Back in 2018, for example, I attended an IMA Women’s Accounting Leadership Series event in Amsterdam, where I was on a panel about “Strategies for Professional Success” with several remarkable women. The energy in the room was palpable and inspiring as we talked about the trials and triumphs of working in accounting and finance. All great conferences share this feature—connecting with people and being inspired by others facing similar challenges. You want to hear something new that speaks to the future of our profession, but you also want to hear something relevant that gives you ideas you can immediately apply to your job and career.
The most memorable conferences for me are the ones when a speaker makes a long-lasting impact on my thinking. Recently, I participated in an online session with Katrin Kaufer, a research fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and director of the Just Money Program at the MIT Community Innovators Lab. Kaufer spoke about the future of finance, and I really enjoyed how she took her audience on a tour of mission-driven institutions. Her observation that we need to be more intentional with investing prompted me to think about where the financial services sector is going and to examine how I could amplify her message and apply her advice to my professional role. Another highlight was Lee White, executive director of the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation, who spoke to the IMA Global Board of Directors. He gave an inspiring speech on the critical role of sustainable reporting.
Although every community has its own fabric and way of communicating, I always love it when like-minded large groups fill hotels and public spaces with new ideas and spontaneous conversations and jointly create an energetic atmosphere to achieve progress that stays with you long after the event is over. After COVID-19, I’m very relieved that things are opening up again and we can create that vibe again for IMA.
That’s why I encourage members (and nonmembers) to attend IMA’s Accounting & Finance Conference (IMA23) this coming June 11-14. It will be the first time since 2019 that IMA will offer its annual conference fully in person.
IMA23 will be held in Minneapolis, Minn., an exciting metropolis known as “The City by Nature.” Under the theme “Step Up,” the conference will feature eight specialty tracks, providing incredible opportunities to extend your knowledge in areas like technology and analytics, reporting and control, leadership and professional development, and much more. These will be delivered by a slate of dynamic speakers and presenters, including keynotes from a former chair of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and original member of the International Accounting Standards Board, a current FASB board member, the chief accounting officer of UPS, and a corporate strategist and best-selling author. Early bird rates are available through mid-April, so now is a great time to sign up.
Do you have any vivid memories about your experiences at an IMA conference? I’d love to hear about it—and that you plan to join us this June.