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Prof Stephen Taylor appointed to Accounting Standards Board

31 May 2017

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The Financial Reporting Council has announced the appointment of Professor Stephen Taylor of the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) as a member of the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB), from today.

A Professor of Accounting with UTS Business School, he has been appointed for a term expiring at the end of 2019.

Welcoming the appointment, AASB Chair Kris Peach said: “The AASB has a focus on improving its use of research and evidence in developing its standards. Accordingly, the board will benefit from Stephen’s excellent academic skills and experiences. We look forward to him continuing the long history of academics on the board.”

The AASB is an independent agency of the Australian Government. The Chairman is appointed by the Federal Treasurer and the board members by the FRC.

The board is charged with formulating accounting standards for Australia and contributing to standards setting internationally. Its wider goals are to help reduce the cost of capital, to enable Australian entities to compete effectively overseas and to maintain investor confidence in the Australian economy. The AASB usually has 10 part-time members and a full-time Chair.

'There is both a challenge to the role of
accounting standards as well as a possible
opportunity to learn from users and providers'

Professor Taylor has a particular research interest in “non-standard” reporting of company financial information using unofficial measures such "underlying profit".

This practice has increased significantly, his research shows, and the question he and his collaborators are investigating is whether this is happening because it's helpful to investors, self-serving for companies, or both.

"Over the next couple of years the AASB, along with the International Accounting Standards Board and other global accounting standards bodies, will be addressing some really important topics, such as the way in which firms present their financial results,” Professor Taylor says.

“With the growth in the number of firms reporting measures of financial performance that don't necessarily comply directly with the definitions in accounting standards, there is both a challenge to the role of accounting standards as well as a possible opportunity to learn from users and providers how measures of financial performance can be improved.

“Given my research on firms’ reporting behaviour, I’m keen to see the standard setting process informed by research on this, along with other topics as they arise."

Professor Taylor is the former Associate Dean, Research, at UTS Business School and the Australian Business Deans Council’s inaugural Research Scholar – a role that aims to encourage collaboration between researchers and industry.