Main Conference Keynote speaker:
John Burns (Professor of Management & Accountancy)
John has been faculty member at the University of Exeter Business School since 2010, during which he has served as head of the Accounting department. Previously, from 2004 to 2010, he was the inaugural Dean of Accounting and Finance (now School of Business) at the University of Dundee. John’s career also includes a year spent at the University of Colorado-Denver (USA), while the bulk of his early days in academia were as Lecturer and Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester. He has also been Visiting Professor at WHU (Germany), UCD (Ireland), Orebro (Sweden), NTNU (Norway), Vaasa (Finland) and MDH (Sweden).
All of John’s research is qualitative, usually comprising theoretically informed case studies. Broadly, he is interested in the use and consequences of accounting, accounts and accountability in organisations and society. Research in the earlier stages of his career would embrace the theme of ‘management accounting change’, and utilise particularly ‘old’ institutional economics theory. More recent publications, and work-in-progress, however, give closer attention to issues of accounting, accounts and accountability in specific fields, or relating to specific themes. For instance, recent academic and profession-oriented outputs have included a focus on accounting for homelessness, accountability in hospitals, alternative natural capital accounts in forestry, and accounting for popular culture.
At IAFA (2021), John will present “Further thoughts on accounting as beyond technical, instrumental activity”, early-stage consideration of the inter-connection(s) between accounting, accounts and accountability, and the importance of underpinning values.
Professor Chris Humphrey’s
Christopher Humphrey is Professor of Accounting at Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester. Chris’ current research interests are primarily concerned with the societal purposefulness of auditing, which recently saw him act as an academic advisor to the 2019 independent Brydon review on the quality and effectiveness of auditing in the UK. Chris has had a longstanding interest in the development of international auditing standards and regulation and the role and public interest commitments of the accounting profession in what has come to be known as the new international financial architecture. He has consistently approached his research with an interdisciplinary and international outlook, underpinned by a vivid emphasis on qualitative research methods and a desire to develop and enhance socially informed theories of accounting and auditing. His research has explored practice in both public and private sector contexts and given strong respect to learning from history and from differences in practice traditions. He has also actively analysed the changing nature of the academic accounting environment in universities, including the questionable impact of formal research assessment schemes and shifts in financing arrangements within Universities. He has made considerable efforts to explore the day-to-day (or ‘behind the scenes’) realities of conducting qualitative accounting research and has always committed to teaching his students (at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels) in ways that are directly informed by, and engage with, important accounting research issues – with the intent of getting students to ‘think differently’ and to engage with public policy. For example, he currently runs final year undergraduate project and MSc dissertation courses centred around the question of ‘modern day accounting and auditing: Is this as good as it gets?’. In 2015, Chris received the Distinguished Academic Award made annually by the British Accounting and Finance Association (BAFA) and in 2016 was made a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. Throughout his career, Chris has maintained a close connection with the practice side of the profession and its connections with academia. He is a former Director of the Chartered Accountants’ Trustees Ltd and a former chair of the UK’s Conference of Professors of Accounting and Finance (CPAF). He also served for several years as a co-opted member of the ICAEW’s Governing Council and its Technical Strategy Board. He continues to sit on the ICAEW’s Auditing and Assurance Faculty Board.
Professor Giovanna Michelon
Giovanna Michelon is Professor of Accounting at the University of Bristol. Broadly speaking her research interests are in the field of sustainability accounting and reporting, while her published work has focused on the governance process and systems that underpin corporate actions and accountability on sustainability issues, as well as on the role that sustainability information plays in capital markets. Giovanna has more than 40 publications in leading academic journals such as, among others, the Accounting, Organizations and Society, European Accounting Review, Accounting Auditing and Accountability Journal, and Journal of Business Ethics. Highly engaged with both the academic community and practitioners, she is currently Editor of Accounting Forum, where she advocates and promotes the diversity of interests and epistemologies in accounting research. She is also Chair of the European Accounting Association (EAA) Virtual Activities Committee, and a member of the EAA Management Committee and EAA Publications Committee. She is also a Council member of the Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research (University of St. Andrews) and Chair of the ACCA Global Forum for Governance, Risk and Performance where she helps setting the research agenda of this professional body in the fields of corporate governance and risk management.