WCOA 2018 delegates - WCOA Sydney 2018 | The Best Accounting Conference

International Convention Centre, Sydney Australia  |  5-8 November 2018

The faces of WCOA 2018

The Sydney event has attracted delegates from across the globe, keen to put their learnings into action, writes Kate Rafferty.

With close to 6000 WCOA delegates, the halls of Sydney’s International Conference Centre have been buzzing. They have been filled with accountants and related professionals from various countries, speaking different languages and representing a vast range of companies.

It’s no surprise host nation Australia has led the delegate count with 2725, according to recent figures. The second largest contingent, however, is from Nigeria – 749 delegates flying 18 hours from Lagos to be in Sydney for the week.

More than 100 delegates each were from the UK, New Zealand and Japan. Substantial numbers also arrived from Mongolia, Malaysia and the US.

Congress Daily asked delegates for their event highlight and what they hope to take back to their home offices.

WCOA 2018 delegates
(Clockwise from top left) Sharon Hodge and Ian Olan; Kabiru Muhammed; Bahadur Singh; Enkhtes Ganbat; Nkerewe Alex

What has most stood out to you at WCOA 2018?

Bahadur Singh, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal, Nepal: “This is like meditation for our profession, looking at how to control financial plans and improve ourselves. We took the ‘AI for Finance – faster data, insight and agility’ class. I think it’s very important for us as professionals to understand artificial intelligence. We are in the 21st century. We have to do something for the future.”

Sharon Hodge, Fletcher Building, New Zealand: “For me, it was the keynote session this morning on artificial intelligence [Dr Ayesha Khanna]. The speaker was really, really great, giving practical ideas regarding interacting with AI and what we can do to ready ourselves and our teams for the future.”

Karina Jacqueline Tutacano Mayta, Contraloria General de la Republica, Peru: “The session in the morning about artificial intelligence stood out to me. Talking about how we need the skills to manage and work with technology. We need that in our country. We are in a modern technological world. It is necessary that we, as accountants, advance at the same time that technology develops.”

Hazel Espiritu, NSW Department of Family and Community Services, Australia: “The first topic about AI was amazing. I want to subscribe to the magazines she mentioned…and make sure I know about the latest AI technological information; it’s so important.”

Nkerewe Alex, Uganda Bureau of Statistics, Uganda: “The organisation in the [conference] app is so good. We are actually talking about it with our president, to develop this application and see it put across the board in our workplace.”

Oluwafunke Siji-Mabeweje, Nigerian Bottling Company Limited, Nigeria: “The session on accounting scandals was awesome. It came out with life experiences of people who had really been in the midst of it. How they came about standing out against pressure, and also the fact that they were courageous enough despite the consequences of their actions. It was brilliant and touching.”

Jessica Chen, Macquarie University, Australia: “The sessions have looked at technology and new developments, and I think these new insights are pretty helpful. It’s great to hear from experts in these areas.”

Luiz Antônio Ochsendorf Leal, Conselho Regional de Contabilidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: “I saw a session about corruption yesterday. The ethical issues treated were very important, and I enjoyed looking into how accountants can contribute to the process.”

What are you hoping to take with you following your WCOA experience?

Ian Olan, Auckland Uniservices, New Zealand: “For me, I think definitely a focus on ethics, how we can use technology, for example, artificial intelligence, to start looking at things like fraud and other ethical problems.”

Enkhtes Ganbat, Mongolia Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Mongolia: “So many new topics have been discussed, about AI, about ethics, and I’m planning to present this at our members meeting for next year. It’s very important to us.”

Kabiru Muhammed, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, Nigeria: “I’m hoping to attend more sessions on technology. The difference between when I studied accounting several years back and studying it now is huge because of the role of technology. I think that is very important to know about.”

Claire Xia, Fuji Xerox Australia, Australia: “I want a little bit more insight on agile working environments and recruiting new talents.”

Ryenchinkhand Tsogbadrakh, XL Education Group Australia, Australia: “I’m also from Mongolia. I want to find out more about the differences between the countries and their workplace practice. Particularly in Australia and Mongolia, the different approaches to accounting and management.”

WCOA 2018 delegates

Latest News