In May the Robins School of Business hosted the seventh annual Virginia Accounting Research Conference (VARC) for the first time. The conference was previously held at the Darden School of Business at University of Virginia.

“The purpose of the conference is to bring together accounting faculty in the Virginia area to network and discuss our current research,” said Bret Johnson, assistant professor of accounting at George Mason University. 

Representatives from American University, George Mason University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, James Madison University, University of Richmond, University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Tech, Washington and Lee University, and William & Mary attended the two-day conference.

Seven representatives gave research presentations, including two PhD students.

“I thought some of the highlights of the conference were the quality of the constructive comments given both formally during the presentations and informally during breaks,” Johnson said. “Another great part of the conference is the chance to collaborate on projects with others in the local area who do related research.  I personally have several research projects that have come directly from the VARC network.”

Abdullah Kumas, assistant professor of accounting, organized the conference and brought it to the University of Richmond.

“I think the conference was a huge success in terms of both quality of the papers and number of participants,” Kumas said. “The papers, comments, and presentations were excellent. I enjoyed meeting with some new people and catching up with some old friends.”

Kumas and Johnson agree, VARC provides unique opportunities for accounting faculty in Virginia to network and learn from one another.

“I think it is important to keep this conference going,” Johnson said. “It provides an invaluable opportunity particularly for junior faculty at the respective universities to have an outlet for feedback and to foster collaborative relationships amongst the various schools.”

The participants discussed research on various topics, including the impact of federal regulations on multinational corporations, strategic tax decisions, contributions of associate analysts, and others. You can see the full list of papers presented here.

The group hopes to continue the conference next year, rotating the location between their universities. You can find out more about past VARC events here.