Connecting academia and industry with new center

img_7047The business world doesn’t operate in silos. 

The Gabelli School’s Center for Professional Accounting Practices drives that point home.

Newly launched this month, it is designed to bring accounting, auditing, and tax professionals together with business and legal scholars from Fordham and other universities.

The center’s first event, held last Thursday, is a good indication of what’s to come: panels, workshops, and conferences on current research that stands to make a difference in the world of practice.

Last week’s conference topicthe OECDs Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Project and international tax avoidanceprovided an opportunity for speakers to present their research and discuss best practices.

Dr. Kimberly Clausing, the Thormund A. Miller and Walter Mintz Professor of Economics at Reed College, started the discussion with a question: Why would the world’s nations want to come together to limit the global tax problem of base erosion and profit-shifting?  

img_7079It’s a hot topic in international business and tax. Frequent examples in the press point to U.S. multinationals arranging their inter-company affairs to report profits in jurisdictions with lower tax rates than the United States. Professor Clausing presented her research, going beyond the news stories to measure the severity of the problem.

A resolution depends upon collaboration and consensus among nations, said Manal Corwin, KPMG’s national service line leader for international tax and principal in charge for international tax policy. Here, too, a siloed approach is ineffective: Countries operating their tax systems without regard to their impact on other nations are not supporting a flourishing global economy.

Dr. Greg Ballentine, vice president/senior consultant at Charles River Associates, and Mitchell Kane, the Gerald L. Wallace Professor of Taxation at NYU’s School of Law, illustrated some of the methods currently being used to shift profits and described how the OECD’s proposals could curtail them. Conforming entity classification and controlled foreign company rules, for example, would help to lower the incentive for profit-shifting.

The Center for Professional Accounting Practices, led by David Shakow, executive director, and Stan Veliotis and Barbara Porco, directors, plans to offer a space for policymakers and practitioners to engage with academic research, strengthening existing bonds between the Gabelli School and business professionals as well as forming new ones.

The hoped-for results? Shared resources, intellectual discussions, informed policymakers, and student communities with greater access to potential employers.

In today’s global economy, these are things that keep the business world turning.

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