Musings on Accounting Research by Steve

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Globally engaged?

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The somewhat split personality of the AAA was on display at this year’s annual meeting whose theme was “Global Engagement!”

The Association is “globally engaged” so they say including featuring the world as part of their logo.  further, they refer to themselves as the “global leader in accounting thought and education.”  Who elected them as the “global leaders?”

But it really is an AMERICAN association at heart – not that there is anything wrong with that.  Indeed a bit more recognition that it is an AMERICAN association would be welcome.

The new President’s address to the conference (she is a Canadian by birth) illustrated the issues.  She states the forerunner of the AAA was founded in the mist of the first World War – in 1916.  Yet any good American high school textbook will tell you from a US point of view world war I lasted from 1917-1918 because that is when it became a world war – when the USA joined. 

In the very same speech where she showed her Canadian roots a major focus was on US only higher education statistics.  US President Obama’s attempt to have all US U’s report a balanced scorecard for their performance and the S&P’s (or was it Dunn and Bradstreet’s?) assessment of the prospects of US based universities both got a fair amount of play.  And that is as it should be at the AMERICAN accounting association.

So lets encourage the AAA to keep the “global leadership” rhetoric down and tell them to enjoy being the AMERICAN accounting association.  It would make us all (the ROW and US academics) much happier if the American Accounting Association stuck to being just that – the AMERICAN association.


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