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8 Conferences for Accountants in 2020-2021 (Including Covid-19 Scheduling Updates)

Attending an accounting conference is a great way to learn more about the industry, including product innovations, trends, and best practices. These events also provide opportunities to meet new people on the same career trajectory as you and hear from experts in the field.

If you’re looking for some of the best accounting conferences happening in 2020, look no further. Each and every year, accountants and financial experts meet at conferences and expos to network, learn, educate, and grow. We’ve gathered essential information on eight of the country’s most popular conferences for accountants; all offering a wide range of topics and benefits for many types of financial professionals.

COVID-19 Event Updates

Keep in mind that the global health crisis has disrupted the plans for many of these accounting conferences this year. While some have made the decision to postpone their events until later in the year, others have been forced to cancel them altogether, focusing instead on the conference slated for 2021. Still other accounting organizations have decided to offer their conferences online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

For events that have been postponed until later this year, it’s best to check the organization’s website and/or social media feeds for updates leading up to the start date for the conference. As the coronavirus situation evolves, additional schedule changes and cancellations can occur.

Before registering for an in-person event, be sure to inquire as to what steps event organizers are taking to ensure the health and safety of attendees. In addition, be prepared to follow certain guidelines regarding social distancing, sanitation, and proper mask usage.

Scaling New Heights Conference

Initially scheduled for June 2020, the Scaling New Heights Conference was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Because of the delay, the event was forced to change venues as well. Instead of St Louis, the new location for the event is Orlando, and the conference dates are September 20-23, 2020.

Hosted by WOODWARD Events LLC, this accounting conference will mainly focus on shifts in technology in the accounting industry, as well as technology’s impact on all types of professionals working in the industry. Attendees will learn not only about which types of new technologies there are, but also learn how to use this innovative technology to their benefit. You can also be a part of a massive networking community and hear presentations given by top experts. Accountants can learn about new technologies like data automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

The theme for this year’s Scaling New Heights Conference is “Rise of the Advisor.” The theme will focus on the importance of building great relationships with clients and helping them build wealth. Conference events will emphasize strategies for facing the obstacles presented over the last four Scaling New Heights Conferences. These strategies include implementing new technologies, overcoming barriers, and building a modern accounting practice.

AICPA CFO Conference

Like other events across the globe, the AICPA CFO Conference was rescheduled due to the pandemic. As a result, it will now be held on September 16-18, 2020. The conference will also be held online this year due to social distancing recommendations made by public health leaders. Interactive features will be embedded into the virtual format, including a live chat feature as well as a social media feed.

CFOs, CEOs, corporate leaders, managers, bankers, and all sorts of financial professionals are invited to attend the virtual event. Workshops and keynote speakers will focus on the changes shaping the industry today. Examples of workshop and keynote titles include Leadership in Times of Uncertainty and The White House: A Look At Crisis Leadership and Decision-Making. The conference will also serve as a hub for networking.

ACE 2021

Unfortunately, the Institute of Management Accountants’ ACE 2020 has been cancelled due to concerns over Covid-19. The event was initially scheduled to be held in Atlanta, GA in June of 2020. Unlike other accounting conferences, this event was not rescheduled, though. Instead, attendees will have to wait until next year. The 2021 ACE conference will be held from June 13-16 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The IMA’s ACE conference has become one of the most popular annual accounting expos, featuring world-renowned speakers and industry experts. It is “the only conference that offers eight specialty tracks.” Each attendee can personalize their own experience to their needs. Attendees can also “pick from over 65 job-relevant sessions to customize [their] learning experience” and network with other professionals. In fact, the IMA hosts more than 15 networking events at the conference each year.

GMS Summit

Like other professional conferences around the world, the 2020 GMS Summit slated for May in Graceland, Tennessee was cancelled due to the global public health crisis. Rather than rescheduling the event for later in the year, event organizers decided to cancel it altogether and refocus their efforts on planning for the 2021 conference in St. Pete Beach, Florida.

The 2021 GMS Summit will be the 36th annual financial management conference for nonprofits hosted by Grants Management Systems (GMS). For years, this conference has been an excellent opportunity for accountants from all over the country to meet, learn from each other/experts, and grow their professional network. The 2021 Summit will feature training workshops while addressing topics like accounting systems and revolving loan systems. Accountants from all levels and from many different industries can find professional growth here.

Grants Management Systems (GMS) is a premier software company providing accounting solutions for non-profit organizations since 1980. The company specializes in cost allocation, funds reporting, and revolving loan systems.

AICPA Engage

Rather than cancel or postpone the event as so many other accounting organizations have amid Covid-19, AICPA Engage organizers decided to hold the event virtually instead. Appropriately, this year’s session will emphasize the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the accounting industry. This includes the effects the virus has had on financial planning and tax regulations, for example.

Engage 2020 is one of the premier events of the year for accountants, CPAs, bookkeepers, and other financial professionals. The agenda will cover accounting and financial topics such as advanced personal financial planning, tax strategies for the high-income individual, and career development, for instance.  The goal of the conference is to leave attendees feeling more confident about their knowledge and ability to service their clients. You’ll have access to top-quality lessons, expert speakers, and networking opportunities.

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is the largest professional association in the field of accounting with over 430,000 members worldwide. The organization sets professional standards for the industry and provides advocacy for accountants across the globe.

Avalara CRUSH

Even though the Avalara CRUSH conference was slated for later in the year, event organizers still decided to cancel the event out of an abundance of caution amid the pandemic. The group admits that it was a difficult call to make but vows to devote their efforts to making the 2021 event even better as a result. That conference is scheduled for May 11-13, 2021 in Boca Raton, Florida.

Avalara is a company that offers tax compliance solutions for individual accountants and agencies. Their conferences offer thought leadership in the industry through expert speakers and workshops designed to support accountants and their clients.

Sage Summit U.S.

Covid-19 forced event organizers for the Sage Summit U.S. to postpone the event until December 9-11, 2020. Still, the company is committed to providing a meaningful conference that will allow attendees to network and learn from each other as well as from expert speakers and instructors. These attendees will have the opportunity to enroll in one of six different learning tracks and participate in over 75 different breakout sessions.  The event will take place at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

Sage is a software company offering accounting technology solutions for the modern consultant. Their products include mobile, social, and cloud solutions that support payroll, payment systems, and integrated accounting.

IIA International Conference

The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) has been holding professional development conferences for auditors and accountants since 1942. This year, the event will be held in person on November 2-4 in Miami, Florida as well as virtually for those attendees concerned about potential exposure to Covid-19.

The theme of this year’s IIA International Conference is “Cruise Into Internal Audit.” Topics on the agenda include auditing automation, cyber resilience in auditing, agile auditing, and machine learning, for example. Over 2,000 attendees from more than 100 different countries are expected to show up in Miami or online for the event, and simultaneous translation in 16 different languages will be provided for this international affair.

The conferences on this list offer attendees many different opportunities. Accountants from all sorts of areas can join in on learning, growing, and networking with other professionals of the same industry. These eight accounting conferences can help you grow as a professional and as an individual, despite the pandemic. Keep in mind that this is not intended to be an exhaustive list of 2020 events for accountants, rather a guide to those standout conferences hand-picked by our editor.