Note by James R. Martin, Ph.D., CMA
Professor Emeritus, University of South Florida
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the Education Committee of the National Association of Accountancy’s proposed recommendations for changes in accounting education, some lessons learned from this, and to raise a number of questions related to the future of accounting education that need to be addressed.
Reckers summarized the opposing arguments and placed them into five categories as follows. The proposal:
1. Is based on an out-of-date input based model,
2. Would impose significant economic cost on students and schools resulting in a decline in entrants to the accounting profession,
3. Provides no clearly defined set of objectives or persuasive evidence that it is likely to achieve any objectives,
4. Provides no mechanism to monitor and enforce compliance, and
5. Reduces pedagogical flexibility at the exact time when greater flexibility is required.
Reckers goes on to discuss academic responsibilities related to the future of accounting education and listed a number of questions (a dozen of so) that need to be addressed. For example, a couple of questions are related to the NASBA’s recommendation requiring 9 hours of ethics. For example, does more ethics in the classroom lead to enhanced ethical conduct?
Another question relates to accounting education’s emphasis on public accounting. Are students and society best served by an accounting curricula focused on public accounting when only 15% of the people who identified themselves as accountants in the last U.S. census are involved in audit or financial reporting?
I lost the link to the original proposal, but you might find it here https://nasba.org/ if it is still available.
Bennis, W. G. and J. O'Toole. 2005. How business schools lost their way: Too focused on "scientific" research, business schools are hiring professors with limited real-world experience and graduating students who are ill equipped to wrangle with complex, unquantifiable issues - in other words, the stuff of management. Harvard Business Review (May): 96-104. (Summary).
Castellano, J. F. and R. Burrows. 2011. Relevance lost: The practice/classroom gap. Management Accounting Quarterly (Winter): 41-48. (Summary).
Eastman, D. R. 2002. What higher education is for. St. Petersburg Times (September 14): 19A. (Note).
Elliott, R. K. 1992. The third wave breaks on the shores of accounting. Accounting Horizons (June): 61-85. (Summary).
Johnson, H. T. 1989. Professors, customers, and value: bringing a global perspective to management accounting education. Proceedings of the Third Annual Management Accounting Symposium. Sarasota: American Accounting Association: 7-20. (Summary).
The Accounting Doctoral Shortage (Summary).
The Pathways Commission. 2012. The Pathways Commission on Higher Education: Charting a National Strategy for the Next Generation of Accountants. American Accounting Association and American Institute of CPAs. (Note).