Schools Expand Accounting Programs; Add New Courses

Job prospects remain bright for accounting graduates and the number of students enrolled in accounting programs continues to grow in some areas of the country. Colleges and universities are expanding and adding to their programs as national, regional and local accounting firms compete for their students, Crain’s Cleveland Business Journal says.


“We are looking to hire long, to increase the number of brand-new people we bring in so we don’t get caught short in the future,” David Sibits of Cleveland’s RSM McGladrey office says, according to Crain’s.

Cleveland State will expand its master of accountancy program next fall to its West Center campus in Westlake, Ohio. An information system auditing track will be added to the program, Peter Poznanski, interim chair of accounting at the university, told Crain’s.

Elsewhere in Ohio, Kent State saw an increase of 40 students majoring in accounting this year. More students are also taking accounting courses who are not accounting majors, Richard Brown, chairman of the accounting department at Kent State said, according to Crain’s and the department will add four courses next year.

The number of students majoring in accounting at Case Western Reserve University has remained relatively flat, despite the demand for accounting graduates, said Jerry Weinstein, chairman of Case’s accountancy department. “There certainly is a perception that this is a very difficult major, and students get scared off by that,” he told Crain’s.

All students enrolled in the College of Business and Law at Minnesota State University at Mankato will be required to take a Business Ethics Fundamentals course, beginning in Fall 2006. The accounting department will be identifying accounting and business law courses that will also emphasize professional ethics, the accounting department’s newsletter says. Mankato will also offer a capstone course in accounting and a new fraud examination course.

Indiana’s Kelley School of Business aims to give accounting students a broad base of knowledge that encompasses managerial perspectives and economic studies, as well as “in-depth study in financial reporting, managerial accounting, taxation, and auditing.” The Indiana program encourages students to consider a minor or a second major in “computer information systems, finance, international studies, journalism management, or telecommunications.”

Indiana University business students must fulfill an international dimension requirement. Students can meet this requirement by taking part in summer or semester business programs abroad. Students may also choose one of five field specializations that involve study outside the business program. The five are: environmental studies, international studies, communications, not-for-profit organizations and science and technology, the university’s Web site says.

Connecticut’s Society of CPA’s (CSCPA) Web site points to a report in Connecticut Business that says the state is losing accounting students due to the 150-hour requirement for sitting for the CPA exam. A bill before the state legislature to reduce the number of hours to 120 was sidelined this month when the co-chair of the Government Administration and Elections Committee rewrote the bill, calling for a study of “the demand for certified public accountant candidates and the adequacy of the current supply of such candidates.” The study was to have been co-sponsored by the CSCPA, the State Board of Accountancy and the Department of Higher Education. When the State Board of Accountancy declined to participate in the study because it lacked the resources, the CSCPA withdrew its support of the bill.

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