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What is the state of accounting education?

DSC00984One of the best parts of my job is that I get to see a 360-degree view of our profession, from the very beginnings (high school recruitment) to colleges and universities; from young professionals to our retired members' activities; from Main Street to Wall Street, as I visit with our local practitioners and members in business, industry, government and not-for-profits; to our largest national and multi-national firms and the CFOs and controllers of our largest public corporations.

(Pictured are Maryland professors Greg Pfeiffer of the University of Maryland and Kathleen Sobieralski of UMUC with me. Not pictured is Kate Demarest from Carroll Community College.)

For the past two weekends, I got to hang out with a major textbook publisher and a bunch of accounting educators from all over the United States, and I am here to tell you, the state of accounting education is excellent!

I was invited to speak at the Pearson Prentice Hall Accounting Symposium for Educators in Savannah, Ga., and San Diego, Calif. My topic was "Keeping Up With Accounting: From Globalization to Web 2.0." I was also asked to moderate a panel on international accounting / IFRS. The conference was all about best practices in teaching, the impact of technology and the pending globalization of accounting. While I was asked to present, I think I got more than I gave.

Let me see if I can recap the highlights for you:

  • Best practices: It was amazing to see them work on how to make accounting interesting, interactive and engaging to students, many of whom are these digital natives / millennials we have been writing about.

  • A keynote by Dr. Moira Gunn of NPR Tech Nation on the wikification of learning (a major impact of collaboration that is changing education and work) and the impact of social media / technology (it's exploding and not going away).

  • Tales from an "accounting imagineer" -- enough said.

  • Keeping up with accounting (that's me), examining the impact of social media and technology on teaching, ramping up for international accounting (IFRS), and feeling very supported by state CPA societies and AICPA. Check out the results of my brief feedback form here.

  • A demo of Second Life for teaching by Dr. Steve Hornik of the University of Central Florida. See our post about Dr. Steve titled New study confirms educators like Second Life for coursework.

  • More sessions on technology and Pearson's efforts to move courses online and support educators with www.myaccountinglab.com.

Another major "Ah-ha" for me was how we, as state CPA societies, are dealing with many of the same issues. Our student recruitment efforts, young professionals and changes in how we approach and deliver CPE are all being impacted by these mega-forces of globalization, technology and changing workforce demographics. Call it a BFOTO -- blinding flash of the obvious -- but we were talking about these same things a couple of weeks ago at a meeting of state CPA society CPE directors.

Speaking of the impact of social media and CPAs, have you responded to Rick Telberg's survey over at CPA Trendlines? Click here to participate in the survey. See the preliminary results on his post, CPAs love Facebook, friends, news, Twitter and LinkedIn.

I want to thank Michelle O'Brien and the entire Pearson team for their hospitality and professionalism as they supported us speakers very well and made me feel a part of the group.

As I put in my Twitter post (aka tweet), as CPAs, we are fortunate to have such dedicated, passionate people committed to educating the next generation of CPAs. On behalf of us all, we salute (and thank) you as educators.

Resources:

Want to keep up with all of these changes and learn the latest about technology and social media? Mark down June 16 and 17 to attend our second annual Maryland Business and Accounting at the Baltimore Convention Center.

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