Professor receives literary award

Samantha Villanueva
Staff writer 

Lawrence Murphy Smith, the David and Ashley Dill distinguished professor of accounting, is Outstanding Paper recipient for his work, “Do Complexity, Governance, and Auditor Independence Influence whether Firms Retain their Auditors for Tax Services?” || Ryan RichardsonStaff writer

A new face on Murray State’s faulty received a paper award for his publication in one of the nation’s leading literary magazines.

Lawrence Murphy Smith, the David and Ashley Dill distinguished professor of accounting, recently published an article titled “Do Complexity, Governance, and Auditor Independence Influence whether Firms Retain their Auditors for Tax Services?” in which he received the Outstanding Paper Award.

Smith’s essay was printed in the 2010 edition of the Journal of the American Taxation Association. Smith said his writing explains the factors which had an impact on many countries to deal with their audit firms.

“Publicly traded companies are required to have an annual audit of their financial statements,” he said. “Hiring the auditor to do both the audit and the tax return may be perceived to reduce the independence of the audit. However, in cases where a company’s tax and business operations are more complex, there is increased likelihood that the company will hire the auditor to do both the audit and tax return.”

Aside from this, Smith’s piece deals with the risks of when the auditor deals with both the return and audit of a company. The direct effect of this, though, deals with the restrictment of the auditor’s independence.

Because of the journal’s reputation, Smith said the recognition allows him to know all the hard work which he has done was definitely worthwhile.

“Having a published paper recognized by one’s peers in this manner is very meaningful,” Smith said. “Publishing an academic research paper often involves several years of work, so this award affirms that the effort was worthwhile.”

Aside from wanting to express the cautions of today’s companies and their tax audits, Smith said teaching the students of Murray State that with hard work anything is possible, was one of his greatest inspirations.

“Having a mentoring role to students is an inspiration to do my job well,” he said. “A great deal of my research concerns ethical issues. Educators must do all that they can to encourage students to do the ‘right’ thing, even in difficult circumstances. This encouragement will serve them well in college and in their future careers.”

Smith, who received his doctorate at Louisiana Tech University, said that even though explaining a company’s taxation issues is the main topic, that was not his main goal for his article.

“My personal goal is to help my students achieve their highest potential,” Smith said. “I believe that I have become a more effective professor as a result of my research. This particular research study deals with an important issue facing practicing accountants and businesspersons. Aspects of this study will be included in my future lectures.”

Smith went on to say the research component of his work should ideally have students learn that conducting such research is not entirely useless.

Said Smith: “This study, like many studies, examines an issue about which there are opposing viewpoints. Research helps people better understand such issues and how to seek solutions to problems. College students will benefit from learning how research is done in their fields of study.”

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