Awards highlight innovative teaching tools

The AICPA's 2020 Effective Learning Strategies Awards, co-sponsored by Grant Thornton and the Federation of Schools of Accountancy, are given each year to college and university educators who develop unique and effective teaching tools for introductory, upper division, and graduate courses.

Recipients are determined by the AICPA Academic Executive Committee's Teaching Innovation Task Force, based on presentations made during the American Accounting Association's Annual Meeting.

Bea Sanders/AICPA 2020 Teaching Innovation Award

Winner: "The Cookie Company Project," by Alesha Graves (Asbury University). Students learn how to apply managerial accounting concepts, tools, and techniques by forming a company to sell cookies and estimating costs, sales targets, and income.

George Krull/Grant Thornton 2020 Teaching Innovation Award

Winner: "Cybersecurity Isn't Just for Techies: Incorporating Cybersecurity Into the Accounting Curriculum," by Scott Boss and Joy Gray (Bentley University), and Diane Janvrin (Iowa State University). Through a series of case studies, students learn how to address cybersecurity issues including disclosure of issues in financial reporting, the impact of a cybersecurity breach in an audit, and calculating the cost of cybersecurity breaches.

Honorable Mention: "Finding the Fraudster: A Problem-Based Learning Activity for the Auditing Classroom," by Christie Novak (Le Moyne College). Students engage in role playing and problem-based learning to understand fraud and internal controls as a client.

Mark Chain/FSA 2020 Teaching Innovation Award

Winner: "Evaluating a Proposed Balanced Scorecard and Applying Data Analytics to Monitor Police Department Performance," by Maureen Mascha (Purdue University Northwest), Diane Janvrin (Iowa State University), and Laurie Burney (Baylor University). Students learn how to acquire, visualize, and analyze data to help a fictitious police department examine how it responds to crime.

The materials from these submissions will be posted to the AICPA Accounting Professors' Curriculum Resource, available at

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