Ann Tarca interview, 5 October 2012

Dublin Core


Ann Tarca interview, 5 October 2012


Accounting and Finance


This is an interview with Ann Tarca who studied at the University of Western Australia later qualifying as a chartered accountant. She worked in the state public service in Karratha and taught at Karratha College before returning to UWA where she obtained her Master of Accounting and PhD. Ann’s teaching interests include financial accounting and she is a co-author of the leading accounting textbook Godfrey, Hodgson, Holmes and Tarca (2006) Accounting Theory 6th Edition.

Ann’s research focuses on international accounting, the adoption of international accounting standards and the regulation of financial reporting, particularly the harmonisation and enforcement of reporting requirements at an international level. She has published in well recognised international and Australian journals and has an author ranking in the world’s top 2% on the Social Sciences Research Network database. Career highlights include holding one of the inaugural KPMG/IAAER research grants (for a project on reporting financial performance) and winning the Blackwell’s/Synergy Award for the most downloaded paper in the Journal of International Financial Management and Accounting in 2006 and 2007 for her 2004 paper entitled “International convergence of accounting practices: Choosing between IAS and US GAAP”.

During the interview Ann talks of the development of her career. She speaks of the changes that she has seen to the University of Western Australia. The focus of the discussion is how she has seen the running of the Business School and the department of Accounting and Finance. She speaks at length of the University’s international standing and where she sees its future approaching its 100th anniversary.


Tarca, Ann


University of Western Australia Historical Society


Copyright holder University of Western Australia


MP3 files


Oral History

Oral History Item Type Metadata


John Bannister


Ann Tarca


Interview 1: 53 minutes, 27 seconds
Interview 2: 56 minutes, 11 seconds
Interview 3: 9 minutes, 58 seconds
Total: 1 hour, 59 minutes, 36 seconds

Bit Rate/Frequency

128 kbs

Time Summary

Track 1
00:00:00 Ann Tarca born in Perth 1955. Family background. Mother was unusual and was educated at Perth Modern School. Influence to come to university. Muriel Bird. Mother’s job as speech and drama teacher. Mother’s career.
00:04:20 Love of learning and reading – memories of school. No links to private school; University of privilege. Coming to the University to see theatre. Festival of Perth. Mother was modest. AMEB. Trinity College London. Exams held at AMEB. Natural progression to go to University.
00:07:15 Window to the world. Contemporary terms 14 year old different then. No technology. Life revolved around family. Australian newspaper. Max Harris and Phillip Adams. Going to the theatre and connecting with the world. University was the connection to the arts and the world. Life growing up. Aspirations of the family and mother’s influence.
00:10:23 Coming to the university to study writing and literature. Passion was literature and words. Ambitions. Being able to come to university. Commonwealth scholarship. No fees – given funds. Seismic shift. Teacher Raymond Omodei was big in theatre. Studying arts at UWA. Options for women. Striking out to study economics.
00:14:30 Transition from high school to university not such a smooth situation. Sense of community. Whitlam a time for change. Sitting on the Reid Library Wall. Culture. Realities of coming to university. Interests at university and the atmosphere. Money and transport. Passing and failing. Economics course. Mathematics and stats.
00:19:50 Inspiration. Leaving and returning to study accounting. Sensible planning. Studying anthropology. Working full-time and studying part-time. Phil Hancock. Meeting interesting people: Terry Walter, Richard Fale. Transformed person. Appreciating the people. Accounting major. Big classes. Not knowing the lecturer. Strong presence of women. Lots of overseas students. Ruth Johnson.
00:24:14 Real interest in management. Ruth Johnson’s story. The passion for what she did – standing up for the rights of working people. Thought and direction for self and future career. Thoughts of doing law.
00:26:43 Differences. Inspiring people. Looking for work. Working in an accounting firm. Marriage. Working part-time. Teaching in Karratha. Coming back to Perth. Enjoying teaching. Connection at Curtin. Husband’s encouragement to come to UWA. Loyalties and personal random choice. Accounting.
00:32:00 Reputation of UWA. Aim to work at UWA enrolling in a master’s course. UWA: premier university. Murdoch and Curtin. Lack of knowledge. Calibre of Curtin. Philip Brown. Experiences of coming back to UWA in 1996. Differences. Personal success. Enrolling in Masters of Industrial Relations.
00:36:57 Break from study. Doors open and random events. Lack of networking. Engaging with cohort and lecturers. Izan head of department of finance. Changes. Philip Brown. Dropping finance units. Ian Scarnon. Finance and accounting units. Experience of Phillip Brown. Passionate patient encouraging person. Accountants are not mathematicians. Experience of working in accounting in 1980s.
00:42:55 Challenges and encouragement. Research methods. Tutoring in finance. Scholars stand out. International accounting standards. Accounting standards and experience of research. Brian Howieson. Masters and PhD.
00:46:40 Academic career and research. Higher degrees. Masters reading and writing. Research. Teaching. Changes between staff and student observed. Campus and university experience. Overseas students. Huge classes in 1996. Commerce and engineering. Sense of community in accounting finance. Staff member – Mark Holub. Credit to Izan. Help from other staff. Meetings and integration. Serious career move and focus. Supporting people. Brian Howieson, David Woodliff and collegiality. Publishing and researching.

Track 2
00:00:00 Talking about Izan. Head of department Accounting & Finance. Reputation – Dr Ken Clements. The group with Izan and Philip Brown leading was emerging. Setting up Accounting & Finance. Large numbers training and supervising. Everybody speaks highly of Izan. Teaching supervising and administering. Mature age PhD.
00:05:30 Returning to reading, writing and presenting. Seminar at the University of Queensland. University presenting itself to other institutions. High standards. Engagement with international colleagues.
00:09:00 Identifying research areas. Thesis and Masters programme. Things learned from colleagues. Publishing a defining element in an academic career. Accounting theory and of international accounting standards. Important career development. Marketing of work. Academic community. Winning awards. Technology. Research impact. Getting paper published. Impact factor of a journal.
00:15:15 Most impacting changes in the school. Connection with the library and online databases. Effect of technology on personal work. International accounting standards. 2005 good outward focus. Looking to other Universities worldwide. Rising up the ranks at UWA by demonstrating international impact. Sabbatical year. New set of interests and ideas.
00:19:50 Important areas that need to be addressed. Laws are entrenched in accounting and industry. International accounting standards. US litigious place compared to Australia. Seeing departments interacting in the campus and beyond. Business School connected to the community. Business School looking to the future connection and linkage grants. Drawing from the business community in Perth.
00:24:33 Connections with Ernst & Young. Learning and practice. Contributing to linking the University to the community. The University being seen by the community. Strategy and structural changes enable travel. Support for academics at UWA. Increasing pressures on academics. Money that is available. Resources and decisions that affect the Business School. A disconnect with the big organisation and academics.
00:30:17 Alan Robson. Calibre of academics. Alan Robson’s vision for the University. Barry Marshall and his experiments. Career-defining moment. Making self American. Staying true to self. University going up the ranks.
00:35:20 Interaction with other countries. UWA and Japan and China. Raymond Da Silva Rosa. Accounting and Finance collaborate. Connecting with people at conferences. Visits by David Yermack. Converging views to accounting standards: views from Japan. People doing a lot with very little. Successful grant applications. Needing international input. Mr Kaniko from Japan.
00:40:25 The grand slam of accounting presentations. United States and Australian grand slam. Converging accounting and drawing people in from other countries. Japan Switzerland, New Zealand, England. One on one relations and collaborations. Accounting theory 7th edition.
00:42:16 Being head of discipline. Future needs and reflections on Accounting and Finance – not attracting the best. Jean Paul Carvalho. Exporting people onto the world stage. Attracting people into accounting. Major problems with attracting people. Issues of the baby boom bump. Attracting people to the academic world. Things have gone badly wrong. Support from the accounting profession. Teaching is a skill. Teaching is more professional – the skills of teaching.
00:48:48 Drying up of student numbers. Australia benefits enormously from Asia. The goose that laid the golden egg. Big university online university courses. lectures and the engaging of students. Students opting out. Education is about being in a room and debating. Virtual world vs. interaction with people. Challenges to deliver materials and engaging students. Resource pressure. Good quality staff. Benefits of classes on line. Cohort of students that will do the minimum.

Track 3
00:00:00 Concerns and encouraging and supporting and fostering the staff. Conflicting goals. Business School money going elsewhere. Student numbers. Vicky Karagiannis and people in the service role. Close relationships in the supporting role. Competing objectives. Multiple goals. Being good corporate citizens and connecting in the community. Teaching and research. Research and teaching pressures with large student numbers. Taking resources away from the Business School.
00:05:17 Going ahead and attracting people and money. Asking for transparency and equity. Recognition. Business schools used as a cash cow. Addressing competing goals. Working 7 days a week. Looking back over student days and staff member. Fan of UWA. Proud of the University’s achievements. Punching above weight. Proud of the quality of the students. Academic staff are guiding and bringing out the best of students. Feelings of privilege.



Tarca, Ann, “Ann Tarca interview, 5 October 2012,” UWA Historical Society: UWA Histories, accessed July 13, 2024,