Innovator Article

Best Paper Award: Accounting Research Directly Impacts the Practice

Professor Michael Maher and his co-authors won the 2010 best paper award from the American Accounting Association (AAA) 2010 Accounting Horizons for their paper “The Impact of Academic Accounting Research on Professional Practice,” published in the December 2009 issue of Accounting Horizons. They received a $2,500 cash prize—which the researchers donated to charity—and special recognition from the association’s membership, who voted on the year’s best paper.

Maher was a member of AAA’s Research Impact Task Force, which found that academic accounting research impacts all areas of accounting practice, from congressional committees that apply the research to policy generation, to practitioners who take what they learn in business school to their jobs. 

“As instructors, we teach students how to take new data and solve problems,” explains Maher. “They take these thought processes from the classrooms and apply them to contemporary, everyday business situations.”

Maher and his co-authors believe that instructors who teach students critical thinking skills are able to do so because they are deeply engaged in their own research projects. “This is one significant way research affects the world in which we work and live,” he said.

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