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Livestream: 3rd Annual Rotman CPA Ontario Centre for Accounting Innovation Research Conference

8:50am to 12:00pm EST livestream

Event Details

Speaker Series

Date: Wednesday February 17, 2021 | 08:50 AM - 12:00 PM
Speaker(s): Helen Brown-Liburd (Rutgers University)
Sean Cao (Georgia State University)
Andrea Down (University of Toronto)
Alex Edwards (University of Toronto)
Eli Fathi (Mindbridge Ai)
Philip Fogarty (KPMG)
Jody Grewal (University of Toronto)
Ties de Kok (University of Washington)
Kevin Kolliniatis (KPMG)
Sheila Mcllraith (University of Toronto)
Bryant Ramdoo (KPMG)
Iliana Oris Valiente (Accenture)
Aida Wahid (University of Toronto)
Topic: Accounting Innovation

Details on how to access the livestream will be sent to you after registering.

Location: Online
Cost: Free to attend. Registration is required by 4pm on February 16.
Register Now

SUMMARY: The conference will include talks and panels from academics and practitioners on the following topics:

  • Responsible AI
  • Leveraging Innovative Technologies
  • Technology and Financial Disclosures

By attending this event, you will earn 3.0 CPD hours. 


8:50 AM - Welcome and Opening Remarks

  • Alex Edwards (University of Toronto, Rotman CPA Ontario Centre Director)
  • Carol Wilding (CPA Ontario, President & Chief Executive Officer)
  • Ken Corts (University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management, Interim Dean)

9:00 AM - TOPIC 1: Responsible AI
Moderator: Aida Wahid
(University of Toronto)

Responsible AI: Getting your AI to do the right thing
Sheila Mcllraith (University of Toronto)

The ethical implications of using AI in auditing
Helen Brown-Liburd (Rutgers University)

Responsible AI for accounting: A roadmap for industry leaders
Eli Fathi (Mindbridge Ai)

Panel Discussion (9:35AM - 9:50AM)
Sheila Mcllraith, Helen Brown-Liburd, and Eli Fathi

9:50 AM - BREAK

10:00 AM - TOPIC 2: Leveraging Innovative Technologies
Moderator: Jody Grewal
(University of Toronto)


  • Bryant Ramdoo (KPMG)
  • Kevin Kolliniatis (KPMG)
  • Philip Fogarty (KPMG)

Panel Discussion (10:35AM - 10:50AM)
Philip Fogarty, Kevin Kolliniatis, and Bryant Ramdoo

10:50 AM - BREAK

TOPIC 3: Technology and Financial Disclosures
Moderator: Andrea Down
(University of Toronto)

Measuring and predicting investor disagreement from narrative disclosures using AI
Ties de Kok
(University of Washington)

How to talk when a machine is listening: Corporate disclosure in the age of AI
Sean Cao
(Georgia State University)

Iliana Oris Valiente (Accenture)

Panel Discussion (11:35AM - 11:50AM)
Ties de Kok, Sean Cao, and Iliana Oris Valiente

11:50 AM Closing Remarks
Alex Edwards (University of Toronto, Centre Director)


About Our Speakers:

Helen L. Brown-Liburd, Rutgers Business School

Helen Brown-Liburd is an Associate Professor at Rutgers Business School (RBS) in Newark, NJ. Her research focuses on auditors’ and investors’ judgment and decision making and the impact of Big Data and analytics on the audit profession.  Helen earned her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a BBA from Bernard M. Baruch College.    

Helen is a CPA (inactive) with over sixteen years of experience in such diverse areas as auditing, financial and operating reporting, and analysis and project management.  Before entering her doctoral program, she worked for Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) as a Manager on several company-wide teams established to evaluate and redesign major company-wide processes. She was also an Internal Audit Manager, where her duties included supervising and monitoring the performance of worldwide audits.  Helen also worked for Pepsi Cola Company, where she researched, developed, and implemented accounting policies and procedures and performed financial reporting for acquisitions.  She began her career in public accounting as a staff auditor for Main Hurdman (now KPMG) and later moved to Arthur Young (now Ernst and Young), where she was promoted to Audit Manager.

Helen currently serves on the PCAOB Data and Technology Task Force and recently completed a two-year appointment to the AICPA Board of Examiners.  She is a KPMG Doctoral Scholar and a member of the National Association of Black Accountants, Inc., the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the American Accounting Association.

Sean Cao, Georgia State University

Sean Cao is an Assistant Professor at the Georgia State University. His research examines the usefulness of firm information and disclosures for investor and corporate decision-making. This research topic is a crucial component of disclosure research in the field of accounting and corporate finance research in the field of finance. A unifying theme in his research is to protect investors’ wealth and increase firms’ operational efficiency and market value using large-scale data analytics of corporate disclosures. Because most corporate accounting and disclosure data are unstructured and high-dimensional, like text and images, emerging technologies such as deep learning and artificial intelligence are crucial for quantifying useful information from this unstructured corporate data using unleashed computational power.

His research has been published in premier journals across finance, accounting, and computer science. His work has been presented at major research universities, including Stanford University, Cornell University, New York University, University of Virginia, University of Minnesota, and Pennsylvania State University, as well as at national policy-making or advisory agencies such as the SEC and NBER. His research has also received interest and workshop invitations from leading financial and AI firms such as State Street, Grant Thornton, Ant Financial, Baidu, DataYes, and

Sean co-chaired the 2020 GSU-RFS conference on Fintech and Machine Learning. The conference attracts an average of 150 high-quality submissions annually in the area of emerging technologies from preeminent scholars in both finance and accounting.

Kenneth Corts, Univeristy of Toronto

Kenneth S. Corts is Interim Dean, the Marcel Desautels Chair in Entrepreneurship, Professor of Economics Analysis and Policy, and Vice-Dean, Faculty and Research at the Rotman School of Management. He also serves as Academic Director of the Lee-Chin Institute for Corporate Citizenship. He previously served as Associate Dean, Undergraduate, and Director of Rotman Commerce, the undergraduate commerce program offered jointly by the Rotman School and U of T’s Faculty of Arts and Science. Before joining the Rotman School, he was an Assistant Professor and then Associate Professor in the Competition and Strategy area at Harvard Business School. He received his PhD in Economics from Princeton University in 1994. 

Through his research and teaching, Professor Corts applies advances in industrial organization economics, game theory, and competitive strategy to a wide range of problems and industries. His work addresses topics in pricing, network economics, technology adoption, organizational economics, and competition policy.

He has published numerous articles in academic journals. He has also published a number of Harvard Business School case studies that are used at top business schools throughout the world. He served as Editor at the Journal of Industrial Economics from 2005-2010 and has won grants and fellowships from the National Science Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He has been a visiting professor at UCLA and INSEAD and a visiting scholar at UC-Berkeley and IESE.

In addition to his academic accomplishments, Professor Corts has provided expert testimony for the Canadian Competition Bureau, co-authored a policy analysis paper for the UK Office of Fair Trading, consulted on criminal antitrust matters in the U.S., and engaged in executive training and consulting for large IT, pharmaceutical, energy, and manufacturing firms.

Ties de Kok, University of Washington

Ties de Kok is an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington with a PhD in accounting from Tilburg University. His research specializes in combining computer science with empirical accounting research and aims to improve our understanding of how information is prepared and consumed in modern contexts. This includes questions related to the role and impact of artificial intelligence, virtual communications and work, and the new ways that people are consuming their information. He teaches Accounting Systems and Analytics and Python programming at the Foster School of Business, University of Washington. 

Eli Fathi, MindBridge

Eli Fathi is CEO of MindBridge. He is a serial entrepreneur with several successful exits, developing and launching innovative technologies in North America that continue to serve a global customer base. Eli joined MindBridge only 8 months after the company was founded, driven by enthusiasm for demonstrating the power and opportunities of applying AI and deep learning to financial data. Prior to MindBridge, Eli co-founded and served as co-CEO of Fluidware Corporation until its acquisition by SurveyMonkey, and held senior leadership roles in several technology and telecommunications companies. Eli holds an M.A.Sc. in electrical engineering from the University of Ottawa.

Philip Fogarty, KPMG

Philip is a hands-on audit partner in KPMG’s Enterprise practice, he is well-known in the private company space for specializing in complex audit engagements of private entities involving acquisitions, divestitures, adoption of new accounting standards (e.g., International Financial Reporting Standards) and international reporting packages. He is also known as a trusted business advisor to many owners, management and key stakeholders. His clients range from small owner-managed businesses to some of the largest privately owned entities in Canada controlled by private equity firms and European shareholders across a diverse range of industries including manufacturing, distribution, agricultural commodities, pharmaceuticals, private equity, real-estate, technology, automotive and Not-for-Profit organizations.

Philip holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting and Human Resource Management from the National College of Ireland, he is a Chartered Accountant (FCA) from the institute of Chartered Accountants Ireland, a Chartered Accountant (CA) and Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) from the Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario, Canada.

Philip started his KPMG career in his home country of Ireland where he worked on both private and publicly listed clients. Since joining the Canadian firm in 2007, has been involved in internal recruiting, training, mentoring and practice quality reviews. Philip is also one of KPMG Canada’s geographic innovation leaders and has led a number of disruption lab experiences internally and externally for both clients and non-clients. He is also the GTA campus recruiting partner for KPMG.

Philip has published articles in the Mississauga business magazine “Connect” on topics such as Diversity and Inclusion and Understanding the Family Business ( 

Outside of work, Philip enjoys running, road biking, roller blading and traveling to exotic locations such as Tibet, Peru and the continent of Africa (all pre-COVID). He is also an avid adopter of home automation.

Kevin Kolliniatis, KPMG

Kevin is a Partner in KPMG’s audit and advisory practice, based in Ottawa. He has been a Chartered Accountant since 2005, a Chartered Professional Accountant, and a Certified Information Systems Auditor since 2008. Kevin is a graduate of Carleton University in Ontario, receiving his Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree.

Kevin has over 21 years of professional experience with KPMG. As a member of the audit and advisory practice, Kevin gained experience with a wide-range of clients.

Kevin is also a member of KPMG Canada’s Department of Professional Practice and is the lead for the Canadian statistical sampling specialists and lead for Data & Analytics in the Audit. As a part of Kevin’s role, he is responsible for the overall Canadian strategy of the implementation of D&A in the financial statement audit across Canada. This includes the overall implementation and operationalization of the D&A methodology, all D&A applications, training and development of the D&A Champions, change management activities within the audit practice and overall monitoring of the D&A initiatives. Kevin also liaises with the Americas regional implementation teams and the global service centre of KPMG.

Kevin also specializes in the auditing and review of IT General Computer Controls and related application controls for clients, both to support a financial statement audit, as well as to review the ITGC framework for the clients and identify gaps in the control environments and provide recommendations on improving those controls.

Sheila Mcllraith, University of Toronto

Sheila McIlraith is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto, Canada CIFAR AI Chair, Faculty Member at the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence, and Research Lead at the Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society. Prior to joining U of T in 2004, McIlraith spent six years as a Research Scientist at Stanford University, and one year at Xerox PARC. McIlraith is the author of over 100 scholarly publications in the area of knowledge representation, automated reasoning and machine learning. Her work focuses on AI sequential decision making broadly construed, through the lens of human-compatible AI. McIlraith is a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), and a past President of KR Inc., the international scientific foundation concerned with fostering research and communication on knowledge representation and reasoning. She is currently serving on the Standing Committee of the Stanford One Hundred Year Study on Artificial Intelligence (AI100).

Bryant W. Ramdoo, KPMG

Bryant is a Partner in KPMG’s Consumer and Industrial Market Audit practice in Toronto, Canada. He has 15 years of experience providing financial statement audit, audit of internal control, and accounting advisory services.

Bryant has provided professional audit services to several large multinational groups in accordance with Canadian Auditing Standards, PCAOB requirements, IFRS, and U.S. GAAP. His audit experience ranges from securities filings in both Canada and the United States, carve-out financial statements, bankruptcy filings, IPO filings and pension plans audits to the successful coordination of large global audit transitions.

Bryant has led several complex global audits for clients in a variety of industries. His core strengths and accomplishments include:

  • Serving as the Digital Transformation leader for the Toronto Audit practice and member of the National Audit Innovation team.
  • Serving as member of KPMG’s National Data & Analytics Leadership team.
  • Experienced in coordinating with international KPMG offices simultaneously to serve multinational clients.

Bryant also leads KPMG’s National Japanese Practice in Canada, overseeing the development and growth of KPMG’s Japanese clients operating in Canada.

 Bryant is a frequent speaker and panelist discussing Innovation and the Future of Audit (CPA Audit Committee Conference 2019, The Auditing and Assurance Standards Oversight Council 2019, CICBV Conference 2018). He is a board member for local charity organization in Toronto.

Iliana Oris Valiente, Accenture

 Iliana Oris Valiente, CPA, CA, CBP is a Managing Director and Canada Innovation Lead at Accenture. She works with senior executives and boards to support their strategic transformation journeys, from idea to scaled execution, leading multi-disciplinary teams across design, data, and the latest emerging technologies. As part of her role, she also oversees the Ventures group and teams focused on applied R&D in areas such as digital identity, AI, and blockchain.

Iliana is widely credited for being a trailblazer in the blockchain industry, having led initiatives to conceptualize and build solutions across industries – focusing on financial services, supply chain, health and public sector. Iliana is also a contributor to the Tapscott-led Blockchain Research Institute, is an Associate at the Creative Destruction Lab, and sits on the CPA Ontario Council.

Based in Toronto, Iliana graduated summa cum laude from the University of Ottawa with a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce and is a certified public accountant and chartered accountant (CPA, CA).

Iliana a published author and sought-after speaker, having presented at a number of North American and European conferences and events. She has been featured in print and online media, radio and television outlets including CNBC, CBC, NPR, BetaKit, IT World Canada, American Banker, and was named one of the Top 100 Most Influential People In the Blockchain Industry by Coindesk, the main news publication in the industry in 2017.

Carol Wilding, CPA Ontario

 Carol Wilding was appointed by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario's Council as the President and CEO in October 2014. In her role, Carol leads the qualifying and regulatory body of Ontario’s more than 94,000 CPAs and 22,000 students. CPA Ontario serves the public interest by developing, monitoring and enforcing the highest standards of professional competence and ethical conduct.

Prior to joining CPA Ontario, Carol harnessed her accounting background to work in civic growth and policy as President and CEO of the Toronto Region Board of Trade; in healthcare, research and philanthropy as President of Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation; and in international development as President of Plan Canada. She holds an Honours degree in Business Administration from the Schulich School of Business at York University, earned her accounting designation in 1987 and was named a Fellow in 2009.

QUESTIONS: Alex Edwards, Associate Professor and Director, Rotman CPA Ontario Centre for Accounting Innovation Research,; or Franco Wong, Associate Professor, Accounting, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, Franco.Wong@Rotman.Utoronto.Ca.


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