University of Edinburgh Business School
12th Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Accounting (IPA) Conference in Edinburgh a Success
August 8, 2018
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The prestigious Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Accounting (IPA) Conference was held in Edinburgh in July 2018.

The conference was hosted by the Centre for Accounting and Society (CAS) of the University of Edinburgh Business School (UEBS). The conference was preceded by an Emerging Scholars Colloquium in the Business School, organised by Andrea Mennicken of LSE and Matthew Hall of Monash University.

Since 1985, the IPA Conference has provided a platform for research into the social, political and organisational aspects of accounting theory and practice. It is a premier forum for the interdisciplinary study of accounting and as such brings together accounting researchers with broad social science interests from disciplines such as anthropology, history, philosophy, sociology and political economy. It responds to the concerns of an evolving research community and seeks to highlight emerging intellectual issues and to encourage new agendas. 178 papers were given at the conference in Edinburgh.

The conference welcomed the following prominent keynote speakers:

  • Bruce G. Carruthers (John D. MacArthur Professor of Sociology and Director of the Buffett Institute for Global Studies at Northwestern University) who spoke on ‘When is a “thing” a thing? Financialisation and distributed governance in the modern global economy’
  • Miranda Joseph (Professor and Chair of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota) who spoke on ‘Countering-Accounting Explorations and Experiments’
  • Frank Pasquale (Researcher of the law of big data, artificial intelligence, and algorithms, and author of The Black Box Society (Harvard University Press, 2015)) who spoke on ‘The Limits of Artificial Intelligence in Finance’

The 2018 Local Organising Committee, all members of CAS, comprised Ingrid Jeacle (Professor of Accounting and Popular Culture), Stephen Walker (Professor of Accounting), Sebastian Hoffman (Lecturer in Accounting), and Christine Cooper (Chair in Accounting). Chris Carter (Chair in Strategy & Organisation) and Christine Cooper led the innovative IPA Fringe which reconnected the conference with political issues and campaigning organisations. A further innovation was a Next Generation Forum organised by Sebastian Hoffman.

In his closing remarks Stephen Walker, the chair of the Organising Committee, thanked the 326 delegates for their contribution to one of the largest and most memorable IPA conferences.

The IPA rotates on a three-year cycle with the Asia Pacific Interdisciplinary Research in Accounting Conference (APIRA) and the Critical Perspectives on Accounting Conference (Americas). More information on APIRA 2019, hosted in Auckland University of Technology (AUT), New Zealand, can be found on the APIRA 2019 website.