Who bears the burden for business losses: To what extent are liability issues of business structures taught in Australian accounting degrees?
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Running a business has its risks, especially as many fail in their early years of operation. The question as to which stakeholders associated with the business bear the loss is an important issue, which will largely depend on the business structure used. Accountants play a central role in the choice of business structure with their clients, with research demonstrating that liability issues are a central consideration. The Australian undergraduate accounting curriculum is heavily focused on sole proprietors, partnerships and companies, with scant coverage of trusts despite them being a popular business structure in Australia. This article goes back to first principles and examines whether there is justification for the differential coverage in the accounting curriculum on the liability issues concerning the various business structures. It will be argued that the liability issues with respect to trusts are just as important as that for the other popular business structure used to reduce liability exposure, being the company.
Company and Securities Law Journal
© 2017 Thomson Reuters. This article was first published by Thomson Reuters in the Company and Securities Law Journal and should be cited as Bocabella et al, Who bears the burden for business losses: To what extent are liability issues of business structures taught in Australian accounting degrees?, (2017) 35 C&SLJ 235. For all subscription inquiries please phone, from Australia: 1300 304 195, from Overseas: +61 2 8587 7980 or online at legal.thomsonreuters.com.au/search. The official PDF version of this article can also be purchased separately from Thomson Reuters at http://sites.thomsonreuters.com.au/journals/subscribe-or-purchase.