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President’s Invitation to 2019 Annual Meeting

It is my honor to invite you to the 103rd Annual Meeting of the American Accounting Association (AAA) August 9-14, 2019 in San Francisco, California.  The theme for this year’s Annual Meeting is “Bold Transformations Toward a Prosperous Society.”  We are facing change at a faster pace than we have ever witnessed.  The development of new technologies is having a profound impact on the demand for new goods and services as well as how organizations operate.  A recent study indicates that two industries of interest, professional services and higher education, will be disrupted to a great degree and in a relatively short amount of time.  Will online education as well as the use of artificial intelligence, machine learning, robots, virtual reality, mobile technology, 3-D printing and future technologies that we cannot even imagine cause the accounting academy to redefine what we teach and research as well as how we teach and research?  Many of the speakers in San Francisco will address how the many potential disruptions may affect our academy.  The Annual Meeting is one of the best opportunities for our membership to network, present research and teaching ideas and discover the latest academy trends.

Pre-meeting activities begin on Friday, August 9, with the Transformative Technologies Workshop and continue with a variety of sessions and workshops on Saturday and Sunday including the Conference on Teaching and Learning before the meeting officially gets underway on Monday, August 12.

The plenaries and concurrent sessions will take place from Monday morning, August 12, through the evening of Wednesday, August 14, and will feature an array of discussions, panels, and events. The Monday morning plenary will feature Goldie Blumenstyk, a senior writer for The Chronicle of Higher Education. She is a nationally known expert on the business of higher education, for-profit colleges, and innovation in and around academe. A winner of multiple awards from the Education Writers Association, she has reported for The Chronicle from China, Europe, Israel, and Peru, and has contributed to The New York Times and USA Today.

The 2019 Presidential Scholar, Erik Brynjolfsson, will be the speaker at the Tuesday morning plenary session. He is Director of MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, Professor at MIT Sloan School of Management, and Research Associate at NBER. His research examines the effects of information technologies on business strategy, productivity and performance, digital commerce, pricing models, and intangible assets. He is the author of several books including, with co-author Andrew McAfee, The New York Times bestseller The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (2014) and Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future (June 2017). Tuesday’s luncheon speaker will be Bertice Berry, sociologist, author and lecturer, who has been named Comedian of the Year, Lecturer of the Year, and Entertainer of the Year.  She has published 11 best-selling books and has won numerous awards and accolades for her writing and presentations.

Wednesday’s plenary will feature Daniel Newman, the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. He works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise.  From Big Data, to IoT, to Cloud Computing, Newman makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology projects, which leads to his ideas regularly being cited in The London Times, CIO Review, CNBC and hundreds of other sites across the world.

Terry Shevlin, the AAA’s 2019-2020 President-Elect, will be our featured Wednesday luncheon speaker.  Terry holds a Paul Merage Chair in Business and he is Associate Dean for Research and Doctoral Programs at the Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine. He has served as editor on three AAA journals–The Accounting Review, Accounting Horizons, and The Journal of the American Taxation Association, and on numerous editorial boards.  He has published over 40 articles in the top accounting and finance journals, and has won numerous awards for his research.

In addition to the above-listed plenary and luncheon speakers, the concurrent sessions during the Annual Meeting will include some thought-provoking At-Large panel sessions that we hope you will be able to attend.  The meeting will also feature the sixth annual Global Emerging Scholars Research Workshop, which will be held on Sunday, and the Faculty-Student Collaborations in Accounting (FASTCA-19), which will be held on Wednesday.

The AAA will once again be partnering with ShelterBox USA, an international disaster relief charity, for our Service Project. ShelterBox provides emergency shelter and aid to people affected by hurricanes, earthquakes, fires and other disasters throughout the world. Donations to this worthy cause can be made with your AAA registration or in person at the Service Project desk at the Annual Meeting.

The Annual Meeting is a major undertaking from a content and logistics standpoint that would not be possible without the incredible efforts of our member volunteers and the AAA professional staff. I would like to thank each of the section-sponsored concurrent session teams along with, our Education Chairs, Jeffrey Lark (The University of Georgia), Cathy Scott (University of North Texas-Dallas), and Karen Sedatole (Emory University); CTLA Chairs, Gail Hoover King (Purdue University Northwest) and Robyn C. Barrett (Saint Louis Community College); Ethics Research Symposium Chairs, Cassandra Rohland (University of Massachusetts-Lowell) and Michael Ruff (Northeastern University), FASTCA Chair, Marsha Huber (Youngstown State University), and Global Emerging Scholars Research Workshop Chairs, Wayne Landsman (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill) and Recep Pekdemir (Istanbul University) for all the time and effort they have invested in creating a terrific Annual Meeting. I also appreciate the tireless efforts of the AAA professional staff in Sarasota, who coordinate and insure all aspects of the meeting run smoothly.

There are many challenges facing higher education and the accounting academy.  The Annual Meeting offers a wide variety of opportunities for you and your colleagues to think about how we will meet these challenges and how they will impact your teaching and research going forward.  San Francisco being the center of technology and business disruption is a great setting for the meetings and to think about their impact on the future.

I look forward to seeing you in San Francisco as we think about how to develop “Bold Transformations Toward a Prosperous Society.”