The Official Pathways Commission

The Commission on Accounting Higher Education: Pathways to a Profession

This is a public Pathways  public


  • James Serocki
    Tax Careers34
    discussion posted September 15, 2010 by James Serocki in Pathways Discussion Page public

    I would be interested in participating in a discussion in how best to provide business students (likely accounting majors) sufficient timely information to properly consider a tax career. It appears the recruiting process (e.g. for internships), primarily by CPA firms, comes early in a student's academic process usually junior status, often before any tax courses are taken. Therefore, most students being recruited, have only educational exposure to accounting through their course work and defer to a selection of assurance. As an academic (former practitioner) teaching taxation in a business school, my concern is that some changes need to be made in order to provide accounting majors a balanced exposure to all aspects of a career in accounting, including taxation.  This change process should be a collaborative effort by academia and potential employers (e.g. CPA firms, industry, government). 

    Recent Comments (3 of 35)

  • AAA HQ
    Rec #4: Technology Survey5
    discussion posted October 8, 2015 by AAA HQ, tagged survey in Recommendation #4: Our Curricula public
  • Larry E Rittenberg
    Pathways Commission3
    discussion posted August 4, 2010 by Larry E Rittenberg in Pathways Discussion Page public

    I have read your project paper and viewed your presentation from yesterday.  Although stated very broadly, the presentation still focuses on 'money", rather than "transforming data into information" (which has also been suggested as a definition of accounting).  While the documents talk about what accountants do, the value proposition for accounting still seems very narrow (to me, at least)  by focusing on money (and similar measures).  As you progress, I urge your commission to keep in mind the broad areas that COSO has covered in the past few years (governance, enterprise risk management, controls, fraud prevention and detection) as an integral part of accounting.  I personally believe it will continue to be a growing part of what will be happening in our organizations, and either we endorse it or lose it.  I know that you have Paul Sobel on one of your supplier groups. He is excellent and can bring the internal audit, control, and risk management perspective to the discussion.

    Good luck on the project.  It is important and I wish you well.  If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know.

    Recent Comments (3 of 3)

  • Julie Smith David
    Feedback from John M. Wachowicz2
    discussion posted August 20, 2010 by Julie Smith David in Pathways Discussion Page public

    Given your interest and position in strengthening accounting education, I thought I would share one thought with you. That is, that understanding accounting entries can lead to a greater understanding of accounting.

    In Strategic Finance magazine recently there was an article that I found very interesting: See:

    Lehman’s Shell Game: Poor Risk Management  By Saurav K. Dutta, CMA; Dennis Caplan, CMA, CPA; and Raef Lawson, CMA,  CPA, CFA
Lehman’s precipitous fall that began in 2008 ended in bankruptcy.  The 2006 strategic shift from a low-risk brokerage model to a high-risk, capital-intensive banking model burdened the company with dangerous illiquid assets, and then the subprime crisis exploded. What followed was a sophisticated implementation of Repo 105 and 108 transactions to cloak the true condition of the company’s worth. The authors analyze the legality and ethics of the accounting practices during the fall.

    I e-mailed the authors to compliment them on their article and their judicious use of 4 sets of journal entries that made some of the author's points come to life for me. They all e-mailed me back and said "thanks" plus they were especially glad that I liked the use of journal entries. They had debated whether to include them or not -- knowing that professional articles nowadays generally do not include journal entries.  Ultimately they decided to include them anyway because they thought they would prove useful. And, to me they did.

    I know that accounting education today neglects journal entries -- for the most part. And, maybe that line of thought should be reconsidered.

    Ta ta 4  now!



    John M.  Wachowicz, Jr., Ph.D.,

Professor and Regions Bank Scholar

    The University of Tennessee

    Department of Finance – 438 SMC
916 Volunteer Blvd.

    Knoxville, TN 37996-0540

    Recent Comments (2 of 2)

  • Julie Smith David
    I am excited to learn more about the Commission!2
    discussion posted August 3, 2010 by Julie Smith David in Pathways Discussion Page public

    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!

    Recent Comments (2 of 2)

  • AAA HQ
    The ASK1
    discussion posted October 5, 2015 by AAA HQ, tagged discussion in Recommendation #1: Our Profession public

    Help us encourage widespread implementation of leading practices. The Pathways Commission is asking your department or institution to adopt the principles spelled out in this document (click more below) and to openly acknowledge your support in this journey to build a learned profession.

    Here's how you can begin the movement:

    Recent Comments (1 of 1)

  • Gordon Peter Wilson
    What aspects of the model are you already including in your...1
    discussion posted August 22, 2013 by Gordon Peter Wilson in Recommendation #5: Our Students public

    Recent Comments (1 of 1)

  • Susan V Crosson
    Feedback from the Mississippi Society of CPAs Accounting...1
    discussion posted November 14, 2010 by Susan V Crosson in Pathways Discussion Page public

    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…

    Recent Comments (1 of 1)

  • Bruce K Behn
    Feedback From AAA Northeast Regional Meeting, October 15,...1
    discussion posted October 18, 2010 by Bruce K Behn in Pathways Discussion Page public

    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.

    Recent Comments (1 of 1)

  • AAA HQ
    Professionally Oriented Survey
    discussion posted October 3, 2015 by AAA HQ, tagged discussion in Recommendation #1: Our Profession public

    Want to contribute your responses to the Professionally Oriented survey?

    Click here if you’re a
    Department Chair:

    Click here if you’re a
    Professionally Oriented faculty member:

    Your responses count! Thank you for your participation and continued support in the Pathways Commission.