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What Should They Teach Professional Accountants?

Sep 26th 2009
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Where I live, in order to become a Chartered Accountant (the Canadian equivalent of a CPA), you need the following:

Courses Hours

Financial accounting 15
(introductory, intermediate and advanced)

Cost & management accounting 6

Advanced accounting elective 3

Auditing 9

Taxation 6

Business information systems 3

Finance/financial management 3

Economics 3

Law 3

Total credit hours 51

What do you think? Is the above enough? What skills seem to be lacking in the young accountants work with?

Here's my wish list:

Communications - how to explain financial information to non financial people, how to present clearly, making a clear case for action, how to organize the lines on a financial statement, how to analyze data so that the analysis leads to a clear course of action.

Working With Data - how to select, filter, sort and present data. How to build a spreadsheet model. How to use a report generator.

Project Accounting - I don't know why we teach cost accounting but not project accounting. Most of my clients have had some form of project work.

Business Ethics - These days, I think that is self-explanatory. If you don't start when you are a student, when will you have time for this subject?

Additional Topics Statistics, Interest calculations (discounting, annuities, mortgages) and risk management (including insurance).

What would you add?


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