Impact Through Accounting

Impact Through Accounting

We highlight three business schools leveraging their accounting programs as a way to connect with business partners, address societal needs, and prepare graduates for competitive job markets.

The accounting programs in place at AACSB member institutions are an important component of the business education provided to students. With nearly 190 institutions holding the supplemental accounting accreditation, quality, rigor, and relevancy to industry needs are at the forefront of programming at these business schools.

Since Innovations That Inspire launched in 2015–16, several institutions have chosen to share the innovations they have explored and implemented in their accounting programs. Below are three examples of schools leveraging their accounting educational offerings as a way to connect with business partners, address a societal need or gap, as well as equip graduates with the types of skills and credentials that make them more marketable in competitive job markets.

Canisius Accounting Program’s Council on Accountancy

Canisius College, Richard J. Wehle School of Business (United States)

In an effort to prepare accounting students for their future careers in the accounting profession, the Richard J. Wehle School of Business developed a 50-member Council of Accountancy, which provides students with internships, scholarships, mentorship, and employment opportunities. The council is composed of both alumni and non-alumni who are community leaders in the field of accounting. The council plays an important role in working with faculty to ensure that accounting curriculum is relevant to industry realities. Further, the council has helped create a 4 million USD endowment that provides scholarships for upper-class accounting, accounting information systems, and graduate students.

The council’s work has proven to be successful, as accounting graduates show 90 percent job placement or admission to graduate school within four months after graduation. Also, high performance on CPA exams (75 percent pass rate in 2015), as well as close interaction with faculty, have since become part of the department’s culture.

Advancing Aboriginal Accounting Acumen

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology School of Business (Canada)

The School of Business at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) recognized a need for greater Aboriginal representation among accounting professionals in its community. First Nations and Aboriginal organizations typically hire external consultants to provide financial expertise, which not only result in greater expenses but also limit opportunities for hiring from within and building capacity for sound financial management and self-governance. Together with the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Alberta (AFOA), the school began an Aboriginal Financial Management certificate of achievement—a customized program that provides students with the necessary tools for interpreting and managing financial data, as well as the skills for reporting fiscal information to stakeholders.

The certificate comprises six courses that are fully customized in delivery to ensure they address the Aboriginal community’s diverse needs. AFOA and the business school provide the necessary support and resources, incorporating a variety of different learning strategies to provide a successful and impactful experience for students. An important feature of the initiative is the opportunity for students to consider further education and a professional accounting designation through credit transfer toward a SAIT diploma or degree in accounting, as well as credit applied toward achieving CPA designation.

Developing an Accounting Course

Abu Dhabi University, College of Business Administration (United Arab Emirates)

The College of Business Administration at Abu Dhabi University (ADU) sought a way to make its graduates more attractive in the competitive job market. Acknowledging the lack of work-related experience most young graduates have when applying for jobs, the school looked to complement an accounting degree program with professional certification—the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) certification—as a way for students to have a competitive edge and go into the job market with additional credentials showing their skill set.

ADU created a new elective course that would provide the needed training for students who choose to pursue the CIMA certification and take its required examination. ADU also looked for ways to ensure that students could pursue the certification in conjunction with their studies so as not to delay graduation and access to the job market.

About Innovations That Inspire

Since its launch in 2016, Innovations That Inspire has collected 755 innovative practices across a variety of themes and areas within business education. For each challenge year, a selection of innovations is featured at the International Conference and Annual Meeting (ICAM). Further, current members have the ability to browse through all innovations using AACSB’s DataDirect database. AACSB continuously highlights submitted examples in publications, events, presentations, and in other media as examples of business schools doing innovative things that push the boundaries of business education. The 2019 challenge theme revolves around the co-creation of knowledge. We invite your school to share examples of how it is inspiring new approaches to research and increasing its impact.