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This year’s annual meeting theme, Stronger Together, could never be more true! With only forty-seven short days, the 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting is being transformed from the in-person event we look forward all year, to a new – and vibrant – virtual meeting.

Over 500 members have agreed to present their research and teaching efforts – and Section liaisons built their sessions for a second time. Even more members are participating in the important panelist, discussant, and moderator roles. It seems that in the past we worked together to build a great program. This year everyone has done that – and built the hotel!

These efforts will benefit over 1,300 members who are registered to attend.

The meeting sessions will take on some characteristics of a “flipped” classroom, with content available in advance and the opportunity to interact during the synchronous meeting sessions. The result will be four days of live paper and teaching/education sessions, plenaries, and networking – and over 600 presentations that can be reviewed asynchronously.

This is delivered through two integrated components:

Live Conference Site:

Over 150 research, teaching, and practice-related sessions will be broadcast live.

The Conference on Teaching and Learning is being held concurrently, available to all.

It’s easy to move between sessions in both the Annual Meeting and CTLA.

All sessions will be recorded so you won’t miss anything!

There are opportunities to reconnect with your colleagues:

  • Sections have scheduled events for their members,
  • Exhibitors will be attending – in a 3-D virtual Exhibit Hall,
  • Sponsors will be hosting live events,
  • Evening block parties will be held
  • There is a live Networking Lounge where you can go for face-to-face conversations with colleagues you “bump into” in the breaks (think zoom break out rooms)

Awards: opportunities to honor your colleagues as they receive recognition

Earn up to 20 hours of CPE by responding to at least 3 poll questions during each session

Presentation Gallery:

Over 600 presentations are posted and available to review asynchronously.

Infographic summaries, video overview presentations, abstracts, working papers, and handouts provide multi-dimensional insights into the presentations.

The infographics and videos provide an opportunity for those outside of the academy to become familiar with the research presented – and then to dig into the working papers to learn more.

All submissions receive a DOI (Digital Object Identifier), providing enhanced credentialing and visibility as a scholarly work.

Materials are archived making them citable and shareable after the meeting.


  • Access all sessions for the Annual Meeting and Conference on Teaching and Learning in Accounting (CTLA)
  • Live keynotes and sessions identified by segments with discussants and moderated Q&As
  • Section Block Parties to unwind and catch up with colleagues and connect with your community
  • New ways to participate in activities and contribute to the AAA's evolution
  • Up to 24 hours of CPE credits available


  • Reach a wider, global audience through the Presentation Gallery—available to more people for a longer time
  • Presentations receive a DOI (digital object identifier) to increase discoverability and presence
  • Content is fully searchable, citable, and shareable
  • Authors retain the rights to their content
  • Office hours and tech support to help you prepare and feel confident

Registration fees have been reduced to reflect the new virtual model and all of the changes members are experiencing as part of the pandemic impact.

While the AAA held more than 10 webinars in the spring to support faculty taking their classes online (and plans to offer more in the fall), looking to the future, remaining sustainable means meetings being priced to be more reflective of the costs incurred. This decision is made with the growing recognition that virtual meeting components will be a critical part of ongoing meetings – even after we are able to return meeting in person.

Registration fee: The $345 fee (which is reduced $300 from the original fee) takes into account the costs of holding this meeting. We all know that when meetings are virtual there aren’t food and beverage events (you’ll have to provide your own beverage!), so it may seem that there are no significant costs to holding a professional virtual meeting. Stepping back though, true costs of hosting virtual scholarly meetings becomes more clear.

  • Holding a digital meeting is incurring new costs: working with new platform providers with extensive experience working in the sciences to create the gallery - and a professional-grade, online meeting platform with technical assistance in advance of the meeting for presenters, live support for each session to streamline the attendees experience, minimize any technical difficulties, and record sessions for broader, longer-term impact of the time together.
  • As well as the usual costs: Section liaisons, AAA staff, and Section and Region leaders have been working for more than a year on important tasks for the meetings’ success (implementation of the submission and peer review system, planning activities, program development, communications with members, registrations and websites for each, etc.); these activities generate ongoing costs that continue whether future meetings are in person or virtual.

We hope you will join us

Join colleagues for the Annual Meeting and CTLA - help design our future and help presenters strengthen their work. Together, we will experiment and evaluate to redefine AAA meetings for the future. Our goal? That participants agree they were able to grow professionally and interact with colleagues in meaningful ways - and that value exceeds the total cost of the meeting – only $345 – saving on registration, hotel and travel costs. When we meet this goal, we will have the opportunity to engage more members in our meetings, from around the world, enhancing the breadth of their scholarship and strengthening the network of accounting faculty.

This year’s Annual Meeting won't be exactly the same as meetings we've hosted before. This is an opportunity to leverage the power of digital gatherings and improve on the traditional conference model. We're eager to take what we learn from this event and apply it to our future programming.

We're optimistic that how we set ourselves up now will strengthen our community and celebrate and elevate the practice we're so passionate about.

Again, we hope you will join us.


President’s Invitation to the 2020 Annual Meeting

It is my honor to invite you to the 104th Annual Meeting of the American Accounting Association (AAA) to be held August 9-12, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia.  The theme for this year’s Annual Meeting is “Stronger Together.” This theme encompasses several topics with the main theme being diversity and inclusiveness. Much has been written about the benefits of having a diverse set of individuals working together on whatever the setting or issue maybe.  Individuals with different backgrounds and experiences can bring a different way of thinking to the table, broadening perspectives resulting in improved decisions. This issue is certainly front and center in the University of California system as all external faculty candidates and internal faculty must provide a diversity statement outlining how they have contributed to diversity and inclusion in their careers and more generally in their lives. Several of our speakers will provide their perspectives on this important topic. I also like to think of “Stronger Together” as encompassing all the different members and sections of the AAA. I think we are stronger as an organization if we do not wall ourselves off in our own sections which can then become siloed. We can learn from each by reading each other’s research. How many of us see tax or audit or international in the title of a paper and say, not my area, so we simply skip over it. I at least try to read the abstract to see if I can gain any insights into accounting and to see if I might learn anything for my research or classroom. I also think “Stronger Together” can be applied to our relationship with non-academics: the FASB, the PCAOB, tax policymakers, the audit firms, and so on. Interactions with these communities can enrich our research (hopefully making it more relevant) and can inform our classrooms and students.

Pre-meeting activities begin on Friday, August 7, with the Transformative Technologies and continue with various sessions and workshops on Saturday and Sunday – including the Conference on Teaching and Learning in Accounting (CTLA) – before the meeting officially gets underway on Monday, August 10.

The plenaries and concurrent sessions will take place from Monday morning, August 10, through the evening on Wednesday, August 12, and will feature a variety of discussions, panels, and events.  The Monday morning plenary will feature Risha Grant, founder and CEO of Risha Grant, LLC which is an award-winning diversity consulting and communications firm. She is an internationally renowned diversity, inclusion, and bias expert who has been featured in Forbes, The Financial Times, and Bloomberg Media among others. She was also named a 2019 Top 100 HR Influencer by Engagedly, a 2018 Inclusive Leadership Award Winner and Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017.

There will be two featured 2020 Presidential Scholars at the Tuesday morning plenary session – Michelle Hanlon and Douglas A. Shackelford. Michelle Hanlon is the Howard W. Johnson Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management where she is the Area Head for Economics, Finance, and Accounting. Her research primarily focuses on taxation and the intersection of taxation and financial accounting. She has testified in front of House and Senate Congressional Committees about U.S. tax policy three times and worked as an Academic Fellow at the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee for part of 2015. She is currently on a tax commission for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  Douglas A. Shackelford is the Meade H. Willis Distinguished Professor of Taxation and has served as Dean of the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School since 2014 and a member of the faculty since 1990. His research and teaching address taxes and business strategy, and he has published widely in accounting, economics, finance, and law journals and testified several times before Congress and other policymaking bodies.

The Tuesday luncheon speaker will be Gregory J. Gordon, who holds dual roles as Managing Director of SSRN and Knowledge Lifecycle Management with Elsevier. He regularly speaks around the world and writes regularly about scholarly research and the changes needed to create innovative research faster. He has written or co-authored several articles including Standards and Infrastructure for Innovation Data Exchange published by Science and The Question of Data Integrity in Article-Level Metrics published by PLOS Biology, and gave a TEDx talk, Trust to the Power of One, in May 2019.

Elaine G. Mauldin, the AAA’s 2020-2021 President-Elect, will be the Wednesday luncheon speaker.  Elaine is the BKD Professor at the Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business at the University of Missouri, having served on its faculty since 1997. Elaine currently serves as Editor for The Accounting Review (2014-present) and has served as Associate Editor of the Journal of Information Systems (2003-08, 2010-14). She has published widely in peer-reviewed journals including The Accounting ReviewAccounting HorizonsJournal of Information Systems, Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory, and Contemporary Accounting Research to name just a few. She is also the recipient of many awards including Accounting Horizons Best Paper Award (2014), the AIS Section’s Outstanding Research Paper Award (2007), Best Reviewer Award (2001), and Outstanding Dissertation Award (1998).

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 seventh annual Global Emerging Scholars Research Workshop, which will be held on Sunday, and the Faculty-Student Collaborations in Accounting (FASTCA-20), 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, and many members take the planning as a given and underestimate the logistics and planning for a meeting of close to 3,000 members. However, we could not make it happen without the efforts of all the various committee members, member-volunteers, and the AAA Professional Staff in Sarasota.  Whether your focus is on cutting-edge research, innovative teaching methods, and/or gaining a deeper understanding of the numerous issues facing the accounting and business worlds, the 2020 Annual Meeting will provide numerous opportunities to learn, collaborate, catch up with old friends and colleagues, and make new connections. I also invite you to help celebrate, congratulate and wish all the best to our Executive Director, Tracey Sutherland who has led the organization for 23 years and Chief Innovative Officer, Julie Smith David, who has been instrumental in helping the Board, Tracey and many AAA members achieve their objectives over the past decade.

I look forward to seeing you in Atlanta this August as explore the theme “Stronger Together.”