Pathways Documents

background documents and work in progress

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in the news

    Julie Smith David
    Press Release: Final Report Available, July 2012
    in the news posted July 30, 2012 by Julie Smith David, tagged final 
    Press Release: Final Report Available, July 2012

    Joint Statement of the AAA and AICPA
    July 31, 2012

    The American Accounting Association (AAA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the founding co-sponsors of the Pathways Commission on Accounting Higher Education, are pleased to announce that the Pathways Commission report is being released today.  The Pathways Commission was created by the AAA and AICPA to study the future structure of higher education for the accounting profession, broadly defined, and to develop recommendations for educational pathways for students, academics, practitioners, and others in the practice and study of accounting.

    This report summarizes two years of collective effort by over 50 individuals representing a diverse array of stakeholders in a broadly defined accounting profession – encompassing public and corporate accounting, education, and government.    The impetus for this study came from the US Department of the Treasury’s Advisory Committee on the Auditing Profession (ACAP) report that recommended the AAA and AICPA study the possible future structure of higher education for the accounting profession. The sponsors are proud of the significant breadth and quality of effort, input, and output contained in the report and for the level of volunteer commitment of so many individuals and organizations.  In particular, we wish to recognize the leadership of the Commission Chair, Bruce Behn, Ergen Professor at the University of Tennessee.

    With a mission to consider accounting education and the accounting profession in the broadest sense, the Commission’s recommendations are expansive in their scope.  The recommendations demonstrate the need to address difficult and persistent issues and impediments so that the discipline and profession of accounting can better meet the challenges and opportunities of the future. The AAA and AICPA endorse the recommendations included in the Pathways Commission report and are committed to supporting the ongoing implementation structure and activities necessary to encourage study, testing and adoption of these recommendations in a variety of settings. 

    A number of recommendations in the Commission’s report echo those made by equally thoughtful and invested teams of practice and academic colleagues involved in earlier studies with related purposes.  While previous studies have resulted in some successful new directions and promising innovations, past efforts at renewal have lacked an explicit implementation strategy and structure to move their recommendations forward on a systematic and properly resourced basis. To overcome the limitations of periodic efforts, continued joint efforts will be necessary for successful implementation of the recommendations in this report.

    To that end, we are pleased to announce that the AAA and AICPA will continue their support as founding members for the next three years.  Bill Ezzell, a former partner with Deloitte, LLP and past Chairman of the AICPA Board of Directors and Mark Higgins, the Dean and Alfred J. Verrecchia and Hasbro Inc. Leadership Chair in Business at the University of Rhode Island and a past President of the American Taxation Association, have agreed to co-chair the implementation effort.  They are finalizing the structure that will enable a broad stakeholder group to efficiently conduct the implementation phase. 

    The Pathways Commission will continue to share its emerging ideas and progress in a publicly available forum at


    AICPA – James Schiavone, Manager – Media Relations, 212-596-6119,

    AAA – Ben Haimowitz, 212-233-6170

    About the AAA

    The American Accounting Association (AAA) seeks to further the discipline and profession of accounting through education, research, and service by expanding knowledge and idea development, promoting effective learning, informing and influencing policy and practice, and advancing faculty careers.  Find more information about the AAA at

    About the AICPA

    The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is the world’s largest association representing the accounting profession, with nearly 377,000 members in 128 countries and a 125 year heritage of serving the public interest.  AICPA members represent many areas of practice, including business and industry, public practice, government, education and consulting.

    The AICPA sets ethical standards for the profession and U.S. auditing standards for audits of private companies, non-profit organizations, federal, state and local governments. It develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination and offers specialty credentials for CPAs who concentrate on personal lfinancial planning; fraud and forensics; business valuation; and information technology. Through a joint venture with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), it has established the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation to elevate management accounting globally.

    The AICPA maintains offices in New York, Washington, DC, Durham, N.C., and Ewing, N.J.

    Media representatives are invited to visit the AICPA Press Center at