BA (Econs) (Malaya); MCom (Accounting and Finance) (Liverpool); PhD (Accounting) (UNE); DEcons (Accounting and Finance) (Monash); FASSA, FCA, FCPA
Accounting, auditing and accountability
Professor Ferdinand A. Gul is an Alfred Deakin Professor of Accounting and Finance in Deakin Business School, Australia.
Professor Gul subscribes to an inter-disciplinary research policy that emphasizes the ideas that theories and forces in economics, politics, and law play out in the practice of accounting, auditing and corporate finance. He has published in several leading high impact journals such as Journal of Accounting and Economics, The Accounting Review, Contemporary Accounting Research, Journal of Accounting Research, Journal of Financial Economics, Management Science and Auditing: A journal of Practice and Theory. In addition, he has published books on China’s socio- economic reforms and Asian corporate governance.
Underlying his research contributions is the idea that auditors play a central role in the allocation of scarce capital resources in the capital market by providing credibility to the financial reporting process. To this end, his research tries to understand what factors, including auditor characteristics, play an important role in facilitating the credibility of financial reporting. More specifically, his major contributions may be identified in terms of three broad strands of the literature: (1) gender diversity on corporate boards and accounting practice (2) corporate governance and equity incentives, and (3) the role of individual auditors in the quality of auditing practice.
Gender diversity on corporate boards: His studies show that firms with gender diverse boards are associated with higher quality financial reporting and demand more monitoring through higher quality auditing and that these factors, in combination, are likely to result in more informative stock prices (via the quality of accounting and auditing information). Overall, these results provide a better understanding of the role of females on corporate boards and contributes to the broader evidence in the social sciences that women are more ethical and provide better firm level monitoring.
Audit firm characteristics, management incentives and the pricing of audit services: The research in this strand which draws on ideas from economics, law and organizational theory shows that apart from gender diversity, characteristics of audit firms (e.g. industry specialization, auditor tenure, size etc), and management incentives (the sensitivity of CEO compensation portfolio to stock return volatility (vega)) affect auditors’ assessments of audit risks and hence audit fees. However, the role of some of these variables have been affected by the introduction of the Sarbanes Oxley Act (2002) which significantly changed the responsibilities and duties of auditors and directors. More generally, this research contributes to a better understanding of auditor characteristics and management incentives in the financial reporting process especially after the enactment of the Sarbanes Oxley Act (2002).
Individual auditor level research: Based on calls for a better understanding of audit quality at the individual auditor level, this research stream provides evidence that individual auditor characteristics such as educational background, audit firm experience, rank in the audit firm, gender and political affiliations affect audit quality (proxied by abnormal accruals, small profits etc).
Apart from high citations, the importance of some of these studies is reflected in the fact that they have attracted the attention of US practitioners and are reported in important US practitioner journals that are available to US policy makers.
1. Co-Editor, Journal of Contemporary Accounting & Economics (since 2005)
Currently on Editorial Board of the following :
2. The British Accounting Review (since 1998)
3. Current Issues in Auditing AAA (since March 2007)
4. Accounting Horizons (since 2009)
5. Contemporary Accounting Research (since 2011)
6. Associate Editor, Contemporary Accounting Research (2006- 2011)
7. Associate Editor, Auditing; A Journal of Practice and Theory (2003-2009)
FASSA, Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.
FCA, Fellow, Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia
FCPA, Fellow, Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountant
1. Lai, K. M., Srinidhi, B., Gul, F. A., & Tsui, J. S. (2017). Board gender diversity, auditor fees, and auditor choice. Contemporary Accounting Research, 34(3), 1681-1714.
2. Chen, Y., Gul, F. A., Veeraraghavan, M., & Zolotoy, L. (2015). Executive equity risk-taking incentives and audit pricing. The Accounting Review, 90(6), 2205-2234.
3. Gul, F. A., Wu, D., & Yang, Z. (2013). Do individual auditors affect audit quality? Evidence from archival data. The Accounting Review, 88(6), 1993-2023.
4. Fung, S. Y. K., Gul, F. A., & Krishnan, J. (2012). City-level auditor industry specialization, economies of scale, and audit pricing. The Accounting Review, 87(4), 1281-1307.
5. Gul, F. A., Srinidhi, B., & Ng, A. C. (2011). Does board gender diversity improve the informativeness of stock prices?. Journal of Accounting and Economics, 51(3), 314-338.