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In the News: Pathways Commission Releases Report on Future of Accounting Education

Pathways CommissionBoth Accounting Today and Inside Higher Education covered the release of a new report from the Pathways Commission on Accounting Higher Education. The Commission, put into place in 2010 and co-sponsored the by the AICPA and the AAA, was tasked with studying the future structure of higher education related to accounting and developing recommendations to engage and maintain the strongest possible academic community in accounting. Their report summarizes two years of collective effort by more than 50 individuals representing a diverse array of stakeholders in the accounting profession.

The report presents seven main recommendations and provides ideas on implementation efforts. The recommendations range from attracting a more diverse population of students to the profession to reforming accounting education so that teaching is respected and rewarded. Additionally, the commission recommended establishing an implementation process to address their suggestions by creating a continuous, sustainable process.

The Journal of Accountancy reports that for the next three years, the implementation effort will be headed by William F. Ezzell and Mark Higgins. Ezzell, one of the six Pathways commissioners, is also a past chairman of the AICPA Board of Directors and recently retired partner at Deloitte LLP. Higgins led one of the commission’s three “supply chain” working groups and is dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of Rhode Island.

The AAA and AICPA endorse the recommendations included in the Pathways Commission report and are committed to supporting the ongoing implementation structure and activities necessary to encourage study, testing and adoption of these recommendations in a variety of settings. 

“We will be out doing whatever we can to encourage, cajole . . . and anything else we can to interest people in both the profession and education to experiment and try some of these recommendations,” Ezzell said.

The full report is available online.

AccountingWEB writes that Donny Shimamoto, founder and managing director of Intraprise TechKnowlogies LLC in Honolulu, will receive the first Maximo Mukelabai award at the AICPA E.D.G.E. Conference August 8-10 in Orlando.

Mukelabai, who passed away last summer at thirty-six, was part of the inaugural class of the AICPA Leadership Academy, along with Shimamoto. The award was established in his honor to recognize a Young CPA that personifies an unwavering commitment as demonstrated through their successful practices, involvement and contributions for the interest of the accounting profession.

Maximo Mukelabai was a truly special individual and his loss is felt throughout the accounting profession,” said Jeannie Patton, AICPA vice president of students, academics & membership. “This award was created in his honor to continue his legacy as someone who exhibited tireless dedication to ensuring the future of the accounting profession.”

Shimamoto will be honored for his volunteer efforts, including working toward building the CPA pipeline.

"One of my early discussions with Max was that as some of the first representatives of our age group to be involved in leadership roles with the AICPA, it is our job to show the AICPA staff and other volunteers that there is value in having a young CPA on their committees -- thereby opening the door for other young CPAs to get involved," Shimamoto added. "Whether from big cities or rural areas, no matter the ethnic background, from any educational background -- I hope that my involvement and example will enable all upcoming CPAs to see that with enough hard work and a willingness to volunteer, they too can take charge of their careers and make a difference for the future of our profession."

He explained to AccountingWEB that he believes to get students interested in the field of accounting, the profession should stress the diversity of options available.  "They need to know that it is not about just bookkeeping and the numbers," says Shimamoto.

Shimamoto is a Chartered Global Management Accountant  and the first Certified Information Technology Professional  in the state of Hawaii.

Those with questions on the submission process for the award may contact [email protected]. The application period for next year’s award will open in early 2013.

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