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Philip Sinnadurai

Photo of Philip Sinnadurai
  • Title: Doctor
  • Position: Lecturer - Department of Accounting and Corporate Governance
  • Qualifications: B.Ec. (Hons) Macquarie University, Ph.D. University of Sydney, CPA

Contact Details

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Areas of Expertise


  • The motivations for and economic consequences of corporate accounting and disclosure policies
  • Determinants and economic consequences of earnings quality and earnings management
  • The processes via which financial and non-financial information is incorporated into the capital market
  • Corporate governance
  • Applying these research paradigms to Malaysia (my country of birth) and other developing countries in Southeast Asia


  •  Financial accounting, corporate finance and financial statement analysis


Dr Philip Sinnadurai joined Macquarie University in 1993, after completion of the Bachelor of Economics (Honours) program.  In 2004, Philip graduated from the University of Sydney with a doctorate.  His research, conducted using an agency theory lens, may be broadly defined as the capital markets paradigm in financial accounting.  Philip's research investigates corporate governance, earnings quality and disclosure policy.  He is particularly interested in applying this paradigm to his country of birth, Malaysia and other developing countries.  Philip's research is grounded in both corporate finance and financial accounting.

Philip's teaching interests stem from his research interests.  Hence, he teaches both financial accounting and corporate finance.  He particularly enjoys teaching financial statement analysis, at the intersection of these two areas.  He has supervised Honours theses in his areas of interests.  Philip's teaching philosophy is to facilitate students' acceptance of responsibility for their own learning.

Professional Certifications:

  • Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) with CPA Australia


  • Doctor of Philosophy: (University of Sydney)
  • Honours Degree of Bachelor of Economics: Professional accounting (Macquarie University)

Research grants

  • In September, 2010, Norashikin Ismail and I were awarded RM40,000 (roughly equivalent to AUD16,000), to work on our paper entitled, "Does Ownership Concentration Type Affect the Mapping of Earnings Quality into Value? Malaysian Evidence".  Our grant was awarded under the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme, administered by the Kementerian Pengajian Tinggi (Higher Education Ministry) of the Malaysian Government.  
  • In August, 2010, I was awarded a Faculty-funded grant, to pay a Malaysian investment analysis to provide the data needed to compute the dependent variable for Ismail and Sinnadurai (2012).

Current projects

“Empirical research grounded in agency theory – Suggestions for using the Malaysian setting to make an international contribution”

I am the sole author of this review paper.  This paper reviews three streams of international capital markets literature: research into family companies, research into political connections and studies about prediction of corporate turnaround and recovery.  My review paper argues that unique features of the Malaysian institutional environment could be utilised to make contributions to these streams of literature.  My paper reviews the directions and principal findings of the extant literature in these three streams.  I then discuss unique institutional features of Malaysia that are apposite to making contributions.  My discussion includes reflection on the socio-political background that has generated the institutional features.  I identify challenges that Malaysian researchers will face to make contributions in these areas; and make suggestions for addressing these challenges.  I suggest research questions that Malaysians could investigate, using the institutional setting available to them.

I was invited to write this review paper, by Professor Dr Susela Devi, an associate editor of Asian Journal of Business and Accounting.  The impetus for the invitation was a seminar I delivered at UNITAR International University, Malaysia, in July, 2016.  After attending the seminar, Professor Devi invited me to write a review paper, based on the content of my seminar, to be considered for publication in Asian Journal of Business and Accounting.  I have finished a coherent draft of the paper and provided same to Professor Devi, for her perusal and feedback, prior to formal journal submission.

“Growth opportunities, free cash flow and dividend policy in Malaysia”

This paper has two co-authors: Dr Ravichandran (Ravi) Subramaniam, from the Department of Accounting, Monash University, Malaysia and Professor Dr Susela Devi, from the Faculty of Business and Information Technology, UNITAR International University, Malaysia.  Dr Subramaniam and Professor Devi invited me to join them as an author on the paper, when we met at the Journal of Contemporary Accounting and Economics Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in January, 2014. 

We have presented this paper at the following forums: Seminar at the Faculty of Business and Information Technology, UNITAR International University, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, September, 2014; Conference of the Australia-Asia Research Network, Faculty of Business and Economics, Macquarie University, Australia, October, 2015; Seminar at the Department of Accounting and Finance, Monash University, Sunway, Malaysia, January, 2016; Practitioner-focused seminar at the Malaysian Institute of Corporate Governance, August, 2016; Seminar of the Department of Accounting and Corporate Governance, Macquarie University, September, 2016.

“Prediction of corporate recovery in Malaysia”

I am currently developing this paper with Associate Professor Dr Norashikin Ismail and Dr Noor Marini Abdullah.  Both of my co-authors are from the Faculty of Accountancy, Universiti Teknologi Mara, Malaysia.  We intend to utilise Practice Note 17, a unique institutional feature of Malaysia.  Practice Note 17 is a listing requirement of Bursa Malaysia, the Malaysian securities exchange that mandates financially distressed companies submit regular disclosures about their status and plan to regularise.  We plan to investigate whether the information contained in these disclosures enables more accurate prediction of the probability of recovery, than using financial statement and market-based indices, in isolation.

We have completed the following sections of the paper: introduction, discussion of Practice Note 17, literature review and hypothesis development.  We have agreed upon the research design and direction of the paper.  We have completed the sample selection of treatment (distressed) and control (non-distressed) companies.  We are currently engaged in data collection.


journal toggle icon open Refereed Journal Articles

  • Shayan Nia, M ., P. Sinnadurai, Z. Mohd-Sanusi and A. Hermawan, 2017, "How Efficient Ownership Structure Monitors Income Manipulation – Evidence of Real Earnings Management among Malaysian Firms", Research in International Business and Finance 41 (1), 54-66.
  • Sinnadurai, P., 2016, “Unique Determinants of Abnormal Earnings Growth in Malaysia”, Pacific Accounting Review 28 (1), 16-37.
  • Ismail, N. and P. Sinnadurai, 2012, "Does Ownership Concentration Type Affect the Mapping of Earnings Quality into Value? Malaysian Evidence", Journal of Business and Policy Research, 7 (3) (Special Issue), 24-47.
  • Lau, J., P. Sinnadurai and S. Wright, 2009, "Corporate Governance and CEO Dismissal Following Poor Performance: Australian Evidence", Accounting and Finance, 49 (1), 161-182.
  • Sinnadurai, P., 2008, "Voluntary Disclosure of Good and Bad Earnings News in a Low Litigation Setting", Accounting Perspectives, 7 (4), 317-340.
  • Sinnadurai, P., E. Watts and J. McKinnon, 1996, "An Empirical Investigation of Segment Data Produced in Accordance with AASB1005 Financial Reporting by Segments", Accounting Research Journal, 9 (1), 5-16.

Professional Membership

  • Member of: Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand (AFAANZ), Melbourne Australia
  • Member of: Canadian Academic Accounting Association (CAAA), Toronto Canada
  • Member of Editorial Advisory and Review Board of: Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting. (This is a refereed journal published jointly by the Accounting Research Institute, Faculty of Accountancy, UiTM Shah Alam, Malaysia and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), Malaysia

Community engagement

My principal service to the community is a program of outreach to accounting and finance scholars in Southeast Asia. I was born in Kuala Lumpur and come from mixed Anglo-Tamil heritage. I have always harboured a deep interest in my country of birth and the Southeast Asian region.

I typically pay two two-week visits to at least one Malaysian institution per year. The institutions that I visit most frequently are Universiti Teknologi Mara, ShahAlam and UNITAR International University, Petaling Jaya. I have also visited Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Kuala Terengganu. As a tribute to my country of birth, and acknowledgement of my interest in the region, I write to the authorities at Universiti Teknologi Mara in Malay. I also speak to the non-academic staff in Malay. 

During my visits to the Malaysian institutions, I have engaged in the following activities:

  • Interactive presentations of my working papers, to obtain feedback from the audience
  • Sessions with doctoral students and staff on aspects related to doing research in general, or the doctoral journey (such as preparing a literature review or managing the relationship with supervisors)
  • Sessions covering the content of key papers in my research areas. During various presentations, I have covered seminal papers in the following research areas:
  • Foundations of agency theory and capital markets research
  • Earnings quality and earnings management
  • Discretionary accruals models and other working capital accruals quality models
  • The political visibility hypothesis

I have always delivered the presentations with an orientation towards Malaysia (and to a lesser extent, her neighbours, principally Indonesia).