New proxies for expected duration of competitive advantage

Based on the emerging technology, this paper proposes a new method to measure the expected duration of competitive advantage for average adopters. This method is based on public data, such as google searches, press releases, book titles, and companies’ disclosures with respect to the technology. The method is very easy to implement.

 Congratulations to SAF professor Ranjini Jha, recipient of a 2023 Arts Award

Picture of Ranjini JhaMore than 30 nominations submitted for the 2023 Arts Awards for Excellence in Service, Teaching, and Research posed an especially tough challenge for members of the Arts Honours and Awards (AHA) committee this spring. So many outstanding members of the Arts community inspired their chairs, supervisors, and colleagues to put names forward as nominees to recognize their contributions and achievements. Today, Dean Sheila Ager and the AHA committee are happy to share the results.

Waterloo professor recognized for best paper by the Canadian Academic Accounting Association

Picture of Wenqian HuWenqian Hu’s paper Trust Versus Rewards: Revisiting Managerial Discretion in Incomplete Contracts was awarded the Lazaridis Institute Prize for the best paper on accounting issues relevant to technology firms. The paper finds that an algorithm-generated bonus allocation scheme improves employee productivity, compared with human managers’ bonus allocation. It also finds that compared with human managers’ bonus allocation, the algorithm-based one removes managers’ responsibility and improves employees’ trust in the reward system.

Employers should think twice before implementing peer recognition programs

In fast-paced and often rapidly changing work environments, employers continue to seek new and improved ways to recognize employees in the workplace. However, new research from the University of Waterloo suggests that public peer recognition may backfire by enabling comparisons among employees, and these comparisons may make some employees feel unfairly treated.

Waterloo professor distills responsibility of accountants faced with suspected regulation non-compliance

Picture of Krista FiolleauKrista Fiolleau, associate professor in the School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) has recently published a chapter titled “The professional responsibility of accountants as re-defined by the inclusion of the NOCLAR standard in the Code of Ethics” within the Research Handbook on Accounting Ethics alongside co-authors Pier-Luc Nappert from Université Laval and Linda Thorne from the Schulich School of Business.  NOCLAR, an acronym meaning non-compliance with laws and regulations is discussed extensively throughout the chapter.

Meet the 2023 Immigration Women of Inspiration recipients

Inspiring young mindsPicture of Ranjini Jha

From becoming the first member of her family to graduate from university, Ranjini Jha now educates other students as a professor of finance at the University of Waterloo.

Jha grew up in Jamshedpur, India. Her father worked job at TELCO (now Tata Motors) and her family lived in a unique community called the TELCO Colony.

“The company didn’t pay very high wages, but they had a lot of amenities for its employees,” she said.

From low-cost housing to medical facilities and even school. Jha attended the Little Flowers School in the TELCO Colony, run by the Jesuits and Catholic nuns.

Empirical capital market research in accounting

Image of Mingyue ZhangMingyue Zhang is an assistant professor of accounting at the School of Accounting and Finance at the University of Waterloo.

She earned her PhD in Accounting from the University of Toronto (Rotman School of Management) and Master of Professional Accounting from Singapore Management University. She is also an affiliate of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.(ACCA)

She is interested in empirical capital market research in accounting, with a special focus on intangible assets, financial disclosure, and ESG issues.

Waterloo professor inducted to the Canadian Accounting Hall of Fame

The School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) is pleased to share that professor Efrim Boritz Image of Efrim Boritzwas inducted this year into the Canadian Accounting Hall of Fame for his extraordinary contributions to the accounting profession. During Boritz’s illustrious 40-year career at the University of Waterloo, he has been a prolific writer and researcher with 24 books and monographs to his credit and over 40 articles in refereed journals. His research involves investigating areas of professional practice in external auditing and internal auditing which rely on the exercise of professional judgment.

Safeguarding against phishing emails

Cyber-attacks and data breaches are of great concern for data-sensitive organizations. Picture of Efrim BoritzThese organizations are adept at safeguarding data but fail in safeguarding against cyber-attacks. Phishing is a semantic attack that deceives email users into clicking on the embedded link or attachment in an email. The goal could be to induce the email users to subsequently give away sensitive information, enable malware that can steal passwords, or install a backdoor into the user’s system and encrypt the users’ data. Phishing imposes a great risk on these organizations for two reasons. First, even a non-vital position in which employees likely perceive little cyber risk, if being attacked, could cause significant economic loss and litigations. Second, phishing emails could simultaneously reach most employees within an organization. Thus, strengthening the frontier of safeguarding against phishing is of vital importance.

Motivating Employees with Goal-Based Prosocial Rewards

A recent trend in organizations is to motivate employees with goal-basedImage of Adam Presslee prosocial rewards, whereby employees must donate their rewards to charities upon goal attainment. We examine the motivational effects of goal-based prosocial rewards versus cash rewards under different levels of goal difficulty. We develop our hypotheses based on affective valuation theory, which posits that when valuing uncertain outcomes by affect rather than calculation, individuals are largely insensitive to changes in probability of the outcomes, including probability of goal attainment.

Q and A with the experts: The banking crisis and Canada

The recent collapse of banks in the United States and this week'sImage of Dr. James R. Thompson intervention by the Swiss government to facilitate the takeover of banking giant Credit Suisse might have some worried about a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis.

Dr. James R. Thompson, associate professor in the School of Accounting and Finance and co-director of the University of Waterloo's Computing and Financial Management program, sheds light on what's causing the instability in the banking system and how it might affect Canadian financial institutions.

Banking crisis echoes 2008 but with 'marked differences'

Dr. James R. Thompson, associate professor in the School of AccountingImage of Dr. James R. Thompson and Finance and co-director of the University of Waterloo’s Computing and Financial Management program, says that while the two crises are not the same, their outcomes could be.

Diversity in leadership teams

Tisha King is a professional accountant and earned her Ph.D. from Wilfrid Laurier University.Picture of Tisha King Professor King specializes in behavioral research that largely focuses on ethical judgments and decision-making within the context of taxpayers and tax professionals. Her recent studies investigate how advances in technology, penalties, and fairness influence tax compliance. 

Her newest research focuses in on examining how diversity in a leadership team impacts investors judgement.

Decision making for capital market participants

Muhammad Azim is an Assistant Professor at the School of Accounting and Finance at the University of Waterloo.Picture of Muhammad Azim

His primary research focuses on capital markets, specifically in the area of executive compensation, ETFs, and financial reporting. He does research that can have potential policy implications such as to better shape decision making for capital market participants.

New year, new taxes: how taxation changes in 2023 could affect you

The federal government has introduced several changes to taxation and tax benefits for this Picture of Dan Rogozynskiyear — and experts tell CBC News the tax changes related to housing are the ones to watch.

The federal government indexes personal income tax brackets and many tax benefits to inflation. They'll increase by 6.3 per cent this year, says the Canada Revenue Agency.

Rogozynski said it's a far higher jump than usual.

"This is triple what you would normally see across the last 40 years," he said.

Watch Dan Rogozynski's interview with CTV news

Daily movie theatre ticket sales can predict stock market returns

Seda Oz and co-author Steve Fortin, a professor at Waterloo’s School of Accounting and Finance, test the hypothesis that a daily consumption Image of Steve FortinImage of Seda Ozvariable – box office earnings – has implications for the stock market. Based on data available from 1997 to 2019, the authors found that daily measures predict future aggregate stock market returns significantly and positively for up to six days using the Center for Research in Security Prices value-weighted market excess return and for up to five days using the Standard and Poor’s 500 market return.

Engaging Your Newly Remote Workforce

The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed many workplaces from bustling offices with shared work spaces to remote, telecommuting networks. Image of Adam PresleeEmployees around the world now find themselves working in isolation away from the familiarity of their colleagues and their workplace. This unplanned, but profound, shift in job design can have detrimental effects on employee engagement.

Cash may not be the most effective way to motivate employees

Tangible rewards motivate employees when they’re easy to use, pleasurable, unexpected, and distinct from salary, a new study found.Image of Adam Presslee

A recent survey of firms in the United States revealed that 84 per cent spent more than $90 billion annually on tangible employee rewards, such as gift cards, recreation trips and merchandise in hopes of increasing productivity.

Director Appointments

Using 9,801 director appointments during 2003-2014, we document the dramatic impact of connections - 69% of new directors have professional tiesImage of Tu Nguyen to incumbent boards, a group representing 13% of all potential candidates. Consistent with facilitating coordination and reducing search costs, connections help boards bring in new skills and diversity. More complex firms and firms in more competitive environments tend to appoint connected directors, experience better market reactions and higher shareholder votes. Connections to incumbent CEOs, however, result in lower announcement returns and shareholder votes. Educational or social ties have little effect. We use death (merger)-induced network loss (gain) as instruments.

 Does the tax deductibility of interest affect financial reporting and investments?

Many countries have imposed tax policies that limit the deductibility of interest costs, creating a plausibly exogenous increase in the net cost of Image of Kaishu Wuborrowing. The limits are based on financial accounting numbers, adding a new implication to managers’ choices. Firms in these countries are also expected to rely less on debt financing and face weaker demand for conservative financial reporting from creditors as compared to firms in other countries. Tests employ a large sample of U.S. firms around the implementation of interest limits under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and a second set of firms in OECD countries from 1985 to 2013 subjected to similar limitations. Exploiting these two settings and difference-in-differences research designs, we provide evidence that the adoption of these tax deductibility limits reduces conditional conservatism of firms’ financial reporting. Overall, our findings suggest that the tax rules affecting the deductibility of interest have important impacts on corporate financial reporting. Such changes can have unintended consequences for other decisions of interest to tax policy makers, such as investment choices documented by others. 

I Know Something You Don't Know: The Effect of Relative Performance Information and Individual Performance Incentives on Knowledge Sharing

When employees share knowledge with their colleagues, the efficiency of the colleagues' performance improves, which positively affects their Image of Krista Fiolleauproductivity. However, employees can engage in counterproductive behavior by choosing not to share knowledge (passive behavior) or by choosing to share inaccurate knowledge with their colleagues (active behavior).

Needs Versus Wants: Which Motivates More Effort

Image of Adam PressleeA significant and increasing number of North American organizations use tangible rewards to motivate their employees. Despite the widespread use of tangible rewards, there is limited understanding as to what makes them effective. Our study has two related purposes.

The False Promise of ESG

Millions of investors and countless fund managers direct their investments to companies that are highly-rated on the basis of their environmental, Image of Elizabeth Demerssocial, and governance (“ESG”) activities in an attempt to do good. The claim by ESG advocates, pundits, and many academics that highly-rated ESG companies and funds also deliver superior returns bolsters this move: Doing better by doing good. The best of all worlds.

Celebrating alumni achievements on International Women's Day

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is #BreakTheBias, calling people to imagine a gender-equal world free of stereotypes, bias and Image of Winnie Shi and Christine Wiedmandiscrimination. This is also a day to recognize and celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

Upskilling to remain competitive

Globalization, digitization and automation are accelerating workforce transformations in every industry.Image of Nancy Vanden Bosch

Corporate taxes can be good for shareholders

Professor Andy Bauer's research explores shareholder credits and maximizing cash flowImage of Andrew Bauer

How cryptocurrency and government relief packages could impact your tax returns

Andrew Bauer,University of Waterloo associate professor and Canada Research Chair in Taxation Government and Risk, says the deadline for certain interest charges in relation to relief packages has also been extended for some.Image of Andrew Bauer

I know something you don’t know: The effect of relative performance information and the individual performance incentives on knowledge sharing

Expands our understanding of counterproductive effects of knowledge sharing within a workplace that implements incentive systems and performance enhancing tools.Image of Krista Fiolleau

Language and Domain Specificity: A Chinese Financial Sentiment DictionaryImage of Alan Huang

Our dictionary maps semantically similar words to a subset of human-expert generated financial sentiment words.

Merging law and ethics with the accounting profession Prof. Sally Gunz

Professor Emerita, Sally Gunz (MA, LLB Sydney, MBA Manchester), announced as an Honorary Member of the University

Monetization of digital content: Drivers of revenue on Q and A platforms

Social Media revenue opportunities can mean profits for the platform, content providers, and content image of a hand holding a phone<--break->

SAF professors elected co-presidents of Northern Finance AssociationBlake PhillipsJames Thompson

Two finance professors, Blake Phillips and James Thompson, from the School of Accounting and Finance at the University of Waterloo, have been elected co-presidents of the Northern Finance Association (NFA). <--break->

9 Budgeting tips for university students  four students

To help first-year students avoid these hurdles, we’ve asked university staff, students and finance experts to share their top budgeting tips for saving during the school year.<--break->

Q and A with experts: Optimizing your retirement savings; Professor Ken Vetzaltwo people looking at the laptop

Researchers provides insights into how pension holders can manage their investments to improve the odds that their retirement savings will last. <--break->

Celebrating 25 years of tax research impact

As the Tax Centre enters its 25th year, Ken Klassen (MAcc ’89), Director of the Tax Centre and professor with the Prof. Ken KlassenSchool of Accounting and Finance (SAF), sits down for a conversation about the Tax Centre's accomplishments and the influence that it has had on the accounting profession and the SAF curriculum.<--break->

Ken Klassen awarded the 2021 Haim Falk Award for distinguished contribution to accounting thought Prof. Ken Klassen

The CAAA Award Committees are pleased to recognize the recipients who embody the values and mission of the Association: innovators who are committed to promoting and encouraging excellence in education and research in our field.<--break->

andrew bauerQ and A with the experts: Filing your taxes after a year of COVID

Professor Andrew Bauer of the School of Accounting and Finance examines some of the things to consider when filing your taxes this year.


Photo of Tony WirjantoQ and A with the experts: COVID-19 and the insurance industry

Tony Wirjanto, a curator for Insurance and Asset Management for the World Economic Forum and professor at the School of Accounting and Finance, takes us through how COVID-19 has affected the insurance industry, and what can be done about it 


Assessing the CRA    Photo of Ken Klassen

Ken Klassen and Nick Pantaleo's research paper: Assessing the Canada Revenue Agency: Evidence on Tax Auditors’ Incentives and Assessments


Photo of Elizabeth DemersESG factors and market crash

RESEARCH PAPER: ESG didn’t immunize stocks against the COVID-19 market crash.

<--break->Are Bounty Whistleblower Programs Effective?Photo of Christine Weidman 

Whistleblowers play an important role in the detection and deterrence of corporate fraud. 


Which is More Motivating, Cash Rewards or Gift Card Rewards? Photo of Adam PressleePhoto of Alan Webb

Gift card rewards may be an effective means of sustaining the motivation of weaker performers to work hard – a problem of particular importance when employees compete against one another for rewards.


Necessary Evil or Valued Team Member? Photo of Tim Bauer

Relationships matter when auditors and IT specialists work together but they don’t always see their relationship the same way, or in a good way. 


Analyst's Residing Country and Research Report BiasPhoto of Alan Huang

When reading an analyst’s report, pay special attention to where the analyst is from, not which brokerage the analyst is affiliated with or where the firm that is covered is headquartered.


Wait, what? Shareholders Prefer their Corporations to Pay Taxes?  Photo of Andrew Bauer

They do when incentives like shareholder credits for corporate taxes paid exist.


The association between director overcompensation and related party transactions prone to insider opportunismPhoto of Ross LuPhoto of Sasan Saiy

This study provides empirical evidence on the association between independent directors’ compensation and related party transactions suggesting that overcompensating directors has an adverse effect on their independence and the effectiveness of board monitoring.


Does Board Expertise Always Enhance Firm Performance?Photo of Jie Joyce Tian

Policy makers and regulators generally believe firms should enlist directors with more expertise. 


Unrecognized Asset Values affect the Relation between Equity Returns and Debt Valuation AdjustmentPhoto of Chanling Chen

When a firm suffers from a credit downgrade, will it be possible for the firm to record a large unrealized gain in its income?


Does corporate income tax avoidance require risk-taking?Photo of Kaishu Wu

Do firms first exhaust relatively “safe” tax planning strategies before turning to “risky” strategies, as they pursue more tax savings?


Market Pricing of Accruals Quality and Accounting‐Based AnomaliesPhoto of Daniel Jiang

RESEARCH PAPER: Connections between the Market Pricing of Accruals Quality and Accounting-Based Anomalies


Unintended consequences of material weakness reportingPhoto of Tim Bauer

RESEARCH PAPER: The Unintended Consequences of Material Weakness Reporting on Auditors’ Acceptance of Aggressive Client Reporting


Audit plans and fraud riskPhoto of Brad PomeroyPhoto of Tim Bauer

RESEARCH PAPER: Revising Audit Plans to Address Fraud Risk: A Case of ‘Do as I Advise, Not as I Do’?


Economic consequences of corporate governance disclosurePhoto of Ross Lu

RESEARCH PAPER: Economic Consequences of Corporate Governance Disclosure: Evidence from the 2006 SEC Regulation on Related-Party Transactions 


Corporate news and institutional tradingPhoto of Alan Huang

RESEARCH PAPER: Institutional Trading around Corporate News: Evidence from Textual Analysis


Emissions management strategy disclosures and their influencePhoto of Adam Vitalis

RESEARCH PAPER: The Influence of Firms' Emissions Management Strategy Disclosures on Investors' Valuation Judgments


Perceived subjectivity and pay transparency on professional judgementPhoto of Sally Gunz

RESEARCH PAPER: The Interaction of Perceived Subjectivity and Pay Transparency on Professional Judgment in a Profit Pool Setting: The Case of Large Law Firms


Online slot machine games and the behavioral implicationsPhoto of Alan Webb

RESEARCH PAPER: Behavioral implications of using an online slot machine game to motivate employees: A cautionary tale


Board expertise and executive incentivesPhoto of Joyce Tian

RESEARCH PAPER: Board expertise and executive incentives