Plenary Speakers

Thursday, March 3rd Luncheon (12:00 pm – 1:30 pm)
Dr. Yvonne L. Hinson, CPA, CGMA
CEO, American Accounting Association

Thursday, March 3rd Plenary Session (1:30 pm – 3:30 pm)
“The Future of the Accounting Profession”
Gary Dressler, CPA
Chair, Society of Louisiana CPAs
Associate Tax Director, Postlethwaite & Netterville, APAC (New Orleans)
Ron Gitz, CPA/CGMA Executive Director/CEO, Society of Louisiana CPAs

Friday, March 4th Plenary Session (10:30 am – 12:30 pm)
“Building a Burnout Resistant Environment”
Aneika Simmons, PhD
Full Professor of Management, Texas Academic Leadership Academy Fellow
Sam Houston State University

Workshops and Panel

Wednesday, March 2nd at 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
“Soft Skills for Accounting Students: Incorporating Critical Thinking, Leadership, and Communication into the Curriculum”
Elizabeth Schroeder, La Salle University
Kristin Wentzel, La Salle University

The presenters developed a three-credit professional development course within their school of business to empower students to take accountability for their professional and career development, while also sharpening the critical thinking, leadership, and communication skills necessary for success as an accountant.  They will share their experiences and best practices during the workshop.

Wednesday, March 2nd at 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
“Using Analytics in the Accounting Profession: Real-World Insights from Practitioners”
Christopher K. Veith, CPA
Senior Managing Consultant, BKD Analytics (Bowling Green, KY)

The presenter will provide a broad range of real-world data analytics examples and methodologies that cover multiple industries and various topical areas (e.g., financial, operational, fraud, etc.). He will also cover various analytical tools and examples of how they are used by the profession. Lastly, he will provide suggestions of how to incorporate real-world data analytics projects into the curriculum.

Thursday, March 3rd at 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
“Repositioning the Skill Sets of the Accounting Profession”
Ronnie Abukhalaf, Melissa Aldredge, Vianka Miranda
Northwestern State University

The landscape of accounting education in America is shifting again. These constant shifts are necessary to catch up with the rapidly evolving needs of American businesses. As the overall business environment has evolved, so has the role of accountants and the accounting curricula. As globalization and sustainability became large factors in the business world, accounting curricula changed to reflect the times. A larger focus on forensic accounting and ethics in the accounting curricula followed the widespread fraudulent activity and financial statement scandals that crippled the accounting profession in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Currently, the CPA examination is undergoing one of the most significant overhauls in the exam’s history. The CPA Evolution Project is transforming the CPA licensure model to a process which integrates the technological and analytical expertise of future accounting professionals with their core accounting skills. Thus, it is time for disruptive thinkers in accounting programs everywhere to begin integrating data analytics, artificial intelligence, block chain, virtual reality, and other leading-edge technologies into their curricula in order to move students and the profession forward.

Friday, March 4th at 8:30 am – 10:00 am
“Teaching at an Access Institution: Tips and Discussion”
Reanna Berry
Georgia Gwinnett College

Teaching at an access institution provides a unique set of challenges and opportunities for success. This workshop will provide insights about how to effectively face these challenges and opportunities in an interactive format. Following a brief introduction, attendees will be presented with anonymized real scenarios involving student and pedagogical challenges and asked to analyze and discuss methods of addressing the challenges. The workshop will be led by a faculty member with nearly a decade of experience teaching accounting in an AACSB accredited business school at an access institution where the main entrance requirement is having a high school diploma or GED.