AAA, AICPA release report on higher education

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The American Accounting Association and the American Institute of CPAs, founding co-sponsors of the Pathways Commission on Accounting Higher Education, have released the Pathways Commission report.

The study was compiled over two years by the Pathways Commission, created by the AAA and AICPA to study the future structure of accounting higher education and develop potential solutions on recommendation from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Advisory Committee on the Auditing Profession.

The report was a collective effort by over 50 individuals representing a diverse group of stakeholders in a “broadly defined accounting profession” that included those from public and corporate accounting, education and government. The effort was led by commission chair Bruce Behn, Ergen professor at the University of Tennessee.

The AAA and AICPA endorse the recommendations of the Commission’s report, which call for addressing difficult and persistent issues in the accounting discipline.

“A number of recommendations in the Commission’s report echo those made by equally thoughtful and invested teams of practice and academic colleagues involved in earlier studies with related purposes,” according to the AICPA press release. “While previous studies have resulted in some successful new directions and promising innovations, past efforts at renewal have lacked an explicit implementation strategy and structure to move their recommendations forward on a systematic and properly resourced basis. To overcome the limitations of periodic efforts, continued joint efforts will be necessary for successful implementation of the recommendations in this report.”

For the next three years, the AAA and AICPA will thus continue their support as founding members of the Pathways Commission, which will be co-chaired by Bill Ezzell, former partner with Deloitte and past chairman of the AICPA board of directors and Mark Higgins, the dean and Alfred J. Verrecchia and Hasbro Inc. leadership chair in business at the University of Rhode Island and a past president of the American Taxation Association. The structure of the Commission is still being finalized to allow a broad stakeholder group to implement the recommendations.

The full report PDF is available here. In the meantime, the Commission will continue to share its progress on publicly available forum pathwayscommission.org.


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