BU Accounting Professor receives Lifetime Achievement Award


A Professor from Bournemouth University (BU) has received a prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for the contribution she has made to the accounting and finance industry.

Stella Fearnley, a Professor in Accounting in BU’s Business School, received the award from the British Accounting and Finance Association (BAFA).

The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to individuals who have made a substantial or direct contribution to the UK accounting and finance industry through teaching, research or public service.

Stella, who has worked at BU since 2007, has published over 100 journals, books and articles – as well as speaking as part of various government committees looking at accounting and standards.

She said: “The award did come as a complete surprise for me because I don’t fit the stereotype role for an academic.

“As there are getting on for 300,000 accountants in this country, my passion has always been to do research which will be of value to practitioners and public policy, not just to other academics.

“I am paid mainly out of taxpayers’ money so society deserves to benefit from academic work. Besides which I have had a lot of fun.”

The award was given to Stella at the BAFA Annual Conference in London, but was also celebrated with an event at BU, attended by colleagues and industry representatives.

A tribute to Stella was given by Professor Jens Holscher, Head of the Accounting, Finance and Economics Department at BU.

He said: “What is unique about Stella is her close engagement with industry practice and regulation.

“This is a great achievement for not just the department or the Business School but for the whole institution.”

There was also a Question and Answer session with Stella, who spoke about her experiences and achievements, and gave her thoughts on the accounting and finance industries.

She said: “I have had a lot of fun interviewing people – I’ve worked very hard at chatting up the people at the top of the organisations, and making professional contacts to get access. They won’t do it unless they trust you.

“If you engage with businesses, you inevitably have fun. You engage with so many people that you come away having enjoyed it.”

Stella, who has become known for her quick wit and controversial comments about leading industry figures and bodies, added: “If you are going to be really rude about something, make them laugh. You can get away with it without insulting them too much, which is very important.”

This is the second major industry prize that she has won – in 2007, Stella was given the Wildman Medal Award by Deloitte and the American Accounting Association, which recognises leading edge research and innovative teaching methods.

Key organisations to Business School recognised with ceremony

Key organisations with strong links to BU’s Business School were recognised at a presentation ceremony.

The Partners in Accounting and Finance Presentation Ceremony celebrated nine organisations which have key engagement with the Accounting, Finance and Economics framework.

Plaques were given to representatives from the organisations, as thanks for the input they have given as strategic partners, helping develop key employability skills in students and providing professional opportunities.

BU Vice-Chancellor Professor John Vinney opened the ceremony.

He said relationships such as these were at the heart of BU.

“Bournemouth University is immensely proud of its strong affiliations with businesses, organisations and professional bodies, at the local, regional, national and international level,” he said.

“[This] is a fantastic example of how the Business School engages with industry, ensuring that its courses are current and professionally relevant.”

The event was organised by Dr Phyllis Alexander, Framework Leader for Undergraduate Accounting and Finance courses at BU, and attended by the Mayors of Bournemouth and Poole.

The nine partners recognised at the ceremony were: the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA); EDF; J.P. Morgan; the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW); Mazars; Princecroft Willis; Santander Universities; Smith and Williamson; and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).

Representatives from the organisations spoke about the initiatives they have worked on with BU, which include running skills sessions and lectures and offering training contracts and placement opportunities, among others.

Lesley Fox, a partner at Mazars accountancy firm, which has offices in Poole, said: “We have been involved with BU for many years and in various ways.

“Over the years, we have offered training contracts and various placement opportunities and we talk in lectures about life as a Chartered Accountant.

“We are delighted to be involved and looking forward to exploring ways we can further develop our working relationship with the university.”

The event also featured a keynote speech about the challenges for future accounting and finance professionals by Ian Marshall, Chairman of Markel International and Senior Advisor to the Bank of England Prudential Regulatory Authority.

Dean of the Business School Professor Roger Palmer said that the School aimed to make graduates distinctive through their exceptional employability and that partners such as those recognised at the ceremony played a large part.

He said: “Our partners are invaluable in providing not only their time, but the relevant and largely intangible insight that will inform our students and increase further their employability, to the benefit of the parties involved, the profession and wider society.”

Accounting students receive £100 prize for best company study presentation


Final year Accounting students judged to have presented the best company study were rewarded with a £100 prize.

The company study is a project done by groups of students in their final year of the Accounting degree framework.

It consists of a 10,000 word report and a 20 minute presentation analysing aspects of a company including its financial management, corporate governance and strategy.

Of 28 groups, the best four were selected to present in front of Lesley Fox from Mazars – a company which specialises in audit, tax and advisory services, and sponsors the company study project.

Lesley said that all of the groups impressed with clear and incisive presentations on companies including brewery SAB Miller, Whitbread Plc (who own companies like Costa and Premier Inn), and real estate company British Land.

But she chose final year Accounting and Finance students Alexander Brooke, Daniel Frampton, Ivy Lappin and Rahim Bah as winners for their presentation on mining company BHP Billiton.

Lesley said that it was a “very tough decision” to make.

She said: “I was very impressed – they all had a professional approach to the presentations and were very clear. The knowledge of the companies they were studying was also strong.

“We have sponsored the project for a number of years now. It gives the students that interaction with local businesses and a chance to present in front of an external contact, with an outside opinion.”

She added that the winners impressed with the way they responded to questions and presented as a team.

Each member of the winning team received £100 from Mazars, and will also be presented with a certificate during their graduation ceremonies.

Daniel Frampton from the team said: “The competition was really good. Everyone was great so it was really good to be named as winner. The rest of the guys did extremely well.”

Ivy Lappin added: “It has been challenging but we have come through it, and I feel more confident about my presentation skills and teamwork now.”