01 May CPA Australia-University of Melbourne Annual Research Lecture
Professor Gary Biddle delivered the 79th CPA Australia – University of Melbourne Annual Research Lecture, the longest running lecture series at the University.
This lecture considered how ‘account ability’ has shaped, is shaping and will shape civilisations, including our own, and how much the future rests in our hands. The influence of accountants is profound, wide-ranging and fast-changing, and our preparation for the future will determine the future of just about everything else.
Not unlike physicists who discern nature’s processes and how to influence them, academic and practicing accountants discern and influence civilisation’s processes from governance and finance to the arts, humanities and technologies physicists employ. With account ability and accountability, civilised behaviours and higher living standards are possible. Without them, civilised behaviours and living standards decline.
Through research and practice insights, we are developing new account abilities, and the pace must now accelerate. Arising information technologies thanks to accounting, notably AI, mean that we are at another inflexion point where our new abilities will define our influence. Exciting times for accountants to be sure, but times we have seen and prospered through before. Civilisation depends on it.
Gary C Biddle is Professor of Financial Accounting at University of Melbourne and lecturer at Columbia Business School, University of Hong Kong (HKU), and London Business School. Professor Biddle earned his MBA and PhD degrees at University of Chicago. He has served as professor at University of Chicago, University of Washington, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), and as visiting professor at China Europe International Business School (China), Fudan University (China), University of Glasgow (UK), IMD (Switzerland), and Skolkovo Business School (Russia).