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Accounting Faculty Honored at AAA Annual Meeting

Headshots of Bill Kinney, Lisa Koonce, John Robinson and Lillian MillsBy April Stockwell

McCombs School of Business faculty shined at this year's American Accounting Association's (AAA) annual meeting, held in Atlanta, Ga. Professors Bill Kinney, Lisa Koonce, John Robinson, and Lillian Mills were all honored for their achievements in accounting education and research.

The Ohio State University honored Kinney's contributions to the field of accounting, inducting him into the Accounting Hall of Fame. An exemplary researcher and revered mentor to students and colleagues, Kinney has led in the development of research on auditing and related accounting phenomena for almost 50 years. His research brought new vitality and scholarly interest to a key domain of the accounting profession.

The Accounting Hall of Fame was established at The Ohio State University in 1950 for the purpose of honoring accountants who have made or are making significant contributions to the advancement of accounting since the beginning of the 20th century.

Robinson, the C. Aubrey Smith Professor of Accounting, was announced as president-elect of the American Taxation Assocation (ATA), the esteemed and long-standing tax section of the AAA. He begins his term officially next August 2015 and will serve through 2016, hosting the ATA mid-year meeting. Robinson is a thought leader in tax education and respected throughout the accounting research community as a scholar and doctoral mentor. As president, Robinson will build even stronger relationships with  key stakeholders and lead the association to continued excellence in research and teaching.

AAA also honored Mills, Accounting department chair and Wilton E. and Catherine A. Thomas Professor of Accounting, with the Ray M. Sommerfeld Outstanding Tax Educator Award. This award was given in recognition of her contributions to both research and education, specifically noting her lengthy list of publications, strong relationship with the IRS and other governmental groups, and her history of service to the academic community.

Sommerfeld served as a faculty member at McCombs for 30 years and was also a founding member of the American Tax Association (ATA). Established to recognize, honor, and reward outstanding contributions by a faculty member teaching taxation, the Sommerfeld Award was created by the ATA in remembrance of Sommerfeld and the innovations he brought to taxation education.

Koonce, the Deloitte and Touche endowed chair in accounting, received the 2014 AAA Innovation in Accounting Education Award for her work with a task force to develop a visual representation of accounting. Working with a visualization expert, the task force explored society's perceptions of accounting versus the task force member's actual experiences in accounting. From this and the input of others, they created a poster describing accounting’s importance to all aspects of business.

The Innovation in Accounting Education Award is intended to encourage innovation and improvement in accounting education by recognizing significant programmatic changes or a significant activity, concept, or set of educational materials. Winners receive $5,000, funded by the Ernst & Young Foundation, announcement of the award in the fall Accounting Education News, and the winning innovation will be eligible for publication in Issues in Accounting Education as a scholarly article.

Two McCombs Ph.D. graduates, Jennifer Brown, Ph.D. '08, and Lisa De Simone, Ph.D. '13, were recognized for outstanding papers. Brown, currently an assistant professor at Arizona State University, was awarded the ATA Tax Manuscript Award for her January 2011 paper, "The Spread of Aggressive Corporate Tax Reporting: A Detailed Examination of the Corporate-owned Life Insurance Shelter," published in The Accounting Review. The paper is based on her dissertation, chaired by Robinson. De Simone, currently an assistant professor at Stanford, received the ATA/PWC Outstanding Dsisertation Award and the Oustanding International Accounting Dissertation Award given by the International Accounting Section of the AAA for her paper chaired by Mills, "Does a Common Set of Accounting Standards Affect Tax-Motivated Income Shifting for Multinational Firms?"

A version of this article originally appeared on the MPA Weekly blog.

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