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We have a responsibility to our members and delegates to support your teaching, research, and career development in the best way we can. We have a responsibility to do that in a way that keeps everyone safe and doesn’t add more stress and risk to your life.
In 2020, everyone was hit very suddenly with pandemic restrictions, and our amazing staff and volunteers worked in a few short weeks (with more than a few VERY long days and nights!) to transform the CAAA conference and deliver it online. We were thrilled with the response from our members and delegates. In a world where other opportunities were being cancelled outright, we carried forward our belief that we owed you a proper conference. And you rose to it! The 2020 conference gave us many touchpoints of connection and some normality. Best of all – and perhaps most unexpectedly – it highlighted that the ways in which we all have adapted to a changed world are based in the things we have always done best: supporting colleagues, sharing freely, asking searching questions, seeking accountability and being accountable.
Much as we all loved the intensity of 2020, we also like lunch and coffee and standing up every so often, so you can expect our research and education programs both to have a little more content and be a little more spread out and manageable this year, enabling you to attend more of what you want while still getting a breather. There will be discussants for all research paper presentations. We are back to our impressive range of keynote speakers, something we really missed last year, and that will include the Yuji Ijiri lecture delivered by Dr Paul Fischer of the University of Pennsylvania. A number of our publisher colleagues will be joining us again to provide an extra day of webinar content that will be fully free for members and delegates. The CAAA provides evidence of PD hours for all education workshops and sessions taking place throughout the three days of the conference, as well as for the ethics workshop. We are also offering a special Accounting Perspectives symposium, Transformational Thinking. And now that we’ve all got used to the wonders of breakout rooms on Zoom, we’ll be using those and other tools to increase our networking and one-to-one friendship and mentoring interactions.
We can all agree that 2020 was an exceptional circumstance for everyone. With the help of our wonderful sponsors and our Distinguished Partner, the CAAA was fortunate to be able to present the conference free of charge as a benefit for CAAA members in a uniquely difficult year. In 2021 we plan to increase and improve our online event, to have the infrastructure and capacity to deliver it, and to meet everyone’s high expectations based not only on our success last year but on the ‘new normal’ of online delivery. The fee is adjusted to reflect that we won’t be clinking teacups at our now-traditional high-tea, bringing you the all-day barista, or letting our hair down at a social event buffet, but that there is a very real value to the content our participants, presenters, panelists, and speakers are still delivering.
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