Reflections after EAA 2018

Posted by Alexandra Middleton - Jun 15, 2018

Last time I participated in EAA was in 2010 in Istanbul when I was a new PhD graduate. This time at Milan EAA, I had some experience behind me. I want to share my reflections from EAA-18 with you.

This year the congress hosted a recorded number of participants, 1 600 attendants from all over the world. I really enjoyed the scientific programme, which was genuinely inclusive and diverse. Sessions included different perspectives, e.g., critical, semantic, ethical problems in accounting. The congress attracted academics from all over the world: USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Middle-East just to name few. This gave an opportunity for cultural mix and contributed to inclusiveness and polyphony of voices and opinions.

At the same time, I think that the symposium format needs an uplift. Here I list the reasons why:

  • High percentage of incumbent speakers (e.g. Mary Barth was listed in three symposia).
  • The panels are too homogenous
  • The panelists come from accounting domain only

Proposals for the change:

  1. It is very understandable from the organizers’ point of view that high profile academics create interest and by putting a big name one may expect a higher audience turnaround. I like to listen to experienced and knowledgeable researchers myself, but I also want to hear from the new generation, new voices in accounting research.

Give floor to young, passionate and influential researchers in accounting

  1. For engaging and diverse discussion, you need to hear what is done in the research from different perspectives.

Have researchers from mainstream and critical branches of accounting in the same panels

  1. It is very comforting to discuss accounting in its predefined boundaries, but you need to see what trends are influencing the world around us. Researchers need new ways to make accounting research count. At British Accounting and Finance Association conference 2018 a speech by Luciano Floridi (Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at the University of Oxford) “Why the digital causes new challenges and how to cope with them” connected accounting to broader societal changes.

Have luminaries from other disciplines to broaden the horizons of accounting to a larger debate

I hope you have enjoied the congress in Milan and looking forward to seing you againg at future EAA Congresses!