Accounting Conference 2019 – you’re invited!

Join Athabasca University’s Faculty of Business and CPA Education Foundation Alberta on Friday, May 24 as we discuss Contemporary Information Prerequisites for Accountants. 

Graduate students, academics, and practitioners alike will benefit from the diverse group of guest speakers that will be presenting.

Event details:

When: Friday, May 24, 2019

Time: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Where: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel West Edmonton
16615-109th Avenue NW, Edmonton, Alberta

Cost: $30 + GST, includes a light breakfast, lunch and coffee/tea breaks

Get Tickets!

Interested in presenting?

If you are an academic or postgraduate student and would like to make a presentation, please contact: Dr. Aris Solomon

Funding available for accounting DBA and PhD students to present.


TimeSession Details
8:00 am – 9:00 amProgram Registration & Breakfast | Silver Birch Conference Centre (SBCC) & Connections Cafe
9:00 am – 9:05 amIntroductions & Agenda Review | SBCC #7
9:05 am – 9:15: am


Dr. Deborah Hurst | Dean, Faculty of Business, Athabasca University

Farah Albert | Director, CPA Education Foundation

Conference Presentations | SBCC #7
9:15 am – 10:15 am

The transformative impacts of Bitcoin and blockchain technologies

Dr. Joe Cox | Faculty of Business, Athabasca University

10:15 am – 11:00 am

Introduction to data analysis for accountants

Dr. Richard Hou | CWB

11:00 am – 11:15 amBreak: Tea, coffee, snack
11:15 am – 12:00 pm

Motivating employees with non-cash rewards: A research perspective

Dr. Adam Presslee | University of Waterloo

12:00 pm – 1:00 pmBuffet Lunch | Stages Restaurant
Research Presentations | SBCC #7
1:00 pm – 1:30 pm

Strategic management accounting usage in Canada

Pam Quon MDE, CPA, CMA | Faculty of Business, Athabasca University

1:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Exploration of non-for-profit purpose statement: Evaluating success factors and performance dimensions

Dr. Natasha Khinkanina | Concordia University of Edmonton | Ksenia Kavoun, MBA, M.Sc | Government of Alberta

2:00 pm – 2:30 pmBreak: Tea, coffee, snack
2:30 pm – 3:00 pm

The revised CPA competency map: Critical review of the expectation performance gap for newly trained accountants

Tara Clowes, CPA, CA (DBA) | Faculty of Business, Athabasca University

3:00 pm – 3:30 pm

An investigation into climate-related financial disclosure

Dr. Aris Solomon | Faculty of Business, Athabasca University


Download the 2019 Agenda here


The transformative impacts of Bitcoin and blockchain technologies

Dr. Joe Cox

Athabasca University


New forms of digital currency such as Bitcoin have considerable potential to disrupt financial markets and economic policy.  Further, the blockchain technologies that provide the foundation for most cryptocurrencies have wider-ranging potential to transform many core business activities and functions.  This short talk will offer an insight into the way in which these technologies function, as well as their present and future societal impacts.


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Motivating Employees with Non-cash Rewards: A Research Perspective

Dr. Adam Presslee


A lack of employee motivation is a control problem faced by many organizations. A recent trend is to motivate employees using performance-contingent non-cash rewards such as tangible rewards (e.g., gift cards, merchandise) and prosocial rewards (e.g., donate to charity on the employees’ behalf). Adam will share findings from his research that examines how and when these non-cash rewards improve employee motivation.


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Exploration of Non-for-Profit Purpose Statement: Evaluating Success Factors and Performance Dimensions.

Dr. Natasha Khinkanina & Ksenia Kavoun, MBA, M.Sc


Non-for-profit organizations (NPOs) play a critical role in Canadian society.  NPOs impact our social and economic structures as they provide vital services, stable employment, and have significant purchasing power injecting money into the local, regional, and national economy.  As with for-profit organizations, NPOs are tested as to whether they can succeed or even survive.  They are challenged to find donors, maintain sustainable government funding, and acquiring knowledgeable personnel to effectively management operations and deliver strategic business planning.

The aim of this research is to explore the effectiveness of the NPOs purpose statement.  Purpose statements make it clear what organizations want to achieve, not only to themselves, but to the people that they serve.  Existing literature suggests that for-profit can remain resilient when they adopt the use of an effective purpose statement that speaks to what they do for someone else.  There is very little research, however, analyzing the effectiveness of purpose statements for NPO, which are typically in the business of serving someone else.

This research will explore the utilization of purpose statements among NPOs, what their specific success factors and performance measures are, and determine the extent in which these purpose statements are effective.  The use of surveys and interviews will provide qualitative data on the organization’s culture, while secondary data will provide measures of assessment.

Key words: Non-for-profit organization, purpose statement, success factors, performance measures


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An Investigation into Climate-Related Financial Disclosure

Dr. Aris Solomon

Athabasca University


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Introduction to Data Analysis for Accountants

Dr. Richard Hou



Data Analytics/Machine Learning/AI are reshaping the world, are accountants ready? The presentation will first include a brief overview of the basic terminologies, such as data mining, machine learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Analytics, and then discuss with a few examples, typical data analytic techniques and their potential applications in auditing/accounting. By the end of the presentation, you should feel more confident and interested in exploring the vast area of data analytics in your accounting work.


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The Revised CPA Competency Map: Critical Review of the Expectation Performance Gap for Newly Trained Accountants

Tara Clowes, CPA, CA (Athabasca University DBA Student)


Over the past five to ten years there have been several studies around the world examining the competencies expected of new accounting graduates and newly trained professionally designated accountants in the marketplace.  Literature review in this area has highlighted an expectation-performance gap between stakeholder’s perception of the skills new accountants should have, and the skills they do have.

Following an outreach project in 2018, CPA Canada modified the CPA competency map to add new competencies in data analysis and goods and services tax knowledge, effective January 2019.  Have these changes addressed the expectation performance gap of stakeholders based on a literature review of existing academic studies in this area?

I am proposing that the literature review prepared in the first year of my DBA program can be modified to highlight the competencies desired of new accountants based on existing academic study and compared to the CPA competency map.  My literature review has a focus on taxation competencies and this presentation could also serve to highlight the changes in this area and the timelines for implementation through the undergraduate and professional programs.


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Strategic Management Accounting Usage in Canada

Pam Quon, MDE, CPA, CMA


This research explores strategic management accounting (SMA), contingency factors and SMA techniques usage in Canada. It is important to study these aspects because a review of literature has revealed that several contingency factors are believed to affect a company’s strategic management accounting usage and performance.  Earlier studies have shed some light regarding the SMA adoption practices of companies across different industries and several countries. Yet there were conflicting or unsubstantiated findings for some of the contingency factors originally believed to have an effect on SMA techniques adoption.  The current research further investigates contingency factors such as company size, business strategy, and market orientation as well as additional SMA model development to include contingency factors that have not been previously investigated (e.g., environmental uncertainty, organization culture, organization structure).  An extensive model of SMA usage was developed which incorporates a broad set of contingency factors expected to influence SMA usage and company performance.

An online survey was administered to a sample of Canadian companies.  Testing of the SMA model includes the use of structural equation modeling (SEM) and regression analysis techniques on the data collected. The theoretical contribution from this study is a conceptual framework of SMA adoption representing the effect of various contingency factors on SMA techniques usage. The applied contribution is the quantitative findings of the extent to which SMA techniques have been adopted in Canada and the effect on company performance. This is believed to be the first theory-based empirical investigation of SMA techniques use in Canada.

Key words: strategic management accounting, SMA, SMA techniques, SMA practices, SMA adoption, SMA usage, structural equation modeling, SEM, contingency factors, contingency variables


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