Pathways Discussion Page

engaging the broad accounting community

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  • Julie Smith David
    What should be the accounting educational pathways?
    question posted November 9, 2010 by Julie Smith David 
    question:
    What should be the accounting educational pathways?
  • Julie Smith David
    How do we eliminate structural impediments or better align...
    question posted November 9, 2010 by Julie Smith David 
    question:
    How do we eliminate structural impediments or better align existing systems to enhance effective accounting education?
  • Bruce K Behn
    Feedback From AAA Northeast Regional Meeting, October 15,...1
    discussion posted October 18, 2010 by Bruce K Behn 
    discussion:
    Feedback From AAA Northeast Regional Meeting, October 15, 2010
    details:

    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 
    discussion:
    Feedback From Tennessee Society of Accounting Educators Conference (TSAE)
    details:

    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.

  • James Serocki
    Tax Careers34
    discussion posted September 15, 2010 by James Serocki 
    discussion:
    Tax Careers
    details:

    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). 

  • Julie Smith David
    Feedback from John M. Wachowicz2
    discussion posted August 20, 2010 by Julie Smith David 
    discussion:
    Feedback from John M. Wachowicz
    details:

    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: http://www.imanet.org/PDFs/Public/SF/2010_08/8lawson.pdf

    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

 
 

    John M.  Wachowicz, Jr., Ph.D.,

    CPA
Professor and Regions Bank Scholar

    The University of Tennessee

    Department of Finance – 438 SMC
916 Volunteer Blvd.

    Knoxville, TN 37996-0540

  • Larry E Rittenberg
    Pathways Commission3
    discussion posted August 4, 2010 by Larry E Rittenberg 
    discussion:
    Pathways Commission
    details:

    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.

  • Julie Smith David
    I am excited to learn more about the Commission!2
    discussion posted August 3, 2010 by Julie Smith David 
    discussion:
    I am excited to learn more about the Commission!
    details:

    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!