AIR Fall 2008

The Five-Minute Ethics Exercise: A Simple and Effective Approach to Incorporating Ethical Discussions into an Accounting Course

Business schools continue to face criticism from various constituents for failing to incorporate more content-related ethics and social responsibility topics into their curricula. The authors responded to the continued criticism by designing and class testing a pedagogy that can be used in any or all accounting courses without adding burdensome classroom time or instructor preparation time.

The objectives include reinforcing and refining student knowledge and skill in evaluating ethical dilemmas. The pedagogy consists of presenting an ethics case via a short newspaper article or other sources limited to one minute of reading time on the part of the students. The instructor selects one of three identified approaches (or any other approach that works best for the instructor) to allow students to sharpen their skills. Then the instructor uses one minute to summarize and recap the results. Class testing and anecdotal evidence indicates the pedagogy to be a very effective tool to help students refine their knowledge and skill in assessing ethical dilemmas.
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Is it Time to Add a Fraud Examination to Your Accounting Curriculum?

Recent accounting scandals such as Enron and Worldcom and new laws such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act have greatly increased the demand for anti-fraud professionals. Some highlights from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ (ACFE) 2008 Report to the Nation on Occupational Fraud & Abuse clearly demonstrates the need for accounting students to receive instruction on this important topic: U.S. Organizations lose approximately 7% of their annual revenues to fraud (almost one trillion dollars per year). Occupational fraud schemes tend to be extremely costly and continue for years before they are detected.

The implementation of anti-fraud controls appears to have a measurable impact on an organization’s exposure to fraud. Lack of adequate internal controls was most commonly cited as the factor that allowed fraud to occur.

The seriousness of the problem and the need for accounting students to learn about fraud, including its prevention and detection, is demonstrated by the July 2008 issuance of Managing the Business Risk of Fraud: A Practical Guide. The Institute of Internal Auditors, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the ACFE sponsored this “guide”.

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Using Actual Software in Your Accounting Courses

If actual accounting software is used early in the accounting curriculum then it will become easier to integrate its power as an analysis tool in subsequent accounting courses. Actual software applications will provide the relevant business process framework necessary to build business literacy and accounting fluency in students. This article will give brief overviews of the most widely used accounting software programs and share my strategies for adding actual accounting software into undergraduate accounting courses without losing any precious class time. Read More…

Course Coordination: A Mainstay in Accounting Education

Coordination of multi-section courses offers educators a mechanism for providing consistent learning experiences to all students in all sections of the same course. Consistency across sections ensures that all graduates are taught the same core competencies. While course coordination has long been a topic of interest in higher education, the process may be even more relevant today due to assessment priorities, resource constraints, recruiting and retention efforts, varying delivery methods, and other related issues. This paper presents a model of the course coordination process that includes three stages: planning, implementation, and evaluation. At each stage of the coordination process, best practices can be employed to make the coordination process beneficial to all stakeholders: faculty, students, and programs. Read More…

Does Homework Really Affect Accounting Grades?

It is very common for college accounting teachers to assign homework. (Homework is defined as assignments that the student is required to do outside of class to prepare for the class. This can include problems, cases, or essay work.) The plan is that the students will read the material and complete the homework before coming to class. It is believed that the students who regularly follow this pattern will be more prepared for class and will earn higher grades than those who do not. This study is an attempt to determine if this performance premise holds true in an Intermediate I accounting class. This class is usually the first accounting class students are required to take after they decide to be accounting majors. These students had previously taken two beginning accounting courses that are required of all business majors. Read More…

Accounting Instructors’ Report, Fall 2008: Table of Contents

Using Actual Software in Your Accounting Courses
Susan V. Crosson, Guest Author, Santa Fe College
Belverd E. Needles, Jr., Ph.D., CPA, DePaul University ARTICLES The Five-Minute Ethics Exercise: A Simple and Effective Approach to Incorporating Ethical Discussions into an Accounting Course
Susanne O’Callaghan, PhD, CPA, Pace University
Raymond J Elson, DBA, CPA, Valdosta State University
John P. Walker, PhD, CPA, Queens College – CUNY
Arundhati Rao, PhD, Elizabethtown College Is it Time to Add a Fraud Examination to Your Accounting Curriculum?
Neal R. VanZante, The University of Texas Pan American Course Coordination:  A Read More…