Advances in Accounting Education: Teaching and Curriculum Innovations: Volume 22
Table of contents(12 chapters)
Research readings groups represent a recent innovation in accounting doctoral education that appears to be spreading at research-oriented universities. In this chapter, the authors describe how accounting research readings groups can serve as a mechanism to engage doctoral students in the consumption and discussion of research throughout all phases of the doctoral program. An accounting research readings group supplements the breadth of knowledge gained in doctoral seminars by adding depth of knowledge in a focal research area. The authors offer insights from the educational psychology literature to justify research readings groups as a form of team-based learning and then offer suggestions on the formation and operation of these groups. The authors enumerate the many benefits that these groups afford to both doctoral students and faculty members. The authors also distribute a survey to faculty organizers of the existing accounting research readings groups and share the results of this survey to supplement their advice with firsthand experiences, the authors also share the results of a survey distributed to faculty organizers of existing accounting research readings groups. The authors’ goal is to encourage the use of accounting research readings groups to inspire, foster, and enhance the research culture within accounting departments and doctoral programs.
The purpose of this study is to identify the specific skills and abilities within the broad category of data analytics that current business professionals believe are most important for accounting graduates. Data analytics knowledge is clearly important, but this category is broad. Therefore, this study identifies the specific skills and abilities that are most important for accounting graduates so that faculty can create classroom materials most beneficial for the future accounting graduates. In 2013, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business developed new standards for accounting programs, including standard A7, related to information technology and analytics. The intent of the standard clearly focuses on increasing the level of technology and analytics studied within the accounting curriculum. However, the specific details and methods for achieving the intent of A7 remain an open question. This chapter uses prior research focused on business analytics education to identify potential analytic skills, tools, techniques, and management issues of concern within the accounting profession. A survey of 342 accounting professionals identifies suggested areas of analytic competencies for accounting graduates. Specifically, the authors find preferences for skills related to data interpretation and communication over any individual technical skills or statistical knowledge. These skills suggest a role for accountants as intermediaries who may need to translate analytic activities into business language. Post hoc, the authors examine the survey results for differences based on respondent characteristics. Interestingly, female respondents report lower beliefs about the importance of analytic skills. The authors also find some differences when examining different demographics within the respondents.
In today’s marketplace, accountants must understand and master Big Data and data analytics, and many educators have devised approaches to help students acquire these critical skills. At our university, we have worked closely with our accounting advisory council to develop an adaptable classroom case where students not only gain a broad understanding of what data analytics means to the profession but also what specific tools are available to analyze an accounting-centered problem – cash collections. Using patterns and behaviors discovered in their data analyses, students develop collection procedures and controls for a case firm. Such a project begins to fulfill the profession’s initiative that accountants must exploit Big Data and data analytics for organizational growth and opportunity.
Using data from a mid-west public university, this study examines the determinants of students’ repeating the first college-level accounting course. More than 600 students are included in the study. The results show that three factors (cumulative college grade point average, intention to major in accounting, and students’ motivation and determination) are significant in explaining students’ repeating of the course. The study provides evidence that the repeating students are more likely to be the students with prior high school accounting education. The study identifies that repeating is not due to a student failing the course but rather that repeating is more likely to be an individual decision when the student is not satisfied with the grade he/she gets, either because he/she self-screens out of business school, or decides to repeat the course to stay in their business major. Finally, the study shows that there is little evidence of grade improvement when a student repeats the first college-level accounting course.
Although much attention has been devoted to the study of accounting students’ performance, little attention has been shown to the process of accounting students’ performance. Attention to process necessitates that the subject of accounting students’ test-taking behavior be explored. This study invites attention to the amount of time students take to return their examinations. Time spent on this critical task can be understood as a measure of student ambition to do well, student preparation or cognitive engagement. Using data collected from many classes taught by several instructors at one selective private institution, the results suggest that there is a non-linear relationship between the order in which exams are returned and exam performance. Specifically, those who work on their exams for longer tend to score lower. However, those that return their exams relatively quickly do not necessarily score better. The middle range, wherein students complete their exams neither early nor late relative to others, is associated with better test performance. The relationship between exam return order and test performance also varies by the type of exam and by the matriculation level. The study offers to add to our understanding of accounting students, an achievement that may be an underappreciated prerequisite to effective instructional outcomes.
Over the past 30 years, increasing use of technology has created a global business environment leading to the changed role of a professional accountant. In response, accounting organizations and employers have demanded professionals who are creative and innovative, with strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills, yet accounting firms and prior research continue to identify creativity as one of the most important yet most lacking traits of their newly hired employees. This study experimentally examines whether accounting students are indeed less creative than other students, a potential cause for differences in creativity, and a potential intervention to enhance creativity. Our results indicate that, on average, accounting students are not less creative than other students, but rather when performing an accounting task, they are initially less creative, suggesting that the accounting context may be partially contributing to the perceived lack of creativity. However, providing accounting students with process-oriented feedback significantly improves their future creativity, as differences between accounting and non-accounting students are eliminated. The authors contribute to the accounting and creativity literature and discuss implications for accounting education and the profession.
This study examines the scholarly output of accounting researchers in the periods surrounding a change in university affiliation. Our expectation that publishing activity will increase in periods around an institutional change is based on expectancy theories and informed by studies on the contract year performances of professional athletes. Using a sample of 635 accounting professors who switched universities between 2008 and 2014, the authors find evidence that accounting authors who switch universities publish more in the years around a switch compared with other years. Our research contributes to the literature on changes in university affiliation by documenting a contract year phenomenon operating within accounting academia. Practical implications for college administrators are also discussed.
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is charged with maintaining the relevance of the Uniform CPA exam to ensure that those who pass the exam and become certified have the skills and abilities to keep pace with the ever-changing accounting profession. For students pursuing the CPA designation, passing the Uniform CPA exam, and meeting the 150-hour requirement are key factors. With the launch of the latest version of the Uniform CPA exam in 2017, the question about whether educators should adapt their existing courses to meet the new CPA exam structure and focus is up for debate. This chapter contains a review of the proposed changes to the Uniform CPA exam by the AICPA and various statistics regarding historical pass rates. Further, the chapter includes the results of a survey about whether accounting faculty plan to adjust their courses to reflect the changes to the exam and whether they feel pressure from various stakeholders to improve CPA exam pass rates for their respective institutions.
This project requires students to analyze and make a client recommendation for the most tax-effective saving option, comparing a traditional individual retirement account (IRA) versus Roth IRA. Students analyze the two alternatives and track growth as well as projected tax liability over the life of the client to determine the strategy that generates the best outcome for the client. The project emphasizes principles of tax planning to illustrate that the solution with the smallest tax liability in the short term is not necessarily the most beneficial option over the long term, as well as how this often is in conflict with a client’s expectations and tax preparer tactics utilized to attract new clients. Students will demonstrate critical thinking skills through the analysis of two options for a client, and the communication of the findings with a recommendation through a client letter.
The operating activities section of the statement of cash flows presents a long-standing teaching challenge for accounting educators. The direct method is easy to understand yet difficult to prepare; the indirect method is harder to understand but easier to prepare. Many instructors address the two methods separately, requiring students to learn two different ways for preparing the operating section of a statement of cash flows. Because of this focus on the mechanics of preparation, the result is often an emphasis on how to prepare the cash flow statement rather than on the essential information the statement provides. In this paper, the authors note that both direct and indirect methods begin at the same point, that is, the income statement, and end at the same point, that is, cash flow from operations. Then, the authors describe one process by which the income statement and the balance sheet can be analyzed to provide the information required to present operating cash flow using either the direct or the indirect method. Using this approach allows students to apply one intuitive process for computing cash flow from operations rather than memorizing two different sets of rules for direct and indirect methods.
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- Advances in Accounting Education
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- Emerald Publishing Limited
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