Purpose – The authors expect major shifts in thinking about the transnational regulation of accounting and how it will develop. This is a time for ideas as well as action. The global accounting profession must take a leading role in developing and presenting the case for the transnational regulation of accounting, in identifying new regulations, new ways of regulating, and new compacts between regulators and other stakeholders, and in framing the debate on the transnational regulation of accounting into the future. The academic community must bring intellectual rigor to thinking on the issues. The purpose of this paper is to put the case that there is a new research agenda to be formed by taking a view that combines existing work on the transnational regulation of accounting with a contemporaneous understanding of the forces for regulatory and professional change, and insight into the roles that various actors have assumed historically and will likely play going forward, so as to develop workable and sustainable models for the transnational regulation of accounting into the future. Design/methodology/approach – This paper presents a view on why the transnational regulation of accounting is increasingly becoming more important and more relevant. The paper identifies several possible work streams and research questions, and also comments on the papers appearing in this AAAJ special issue. Findings – The authors find that the transnational regulation of accounting is becoming more important and relevant and identify drivers of this. The authors also suggest that self-regulation comes from professionalization, that systems of professional self-regulation (or co-regulation) at the national level have been transformed into the systems of global self-regulation. Also there is a growing level of scholarly engagement with transnational regimes of accounting regulation and the emerging portrayal of such regimes as arenas characterized by multiple actors, agendas, and strategies of influence. Originality/value – Promotes a greater awareness and understanding of the importance of the transnational regulation of accounting, showcases recent work that demonstrates the breadth and depth of what is being done and of what needs to be done in the transnational regulation of accounting, identifies some of the key issues and imperatives for the transnational regulation of accounting.