Finnish Congress Heroes: EAA 2023 in Espoo

The 45th Annual Congress of the European Accounting Association was organized in Espoo, Finland in May 2023.

Seppo Ikäheimo, Chair of the Organizing Committee, shares his thoughts after the congress:
The congress was a success. The Finnish local context was very much present in the congress as we treated the delegates with local food like fish, vegetables and reindeer sausage.

One of the most popular extracurricular activities was a hiking trip to Nuuksio National Park, located in Espoo. The delegates were exposed to a unique experience of being so close to the city centre, while at the same time being in the Finnish nature around a campfire, eating salmon soup. Such opportunities for informal interactions and shared experiences play a pivotal role in fostering connections among the scientific community. Though, as a 60-year-old professor I don’t recommend singing karaoke till the morning hours with the students, Ikäheimo chuckles.

Finland is a very nice country to host scientific congresses due to several reasons. The most appealing factor is that everything works well in Finland. We follow our schedules, we trust people, public transport works perfectly, there’s clean food, and clean air.

As a city Espoo radiates a positive atmosphere around academic research and innovational activities. Espoo is known for being a hub of know-how, research and development. It also is the most sustainable city in Europe according to studies that measure economical, ecological and social development. Sustainability is one of the main criteria according to which EAA chooses its congress locations.

In terms of environmental sustainability, all the lunches featured vegetarian options, while the usage of plastic was minimized in favour of recyclable materials. The congress embraced a nearly paperless approach, with research papers made available electronically, showcasing the positive impact of digitalization on sustainability. In all aspects of planning the congress, we tried to be mindful of sustainability and efficient in the way we use resources.

The social aspect was also considered. Significantly reduced prices were offered to Ph.D. students, enabling their active participation. Furthermore, a group of 25 international students from various universities assisted in organizing the congress. I believe our students had a really good time and gained relevant work-life experience – they were also invited to the gala dinner and got to network with the delegates.

One aspect about sustainability that is often overlooked is the fact that many research papers presented in the symposium focused on sustainability topics. As researchers in accounting, we are contributing a lot to the regulation of sustainability reporting. Our mission is to contribute to a more sustainable world with research and intellectual contributions.

Annalisa Prencipe, President of the European Accounting Association:

"It’s the first time for me in Finland and I have been captured by the beauties of this country. All the arrangements were well planned, and everything worked seamlessly from the facilities and technical aspects to the special activities and the gala dinner."

"I was impressed about not only the beauty of the country but also how inclusive it is. People are very welcoming, and everyone speaks English which helps with communicating. Also, the delegates shared a feeling of safety in Finland. You feel safe touring around in Finland even at nighttime."

The EAA Congress holds a distinguished position as the flagship scientific event of the European Accounting Association. The congress was supposed to be held in 2021 but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Read more about the congress on Finland Convention Bureau website: