My First Accounting Research Seminar

Last Friday I attended my first accounting research seminar. The weekly accounting research seminar is hosted every Friday noon at Fisher, where business researchers across the country (mostly professionals from different schools) are invited to present their recent findings.

Since content discussed in the seminar was not yet published, and I am an outsider to accounting research, I won’t and I cannot comment on much detail. However, I can give some superficial opinion as an outsider; while interesting enough, I have attended some science research seminars before, also as an outsider, so here is some comparison and contrast. (Nothing is meant to be offensive and please forgive any impertinence.)

1. Seminar setting. The seminar settings were very similar for both accounting and science. A comfortable classroom or conference room, with 10-30 in the audience. Anyone could attend. Students and faculty members casually walked in and sat down before the presentation started. There was no dress code, though many audiences were in business casual as they came from work.

2. Structure. Same. Introduction, previous findings, new findings, methodologies, then conclusion. This structure is good for “beginners”, like me, because it provides clear outline of the project presented, explaining well why the research is conducted, how the research and analysis is done, and why the result is important.

3. Content. I definitely lean toward accounting research content. “Accounts”, “balances”, “incomes”, “statements”…these terms sound more pleasant to me compared to “T Cells”, “B Cells”, “interferon”, and “Glomerulonephritis”. =)

4. Research tools and methodology. This aspect is totally different between the two. Scientific research usually applies various experiments with specific equipment. The samples are usually concrete and tangible. To the contrary, accounting research relies on computer programming, simulation, and statistic tests.

5. Jokes. Business professionals are thought to be talkative and tell more jokes, but scientists tell jokes, too. It really depends on presenters’ style and personality. Nevertheless, my general feeling is that business jokes tend to be more funny and release tension, while I prove myself smart and/or knowledgeable by getting science jokes (yay).

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