Pictured from left to right: Aishwarrya Deore, current Ph.D. student, Susanna Gallani, former Ph.D. student and current assistant professor at Harvard University, Karen Sedatole, former Broad faculty member and current professor at Emory University, Eli and Edythe L. Broad Dean Sanjay Gutpta, Colleen Boland, former Ph.D. student and current assistant professor at University of Wisconsin, and Ranjani Krishnan, Ernest W. & Robert W. Schaberg Endowed Chair in Accounting

Through an international effort, the Broad College’s Department of Accounting and Information Systems welcomed 88 participants from 12 countries in June, hosting the 16th annual Global Management Accounting Research Symposium at the Henry Center for Executive Education in Lansing.

GMARS aims to promote a “global village” of management accounting research by bringing together a diverse set of the highest quality research papers, plenary speakers and researchers from around the world.

“Hosting a primary and established research conference raises the reputation of the university and college as a stronghold for managerial accounting scholarship and thought leadership,” said Martin Holzhacker, assistant professor for the Department of Accounting and Information Systems.

The conference is an international endeavor, spanning three continents — North America, Europe and Australia — and bringing top management accounting scholars together to share their research ideas for pedagogy and student success.

Attendees have the opportunity to “gain a broader appreciation and understanding of the many theoretical perspectives and research methods that are used to study management accounting practices,” according to the GMARS website.

Much prep work went into the event’s success, including the review and selection of papers to be admitted to the conference, acquiring sponsors from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the Journal of Management Accounting Research, and website design and administration.

Attendees at the 16th annual GMARS

Highlights from the event included plenary talks by leading scholars in management accounting, including the following:

  • Karen Sedatole of Emory University, discussing the need for more research on sales and operations forecasting from accountants
  • Michael Gibbs of the University of Chicago, covering how organizational design choices such as performance evaluations or job assignments may facilitate learning in organizations
  • Robert Bloomfield of Cornell University, who argued the contentious issue of limiting expression in an accounting context

Topics of parallel sessions included incentive contracts or controls to elicit trust, as well as innovation and cooperation.

The next GMARS conference will be held in June 2020 in Sydney, Australia.