CPA Australia-University of Melbourne Annual Research Lecture

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


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Abbey Treloar

Michael Davern will deliver the 84th CPA Australia - University of Melbourne Annual Research Lecture, the longest-running lecture series at the University and in the world. This is a face-to-face event which will also be livestreamed. The lecture takes place from 6.00pm AEST on Wednesday 27 September with a live Q&A.

Professional Judgment: Accounting Value(s) and Data in the AI Era

Contrary to the claims of pundits, accounting is not doomed to be replaced by AI and technologists applying the tools of data science. Accounting’s value is founded on the very human qualities of professional judgment and ethical values.  To evidence the bright future for accounting, in this lecture we will take a journey across a spectrum of current issues in accounting and business. We will explore the horizons of financial reporting and the challenges of intangibles, sustainability, and the role of professional judgment particularly regarding measurement uncertainty and investor decision making.  As organisations become increasingly data-driven, with pervasive AI and automation, we will see how this demands more of the professional judgment, values and business understanding that are core to accounting.  We will recognize accountants as the original business data professionals with deep knowledge of risks and controls.  We will see accounting’s potential to contribute from business operations to strategic leadership, and to the creation of value broadly defined.

Michael Davern is the Chair of Accounting and Business Information Systems at The University of Melbourne. For over 30 years, both in Australia and internationally, he has led industry engaged research projects in data analytics, business intelligence, financial reporting, risk management, data governance and ethics, among others.
His work has entailed collaborations and support from partners including the Australian Accounting Standards Board, CPA Australia, EY, Microsoft, NAB, Scope Australia and the Australian Research Council.  Michael has published over 50 papers in leading accounting and information systems journals and industry-commissioned reports. An internationally known presenter to industry forums and executive audiences, Michael combines academic expertise in accounting, information technology, and cognitive sciences with substantial board-level experience in the for-purpose and private sectors. Michael is a member of CPA Australia’s Centre of Excellence in Digital Transformation and a regular speaker at CPA Australia congresses.

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

Webinar access

Registration is essential via the "book now" button at left. Please note that registration closes at 14:50 on 27 September. For registration after this time, please phone 1300 73 73 73, or email
The recording of this lecture will be made available to registrants via email following the lecture. It will also be published on our website here.

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