Winter 2008

Develop Team Skills in Introduction to Accounting Courses

For more than two decades, employers have criticized the writing, oral communication, interpersonal, and teamwork skills of new college hires. As a result accounting professionals and educators have advocated that greater attention be given to skill or personal competency development in the accounting curriculum. In its Core Competency Framework, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) identified interaction as one of the key personal competencies, stating that accounting professionals must be able to work with others to accomplish objectives. The Institute of Management Accountants’ practice analysis (1999, 5) found that team participation and leadership was increasing. The report noted that more than 70 percent of management accountants work in companies where at least some management accountants serve on cross-functional teams. And the first position statement issued by the Accounting Education Change Commission (1990, 7) identified the ability to work with others, particularly in groups, as one of the capabilities needed by accounting graduates. These three documents echoed the accounting profession’s plea for enhanced team skills. As a result many business schools and accounting programs have introduced pedagogical changes into their curriculums. This article focuses on ways to enhance the development of students’ team or group skills.
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Accounting Instructors’ Report, Winter 2008: Table of Contents

TRENDS
Can You Teach Ethics in Beginning Accounting?
Belverd E. Needles, Jr., Ph.D., CPA

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A Successful Stand Alone “Bridge” Course

This paper provides an overview of a platform that transforms classroom teaching into effective multimedia e-learning by recording audio, video, and instructor’s writing, drawing, pointing, and highlighting of content that a student sees in the classroom. The system provides an integrated software solution for the creation and delivery of online content. Educators can easily create course videos within this platform and its flexible distribution options that provide content to students. The article explains how it can be applied in an introductory accounting course.
 
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Implementation of the Wall Street Journal Project in Intermediate Accounting Courses: A Follow-Up

Robert Morris University (RMU) offers a bachelors degree in accounting and has established a good reputation for preparing students for entry into the work force. RMU
is successful in placing graduates in a variety of accounting positions ranging from public accounting, to management accounting, to internal auditing, to government.
 
Krause (2006) reports that the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) project gives students an awareness of emerging professional issues, an understanding of the importance of staying current, and improves their written communication skills. Use of the WSJ project in Intermediate Accounting courses that I have taught also demonstrates to students that they are capable of reading and understanding the WSJ, that the topics we discuss in class are relevant both to the practice of accounting and to business in general and that ethical business behavior is very important, if not critical, in the current business environment.
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Personal Response System and Its Effects on Student Learning

A personal response system (PRS) was implemented during a summer session of introductory accounting. A PRS uses hand-held wireless transmitters, receivers, and computer software to obtain immediate feedback from students. The potential effectiveness of a PRS to increase learning is shown through a significant increase in exam scores, results of a student evaluation, and the instructor’s observations.
 
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The Potential Usefulness of Accounting Portfolios for Entry Level Accountants and Accounting Programs – A Concept Paper

During a recent curriculum assessment, the accounting faculty at UNCPembroke developed a checklist of the recommended competencies. They employed this checklist to determine in which course(s) specific competencies were covered.
 
As they aligned the student capabilities and skills suggested by the AAA, AICPA, and other professional associations with the various courses in their current accounting curriculum, the concept of an accounting portfolio emerged. Portfolios can demonstrate value-added skills that students have gained and that the accounting program has imparted. The accounting portfolio may also indicate where further improvement in the program is needed. The accounting portfolio would Read More…


Can You Teach Ethics in Beginning Accounting?

I often ask the following question at accounting educator conferences: “Can you teach ethics?” In response, I get a variety of answers, but many, perhaps a majority of instructors say: “No, you can’t teach ethics. Ethics is taught at home” or “Ethics is learned long before college.” This leads to the question: “What is ethics?” It is of course rooted in a person’s basic values and morals. Ethics relates to the decisions that people make based on their values and morals. Accounting teachers have little to do with affecting the values and morals that students bring to class. Read More…