The American Accounting Association (AAA) and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) just announced they have formed the new Pathways Commission to study possible future paths of higher education for those seeking entry into the accounting profession.
The importance of public, private, governmental and nonprofit accounting information to the functioning of the economy cannot be underestimated, according to the AAA and AICPA. Stakeholders throughout the economy base critical decisions on information provided by the accounting profession.
Bruce Behn, Ergen Professor at the University of Tennessee who is serving as chair of the Pathways Commission, explained that the Commission will be innovative on a couple of fronts.
"First, we plan to seek input from the full spectrum of the accounting community in our deliberations," he said. "We will use a 'supply chain' approach. Members of the supply chains will include individuals and representatives from organizations that impact the various current accounting education pathways. Our goal is to facilitate an open, transparent discussion to be supported by both technology and public discussions. Second, the Commission recognizes the difficulty of sustaining the momentum for change in the dynamic environment of accounting practice and education. The Commission's efforts are structured to continue into the future."
Accounting education is dealing with several issues, including shortages of qualified teachers with accounting doctorates, the need to revise the accounting curricula regularly in light of fast-paced business changes, university budget constraints that threaten to make the cost of education prohibitive, and the need for training in specialized areas to meet the profession's demands.
The Commission will hold its first meeting October 15–17 in Washington, D.C. Read more about the Commission online at http://www.vscpa.com/.