AICPA partners with state CPA societies to bolster accounting education in high schools

The AICPA announced on Wednesday that they will be partnering with state CPA societies across the country to increase the amount high school educators teaching high-level accounting courses.

Over the course of the current school year, the AICPA will sponsor state CPA societies in order to expand the scope of the Accounting Pilot & Bridge Project (APBP). Created in 2006 by Dr. Dan Deines, the APBP looks to introduce a more advanced accounting curriculum for high schools students, leading more to a career in the field.

“It is essential that the accounting profession develop a stronger pipeline linking high caliber students in high school to university accounting programs,” said Dr. Deines, per a statement. “The success of the APBP has demonstrated that it is an effective model to build this pipeline of students. The AICPA and state CPA societies support for the expansion of the training program will help expand the number of teachers who are able to teach this course and ultimately draw more of the best and brightest students into the profession.”

The initiative directly addresses the Pathways Commission recommendation of attracting more high-potential and diverse students into the profession. 

Over this previous summer, the AICPA went on tosponsor five training sessionsfor high school educators in conjunction with state CPA societies in Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas. Following the three-day training sessions, accounting teachers can integrate APBP topics - a combination of financial and managerial accounting - into their high school courses, which are considered more akin to an introductory college course.

“For far too long, many students overlooked accounting as a college major because it was classified as a vocational career track or integrated into a required class such as economics at the high school level,” said Jeannine Birmingham, president of the Alabama Society of CPAs, per a statement. “We’ve been collaborating with the AICPA, high school teachers, the Alabama Department of Education and college professors to elevate the accounting curriculum in our state. We’re making progress, with an increasing number of high schools offering the APBP course, which in turn strengthens the pipeline of talent coming into the profession.”

“As someone who has worked in accounting education for the majority of my career, I’ve seen firsthand how important a student’s first accounting class is,” said Dr. Yvonne Hinson, Academic in Residence at the AICPA, in a statement. “By training teachers to deliver a higher order accounting course at the high school level and continuing to provide them support, we’re increasing their ability to draw talented and motivated students into the accounting profession.”

Educators who train through the sponsored program will receive support from the AICPA in the form of daily lesson plans; pre-written exams with answer keys; online teaching resources; and support from APBP trainers

For more on the Accounting Pilot and Bridge Project, head to the program's site here.

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