An Illinois CPA received the 2009 Distinguished Achievement in Accounting Education Award today at the start of the American Institute of CPAs' Spring Council meeting in Washington, D.C.

The award is given annually to a fulltime college accounting educator for distinguished excellence in teaching and national prominence in the accounting profession. It also serves to promote role models in academia.

This year’s award went to Ira Solomon, CPA, Ph.D., who heads the Department of Accountancy and holds the R.C. Evans Endowed Chair in Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Toping his list of contributions to the accountancy program at the school is Project Discovery, which requires students to apply accounting principles to real-world problems through role-playing, case studies and other activities. 

The 16 cases Solomon developed with KPMG and other colleagues through this program have been downloaded more than 300,000 times and have been widely used by professors of accountancy nationwide, according to the AICPA.

This isn’t the first time Solomon has been recognized for his work educating future accountants. Past achievements include the American Accounting Association’s Innovations in Auditing and Assurance Education and Outstanding Auditing Educator awards and the St. Louis Accountancy Committee of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Excellence in Teaching Award. 

And he’s helped those future accountants gain recognition themselves---he’s worked with numerous doctoral students specializing in auditing, several of whom received awards for their dissertations.

He has published more than 75 articles in academic and professional journals and presented nearly 100 papers at seminars and conferences around the world.  He has authored or co-authored 25 books, monographs, reports and pamphlets. He has been a visiting distinguished scholar at the University of New South Wales in Australia, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Solomon started his teaching career as an assistant professor at the University of Arizona.  He holds a doctorate in accounting, an M.P.A. in Accounting and a B.B.A. in Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin.

Project Discovery cases are available at: