Advances in Accounting Education: Teaching and Curriculum Innovations: Volume 23

Cover of Advances in Accounting Education: Teaching and Curriculum Innovations

Table of contents

(12 chapters)


Pages i-xvi
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Theme 1: Capacity Building and Program Leadership


Each year, hundreds of accounting doctoral students attend doctoral consortia (DC) sponsored by universities and academic organizations. This chapter reports results of a survey of consortium attendees and analysis of related consortium programs. The authors seek a better understanding of the benefits attendees perceive from these consortia, the content attendees found most valuable, and whether these consortia appear to achieve the goals of the sponsoring organizations.

Survey results show that participants perceive significant benefits from consortium activities related to research, networking, and career management. Respondents did not find their consortium experience helpful on teaching-related dimensions; however, their comments suggest a desire for additional teaching coverage. The authors make recommendations to planners of accounting DC and leadership of the American Accounting Association (AAA), a major consortium sponsor, intended first to address respondents’ desire for additional teaching coverage. Second, the authors highlight opportunities to link doctoral education to AAA’s strategic initiatives and its vision to provide global thought leadership in accounting.


The purpose of this study is twofold. The first purpose is to inform faculty who are thinking of becoming a department head about the challenges they face if they choose to pursue a department head opportunity. The second purpose is to provide insight into the leadership of the accounting departments by looking at various workload aspects of department heads. The authors surveyed accounting department heads from programs with the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accounting accreditation, AACSB business only accreditation, and non-AACSB accreditation. Surveys were sent to 918 individuals listed as the leader of an accounting program in the 2016–2017 Hasselback Accounting Directory with 144 individuals responding (15.7% response rate). In addition to the workload of the department head in the areas of teaching, research, and service, the study analyzed the major challenges and difficulties the department head faces. The study also sought responses from survey participants on additional issues such as the benefits of AACSB accreditation and compensation.


Female students comprise a significant number of the accounting student population at four-year institutions. Likewise, a significant number of students have chosen to enroll and earn associate degrees at a community college, and subsequently transfer to a four-year college or university. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, more than half of the students enrolled in two-year institutions were female. Moreover, 57% of college students in the United States are females. This study provides empirical evidence on the interaction between gender and transfer versus native accounting students in their academic performance during and after shock periods. According to the literature, the shock period includes two semesters after a two-year college student transfers to a four-year college. The results of this study indicate that female and male transfer students do not perform equally in their accounting courses compared to their native counterparts, that is, male transfer students in accounting performed worse than female transfer students and native students (male and female) both during and after the “shock” period. These findings may have practical implications for administrators and accounting departments since male transfer students appear to need more assistance to absorb transfer shock when they join four-year colleges and possibly even after their first year at the four-year institution.


The accounting profession is beginning to demand data analytics skills from its professionals to handle the increasing amount of data available to address accounting questions. Indeed, the explosion of data availability and data are changing the accounting profession, providing accountants the opportunity to continue as key financial information providers to decision-makers. We conducted a survey of accounting department chairs to help understand if, when and how accounting programs would include data analytics in its curriculum. The authors find that 90.7% of accounting department chairs believe that data analytics belongs in the accounting curriculum, with 59.3% planning to introduce an accounting data analytics course in the next three to five years. Most (66.5%) prefer an accounting data analytics course as compared to the general business analytics course and more than half of respondents (56.2%) predict that their coverage of data analytics will be incorporated both throughout the regular accounting curriculum and in a standalone data analytics course. Combined with the requirement of 2018 Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business standards, the authors propose that data analytics should be incorporated both in the undergraduate level and graduate level, starting from basic analytics tools and ending with advanced emerging techniques.

Theme 2: Classroom Innovation and Pedagogy


This exercise exposes students to the accounting for stock option modifications and option service and performance conditions, requiring research in the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Accounting Standards Codification and the use of the Black-Scholes option pricing model.

Students identify and apply accounting standards to account for stock option plans, stock option modifications, acquired stock option plans, and service and performance conditions that relate to stock option plans. Indirect student feedback suggests that students view the exercise as valuable. Comments include that the exercise reinforces and expands their knowledge of real-world stock compensation plans. Direct assessment data using grading rubrics finds that most students meet instructor expectations.

The exercise enhances critical thinking skills, increases professional research practice, and improves written skills. It introduces students to common real-world events and reinforces their learning related to stock compensation.


This chapter explains a group assignment implemented for the United States and Irish students where the goal was to reflect real-world teams and communication addressing a global tax ethics issue. Students first completed a case on a corporation’s tax avoidance strategy and submitted individual write-ups. Then they were assigned to groups with the United States and Irish members and exchanged write-ups, planned and executed an international meeting using technology, and submitted a group written assignment about the case and their experience. Post-assignment survey data show that several learning objectives were met. The authors encourage faculty to carry out similar assignments, and the chapter includes recommendations for doing so. This chapter highlights the group work, cooperative learning, and ethics underpinnings of this initial project. The conclusion explains future plans for theoretically grounded research to investigate the team process and what members can learn from team experiences.


With recent increases in cybersecurity incidents, it is imperative to supplement current accounting curriculum, equip accounting graduates with sufficient knowledge and skills to assess cybersecurity risk, and learn about controls to mitigate such risks. In this chapter, the authors describe 10 teaching modules, supported by 10 professionally produced video series. The authors developed these videos for educating students on cybersecurity and the videos are available free to instructors from other institutions who wish to use them. The videos are filled with insights and advice from our two experts – one a former hacker and the other an experienced cybersecurity professional. This dialogue between two different sides provides a rich discussion that leads to answering many questions that people often have about cybersecurity. Further, in Exhibit 1, this chapter offers a framework for characterizing and analyzing some recent publicized data-breach cases, which can supplement discussion on cybersecurity modules. Instructors can add more cases to this source overtime. Finally, the authors share the analysis of feedback from students who went through the series. The results suggest that the students show interest in the topic, and videos helped them better understand the complexity of cybersecurity risk and controls.

Theme 3: Engagement with Professionals Through Advisory Councils


Since at least the 1980s, the accounting profession has discussed and written about the gap between academics and the practice of accounting. More recently, accounting academics have joined the call for increased faculty engagement with the accounting profession. As a result, the 2018 Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB) Eligibility Procedures and Standards for Accounting Accreditation include “Engagement” as a significant pillar of the new standards. The objective is to challenge accounting department faculty to engage more intentionally with accounting practitioners. Accounting Advisory Councils might represent an important opportunity to achieve such engagement. The authors conducted a survey to gain an understanding of advisory councils and how they might address the concerns of the accounting profession for more interaction and collaboration between the academy and the profession. It is encouraging that 96% of our AACSB accounting accredited respondents indicated that they have a functioning Accounting Advisory Council and that they believe the Council is very valuable in support of the department’s mission. In addition, the accounting department leaders reported a very high level of engagement with council members outside regular meetings. The survey results of this chapter provide additional insights on organization, membership, and engagement regarding Accounting Advisory Councils.


This chapter presents findings from a recently conducted process for obtaining Accounting Advisory Board (AAB) input related to Master of Accountancy curriculum of one university. Board members represent both large and small public accounting firms as well as corporate offices of Fortune 500 companies and non-profit organizations. AAB input includes perceptions of the relative importance of over 160 candidate topics for the courses making up the program’s infrastructure, as well as written comments noting other potential topics and pedagogical approaches to consider. Comparisons of topic rankings reveal a strong level of consistency among Board member types for the traditional accounting courses with structured content, as opposed to those courses involving more systems-related topics or having a wider range of specialized topics. Furthermore, the authors compare Board perceptions regarding topic necessity to those of faculty and note faculty reactions. Specifically, the authors find that faculty ranking consistency with the Board is weak, illustrating the importance of seeking curricular Board input on an ongoing basis. To “close the loop,” faculty incorporated many curriculum changes, involving both the topics to be covered and the overall approach to the course.


Despite formal ethics education and ethics-related continuing professional education (CPE) requirements, professional accountants continue to play a central role in enabling corporations to make unethical business decisions and take unethical business actions. Several jurisdictions in the United States require ethics education for licensure, but often the focus is on memorizing rules and regulations, rather than on providing tools to improve the moral practice of professionals and to help them resolve ethical dilemmas. The authors analyzed recent state Certified Public Accountant (CPA) society course offerings and found much more emphasis on memorization than on ethical reasoning to satisfy State CPA CPE requirements. To improve accountants’ ethical awareness and behavior, CPE providers should stress ethical reasoning rather than merely memorizing rules. Such changes will make future and present accountants and auditors more ethically aware, and thus more likely to improve their ethical decision-making. Nonetheless, the authors suggest that effective ethics education and training should start in the classroom with help from departmental advisory councils. Ethics courses offered in accounting programs as well as those offered by CPE providers can leverage the experience of members of advisory councils to create programs that resonate with professionals and foster lifelong ethical awareness and ethical reasoning skills.


Pages 195-200
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Cover of Advances in Accounting Education: Teaching and Curriculum Innovations
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Advances in Accounting Education
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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