The College of Business and Economics (CBE) at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) hosted the world’s most dynamic researchers in finance and accounting by presenting a virtual International Conference of Accounting and Business (ICAB), on 29-30 June 2021. Titled ‘technology as a trusted companion for accountants and business professionals in the business unusual environment’, the conference attracted over 100 experts and scholars from Europe, United States, Namibia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa.
The two-day conference was a who’s who in the world of finance and accounting, bringing the top researchers together to share their latest findings. Sessions topics ranged from measures to prevent economic crime in South Africa to fair value accounting and disclosure. The Department of Accountancy in the University is one of the biggest pro viders of black chartered accountants in South Africa.
Tankiso Moloi, a Professor of Accountancy at UJ, who is also a chair of the conference, affirmed the organisation of the conference and expressed appreciation for CBE colleagues’ commitment and hard work during this special COVID-19 period. He said that the COVID-19 pandemic did not stop the university from holding this international conference; it showed the high demand for the conference and the influence of the conference in the accounting and business world.
In his closing address, Prof Moloi discussed the uncertainties in times of crises, with respect to the ever-changing landscape underpinned by ‘the rapidly changing environment, innovation, the competing interests the organisations have to contend with – for instance, ensuring that organizations take into cognisance the need to an ambidextrous organization, and the new generation of workforce, among other things.’
He compared these changes with what had been experienced in the late 1980s as the world was changing, stating “As the cold war was coming to an end, the American military became concerned about the multilateral world – a move from the bipolar world to the multipolar world,” said Prof Moloi. “The multilateral world would be characterized by rapid changes, thus becoming Volatile, Uncertain, very complex, and full of ambiguity” he said.
“The conference drew top research and researchers in finance and accounting from around the globe. We had a record number of submissions and attracted a record number of conference participants,” added Moloi.
Virtually all the top universities of Africa were represented on the conference program as presenters, session chairs, and discussants. Various topics touching on accounting education, gender issues, the corporate world, Big data, Blockchain Technologies, Robotic Process Automation, cryptocurrencies, 4IR, and digital economy were presented.
This conference placed an emphasis on accounting and business, as well as their interface and interactions with technology. 31 high-quality papers from around the globe were presented on the first day of the conference and 30 high-quality papers from around the globe were presented on the second day of the conference. Those that pass the subsequent peer review will be included in the ICAB 2021 conference proceedings.
In addition, prominent accounting professors delivered keynote speeches at the conference. The first central speaker was Prof Amanda Dempsey, UJ Senior Director: College of Business and Economics who emphasised moving from the brick space to the click space. The main keynote speaker Mr. Sipho Ndaba, the Auditor-General (AG) of South Africa spoke of the emerging technologies and how the AG is assessing the impact of these technologies in the audit profession.
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