American Accounting Association and AICPA "Pathways Commission" Seeks Public Comment, Recommendations by Jan. 5 on the Future of Accounting Higher Education

New York (Dec. 3, 2010) - The Pathways Commission, a joint project of the American Accounting Association and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, is seeking public comment and recommendations on future paths of higher education for the accounting profession by Jan. 5.

“For the first time in history we have assembled all the key players in accounting education: high schools, community colleges, universities, corporations, regulators and CPA firms. Everybody is at the table,” said Bruce Behn, the Ergen Professor of Business at the University of Tennessee and chair of the Pathways Commission.

“What we are looking for is input on how we prepare students to become accounting professionals in a modern marketplace. We are interested in strategic questions: How do we attract diverse talent and retain people through their career paths? What should the educational pathways be for accounting? What are those pathways now and what should they look like in the future?” Behn said. 

The Commission will hold a public meeting in Atlanta, on February 26, 2011, to hear and evaluate thoughts and ideas submitted by interested parties individuals and organizations. Information on submitting comments can be obtained by contacting  Barbara Brady at or going to Two-page summaries of submitted comments are requested.

The Commission’s goal is to generate ongoing engagement with the broad community in the accounting education process, with priority on involving perspectives from across the “supply chain” of the path through education to practice.  The Commission was formed in response to a recommendation by the Human Capital Subcommittee of the U.S. Treasury Advisory Committee on the Audit Profession. Forces influencing accounting education include a shortage of qualified teachers with accounting doctorates, a need for rapid revisions to accounting curricula to keep pace with changes in business, university budget constraints that threaten to make the cost of education prohibitive, and a need for training in specialized areas to meet the profession’s demands.

In addition to Behn, Members of the Pathways Commission are:

·         William Ezzell, national managing partner – legislative and regulatory relations, Deloitte LLP

·         Leslie Murphy, president and CEO, Murphy Consulting, Inc.

·         Judy Rayburn, chair, department of accounting, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota

·         Jerry Strawser, dean and KPMG chair in accounting, Mays Business School, Texas A&M University

·         Melvin Stith, dean, Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University

The Commission’s first meeting was held in Washington, DC on Oct. 15-17.

About AAA

The American Accounting Association ( promotes worldwide excellence in accounting education, research and practice. Founded in 1916 as the American Association of University Instructors in Accounting, its present name was adopted in 1936. The Association is a voluntary organization of persons interested in accounting education and research.


The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants ( is the world’s largest association representing the accounting profession, with nearly 370,000 members in 128 countries.  AICPA members represent many areas of practice, including business and industry, public practice, government, education, and consulting; membership is also available to accounting students and CPA candidates. The AICPA sets ethical standards for the profession and U.S. auditing standards for audits of private companies, non-profit organizations, federal, state and local governments. It develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination.

The AICPA maintains offices in New York, Washington, DC, Durham, N.C., Ewing, N.J. and Lewisville, Texas.

Media representatives are invited to visit the AICPA Press Center at