It is my great pleasure to thank all the presenters and attendees at the Scottish Doctoral Conference in Accounting and Finance (ScotDoc) held on 7th June 2019 at the University of Aberdeen.
I would like to thank the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science (SGSSS) for sponsoring this event, rendering this event without any registration costs, and CPA Australia for sponsoring us and supporting this event. I would also like to thank Professor Muhammad Azizul Islam for co-convening the event with me.
The conference was well attended, with 80+ students and 20+ members of staff from institutions across Scotland. The total number of attendees was 103. This year we had 47 presentations by accounting and finance students from universities all over Scotland: 11 presentations from the University of Aberdeen, 6 from the University of Dundee, 3 from the University of Edinburgh, 13 from the University of Glasgow, 4 from Heriot-Watt University, 2 from Robert Gordon University, 2 from the University of St Andrews, 4 from the University of Stirling, 1 from the University of Strathclyde, and 1 from the University of the West of Scotland.
The event began at 9.30 am with registration and coffee, followed by a short welcome session presented by the Conference Convenor Shamima Haque, and Acting Head of School Professor Keith Bender.
The first plenary session began at 10.10 am with Professor Lee Parker from RMIT University and Glasgow University, presenting the topic: “Academic Career Development: Stories from the Journey”. His motivational talk gave PhD students insights into the research journey as they progress to academic positions. Professor Parker gave audiences some thought-provoking suggestions on developing research ideas, innovative and strategic networking and engagement, and academic career progression. He was introduced by Dr Audrey Paterson.
After a 15-minute comfort break, the event introduced parallel presentation sessions by the doctoral students. The morning session offered 7 concurrent sessions, covering broad themes: corporate finance/earnings management, critical perspectives on accounting/accountability, finance/banking/insurance, social and environmental accounting/accountability, auditing/corporate governance/ownership, and finance/asset pricing. Each session contained 3 or 4 presentations, chaired by a leading academic in accounting and finance and attended by other members of staff and students, with discussion encouraged and facilitated. Students received constructive comments from experienced PhD supervisors in the field of accounting and finance as well as from fellow PhD students.
The lunch provided the students a good opportunity to network with other academics and students, allowed them to share PhD experiences, to discuss how to move their research ideas and potential topics forward, and to explore opportunities for future collaborative research.
The second parallel presentation session began after lunch. This session offered 6 concurrent sessions, again under broad themes: critical perspectives on accounting/accountability, corporate finance/earnings management, finance/banking/financial reporting and disclosure, accounting/the accounting profession, social and environmental accounting/accountability, and management accounting and control (critical perspective).
After another break at 3.15 pm, the last session of the day was given by our second plenary speaker, Professor Seth Armitage from the University of Edinburgh, who presented on the topic “Where do good research ideas come from?” Professor Armitage provided fascinating suggestions how to generate good research ideas. His talk presented evidence from his own research experiences, in reviewing the papers published in the Journal of Finance in 2013, and how this showed him a gap in the extant literature and how to fill this gap. Professor Armitage was introduced by Dr William Jackson. The event then closed with the next ScotDoc conference being announced by Dr Angelica Gonzalez from SGSSS: it will be held in Edinburgh Napier University in 2020.
I would like to thank Dr Thereza Sales De Aguiar, Dr Omaima Hassan, Professor Seth Armitage, Professor Pauline Weetman, Mr Mark Whittington, Dr Angelica Gonzalez, Dr Paul Ahn, Professor Hong (Frank) Liu, Dr Alvise Favotto, Dr Theresa Dunne, Professor Lee Parker, Professor Chandana Alawattage, and Dr Paul-Olivier Klein for chairing the sessions, and providing valuable feedback and suggestions to our doctoral students.
I would like to extend my thanks to Dr Bill Jackson, Ms Lindsay Tibbetts and Professor Keith Bender for their support. A special thank-you goes to Professor Norman Hutchison for his early encouragement for us to take responsibility for organizing the conference. Thanks also go to our media personnel and admin supports Gemma Neal, Aileen Davidson, Laura Kruitbos and Pamela Cumming. We are also grateful to our volunteer PhD students, Nglaa Ahmed, Faizah Hameed Alsulami, Isaac Adebiyi, Yang Fang, Elmira Mynbayeva and Shee Yee Khoo for their assistance with the organization of this event.
Finally, I would like to thank all the presenters and attendees for their support and participation in this event. I believe ScotDocs will help to continue a well-established network in Scotland for advanced training and to promote access to that training for all postgraduate researchers in accounting and finance.