Struggle in Accounting Education

Topics: Accountant, Accountancy, Business Pages: 2 (417 words) Published: September 12, 2013
The global marketplace is changing. Businesses rely more and more on changing technology. The companies, services and industries that fuel economic growth also are evolving. In this new marketplace, traditional accountants are a dying breed. Technology has made preparing and disseminating financial information so inexpensive anyone with the right software can produce basic data. Yet, many accounting educators have failed to restructure accounting curriculum to equip graduates with the tools and expertise they need in today’s business world. As a result, fewer and less-qualified students choose accounting careers, and the future of accounting schools as top-tier providers of business graduates is at risk.

Fast Facts
The percentage of college students majoring in accounting dropped to 2% in 2000 from 4% in 1990.

The percentage of high school students who intend to major in accounting fell to 1% in 2000 from 2% in 1990.

More than 80% of faculty members surveyed said there were fewer qualified accounting students than five years ago.

Accounting department heads reported that information systems graduates commanded the highest starting salaries among business-related graduates.

Faculty members and practitioners agreed paying higher starting salaries was the most important step corporations and accounting firms could take to attract better students into the accounting profession.

Source: Accounting Education: Charting the Course through a Perilous Future, www.aaahq.org/pubs/AESv16/toc.htm .

One of the early warning signs that major changes in accounting education were needed came when major CPA firms reengineered themselves as “professional services” rather than “public accounting” firms. So convinced were they of the need for dramatic change, not even intense SEC pressure could deter them from offering the services the marketplace demanded. Unlike the academic community, CPA firms were quick to realize that new business realities demanded a...
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