AICPA and AAA Announce Next Steps for Pathways Commission

January 15, 2015

New York and Sarasota, FL (January 15, 2015) – The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and American Accounting Association (AAA), the founding co-sponsors of the Pathways Commission on Accounting Higher Education, are pleased to announce developments in the implementation of the Commission’s recommendations.

With more than 75 volunteers currently working on more than 17 task forces, the Commission has made substantial progress on a number of important recommendations stemming from the Commission’s report:

  • Proposal for an Advanced Placement Course in Accounting. The Pathways Commission has been working with The College Board, which provides AP courses in high schools, to propose an AP Course in Accounting.
  • Development and Distribution of the Pathways Vision Model.  The Model emphasizes the importance of professional judgment, the complex thinking that it involves, and the critical role accountants play in the success of corporations, firms, organizations and governments around the world.
  • Integration of Professionally Oriented Faculty. Many colleges and universities are engaging professionally oriented faculty to help bring business-world experience into the classroom and help inform academic research. The Pathways Commission has developed a summary of leading practices, and a set of principles for effectively integrating these members into accounting departments and schools, asking department chairs to sign on as adopters of the principles.
  • Expansion of an AAA Auditing Section “boot camp” program. The program works to incorporate current practice issues into accounting classes and research.  In the coming year boot camps are planned for management accounting, tax, and accounting information systems.

“Accountants play a crucial role in the economy. Therefore, ensuring that our pipeline of talent is supported by an education system that meets the evolving demands of an increasingly complex profession is of the utmost importance,” said Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA, president and CEO of the AICPA. “Thanks to the hard work of the co-chairs and our volunteers over the past three years, the Pathways Commission has made tremendous progress towards this goal.”

The AICPA and AAA together formed the Pathways Commission in 2010 to study possible future paths of higher education for those seeking entry into the accounting profession. The Pathways Commission began its work by seeking input across the wide spectrum of the accounting community. 

Recommendations developed through that process were published in a 2012 report. At that time, the AICPA and AAA agreed to continue their support for another three years, and the Commission has since been working on implementation of projects stemming from the report’s recommendations.

To ensure continued progress towards the successful implementation of the recommendations of the Commission and to capitalize on the momentum that has been created, the AICPA and AAA are transitioning ongoing projects into their respective organizations during the coming year. The transition will be complete by August 1, 2015.

As an educator committed to accounting as a learned profession, I am enthusiastic about continuing work toward Pathways-inspired goals to advance the future of accounting through connecting education and research to practice in service of the public interest,” said Tracey Sutherland, AAA executive director.

Both the AAA and AICPA will continue to create important opportunities for academics and practitioners to collaborate to accomplish Pathways-inspired initiatives.

The following are the current members of the Pathways Commission:

  • William Ezzell, Pathways Commission Co-Chair, formerly national managing partner – legislative and regulatory relations, Deloitte LLP (retired)
  • Mark Higgins, Pathways Commission Co-Chair, Dean, John Cook School of Business, Saint Louis University
  • Susan Crosson, Senior Lecturer in Accounting, Emory University
  • Ellen Glazerman, Executive Director, EY Foundation
  • Sanjay Gupta, Acting Dean and Russell E. Palmer Endowed Professor of Accounting, Eli Broad College of Business, Michigan State University
  • Dana Hermanson, Dinos Eminent Scholar Chair of Private Enterprise and Professor of Accounting, Coles College of Business, Kennesaw State University
  • William Holder, Dean and Alan Casdan Dean’s Chair, Professor of Accounting, Leventhal School of Accounting, University of Southern California
  • Gail Hoover King, Professor of Accounting, Purdue University Calumet
  • Mark Peecher, Deloitte Professor of Accountancy, College of Business, University of Illinois
  • Terry Shevlin, Professor of Accounting and Director PhD Program, Paul Merage School of Business, University of California-Irvine
  • D. Scott Showalter, Professor of Practice, Poole College of Management, North Carolina State University
  • Mikel Tiller, Chair of Graduate Programs, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University
  • Jan Williams, Dean Emeritus and Professor Emeritus, University of Tennessee
  • Jim Young, Chair and Crowe Horwath Professor of Accountancy, College of Business, Northern Illinois University

More information on the Pathways Commission is available online. The website will continue to host archival information and post updates to make them available to the accounting community.