CPA Australia-University of Melbourne Annual Research Lecture

Campus at night

Copland Theatre,
Basement, The Spot Building
198 Berkeley Street, Carlton
VIC 3053


More Information

Abbey Treloar

Free Public Lecture

Anne Lillis will deliver the 82nd CPA Australia – University of Melbourne Annual Research Lecture, the longest-running lecture series at the University and in the world. This is a digital event broadcast via Zoom webinar. The lecture takes place from 6.00pm on Wednesday 22 September with a live Q&A.

Webinar access

Click or paste this link into a web browser from 6.00pm tonight:


Please note that registration closes at 11.59pm on 21 September. For registration after this date, please phone 1300 73 73 73, email, or click the link above to access the webinar.

The recording of this lecture will be made available to registrants via email the following week. It will also be published on our website here.

Rewarding what you can count, or rewarding what counts – what firms do to mitigate adverse incentive-driven behaviour

Performance-based incentives are a common feature in most organisations, but we know they can induce unwanted behaviours.  Documented behaviours include trains skipping stations to meet schedule benchmarks, teachers “teaching to the test” to improve standardised school test scores and Victoria police testing themselves at roadside alcohol testing stations to meet test volume targets. In this lecture I will report on an extensive field study of performance measurement practice, providing insight into the way firms avoid these dysfunctional behaviours while retaining performance-based incentives.

It emerges from this study that many firms have a healthy distrust of quantitative, objective performance measures (measuring what you can count).  Instead they rely on a range of strategies to detect adverse behaviours and ensure these behaviours are not rewarded (measuring what counts).  This lecture will provide insight into both the upside and downside of the bureaucratically-complex strategies firms use to ensure their performance measurement practice rewards and retains the right people.

Anne Lillis is Professor Emerita in the Department of Accounting at the University of Melbourne. Anne previously held the Fitzgerald Chair of Accounting. Anne researches and teaches in Management Accounting. Her research interests focus on field studies of the design and behavioural influence of performance management and control systems. She has published in leading international journals including The Accounting Review, Contemporary Accounting Research, Accounting Organizations and Society, Journal of Management Accounting Research and Management Accounting Research. Anne is an Associate Editor of Journal of Management Accounting Research, and a member of the editorial boards of several leading international and local journals.
Anne was Chair of the CAANZ Management Accounting and Finance Member Advisory Panel, and a member of the CAANZ Education Board from 2006-2016. She was Head of the Department of Accounting at University of Melbourne from 2013-2016.
Prior to joining the University of Melbourne, Anne spent several years in the Australian Taxation Office as well as at La Trobe and Deakin Universities.

The lecture is jointly presented by the Department of Accounting and CPA Australia.

Click here to download the flyer.

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