Professor Brendan O'Connell


Professor, Accounting

School /
Work Unit


Contact Details

+61 3 9925 5771


Building: 080
Level: 11
Room: 037

City campus


College of Business

Brendan O’Connel


  • PhD Monash, CPA, CMA, F Fin
  • PhD Monash, FCPA, CA, CMA

Research Interests / Areas of Expertise

  • Corporate governance
  • Corporate scandals
  • Earnings management
  • Ethics
  • Accounting education

Current Research Projects

  • In 2014, Co-Chief Investigator with Garry Carnegie on a research project entitled, “Shaping the Future of Accounting and Business Education”, funded for a total of $60,215 under the highly competitive CPA Australia Global Research Perspectives Program. The key aims of this inquiry are to: (1) assess the current state of play in accounting and business education in Australia (2) focus on the key challenges, issues and opportunities faced by the accounting and business education (3) develop feasible, innovative and productive ways forward to meet the many challenges faced by accounting and business education and to take full advantage of the opportunities identified.
  • In 2011, awarded as a member of the "Achievement matters" team, $300,000 of funding from CPA Australia, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, the Australian Business Deans Council, and the Australian Learning and Teaching Council to develop and implement threshold learning standards (TLOs) for the accounting discipline in Australian universities.
  • In 2008 and 2009, Lead Investigator on a Priority Projects Grant with the Australian Learning and Teaching Council entitled "Enhancing Assessment Feedback Practices in Accounting Education: Issues, Obstacles and Reforms". The project was funded to the tune of $217,000.
  • A Longitudinal Study of Recurrent Audit Failure in Australian Corporate Collapses from 1885 to the Present, $95,000, Australian Research Council Discovery Grant.


  • O’Connell, B. and De Lange, P. 2013. “Prominent themes in accounting education scholarship”, Accounting Education: an International Journal, Vol. 22, No. 6, 507-509.
  • Watty, K., Howieson, B., O’Connell, B. 2013. “Social moderation, assessment and assuring standards for accounting graduates”, Assessment and Evaluation in HigherEducation, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 2013
  • Carnegie, G. and O'Connell, B. 2013, "A Longitudinal Study of the Interplay of Corporate Collapse, Accounting Failure and Governance Change in Australia: Early 1890s to Early 2000", Critical Perspectives on Accounting (in press, 2013)
  • Watty, K. De Lange, P. O’Connell, B. et al. (2013) “Accounting Students’ Feedback on Feedback in Australian Universities: They’re Less Than Impressed”, Accounting Education: An International Journal, Vol. 22, No. 5, 467–488.
  • Watty, K. De Lange, P. O'Connell, B. et al. (2013) "Accounting Students' Feedback on Feedback in Australian Universities: They're Less Than Impressed", Accounting Education: An International Journal (in press, accepted October, 2012).
  • Sangster, A., Stoner, G. De Lange, P. O'Connell, B. and Scataglini-Belghitar, G. 2012. "Pacioli's Forgotten Book", Accounting Historians Journal, 39 (2): pp. 27-44.
  • Carnegie, G. and O'Connell, B. 2012, "Understanding the responses of professional accounting bodies to crises: The case of the Australian profession in the 1960s", Accounting Auditing and Accountability Journal, 25(5): pp. 835-875.
  • De Lange, P., O'Connell, B., Mathews, M. R. and Sangster, A. 2010, ‘The ERA: A Brave New World of Accountability for Australian University Accounting Schools', Australian Accounting Review, No. 52, 20(1): 49-62.
  • Lane, R. and O'Connell, B. 2009. "The Changing Face of Regulators' Investigations into Financial Statement Fraud", Accounting Research Journal, Vol. 22, No. 2, pp. 118-43. Winner of "Highly Commended Award" from Emerald LiteratiNetwork for 2009.
  • Webb, L., De Lange, P. and O’Connell, B. “A Programme to Expose Students to Senior Executives in the World of Accounting: An Innovative Learning Method”, Accounting Education: An International Journal, December 2008, Vol. 17, No. 4, 443–465.
  • Carey, P., M. Geiger and B. O’Connell. “Costs Associated With Going-Concern-Modified Audit Opinions: An Analysis of the Australian Audit Market”, Abacus, Vol. 44, No. 1, March 2008, pp. 61-81.
  • M. Geiger, B. O’Connell et al. “Earnings Management: The Effects of National Culture”, Advances in International Accounting, 2006, Vol. 19, pp. 175-99.
  • B. O’Connell. “Accounting and Audit Failure within Corporate Collapse”, Accounting History, November 2005, Vol. 10, No. 3, pp. 5-10.
  • M. Geiger, D. North and B. O’Connell. “The Auditor to Client Revolving Door and Earnings Management”, Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Finance, Winter 2005, Vol. 20, No. 1, pp. 1-26.
  • B. O’Connell, L. Webb & H. R. Schwarzbach. “Batten down the Hatches! Lessons for Australian Regulators and the Accounting Profession from the Reactions of their US Counterparts to the recent Accounting Scandals”, Australian Accounting Review, July 2005, Vol. 15, No. 2 Iss. 36, pp.52-67.
  • B. O’Connell and J. Nagy. “Response to Commentary by Lynn E. Turner re Mary Morrison’s recent paper in Critical Perspectives on Accounting” Critical Perspectives on Accounting, January 2005, Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 71-72.
  • B. O’Connell, L. Webb, C. Carr and M. Higgins. “The Ethics of the CPA/ Client Relationship: The case of Roadrunner and Howard Bean, CPA”, Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting, Vol. 10, 2005, pp. 219-37.
  • B. O’Connell. Editorial. “Enron Inc: He that filches from me my good name … makes me poor indeed” Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Vol. 15, Issue No. 6-7, 2004, pp. 733-749.
  • B. O’Connell. “Crimes and Misdemeanours: The Death of Arthur Andersen” Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Vol. 15, Issue No. 3 (March) 2004, pp. 333-334.
  • B. O'Connell, I. Beaman, P. de Lange & K. Smyrnios “An Experiment to Assess the Learning Benefits of Employing Accounting Software in the Classroom”, The Review of Business Information Systems, Vol. 7, Issue No. 1 (Winter) 2003, pp. 49-58.
  • B. O’Connell and L. Webb. “The Failure of Corporate Governance at Enron”, The Journal of the Securities Institute of Australia (JASSA), Issue No. 3, (Spring) 2002, pp. 2-8.
  • B. O’Connell. “An Analysis of Key Issues arising from Professor A.J. Briloff’s Study entitled, “Garbage In/ Garbage Out: A Critique of Fraudulent Financial Reporting: 1987-1997 (the COSO Report) The SEC Accounting Regulatory Process (AAERs)”, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Vol. 12, Issue No. 2, (April) 2001, pp. 167-86.
  • B. O’Connell, M. Geiger & P. Clikeman, “Student Perceptions of Earnings Management: The Effects of National Origin and Gender”, Teaching Business Ethics, Vol. 5, Issue No. 4 (November), 2001, pp. 389-410.
  • B.O’Connell, J. Ratnatunga and K. Smyrnios “Critical Factors in Securitization of Financial Assets: Evidence from Australia”, Journal of Applied Finance, Fall/ Winter 2000, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp. 34-46.
  • M. Geiger and B. O’Connell. "An Examination of Using Surrogate Measures to Assess Social Desirability Bias", Research on Accounting Ethics, Vol.6, 2000, pp. 107-27.
  • B. O’Connell, L. Webb and M. Higgins. “Internationalizing Student Learning Experiences: A Program of Site Visits to World-Class Organizations”, Advances in Accounting Education, 2000, Vol. 3, pp. 1-32.

Prizes and Awards

  • Lane, R. and O’Connell, B. 2009. “The Changing Face of Regulators’ Investigations into Financial Statement Fraud”, Accounting Research Journal, Vol. 22, No. 2, pp. 118-43. Winner of “Highly Commended Award” from Emerald LiteratiNetwork for 2009.
  • 2003 - Awarded, jointly with Professor Garry Carnegie, the Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law Strategic Priority Award for “Outstanding Contribution to Research”.
  • 2002 - Awarded the 2001-2002 International Education Award by the Office of International Education at the University of Richmond, Virginia USA. This award recognized “a major contribution by a staff or faculty member to the university’s mission to enhance international education”.
  • 1998 - A paper presented entitled, “Measuring Potential Social Desirability Response Biases in Survey Instruments”, received an award for being one of the three best papers presented at the academic conference: Asian - Network Symposium on Accounting Issues.

Industry experience

Professor O’Connell has an enviable track record in both industry and academia. During his 33 year career, he has worked as an analyst and bond dealer with major investment banks and has been employed in leading universities in the US, Australia and Asia including Monash University and the University of Richmond in Virginia. He has published widely on accounting education issues and ethics and corporate scandals and has conducted high-level consultancy and commissioned research by public companies, professional accounting bodies and national teaching and learning institutes. He has been a recipient of numerous large research grants including an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant. He is currently President of the Victorian Divisional Council of CPA Australia and a member of its Executive Committee. He has been a member of Victorian Divisional Council of CPA Australia for over four years. From 2002 to 2011 he was a Chief Examiner of the CPA program in Australia during which time he was heavily involved in the redesign of that program and the preparation of comprehensive materials.