The Official Pathways Commission

The Commission on Accounting Higher Education: Pathways to a Profession

This is a public Pathways  public


  • Julie Smith David
    Ways to share and engage others:...
    discussion posted November 29, 2010 by Julie Smith David in Pathways Discussion Page public
    Ways to share and engage others:

    I don't want to sound self-serving, but ASU has been working on defining what it will take to become the "New American University," and they have been engaging a wide range of people to try and identify both the challenges and the opportunities that we face on the horizon.  What they're trying to do seems very similar to Pathways' objectives - just focused in a different (although overlapping) area.

    They have developed a new web page to help people stay engaged, and I thought you might find what they're doing interesting - and as you start to answer some of the major issues you've posed, you might want to do something similar.

    To see what they're doing: 

  • Susan V Crosson
    Feedback from the Mississippi Society of CPAs Accounting...1
    discussion last edited February 10, 2012 by Susan V Crosson in Pathways Discussion Page public
    Feedback from the Mississippi Society of CPAs Accounting Educators Symposium

    Below are comments made by participants at the MSCPAs conference October 29, 2010:

    -Need effective presentations and resources for teaching accounting, i.e., topical videos for advanced tax topics

    -Need better pedagogy i.e., a practice set to create a not-for-profit so in class can review disparate answers.

    -Need more authentic assignments i.e., Management accounting business memo.  Students need to be able to filter for relevant info, formulate key questions, present alternative solutions, and support recommendations.

    -Need to change the perceptions of high school guidance counselors, i.e., Career preference tests are based on 1950s DOL profiles which are no longer relevant about what accountants do!

    -Need to recognize what accounting is being outsourced to the third world and what our value proposition is.

    -What should be done about high school students that are not top notch that want to do accounting?

    -Current accounting students are not prepared to do accounting in practice—need more internship experience!

    -Accounting grads should be work ready!

    -Look at accounting:business curriculum….should it be 50:50?

    -Students need step by step experience in how to conduct an audit so can learn to think beyond checking off the step on the audit checklist.

    -What can be done about the international regulatory barriers?

    -What can be done about the barriers to obtaining international experience?

    -What responsibilities does the accounting profession have for regulation?  Are we thought leaders in new regulations and laws?

    -K-12 GenEd should include business and accounting, why doesn’t it?  What can be done?

    -PhD shortage-are there enough faculty to teach?  Are enrollments rising?  Is ADS working?  What else can be done?

    -Current faculty should promote the academy as a profession choice.

    -Current Accreditation [credentialing] of faculty is NOT what the profession needs

    -Curriculum should allow for different professional pathways: public, private, academic….one size or emphasis does not fit all!

    -Can we afford to provide different pathways? 

    -How to teach emerging topics, i.e., reconciling book to tax income becoming more difficult due to fair value accounting.

    -There should be one accounting license for US—broad credential.  Granted at national level not state level.

    There should be other credentials for SEC versus non SEC work skills…

  • Bruce K Behn
    Feedback From AAA Northeast Regional Meeting, October 15,...1
    discussion last edited February 10, 2012 by Bruce K Behn in Pathways Discussion Page public
    Feedback From AAA Northeast Regional Meeting, October 15, 2010

    Following the presentation on the status of the Pathways Commission on Higher Education for the Accounting Profession, audience participants were asked to offer their comments and input.  The following is a summary of the comments received at that meeting:

    • We need to offer more accounting elective courses.
    • We need to broaden the types of other courses offered in accounting programs.
    • We need more forensic accounting courses at the university level.
    • University programs need to emphasize that accounting is more than just getting a CPA certificate, i.e., students should be exposed to other certificates like IMA and CMA.
    • We need to make accounting more fun in the classroom.
    • There should be more options as a path to obtaining a PhD in accounting.  All the programs are geared toward full-time and young people and there is no practical path for someone with experience and beyond their 20’s to be able to obtain a PhD.
    • Online programs need to be seriously considered as a path to PhD and to undergraduate degrees.
    • Require more accounting research focused courses in the curriculum.
    • Teach college and university teachers how to teach.  Obtaining a PhD is not an indication of a person’s ability to teach the subject.  We do more to teach elementary school teachers how to teach than college professors.
    • Get input from AICPA Leadership Academy and younger accountants.
    • We need to get input from students about to graduate.  Also, we should obtain input from students who graduated 2-3 years ago to learn how well prepared they believe they were to enter the profession.
    • We should include input on what is missing in accountants from other “users” of services such as the SEC, plaintiff’s attorneys and investment bankers.
    • We should study the cost of students obtaining the extra 30 hours in the 150 requirement and whether it is cost beneficial.
    • Teaching is too directed at obtaining a CPA and we need to teach for other alternative career paths as well.
    • We need students to have more reading, thinking and communication skills.  Expand accounting pedagogy to include other important skills and implement it earlier in the university experience.
    • We need to improve the image of becoming a CPA with a television program.
    • We need to better understand why the pass rate for the CPA exam is so much lower than doctors and lawyers.
    • Professors need to adapt to changing learning styles of the students.
    • Change introductory courses (high school and college) to start with a focus on financial statements or outcomes rather than current method of teaching inputs which means bookkeeping which is a turn-off.
    • We should have someone from a large not-for-profit on the Commission as well as representation from GAO and SEC.
    • Expand the use of internships, co-opts and other programs that blend in practical experience.
    • Need to incorporate more real-life examples, simulations and cases into the curriculum.  Add practical skills to the regular curriculum.
  • Bruce K Behn
    Feedback From Tennessee Society of Accounting Educators...
    discussion posted October 12, 2010 by Bruce K Behn in Pathways Discussion Page public
    Feedback From Tennessee Society of Accounting Educators Conference (TSAE)

    Below are comments made from participants at the TSAE conference:

    - Accountants image needs to be more exciting (Law & Order for accountants).

    - Come up with an automated online auditing system for tax returns to reduce labor costs.

    - Need para - professional designations.

    - Stagnant faculty salaries.

    - Declining math competencies.

    - Complexity overloads (tax, FASB, etc.).

    - Need to increase cooperation between academics and practice.

    - Commission top-heavy with CPAs and academcis, what about others?

    - Need rules simplication.

    - Lack of experience updating opportunities.

    - Big disconnect between academics and standard setting/regulatory community.

    - Empirical research is regularly rewarded over quality educational delivery.

    - Better integration of technology.

    - Need to more attract high caliber students into accounting from high schools.

    - Need to attract more people into accounting Ph.D. programs.

    - Students need more critical thinking skills, problem solving skills, and ethics.

    - Need more awareness that small businesses need accounting skills sets (appears that these are not valued now).

    - Need more specialization in accounting, following medical model.

    - Corporate responsibility and financial integrity need more emphasis in accounting education.

    - Need to get people on board with IFRS.

    - Students need better foundational skills (e.g., math and technology).

    - Compeitition for talent is now global, and our students need a better awareness of this.

    - Need more integration of financial and managerial accounting in educational systems.

  • Julie Smith David
    I am excited to learn more about the Commission!2
    discussion last edited February 10, 2012 by Julie Smith David in Pathways Discussion Page public
    I am excited to learn more about the Commission!

    Having reviewed the overheads, it seems like this is an exciting idea and has a lot of potential!  I can't wait to learn more about it!