Registration/Breakfast (continental Breakfast Provided)

Session 1

Option A: CEO Social Network and its Information Benefit: Evidence from Management Forecast Accuracy

Sam (Sunghan) Lee, Ph.D.

Having a large social network is a common wisdom in business practices, because a social network often provides great financial and reputational benefits to individuals. But does a social network of corporate executives provide benefits to firms? To provide insight into how CEO networks provide informational benefits, we examine the relation between CEO networks and management forecast accuracy. Out of many benefit aspects, we choose to examine informational advantages because this forecast accuracy would eventually reduce cost of capital and increase firm values. We argue that a CEO with a larger network better incorporates information from outside sources in predicting earnings, which is based on knowledge spillover from other executives and directors in other companies. We find that the size of the CEO’s network increases management forecast accuracy. We also find that the relation is strongest for employment connections and connections with individuals from the same industry. Finally, we find that a negative relation between CEO ability and network size and that the impact of the CEO network is strongest for lower ability CEOs, which supports a substitution effect between CEO network and ability. Overall, our study provides insight regarding how CEOs obtain information from external sources to improve their forecast accuracy.

Option B: Sustainability and Management Control: A Swedish Perspective

William N. Dilla, Ph.D., CPA 

Many organizations have begun to integrate sustainability into their organizational strategy. One of the challenges of including sustainability in an organization’s strategy relates to the integration of its management control system (MCS) and sustainability control system (SCS). MCS are information-based systems that support achievement of the organization’s economic objectives, while SCS support sustainability objectives in the environmental, employee rights and well-being, and social areas. As one might expect, there is considerable debate about whether full alignment of economic and sustainability objectives is indeed possible. This session will present a description of different MCS / SCS configurations and how they support varying types of sustainability strategies, followed by a discussion of how a large global Swedish manufacturing firm uses its MCS and SCS to support an integrated sustainability strategy. The session will close with a discussion of how Swedish attitudes towards sustainability and corporate ethics differ from those commonly observed in the United States.



Session 2

Option A: Current Issues in Information Technology Audit

Diane J. Janvrin, Ph.D., CPA, CMA, CIA

Given recent advances in technology and its importance in business and government, information technology (IT) auditing has become a vital part of internal and external audit. This session will discuss current issues in IT audit including the use of data analytics and other advanced technologies in today’s internal and external audits, proposed regulation regarding the use of IT specialists during the audit process, evaluating an organization’s information systems control alignment, controlling for information security risks, and new data-related skills being incorporated into the accounting and auditing classroom. 

Option B: The Mortgage Interest Deduction, House Prices and Homeownership

Tracy M. Turner, Ph.D.

This session will document the structure of the mortgage interest deduction (MID) and how it varies across households, places and time. It will then present the evidence to date on the extent to which this feature of tax code impacts residential ownership rates and house prices.


Lunch served in Granite Hallway

Session 3

Option A: Becoming a Better Writer at Work: Interactive Workshop on Everyday Writing Techniques

Abhijit Rao, Ph.D.


This workshop’s theme is to cover the basic nuts and bolts of good writing practices that accountants encounter on a day-to-day basis. This session will cover healthy grammar practices to achieve a professional tone. The attendees will have ample opportunity to practice writing strategies to achieve conciseness, clarity, and cohesion in their writing. Important communication concepts such as you-attitude and audience benefits, which make writing more reader-centered, will be covered. The attendees will analyze and draft emails, memos, and texts to improve their own writing styles and become effective communicators. Come prepared to engage in hands-on analysis and drafting activities.

Option B: Financial Reporting, Earnings Management, Politics:  What, Politics is an Accounting Topic? 

Cynthia Jeffrey, Ph.D., CPA, CGMA,


Politics and Accounting? When did that become a discussion topic? When Carly Fiorina determined that she would be a candidate for President, and that her tenure as CEO of Hewlett-Packard and her record as a business executive are appropriate credentials for this political office. The session will examine the topic of earnings management, with particular attention to the issues raised by Arthur Levitt when he was Chair of the SEC. We will also discuss a short case, “Monolith Financial: the Pressure to Agree.” The session will then examine these constructs and how they related to Ms. Fiorina’s tenure at HP and Lucent. This is NOT an examination of her political platform or current political issues, but of business decisions she made, and how those decisions might be evaluated in light of the purpose of accounting.




Session 4 

Plenary Session: Insider Trading: A Primer

Mike Bootsma

The ethics presentation will begin by discussing the basic federal law regarding insider trading. The ethics presentation will then contain a synopsis of a recent federal appellate court case involving insider trading entitled US. v. Todd Newman, Anthony Chiasson.  The presentation will examine some of the unethical conduct which arose in this case as well as the court’s legal reasoning.   The presentation will then examine the specific ethical duties of accountants regarding inside information.