Sees Overemphasis on Credentials


I read “The Crisis in Accounting Education” and the accompanying book review, “Accounting Education: Charting the Course through a Perilous Future” ( JofA, Apr.02, page 84), with much bemusement at their failure to point a finger at what I believe is the real “crisis” in accounting education—the overemphasis by colleges and the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) on faculty research credentials over effective classroom teaching.

As an accounting undergraduate from 1969–1973, I received an excellent accounting education without once encountering a PhD/DBA. My professors were experienced CPAs with MBAs, many with concurrent accounting practices, who were knowledgeable, articulate and interested in imparting the nuts and bolts of the subject rather than the latest mathematical hypothesis on how many debits can be placed on the head of a pin (frequently, in some foreign language).

Without question, the business environment and GAAP are much more complex than 30 years ago and accountant skill sets must be as broad as possible. However, ignoring deeply rooted problems with the delivery system for accounting education isn’t going to improve the quality or quantity of accounting graduates.

Francis J. Farina, CPA
Devon, Pennsylvania


Year-end tax planning and what’s new for 2016

Practitioners need to consider several tax planning opportunities to review with their clients before the end of the year. This report offers strategies for individuals and businesses, as well as recent federal tax law changes affecting this year’s tax returns.


News quiz: Retirement planning, tax practice, and fraud risk

Recent reports focused on a survey that gauges the worries about retirement among CPA financial planners’ clients, a suit that affects tax practitioners, and a guide that offers advice on fraud risk. See how much you know with this short quiz.


Bolster your data defenses

As you weather the dog days of summer, it’s a good time to make sure your cybersecurity structure can stand up to the heat of external and internal threats. Here are six steps to help shore up your systems.