35th Annual Congress of the European Accounting Association
The Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana, has hosted the 35th European Accounting Association Annual Congress, the largest congress of researchers in the broad field of accounting in Europe. More than 1,000 participants from around the world had a chance to listen to presentations and discussions of scientific research in the fields of accounting, corporate governance, environmental accounting and information system support. Topics of the current impact and consequences of the financial crisis were also addressed during the conference. Over the three conference days, 667 scientific works were presented and 11 symposia were held. The programme included some of the most pressing and innovative areas of research, for example neuro-accounting, which combines the fields of neuroscience and accounting. The conference was chaired by Professor Aljoša Valentinčič, Vice Dean for Research and Doctoral Studies.
“Think outside the box” was the message of Lior Manor, an internationally acclaimed “mind reader” who performed at the end of the opening ceremony. With his energy, creativity and ability to read minds he impressed the audience of delegates from 58 countries from around the world. Perhaps we can interpret Lior’s message as a clue to finding innovative solutions to the current financial crisis, which was stressed by the keynote speaker Professor Steven Maijoor. In his speech he raised the issue of the current financial crisis, and especially the issue of 2% bank reserves and the need for their recapitalisation. On the other hand, he explained that the blame lies in the lack of transparency in the private sector, primarily in auditing houses and the inconsistent accounting standards. He also presented financial stability as the ultimate aim of the ESMA (European Securities Markets Authority) of which he is the current chair, which should be achieved by introducing uniform accounting laws or a “Single Rulebook” and control of the enforcement of these standards. Although the lack of a uniform accounting language is a problem, it is not the only one. He noted that the merger of auditing and consulting involves a conflict as the former must serve the public interest, while the latter pursues the interests of clients in a very competitive market, which in particular refers to the four major auditing firms. Professor Steven Maijoor’s speech is avaliable here.
At the Symposia, other current topics were discussed. Distinguished Symposia speakers included Professor Karel van Hulle. He chaired a symposium on the topic of the non-audit services of audit companies, primarily in terms of the long-term existence of audit firms as we know them today and their independence from the management of audited companies as one of the central issues of corporate governance. Professor Benedetto de Martino presented a link between neuroscience and economics and accounting. The editors of six scientific journals were looking for solutions in the publication and evaluation of scientific achievements. Although research is often publicly funded, access to scientific publications is charged for, and quality performance is (too) often measured solely by mechanical indexes.
The guest of honour at the closing ceremony was the Governor of the Bank of Slovenia, Marko Kranjec, Ph.D., whose thematic speech impressed everyone gathering in the hall of Cankarjev dom. The Governor’s speech is available here.
The role of hosting and organising the 35th Annual Congress of the EAA was taken on by the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana. This is considered a great acknowledgment of the Faculty and its previous work in the area of international research. However, organizing such a large conference as the EAA’s Annual Congress is always a challenge, but the realization of such an event would not be possible without your contributions, dear colleagues. We wish to thank you sincerely for this. Special thanks goes to everyone who in any way contributed to this event and to the European Accounting Association which gave us the opportunity to organize the 35th Annual Congress of the European Accounting Association. We sincerely hope that you enjoyed your stay in Slovenia and will consider visiting us again in the near future.
More photos and EAA movie: