A new column in Strategic Finance magazine is helping to bridge the gap between complex, scholarly research and concise, practical insights that accounting and finance practitioners can use in their daily work.

The quarterly column, aptly titled “Research,” is a joint effort between IMA’s flagship publication and the Management Accounting Section (MAS) of the American Accounting Association (AAA).

“We want to do a better job making research more accessible for practitioners,” explained Adam Presslee, Ph.D., CPA, assistant professor at the School of Accounting and Finance at the University of Waterloo and chair of the MAS committee overseeing the column. “Academics aren’t always effective at sharing the practical implications of their research, so this column is a way to bring that research to life.”

The idea for the column came out of discussions among IMA Vice President of Research and Professor-in-Residence Raef Lawson, Ph.D., CMA, CPA, CAE, and members of the MAS leadership team, including Annie Farrell (past president), Lynn Hannan (chair, Task Force on Research-Practice Connections), and Alan Webb (president). A committee was created to identify recently published research in top academic journals and summarize them into 1,000-word columns for the use and benefit of practitioners.

Three "Research" columns have been published to date: in August 2019, on using gift cards to motivate employees; in November 2019, on whether experience is the best teacher; and, most recently, in February. That column, authored by Pablo Casas-Arce, Ph.D., Sofia M. Lourenço, DBA, and F. Asís Martínez-Jerez, Ph.D., and titled “When Less (Frequent) Is More,” discusses the results of a study that found that the best employee performance is achieved when detailed feedback is delivered less frequently. The next column, on a topic to be determined, is slated to appear in the May 2020 issue.

One of the most important goals of the column, according to Presslee, is to showcase the breadth of management accounting research topics. “We want to share about topics that at first glance might not seem to be in the wheelhouse of traditional management accountants – say, the idea of motivating employees or facilitating learning – but we hope that by reading these columns, practitioners will come away with information that they can use and share within their organization.”

Presslee said the committee is always interested in hearing about topics that might be of interest to practitioners. “We’d love to learn what you’d like us to cover – maybe it’s something we haven’t thought of before and that’s a pressing concern for you or your organization.” He can be reached at adam.presslee@uwaterloo.ca.