/Contemporary Issues in Accounting Conference

Contemporary Issues in Accounting Conference

Contemporary Issues in Accounting Conference 2017-11-08T14:04:57+00:00


The faculty of the Accounting Department will be hosting the 15th Annual Contemporary Issues in Accounting Conference on December 15, 2017, in the Gerdin Business Building. Eight credits of continuing professional education on a variety of topics will be included. We ask that you pre-register for your desired sessions so that we can be certain to have space available.

Who Should Attend

Under Iowa requirements, all active certified public accountant (CPA) certificate holders must now meet continuing professional education (CPE) requirements.

Register Now

2017 Registration Cost

$220 if registered on or before Friday, December 1, 2017
$240 if registered after Friday, December 1, 2017

Registration closes on December 12, 2017, or when capacity is reached.

The registration fee includes:

  • Easily accessible free parking
  • Full day of sessions
  • Breakfast
  • Coffee/Snack Breaks
  • Lunch

Cancellation Policy

If you are unable to attend the conference, you must notify us on or before December 10, 2017 at noon to get a full refund. After the deadline, we are unable to process refunds.

For more information: If you have questions regarding registration, please contact Registration Services at registrations@iastate.edu or 515-294-6222.

For More Information

Contact conference coordinators

Jan Duffy
Karen Mallas

University Nondiscrimination Statement

Iowa State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, marital status, disability, or status as a U.S. veteran. Inquiries can be directed to the Director of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, 3680 Beardshear Hall, 515-294-7612.

Time/Session Description
7:30-8:00 a.m.
Registration Check-In
8:00-9:40 a.m.
Session 1
Session 1AJim Cannon Headshot
Exploring Critical Thinking
Jim Cannon

Today’s business problems tend to be unstructured, disparate, and complicated in nature. Critical thinking skills bring together theoretical frameworks, contextual understanding, and stakeholder analysis to identify and evaluate assumptions, options, and consequences. “Exploring Critical Thinking” will provide a conceptual understanding of the key elements of critical thinking, practical tools for applying critical thinking, and potential roles relating to collaborative critical thinking exercises.

Jim Cannon, assistant professor of accounting, Ivy College of Business, Iowa State University. Jim Cannon received a PhD in accounting from the University of Utah, MBA from the University of Michigan, and a BA in Economics from Brigham Young University. Jim also spent five years with Ford Motor Company, and its affiliate, Visteon Automotive Systems; after which, Jim worked for Hewlett Packard for almost five years during which time Hewlett Packard merged with Compaq. Jim currently teaches financial and managerial accounting courses in the ISU MBA program.

Session 1BBill Dilla Headshot
Fraud in Sports
William Dilla

There is big money in collegiate and professional sports. Along with big money comes the motivation and opportunity to engage in fraudulent actions. This presentation will examine an old sports-related case (the SMU football recruiting scandal), a couple of not-so-old cases (deflategate, FIFA corruption scandal), and at least one new case (college basketball recruiting, plus anything else that might come up by the time we meet). We will discuss the implications of these cases for ethics and fraud deterrence programs in corporate environments.

William Dilla, PhD, CPA, is the Union Pacific / Charles B. Handy Professor of Accounting at Iowa State University, where he teaches courses in auditing and fraud examination. His research focuses on the relationship between internal audit activities and information security effectiveness, fraud in online environments, and on accounting for sustainability. He currently serves as an associate editor for the International Journal of Accounting Information Systems and the Journal of Forensic Accounting Research. William is active in several professional organizations and most recently served as an advisory board member and presenter at the American Accounting Organization’s “Accounting IS Big Data” conference.

9:40-9:50 a.m. Break
9:50-11:30 a.m.
Session 2
Session 2A
Real Effects of Internal Control
Jia Yonghong

To highlight the importance of internal control the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 requires management to assess, and external auditors to attest to, the effectiveness of internal controls. The meaning and scope of internal control have evolved over time. Historically, the term “internal control” was used exclusively within the accounting profession. However, it has been recognized that internal control is a broad concept that extends to endeavors of all types at all levels of an organization. Both the PCAOB and the SEC indicate that a firm’s internal control system is intended to (i) ensure financial reporting quality, (ii) provide internal checks and balances, and (iii) safeguard corporate resources. My research investigates whether internal control serves as a governance mechanism and has a bearing on firms’ real decisions. Through empirical tests, we find that internal control can safeguard corporate cash assets, improve the efficiency of firms’ internal capital allocations, and reduce firms’ cost of raising equity capitals. We also find that the disclosure of internal control weaknesses changes firms’ debt-equity choices.

Jia Yonghong earned her PhD in business administration from Wayne State University and joined Iowa State University as an assistant professor of accounting in 2016. Prior to her pursuit of an academic career, she had years of work experiences in accounting information systems, auditing, and business valuation with accounting and consulting firms and other professional organizations. Jia is an active researcher and her primary research interest lies in the economic consequences of accounting information and financial reporting. Her research articles have been published in premier accounting journals such as The Accounting Review, Contemporary Accounting Research, and Review of Accounting Studies.  She has broad teaching interests and has taught financial accounting, financial statement analysis, auditing, and accounting information systems.

Session 2BCynthia Jeffery Headshot
The Impact of Corporate Social Responsibility:  How “Green” is Green?
Cynthia Jeffrey

This session will consider the impact of various corporate social responsibility practices including corporate strategy, marketing practices, and initiatives such as fair trade. Are such initiatives truly indicative of a focus on sustainability? What might be the future role of attestation with respect to these concepts?

Cynthia Jeffrey, PhD, CPA, CGMA, is the Dean’s Faculty Fellow in Accounting at Iowa State University, where she researches and teaches in the areas of international accounting, accounting theory, corporate social responsibility, and ethics. Her research has been published in numerous scholarly journals including The Accounting Review, Behavioral Research in Accounting, The International Journal of Accounting, Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Finance, Accounting Horizons, and Business Ethics Quarterly. Currently, Cyndie is the editor of Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting. She is a member of the AICPA, Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance, the American Accounting Association, and the Canadian Academic Association.  Previously, she was the founding director of the master of accounting program at Iowa State. Cynthia received her PhD from the University of Minnesota and has completed the IFRS Certificate of Educational Achievement.

11:30-12:10 p.m.  Lunch
12:10-1:50 p.m.
Session 3
Session 3ADiane Janvrin
Implications of Cybersecurity on Accounting Information
Diane Janvrin

Recently, there have been several high–profile cybersecurity incidents such as Equifax, Sony, and Target. With increased professional and regulatory attention, organizations are under pressure to demonstrate that they are managing cybersecurity threats, and have effective processes and controls in place to detect, respond to, mitigate, and recover from breaches and other security events. Cybersecurity risk management remains challenging for organizations since it not only involves improving internal controls, but also a wide range of factors. These factors include strategy, IT management, investment decisions, human behavior, disaster recovery/business continuity, and technical solutions to actual implementation and practices. This session will discuss how organizations are currently managing their cybersecurity risks and new cybersecurity risk management guidance developed by the AICPA to assist organizations with this task.

Diane Janvrin, PhD, CPA, CMA, CIA is an associate professor of accounting and holds the William L. Varner Professorship. Diane teaches and researches in the areas of auditing and information systems. She currently edits the Journal of Information Systems including its special issue on implications of cybersecurity for accounting. She has been published in Journal of Information Systems, Auditing, International Journal of Accounting Information Systems, Behavioral Research in Accounting, Accounting and the Public Interest, Research in Accounting Regulation, and Information and Management. Diane is a member of the AAA and the ISCPA. Diane earned her PhD from the University of Iowa.

Session 3BAbi Rao
Can you visualize it? Using Data Visualization Strategies to Present Financial Information
Abhijit Rao

In this presentation, we will explore International Business Communication Standards (IBCS) and their implications to communicating as accountants. Similar to IFRS, international standards for communication are in the process of evolution and have long ways to go before they become accepted standards. The purpose of the presentation is to start a conversation on how these standards might impact the accounting profession and what best practices facilitate accurate communication of financial data. The workshop attendees will interact with financial data and create different visual representations using data visualization software such as Tableau. The discussion will focus on specific data visualization strategies that make financial information accessible, transparent, and accurate.

Abhijit Rao, PhD, is the director of the ISU Ivy College of Business Communication Center. His work includes interacting with students and faculty in the college to develop a stronger communication curriculum in the college. He received his PhD in professional communication from Iowa State, where he gained experience in developing strategies for teaching business communication, both inside and outside the classroom. He enjoys interacting with new technology and exploring their implications to workplace communication.

1:50-2:00 p.m. Break
2:00-3:40 p.m.
Session 4
Can Accountants be Unbiased?: Right Issue, Wrong QuestionJohn Perkins
Jon Perkins

This session will cover the potential impact of several judgment and decision-making biases on accountants’ behavior and how they can be dealt with in light of accountants’ ethical responsibilities.

Jon Perkins, JD, PhD, CPA, CMA, CGMA is an associate professor of accounting at Iowa State University. He earned his JD from the University of Missouri in 1995 and his PhD in accountancy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2003. Jon teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in taxation as well as the undergraduate capstone course. His research interests include corporate social responsibility and integrated reporting as well as the strategic behavior of accounting professionals in response to features of their decision-making environment and his research has been published in premier accounting and psychology journals. Jon is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Accounting Association, the Canadian Academic Accounting Association, the Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research, the European Accounting Association, the Society for Judgment and Decision Making, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the Missouri Bar. He is currently an editor for Issues in Accounting Education.

3:40 p.m. Closing
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