Advances in Accounting Education: Volume 10

Cover of Advances in Accounting Education
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Table of contents

(19 chapters)

List of contributors

Pages vii-viii
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This chapter describes an in-class exercise to illustrate the implications associated with earnings management and corporate social responsibility (CSR). Student teams act as senior managers, evaluating scenarios in which they must decide whether to engage in earnings management and socially responsible actions. All decisions have the potential to change the firm's net operating income. The “auditor” reviews earnings management decisions based on accounting choices, imposing a penalty if the auditor disallows a decision. Earnings management decisions also affect the firm's earnings quality, operationalized through adjustments to the price–earnings (P/E) ratio. Several decisions affect the firm's social responsibility rating, which ultimately affects the P/E ratio (reflecting the long-term effects of CSR). The class discusses the implications of engaging in earnings management and practicing social responsibility, as well as the ethical issues associated with these decisions. Survey results indicate that this is an effective pedagogical tool, as students are highly engaged in the exercise. Data analysis also suggests that propensity to engage in accounting manipulations decreases over the course of the exercise.

This chapter describes an eMentor program used as a cocurricular professional development activity for accounting majors at a university that is located in a relatively small city, geographically distant from the primary location of its major recruiters. The key element of the program is the use of e-mail as a communication channel to link students in our accounting program with accounting and business professionals. We provide information regarding our eMentor program's mission and objectives, recruiting professionals and students to participate, and an examination of data collected to evaluate the program. In addition, we identify the topics discussed during the interactions between professional mentors and students. Finally, we provide insights based on our experiences on running a successful eMentor program.

Results indicate that the program is an overall success since a high proportion of students and professionals agree/strongly agree that the program meets its mission and objectives, and virtually all of the professionals agree/strongly agree that the program is a worthwhile use of their time. Most student–mentor pairs have had several e-mail contacts and at least one phone contact, with a majority of students initiating some contact. The topics discussed most frequently centered on college curriculum choices and professional career path options, including the benefits of internships and externships.

A mid-semester request for help from a local neighborhood association turned into a graduate auditing class service-learning project. Service-learning projects have the potential to provide accounting students with valuable opportunities to integrate and apply auditing, accounting, and business knowledge, to acquire new knowledge, and to practice exercising professional judgment, due professional care, and communications skills in rich settings and to provide clients with useful information. However, the use of service-learning cases in the classroom poses significant risks. Common concerns are that such cases use too much class time relative to learning achieved using more traditional methods, students might not be able to provide a satisfactory work product for the client, instructors must plan and prepare too extensively, and instructors will assign grades based primarily on subjective grading criteria. I offer a standards-based framework for incorporating service-learning projects into existing graduate auditing courses that allows educators to manage potential risks while exploiting pedagogical benefits.

This chapter shares ideas about how to encourage students to take responsibility for their individual learning and their role as a team member through the use of team contracts and peer evaluations. We also share how instructors can more easily determine individual grades for team projects. Team contracts can help instill a sense of responsibility, encourage accountability, and add structure by promoting the clarification of task-specific roles. In conjunction with team contracts, peer evaluations can reinforce the responsibilities assigned through the contract. Peer evaluations provide an opportunity for students to objectively and thoughtfully evaluate team member contributions to the collective result and reward individual participants more equitably related to the outcome obtained.

The chapter provides discussion and examples of student-developed team contracts and a sample peer evaluation form along with a discussion of how these documents have been used in the classroom. Using responses from a convenience survey of undergraduate and graduate students, we conclude by examining student feedback to suggest patterns of the perceptions of students toward the use of these tools.

The perceived prestige of the doctoral degree granting institution traditionally has had a major effect on job opportunities available to a new accounting Ph.D. However, given recent shortages of accounting academics, the role of program prestige may have changed. It is possible that individual factors also may now play a role in the initial placement decision. This study examines the effects of both doctoral program prestige and individual factors on the initial placement decision.

While our results indicate that doctoral program prestige still largely dictates the initial placement decision, several other factors are found to be important. New graduates initially placed at higher level institutions report faculty involvement during the application process as well as significant research support by the hiring institution. New faculty placing lower than expected report the mix of teaching and research as well as the quality of life as being significant factors in their employment decision.

We examine the influence of two treatments on students’ perceptions of earnings management. We find that student reading assignments on earnings management and professionalism topics followed by individual testing do not alter student-reported beliefs. However, when the same students process and report their beliefs about earnings management practices in a group setting, the results are different from their initially reported individual beliefs. These statistically significant results suggest that a group dynamic that involves students in the learning process, may be effective in influencing the ethical judgments and perceptions of our future business professionals.

The supply of accounting majors has not kept pace with the increasing demand for accounting graduates. One way of increasing the number of qualified accountants, while maintaining desired quality, is through a non-degree program such as the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Accountancy. A certificate program addresses the needs of students who already have a bachelor's degree in another discipline and want to gain accounting knowledge. The purpose of this chapter is to assist accounting administrators and faculty in deciding whether a similar program would be feasible and beneficial for their school. We describe the benefits of a certificate program, which include the potential for increased enrollments and an enhanced learning environment. We discuss design alternatives and implementation issues in terms of our program and other certificate programs in the United States. We also discuss the needs and characteristics of certificate students currently enrolled in our program.

Employers state that their major concern with accounting graduates is their inadequate skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening (Kranacher, 2007, p. 80). Yet, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and some state boards of accountancy have minimized the importance of these skills on professional certification exams. This conflict creates a mixed message. The purpose of our study is to determine accounting department chairs’ perceptions of the importance of writing, speaking, listening, interpersonal, and technological communication skills for both the accounting and the business curricula and where in the curriculum these skills are taught. In our study, we surveyed 122 accounting administrators from the largest North American accountancy programs. Survey respondents report that most required communication courses are in the general business curriculum and, to a lesser extent, as a required course in the accounting major. Consistent across demographics, respondents also indicate that all communication skills are important, but writing skills followed by technological skills are the most valued for the accounting curriculum, while writing and speaking skills are most important in the business curriculum. Implications for the curriculum are discussed.

This study uses structural equation modeling to examine the influence of academic motivation on reported prior cheating behavior, neutralization tendencies, and likelihood of future cheating among accounting majors. It also investigates the impact of prior cheating on neutralization of cheating behaviors and the likelihood of future cheating, as well as the potential mediating effects of neutralization on future cheating behavior. Our results support differentiation of the theoretical constructs within the specified process model, and also show significant positive associations between an amotivational orientation and prior cheating, neutralization, and the likelihood of future cheating.

Introductory accounting courses have the dual objectives of teaching the fundamentals of financial and managerial accounting and creating the environment in which students develop positive attitudes toward the discipline. This study examines the extent to which there are differences in effectiveness in attaining each of these objectives under the financial accounting approach to introductory accounting versus a principles of accounting approach. We analyzed attitudes and quiz scores for non-accounting majors in a managerial accounting class as during the period of a curriculum change. Results indicate that student attitudes toward accounting as a discipline were largely unaffected. Student attitudes toward accounting as a factor affecting their careers after graduation were significantly more positive. There were no differences in quiz scores in the managerial accounting course. These findings suggest that although the financial accounting approach is more efficient, it is equally effective with respect to content delivery and more effective with respect to promoting the importance of accounting to careers.

The American Institute of Certified Public Accounts (AICPA) and the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) encourage experiential learning as a component of accounting and business curriculum. This chapter introduces a business partnership framework for experiential learning in accounting information systems, internal control, and auditing courses. Accounting students establish a partnership with a business client at the beginning of their accounting information systems and internal control study and continue the learning approach through the first auditing course. The framework brings real-world experience to accounting information systems, internal control, and auditing concepts. Accounting students learn to solve unstructured problems in complex realistic business settings, integrating technical and experienced-based knowledge. The project provides a structure for strengthening students’ personal competencies including developing successful team behavior and professional skills. The author has used the business-partnership model effectively for 15 years.

Cover of Advances in Accounting Education
DOI
10.1108/S1085-4622(2009)10
Publication date
2009-08-12
Book series
Advances in Accounting Education
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-84855-882-3
eISBN
978-1-84855-883-0
Book series ISSN
1085-4622