruptive technology.

  • Researchers: Wai Fong Chua; Chris Chapman (University of Bristol); Catherine Hardy
  • Period: 15 July 2018 to 15 January 2020
  • Funding: A$17,503

The transformative effects of Big Data Analytics are widely reported. Yet, we know little about how analytics are developed and become influential as forms of management control. This project will document the design and deployment of new analytics in a large organisation operating in a highly competitive environment. Key questions will centre on how new data, analytical tools and accountabilities are materialised as socio-technical forms; how innovation networks are built and resistance overcome. The project will help us to better understand both the potential and the challenges offered by analytics and the role of diverse professionals in their manufacture.


The journal Abacus is the flagship asset of the Accounting Foundation. The fourth oldest international accounting academic journal, it was launched in 1965 by the Sydney University Press with Professor R J Chambers as founding editor. For 50 years, Abacus has been recognised as a significant international journal devoted to the publication of scholarly papers in accounting finance and business studies.

The Accounting Foundation sponsored in 2006 the reprinting of Accounting Classics, a series of important scholarly contributions to accounting thought and literature.

The titles published to date are:

Pacioli Society

The Pacioli Society was established in 1968 on the initiative of Emeritus Professor R.J. Chambers, the foundation Professor of Accounting at the University of Sydney. The aim was to provide a forum on matters related to accounting, business and finance, and to foster the expression of both academic and professional views on topical issues based on informed opinion and debate.

The Pacioli Society now operates under the auspices of the Accounting Foundation and provides a valuable contact between academics from Sydney and other metropolitan universities and the business community.

Up to four meetings are held each year. In line with the aims of the Society, each meeting is presented by a panel of speakers to ensure several perspectives of the topic are put forward. Attendees are always given opportunities to ask questions and to voice their own opinions about the topic.

The Pacioli Society 2018 membership subscription fee is $195 ($176 plus GST) and includes an annual subscription to Abacus, a journal of accounting, finance and business studies, published quarterly.

To become a member, please return the Pacioli Society Membership Subscription Form with completed credit card details or a cheque made payable to "The Accounting Foundation, University of Sydney".

Queries should be directed to the Accounting Foundation at

The Changing Role of Accounting and Finance in a World of Digital Disruption
  • Date: 5 March 2019
  • Speaker: Janelle Hopkins, Group CFO, Australia Post 
The Banking Royal Commission: Drivers, Outcomes and Future Directions
  • Date: 16 May 2019
  • Professor Clinton Free, Academic Director, Executive Education, The University of Sydney Business School 
The emerging role of climate science in the measurement of business risk
  • Date: 20 August 2019
  • Professor Andy Pitman, Director, ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes, University of UNSW Sydney
On the Spotlight: The role of Boards in Governance
  • Date: 5 September 2018
  • Speaker: Dr Judith MacCormick
Whistleblowing from Panama to Paradise: What it means for Australia
  • Date: 14 June 2018
  • Speaker: Associate Professor David Chaikin, The University of Sydney Business School
Measuring the social impact and performance of organisations
  • Date: 22 March 2018
  • Speaker: Professor Matthew Hall, Monash University
Assurance Innovation and Disruption
  • Date: 13 November 2017
  • Speaker: Kristin Stubbins, PwC Australia
Rethinking the Value of ABC
  • Date: 5 September 2017
  • Speaker: Professor Chris Chapman, University of Bristol
Changing political rationalities and the spread of market mentality
  • Date: 7 February 2017
  • Speaker: Professor Christine Cooper, University of Strathclyde