Hello, I'm

Aneel Iqbal

a PhD Candidate from University of Calgary

I explore how to improve the accounting and financial disclosures of new-economy firms. My research agenda is informed by my diverse experience in auditing, financial analysis, business advisory, performance management, and executive training.

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Factors Contributing to My Research Agenda

Strong Domain Knowledge

I started my research career as a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Chartered Accountant (CA), and Certified Management Accountant (CMA). These certifications equipped me with an in-depth understanding of how accounting information is produced and disseminated in the capital market. I also fairly understand how that information is utilized by stakeholders to make investment and financing decisions. This multi-stakeholder view allows me to conduct my research holistically.

Broad Understanding of the Management Discipline

Before enrolling in the PhD program, I completed my MBA at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. This training provided me with a broader understanding of the management discipline, both in theory and practice. I believe that this understanding is crucial in developing a research agenda that is grounded in management practice.

Diverse Practical Experience 

I have worked in the fields of auditing, financial consulting, Initial Public Offering (IPO) readiness, and management reporting for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Ernst & Young (EY), and Saudi Aramco. With PwC, I performed statutory audits and financial reviews for public companies in the manufacturing and financial services sectors. Working in Saudi Aramco, I got an opportunity to look at the accounting and reporting process from the other side of the table. I performed financial analysis, reviewed financial models, and participated in the development of corporate operating plans. I was also a part of the team responsible for preparing the company for its IPO. The IPO was successful, and the company became the most valuable company globally shortly after that. This diverse exposure helped me learn how theoretical knowledge is applied in practice by individuals and institutions. I now better appreciate the challenges that multiple stakeholders face in producing, disseminating, and using financial information, as well as the trade-offs involved in striking the right balance between diverse reporting objectives. For example, reliability versus relevance, informativeness versus proprietary cost of disclosure, and timeliness versus accuracy.

Teaching of Management Practice

Before enrolling in the PhD program, I worked in two business schools where I taught accounting and finance at the undergraduate and graduate levels for over five years. I also developed and delivered accounting and finance executive courses for managers. Engaging with students and participants from such diverse backgrounds further developed my understanding of the practical challenges that managers face around the process of financial reporting, disclosure, and analysis.


Research Projects

To understand and document whether accrual accounting applies as well to knowledge firms as it does to physical firms, I developed my first paper titled “How Do Amounts, Composition, and Properties of Accruals Differ for Physical versus Knowledge Firms?”. 

In my second research paper titled “Value of Internally Generated Intangible Capital”, I propose a new and systematic method to measure the value of internally generated intangible capital for improving financial statement analysis. 

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In this practitioner-focused article, I examine three categories of investments — capital expenditures, economic competencies, and talent — midsize companies made before, during, and after the 2007–2009 recession and show that companies that increased investments during the recession showed improvement in return on equity, sales growth, and market values in the recovery phase following the recession.

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Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary
2018 - PRESENT
Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Certified Management Accountant
Institute of Management Accountants, USA
Chartered Financial Analyst
CFA Institute USA
Chartered Accountant
Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan
Master of Commerce (M.Com)
Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan

Honors and Awards

2021 - 2022
CSI Research Foundation PhD Scholarship
CAD 50,000
CPA Education Foundation Research Grant
CAD 20,000
Alberta Graduate Excellence Scholarship
CAD 15,000
CPA Managerial Research Grant
CAD 5,000
CPA Managerial Research Grant
CAD 3,000
CPA Tax Research Grant
CAD 5,000
CMA Silver Medal (Second Highest Score Worldwide in CMA Exams)
SKANS Roll of Honor (Best Academic Performance in CA Exams)

Teaching Experience

Introductory Financial Accounting
(Instructor Ratings - 4.5 out of 5)
Sessional Instructor
University of Calgary, Canada
Finance for non-finance Managers
Corporate Financial Management
Executive Trainer
Ernst & Young, Saudi Arabia
2010 - 2011
Principles of Financial Accounting
(Instructor Ratings - 4.02 out of 5)

Corporate Financial Reporting

(Instructor Ratings - 4.28 out of 5)
Business School Faculty
Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan
2008 - 2010
education certificate

Teaching Certificates

Ivey Case Workshop
Ivey Business School, Canada
ATD Master Trainer
Association for Talent Development, USA
Case Method Teaching
Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan

Industry Experience

Senior Financial Analyst
Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia
2014 - 2018
Senior Audit Associate
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Pakistan
2002 - 2006

Hobbies and Interests