Abstract Australian and New Zealand accounting academic responses to corporate governance and reporting failures is a story not simply told in the context of high profile international corporate failures such as Enron and WorldCom. This study notes a sequence of major Australian corporate failures that predate Enron and WorldCom. Through research into professional, business and research literature, profession and governmental/regulatory websites, and interviews with senior accounting academics across Australia and New Zealand, it also highlights a tale of limited response by Australian and New Zealand accounting academics and investigates the manifest and latent drivers of this inertia. The corporatisation and commercialisation of universities and related governance processes emerge as root causes of accounting academics' general failure to address recent major breakdowns in corporate governance and reporting in the business world. The paper closes by reviewing opportunities for change in an otherwise embattled environment.