EAA Virtual Congress: Education Symposium: The Future of Accounting Education: Strategising for a New Decade

May 28, 2021
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EAA Virtual Congress: Education Symposium

The Future of Accounting Education: Strategising for a New Decade

Friday May 28, 2021  13:30-15:00

This panel discussion aims to provide a platform in which to promote an interactive discussion on the future of accounting and its impact on accounting education. The panel will begin the discussion and open to the audience to explore what it will take to equip future accounting leaders for the coming decade.

Symposium Details

Demographic and social shifts, technological advancement and globalisation are all predicted to significantly shape the future global workforce. Current research estimates approximately 40-50% of existing jobs will be significantly transformed or disappear within the next fifteen years (Frey & Osborne, 2017; Susskind & Susskind, 2015). COVID-19 has accelerated the disruption (McCalman, 2020; Snowden, 2020). Such a rapidly changing world therefore calls for new thinking around accounting employability, professional identity and the fluid nature of future work.

Accounting has and continues to develop approaches to the measurement of value, provide accountability for that created value and act as the means through which value is mediated. However, accounting is an industry under disruption (Susskind & Susskind, 2015). New technologies are transforming the information available to accounting professionals making business decisions. The willingness to experiment and be creative is crucial to creating and adding value in today’s organisations (Porter et al., 2011). Therefore, accounting needs to remain contemporary and future-oriented. Our profession will continue to be transformed whilst new professions may be created to fill the need produced by the disruptive forces.

A smarter, more connected world requires individuals to demonstrate enhanced resilience, agility, ethics and critical thought. Increasingly accountants are being asked to think in more creative, diverse and integrated ways, questioning:

  • What is meant by value and measurement?
  • How do we account for ‘creative economies’?
  • What role does accounting play in a crypto-economy?
  • What world will future accountants be accounting for?
  • How do accountants embrace new forms of human behaviour and contribute to new ways of organising and governing?

The changing business landscape, coupled with the transformational role of the accountant, highlight a need to facilitate the development of accounting graduates for an uncertain future. The professions of the future will require graduates to transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries, hold high degrees of resilence, agility, creativity, social intelligence and be able to think in novel, integrated and adaptive ways (Goos et al., 2019; Vitale, 2020). Skill and capability development such as this can only occur when students activate and create their own learning development. To better equip graduates for the professions of the future a student-centered accounting curricula that provides opportunities for students to actively shape, discover and explore their own professional identities and careers will be required.

This raises a number of issues for consideration and investigation in accounting education and research, including, for example:

  • Educating for future economies and alternative ways of measuring economic performance
  • Developing future professional identities of accounting graduates
  • Assessment and Evaluation of skills and/or attributes development for an ambiguous world
  • Embedding new models of corporate reporting, governance and accountability in curricula design
  • Stimulating active learning and new teaching technologies
  • Creating a systems design approach in accounting education
  • Developing creativity and innovation attributes in accounting curricula
  • Accounting Student co-creation of learning and assessment design
  • Emotional intelligence, empathy and the impact it has on learning accounting
  • Enhancing interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary perspectives
  • Professional development of Accounting educators for the professions of the future.
  • Future governance and accountability measurements and frameworks
  • Developing integrated curriculum that introduce new skills/attributes with traditional accounting technical knowledge.
  • Designing courses that help accounting students develop resiliency, adaptability, innovation and other skills/attributes necessary to be successful in the future profession

This panel session aims to provide a platform in which to have an interactive discussion on these issues, the future of accounting and its impact on accounting education. Expert panel members, with diverse backgrounds and experience, will each contextualize these issues opening up fertile areas for future accounting education research and empirical investigation. The panel will then facilitate a broader, open discussion on these topics, their impact on accounting education and explore what it will take to equip future accounting leaders for a new decade.

Panel Facilitator

Associate Professor Nick McGuigan (Monash University, Australia)

Nick McGuigan is an award-winning accounting educator who works as an innovator, instigator and disruptor to create future-oriented business education programs that focus on innovation, creativity and design thinking. He is the recipient of the prestigious 2019 Aspen Institute Global ‘Ideas Worth Teaching’ Award. Nick researches in the areas of integrated reporting, integrated thinking, diversity and social justice, learning technologies, design, systems networks and regenerative accounting, where he publishes in leading journals across the field.


Panel Members

Anne-Marie Vitale, PWC (IFAC Chair International Panel on Accountancy Education, USA)

Anne-Marie Vitale is the chair of the International Panel on Accountancy Education and the former chair of the International Accounting Education Standards Board in July 2012. Ms. Vitale currently serves in PwC’s Office of the General Counsel in a forensic capacity working on US Securities and Exchange Commission, US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, and litigation related matters. Previously, she was on tour in the National Quality Organization of PwC as the Assurance Learning and Development Leader. In addition to establishing the strategic direction for learning and development, she led PwC's efforts to leverage continuous professional education as a means to directly improve audit quality. Ms. Vitale is a member of the American Institute of CPAs, the California Society of CPAs and a certified global management accountant. She also is on the Board of Directors of the Silicon Valley Directors’ Exchange, a non-profit organization that provides a forum for education and current issues impacting directors of public and private companies. Ms. Vitale has an MBA with an emphasis in finance from the University of San Diego (US) and a Bachelor of Science in Combined Science from Santa Clara University (US).


Professor Philip Vergauwen (Dean of the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management, Belgium)

Philip Vergauwen is currently Dean of the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management, Belgium. Philip was Member of the AACSB Board of Directors (2015-2017) and Chairman of the AACSB European Advisory Council EMEA. He is Member of the Board of KEDGE (Bordeaux-Marseilles) Business School and Member of the Advisory Board of the United Nations University – MERIT/UM. He teaches management accounting and control. He has a PhD degree in Economics from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KULeuven) and an MSc degree in Economics from London School of Economics (LSE).


Boniswa Madikizela (University of Johannesburg, South Africa)

Boniswa Madikizela is a senior lecturer and member of management in the Department of Accountancy at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). Further, she is a member of the UJ Council, a trustee of the UJ Pension Fund, a member of the UJ Pension Fund Investment Committee and outside UJ she is a non-executive director of Allan Gray Group (Pty) Ltd Audit Committee, Allan Gray Nominees (RF) (Pty) Ltd and Allan Gray Unit Trust Management (RF) (Pty) Ltd. Boniswa is a qualified Chartered Accountant who developed her professional career as a problem solver in CIB, Standard Bank South Africa. Born and raised in a female-only household, Boniswa celebrates the success that women have achieved so far in uplifting communities and hopes that her efforts in the education and training space can have the same uplifting and sustainable impact on individuals and communities.


Associate Professor Peter Joos (INSEAD, France)

Peter Joos is an Associate Professor of Accounting and Control at INSEAD. Peter holds a PhD in Business and an MSc in Statistics from Stanford University. Peter’s research focuses on the capital market effects of accounting information. His recent research explores the properties of analyst forecasts, and in particular, how analysts assess and model fundamental firm risk. His research has been published in top-tier accounting and finance academic journals including The Accounting Review, Journal of Accounting Research, Journal of Financial Economics, Management Science, and Contemporary Accounting Research. Peter teaches financial accounting and valuation and is the recipient of the Outstanding Teacher Award for Core Courses at INSEAD.


Jolanta Golanowska (IE Learning Innovation, Spain)

Jolanta Golanowska, is the Director of Learning Innovation at IE Business School. In this role she oversees IE’s Technology Lab and the Pedagogy Innovation team. Her department is IE’s laboratory for new approaches to teaching, learning and doing the business of education. In parallel, Jolanta teaches decision sciences to IE Business School students. She spent 8 years at McKinsey working with her clients on cultural change and leadership development.



Frey, C. B., & Osborne, M. A. (2017). The future of employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation?. Technological forecasting and social change114, 254-280.

Goos, M., Arntz, M., Zierahn, U., Gregory, T., Gomez, S. C., Vazquez, I. G., & Jonkers, K. (2019). The Impact of Technological Innovation on the Future of Work (No. 2019/03). JRC Working Papers Series on Labour, Education and Technology.https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/202320/1/jrc-wplet201903.pdf

McCalman, J. (2020), It’s Possible. In Dawson, E. & McCalman, J. (Eds). What happens Next? Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 15-22.

      Porter, M.E., Hills, G., Pfitzer, M., Patscheke, S., & Hawkins, E. (2011). Measuring shared value: How to unlock value by linking social and business results. Foundation Strategy Group. Available at: https://www.nestle.in/asset- 


Snowden, F.M. (2020), Epidemics and Society: From the Black Death to the Present, New Haven: Yale University Press.

Susskind, R. & Susskind, D. (2015). The Future of the Professions: How Technology will Transform the Work of Human Experts, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Vitale, A.M. (2020), Re-imagining the Future Accountant – Our Call to Action (IFAC)


EAA Education Committee
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