Symposia Programme


 

SYMPOSIUM 1

EFRAG: BETTER INFORMATION ON INTANGIBLES

Wednesday 29 May  14:15-15:45  Auditorium (Room 1)
 

In an economy where, intangibles may have an increasingly important role in the companies’ business model, EFRAG’s research project on Better Information on Intangibles investigates possible ways to improve the information that companies report on these and how they can contribute to create value and future cash flows. Today’s financial statements (including notes) may not provide a full picture, as many intangibles are often not even referenced. Can traditional financial reporting provide information that is at the same time meaningful and reliable, when the earning potential of these resources is so wide, and their value is so uncertain? Or is the key the use of extra financial information as part of wider corporate reporting? Some organisations active in the corporate reporting or extra financial information area have already taken steps in this area.

EFRAG has established in the second half of 2018 the European Corporate Reporting Lab (European Lab) aiming at stimulating innovations in the field of corporate reporting in Europe by identifying and sharing good practice. It could be envisaged that the European Lab could play a role in the intangibles debate.

Chair/moderator: Thorsten Sellhorn (President-elect European Accounting Association, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich)

Introductions: Saskia Slomp (EFRAG CEO), Filippo Poli (EFRAG Research Director)

Panellists: Elizabeth Demers (member EAA Corporate Reporting Committee, HEC Lausanne), Sue Harding (Managing Director Harding Analysis, Accounting & Governance Analyst), Filippo Poli (EFRAG Research Director), Martin Hoogendoorn (Partner Ernst & Young, Erasmus University Rotterdam).

This symposium is sponsored by EFRAG.


SYMPOSIUM 2

ACCOUNTING AND POLITICS

Wednesday 29 May  16:15-17:45  Auditorium (Room 1)


This symposium is linked to the outstanding call for papers related to the special issue on “accounting and politics” to be published in Accounting in Europe.

From the viewpoint of the economic and social consequences of accounting, it is hardly possible to argue that the accounting standard setting process is exclusively technical. On the contrary, it is now accepted widely that accounting decisions are political, they benefit some stakeholders but might penalize others. The IASB is focused on satisfying investors’ needs. To what extent should other stakeholders be considered? Is that a responsibility of the IASB? Or should that be decided at the political level? Is the current endorsement process of the EU and its adherence to the public good ensuring the interests of all stakeholders in financial reporting? Regarding the legitimacy of a private standard-setter, the IASB has added layers to its working system to be accountable to high level groups, and has an open due process. But, how does that process work in practice? What determines the success of such an international standard setter? What can other institutions learn from the IASB about the factors that contributed to its leading position as a global standard setter? Does the world need international accounting standards in 2019? Does the digital era require a different accounting standard setting process?

In this symposium the following related topics to the overall theme of the special issue will be covered:

  • The ‘geopolitics’ of accounting standard setting. Are there consequences for the IASB/IFRS Standards and in a wider context for the EU’s IFRS Policy?
  • Is the European public good a useful concept in the EU endorsement process?
  • Politics has gained importance and politicians are more involved and interested in corporate reporting:  what is the trend over time?
  • The interaction between financial reporting (IASB) and corporate reporting (e.g. GRI, IIRC, SDG, …). What are the political aspects of this complex interplay between these areas?
  • What are the critical success factors of the IASB? What are its achievements?
  • Do we still need international standards in the current (digital) environment?

Chair: Ann Jorissen, Professor, Universiteit Antwerpen  & EAA External Relations Committee

Panellists: Kees Camfferman (Professor, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), Saskia Slomp (CEO of the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG)), Ann Tarca (IASB  Board Member and former Professor of the University of Western Australia), Stefano Zambon (Professor, Unversitá degli Studi Ferrara).


SYMPOSIUM 3

IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGY ON MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTANTS

Thursday 30 May  09.00-10.30  Auditorium (Room 1)
 

In academia as well as in professional practice, increased attention is being paid to the impact of technology on management accounting in organizations. For example, Frey and Osborne (2017) suggest that (management) accounting is one of a number of professions that is most prone to further automation and robotisation. In addition, several journals like Accounting Horizons (September 2015) and the Journal of Accounting Education (March 2017) have published special issues dedicated entirely to the impact of data analytics and big data on accounting. However, it remains unclear how technological developments will affect specific activities of management accountants, how efficient and effective these technological developments in management accounting are, and how these technological developments (should) affect education in management accounting. During the IMA-sponsored discussion at the EAA annual conference, several researchers will provide a short introduction on the aforementioned topics.

Chair: Alain Mulder (Director European Operations IMA®)

Panellists: prof. dr. Cristiano Busco (Roehampton University, UK/LUISS Guido Carli, Italy), Dr. Sebastian Firk (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany), prof. dr. Utz Schaeffer (WHU, Germany), prof. dr. Frank Verbeeten (University of Amsterdam Business School, Netherlands).

This symposium is sponsored by the Institute of Management Accountants.

 

SYMPOSIUM 4

MACHINE LEARNING: MORE SCIENCE THAN FICTION

Thursday 30 May  11:00-12:30  Auditorium (Room 1)


Artificial intelligence (AI) has widely been talked about as taking over the world. But what do we actually mean when we say AI? And how relevant are these developments for accountancy?

It’s time to separate the hype from the reality.

Join us for an exciting discussion where we tackle these questions and share perspectives from ACCA’s recent report on machine learning. This session will give you an insight into what machine learning is, how it is used in accountancy, what the ethical dimensions are and the implications for the skills of professional accountants.

Chair: Narayanan Vaidyanathan, Head of Business Insights, ACCA

Panellists: Kyriakos Iordanou (General Manager, the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus), Christos Nicolaides (University of Cyprus), Marianne Viinikainen (Saimaa University of Applied Sciences), George Tziortzis (Board Member Head of Management, KPMG)

This symposium is sponsored by the ACCA.

 

SYMPOSIUM 5

EDITORS' PANEL: NEW TRENDS AND DIRECTIONS IN ACCOUNTING RESEARCH

Thursday 30 May  14:00-15:30  Auditorium (Room 1)


The past few years have witnessed an unprecedented growth in the production of data, new technologies and corporate innovation.  All these while accounting standards are still evolving and capital markets regulation continually changing.  How do all these changes in the economic, regulatory, corporate and information environment affect the future of accounting research?  What research opportunities but also challenges are created by these changes? And how can accounting research adapt to this rapidly changing environment to produce new avenues for research that can be of greater relevance to both academics, practitioners, regulators and corporations?

While answering this above fundamental questions, panelists will also address issues related to the following questions:

  • Do accounting researchers need to become more creative?
  • How promotion and tenure rules affect innovation in accounting research?
  • How can researchers better utilize the changing environment to address timely and relevant research questions?
  • Can accounting research reach beyond its traditional accounting boundaries?
  • Is interdisciplinary research a better approach to tackle the new environment?
  • What research skills are required by new researchers in order to more effectively utilize the opportunities offered in this new environment?

Chair:  Grace Pownall, Emory University

Panellists:

  • Araceli Mora, Editor, Accounting in Europe
  • Haresh Sapra, Senior Editor, Journal of Accounting Research
  • Bharat Sarath, Editor, Journal of Accounting, Auditing & Finance
  • Hervé Stolowy, Editor, European Accounting Review
  • Joseph P. Weber, Editor, The Accounting Review

 

SYMPOSIUM 6

AUDIT ANALYTICS: THE EU AUDIT LEGISLATION

Thursday 30 May  16:00-17:30  Auditorium (Room 1)

The EU Audit Legislation was adopted in April 2014 in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Whilst much of this legislation merely fine-tuned the existing Statutory Audit Directive of 2006, it did introduce some new measures, a number of which were extremely controversial. The introduction of mandatory audit firm rotation, near total bans on the range of non-audit services that a statutory auditor could provide to the entity being audited and a 70% cap (as a percentage of the audit fee) on what was left attracted much criticism at the time. Many commentators questioned whether these dramatic reforms would deliver the promised benefits of greater auditor independence and better quality audits of Public Interest Entities (PIE).

Some five years after the legislation was adopted, this Symposium will provide an holistic approach to the new legislation. Firstly, Jeremy Jennings, a former Chairman of the Big 4, BDO and Grant Thornton EU policy group, will look at the background to the reforms and the arguments used to justify it; participants will then hear the key findings and conclusions from a recent study of the EU audit market commissioned by the European Parliament and conducted by a team from KU Leuven lead by Marleen Willekens. This study made use of the EU PIE Database created by Audit Analytics. Mark Cheffers, Chairman and Founder of Audit Analytics will provide a demonstration of this database which is not only a powerful tool for any assessment of the EU audit market but also now includes information on Key Audit Matters as disclosed in the expanded audit reports required by the new legislation.

At the time of the EU reforms, the introduction of mandatory audit firm rotation was also hotly debated in the USA. Professor Krishnan from the Bentley University  will discuss these developments as well as the related issues of concentration, independence and audit quality. Participants will then hear first-hand from a Big 4 practitioner in the EU, Stefan Schmidt of PwC, as to the practical aspects of the new legislation and we will hear from an audit regulator, Froso Kapiri, who will outline her preliminary observations of the impact of the legislation in Cyprus and its effect on audit quality.

There will be plenty of time for Questions from the audience in what promises to be a lively and stimulating discussion.

Moderator & Panellist – Professor Marleen Willekens, KU Leuven

Panellists:

  • Jeremy Jennings, Regulatory Solutions
  • Mark Cheffers, Chairman & Founder, Audit Analytics
  • Professor Gopal Krishnan, Bentley University
  • Stefan Schmidt, PwC Germany
  • Froso Nicolaou Kapiri, Vice-Chair, Cyprus Public Audit Oversight Authority

This symposium is sponsored by Audit Analytics (AA).

 

SYMPOSIUM 7

BLOCKCHAIN AND THE FUTURE OF ACCOUNTANCY

Friday 31 May  09:00-10:30  Auditorium (Room 1)


The distributed record-keeping and trust system blockchain has passed its tenth anniversary – but the possibilities for accounting are still largely untapped. In this symposium, we will discuss the essential features of blockchain, potential uses in accounting and business, and the issues that have so far kept the technology from becoming a mainstay in practice. We will also consider the potential longer-term issues for accountants if blockchain-based systems become commonplace, and how the profession can remodel itself to adjust.

The symposium will bring together international academics and practitioners to discuss the opportunities and challenges of blockchain for accountants and academics, including the impact on teaching and research, such as:

  • What are the possibilities for applying blockchain in accounting?
  • Why have the promised possibilities for revolutionising record-keeping and automating transactions largely failed to materialise?
  • How should accountants view cryptocurrencies?
  • How can accountants support clients with their blockchain and cryptocurrency projects?
  • Where can future research in the field help lead the way?

Chair: Robert Hodgkinson, ICAEW

Panellists: Dr Benedikt Franke (University of Mannheim), David Lyford-Smith (ICAEW), Professor Alan Sangster (University of Aberdeen), Marios Charalambides (PWC).

This symposium is sponsored by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

 

SYMPOSIUM 8

EAR SYMPOSIUM: LITERATURE REVIEWS IN ACCOUNTING

Friday 31 May – 11:00-12:30 – Auditorium (Room 1)


Given the ever-increasing output of scientific research in our accounting field, timely, informed, comprehensive and articulated literature reviews represent a necessary and useful tool to the entire academic community. Literature reviews have different functionalities: they foster reflexivity, analysis and justification of different areas of scholarly investigation, articulating their achievements, providing critical analysis of their failures and signalling areas where new research can make substantial extensions of previous work. They invite to broaden scholarship by identifying areas that are under-represented in accounting research. They enhance our understanding of the functioning of accounting by articulating the relationship between different theories and by building the gap between diverse research traditions in accounting.

The symposium is related to the European Accounting Review Special Issue on “Literature reviews in accounting”. It will present the views of different speakers on the characteristics of literature reviews. It will in particular tackle the question of the definition of a “high-quality” literature review, in the context of both qualitative and quantitative literature reviews.

The special issue is Guest Edited by Carlos Larrinaga (University of Burgos) and Hervé Stolowy (HEC Paris).

Chairs: Carlos Larrinaga (University of Burgos), Hervé Stolowy (HEC Paris)

Speakers: Anne d’Arcy (Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU)), Andrei Filip (ESSEC Business School), Carlos Larrinaga (University of Burgos), Hervé Stolowy (HEC Paris)

  

SYMPOSIUM 9

THE CHALLENGES IN CORPORATE REPORTING: THE ROLE FOR THE ACADEMIC COMMUNITY IN 'NON FINANCIAL' REPORTING

Friday 31 May  14:00-15:30  Auditorium (Room 1)
 

Non-financial reporting is a new area of information in which both entities and stakeholders are especially interested nowadays. New forms of external corporate reporting have emerged such as intangibles and intellectual capital, sustainability, CSR, ESG, and most recently, integrated reporting and the non-financial information statement in Europe. These recent developments bring a series of challenges, from the need of regulation, to the possible gap of expectations, and the interaction with financial reporting. The EAA is launching the Corporate Reporting Committee (CRC), the scope of which is described by the IASB as ‘wider corporate reporting’ – alternatively, integrated, nonfinancial, ESG or sustainability reporting. The CRC sits alongside, and complements, the existing Financial Reporting Standards Committee (FRSC) in bringing contributions of academic research to the standard-setting process, in a wider sense.

The purpose of the symposium is twofold: to officially launch the CRC as a platform for engagement between EAA members and those institutions that are already very active in this type of information, such as EU/EFRAG, GRI, IASB and IIRC, and stimulate discussion on non- financial reporting.

Chair: Richard Barker (Oxford University & EAA ASC Chair)

Speakers: Charles Cho (Schulich School of Business, York University & EAA CRC Member), Carlos Larrinaga (University of Burgos), Mario Abela (Director, “Redefining Value” Project, WBCSD (World Business Council for Sustainable Development), Begoña Giner (University of Valencia & EAA CRC Chair)

 


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