Voluntary Disclosure with Phillip Stocken, Ph.D.

One of the great opportunities available to students in the Fisher MAcc program is the MAcc Academic Speaker Series. The speakers for this program typically consist of professors, both from within Fisher and from other universities, and they speak about a variety of topics that are of interest to graduate business students.

As part of the MAcc Academic Speaker Series, Phillip Stocken, Ph.D., Associate Dean for the MBA Program at Dartmouth College, came to Fisher to speak about voluntary disclosure. The talk touched upon issues that are very relevant to accounting students since many of us are planning on pursuing careers in either audit, advisory or tax within public accounting firms. Stocken emphasized the importance of the role that auditors play in terms of the financial disclosures made by a firm. He reiterated to us the importance of being skeptical when there is insufficient proof or material discrepancies before making a determination on the reliability and accuracy of a company’s financial statements. He reminded us of the dangers of misrepresenting information and explained that whenever we choose to disclose information, since there is usually the option to withhold information, we must disclose accurate information. As mentioned by Stocken, “In the absence of information, capital markets fail.” This quote really resonated with me because it stresses the importance of voluntary disclosure within the realm of business.

Associate Dean for the MBA Program at Dartmouth College