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Incoming AAA President Karen Pincus on AAA Ohio riverboat cruise.

On Friday (day 2 of the AAA Ohio Annual Conference), incoming American Accounting Association (AAA) president Karen Pincus addressed all in attendance.  She reviewed the evolution of the AAA over the past 50 years, and announced the theme for her 12 month presidency.

Pincus is the author of Core Concepts of Accounting Information course materials for introductory accounting, published by McGraw-Hill.  In the early to mid 1990s it was very popular in the United States as accounting programs sought to make first year accounting more relevant and effective, moving to a user orientation from a preparer orientation.  I remember using it at BGSU.  It had a positive and meaningful impact on my teaching approach.

Pincus holds the S. Robson Walton Chair of Accounting in the Sam Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas. She has prior teaching experience at U Maryland and U Southern California.

In May 2006, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AIPCA) awarded Pincus the 2006 Distinguished Achievement in Accounting Education Award. Later in 2006, she was named to the Accounting Today Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting.

Pincus started her speech by showing the changing nature of AAA membership over the past 50 years. Figure One (Pincus) shows a 20% decline in AAA total membership with a concurrent change in composition from 32%  to 82% professors.

Figure One. Changing Composition of AAA Membership

She said that this has led to a change in the AAA’s activities. Professors desire more meetings (to present papers), sections with a narrower research focus, and journals in which to publish their research.

Pincus then compared the current mix of activities (meetings, sections and journals) to those of other business disciplines: Academy of Management, American Economic Association, American Finance Association and the American Marketing Association. Accounting holds 1/6 of business faculty, yet has three times as many meetings as the other associations combined. The AAA also has more journals, and a much larger web site than the other associations. She said that the AAA is more successful of meeting needs of professors than its sister organizations.

Pincus then turned to the AAA logo, in which the AAA claims its members to be thought leaders in accounting.

She said that we are thought leaders only to ourselves. We aren’t thought leaders in tax, or in accounting/auditing.

She then moved on changes in AAA governance. She said that the Council has become a real governance body. It will now perform the following tasks:

  1. Populate all the AAA awards committees.
  2. Choose all candidates for one board position annually (total of 3 board seats in steady state) and continue to choose majority of Nominating Committee members for other board positions.
  3. Provide input on strategic planning initiatives.
  4. Review/approve advocacy positions in name of AAA.
She is especially excited about AAA’s ability now to make comments advocating one or another position.

Greg Waymire, the current AAA president, has had as his theme, Seeds of Innovation. He is responding to the established lack of diversity and innovation in research. Pincus says that his presidency addresses a significant problem area, “There is a fine line between rigor and rigor mortis.”

Pincus concluded by announcing the theme for next year is Brilliantly Disguised Opportunities.” She adds,

It was inspired by a quote (attributed to various speakers) that “all of life’s best opportunities come brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.” Next year’s annual meeting in Anaheim will include sessions about the major changes and challenges facing colleges and universities and how they might be turned into opportunities.

She reminded us to think of today’s problems as opportunities in disguise.

Debit and credit – – David Albrecht


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The American Accounting Association (AAA) is the professional organization for accounting professors.  I have been a member for nearly 25 years.  The two main activities of the AAA are to hold membership meetings and to publish journals.

I especially enjoy AAA regional meetings, and my favorite is put on by the Ohio Region.  My favorite memory is from years ago when Ed Conrad (U Akron) led a discussion on humor.  He’s a funny guy.

Thomas Calderon (U Akron) says, “Attending the Ohio Region AAA meeting is always a highly beneficial experience. Attendees can expect exceptional panel sessions, outstanding paper presentations, and superb networking opportunities with academic colleagues and leaders in the profession.

Jerry Weinstein (James Carroll U) says, “The Ohio meeting provides a great opportunity to network with in-state colleagues and stay on top of trends in the region. The paper, panel and plenary sessions cover a broad gamut of topics but most of them have a focus on the art of being an educator so attendees receive great value.

This year, the Ohio AAA regional conference is held in the Cincinnati metropolitan area (Covington, KY), May 10 through May 12.  The local organizers are Wally Wood (U Cincinnati), Ohio Regional president, and Akhilesh Chandra (U Akron), Program Chair.  Tracey Sutherland, executive director of the AAA, will also be there.

The program for the 2012 conference is on-line.  There are a few highlights worth noting.

The conference starts with $45 CPE workshops on Thursday afternoon.  The premier workshop is “Building Resilience, Well-Being, and Mastery into Your Life,” by Marsha Huber, PhD, CPA, Masters of Applied Positive Psychology.  Marsha is a long-time faculty member at Otterbein, but now is at Youngstown State.  Marsha Huber is a well-published researcher who brings her knowledge of applied psychology and social networks to the field of accounting.  She has presented dozens of workshops, and has won several awards for her presentations.

I most definitely would be attending her workshop if I wasn’t already on the program to present a workshop at the same time.  My workshop is titled, “Social Media in the Classroom.”

Friday starts with two plenary sessions that promise to be interesting and provocative.   J. Clarke Price, CEO of the Ohio Society of CPAs, provides his annual, “State of the Accounting Profession.”  This is followed by a panel discussion led by Thomas Calderon (U Akron), “Looking Through the Crystal Ball: Views of Managing Partners from Accounting Firms on the Future of the Accounting Profession.”  Large firm panelists are, Susan McPartlin (Office Managing Partner, PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP, Cincinnati), Robert Taylor (Office Managing Partner Grant Thornton LLP, Cincinnati), and Craig Marshall (Office Managing Partner, Ernst & Young, Columbus).

Following these are panel discussions and presentations of research papers.  Timothy Fogarty (Case Western Reserve U) has four papers on the program this year.

Check here for registration information.

I hope to see you there.

Debit and credit –  – David Albrecht


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