AICPA Recognizes Accounting Educators for Innovative Teaching Strategies

Submissions from Professors at University of Arkansas, Case Western University, and Kennesaw State University Honored

December 21, 2016

Contact: James Schiavone, 212-596-6119,

New York (December 21, 2016) – Educators from the University of Arkansas, Case Western University, and Kennesaw State University are recipients of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) Effective Learning Strategies (ELS) Awards. The ELS Awards are given each year to educators who demonstrate innovative teaching practices and curriculums in one of three educational levels: introductory, upper division, and graduate.

“These accounting professors are developing exciting, ground-breaking teaching models to educate and inspire the next generation of accounting professionals,” said Joanne Fiore, AICPA vice president, professional media, academic and student engagement. “These awards honor all the educators who are bringing to life what is challenging and engaging about a career in accounting for our future CPAs and CGMAs.”

Bea Sanders/AICPA Innovation in Teaching Award

The recipient of the 2016 Bea Sanders/AICPA Innovation in Teaching Award for innovative teaching practices in the first sequence of accounting is Dr. Karen Braun, CPA, CGMA, professor at Case Western Reserve University.

Her entry, “Excel-Based Active-Learning for the Managerial Accounting Course,” offers a series of Microsoft Excel-based projects that allow students to apply managerial accounting concepts to business issues while developing Excel skills as part of an introductory managerial accounting course. Each Excel project includes questions requiring critical thinking on topics such as job costing, cost behavior analysis, personal budgeting and segment performance evaluation. Students seem to like the approach. Student feedback on these projects has been overwhelmingly positive, with an average approval rating of over 90 percent.

Kelvie Crabb, CPA, lecturer at The University of Kansas; Gail Hoover King, professor at Purdue University Northwest; and Dr. Kimberly Swanson Church, assistant professor at University of Missouri-Kansas City, received an honorable mention for their submission, “Launch Learning: Students Create, Collaborate…and Comprehend Managerial Accounting!.”

George Krull/Grant Thornton Teaching Innovation Award

The 2016 George Krull/Grant Thornton Teaching Innovation Award for the innovative teaching of junior- and senior-level accounting courses was awarded to Dr. Sandria Stephenson, CPA, assistant professor, Accounting, at Kennesaw State University.

Her submission, “Reflective Ethical Decision: A model for ethics in accounting education,” uses the underpinnings of philosophical humanism in collaboration with self-directed learning to help students determine and design their own personal model construct of ethical values.

Tracie Miller-Nobles, CPA, associate professor at Austin Community College, received honorable mention for her submission, “Utilizing Concept Mapping in Individual Income Tax.”

Mark Chain/FSA Teaching Innovation Award

The winners of the 2016 Mark Chain/FSA Teaching Innovation Award for innovative graduate-level accounting teaching practices are Dr. Charles J. Leflar, clinical professor, Katie L. Terrell, instructor, and JaLynn Thomas, CPA, lecturer, at the Sam Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas.

In their winning entry, “Interviewing for Requirements in the Advanced AIS Classroom,” students are taught how to consider business goals, as well as analyze specific processes and the needs of future users, when designing an accounting information systems (AIS). Students act as consultants to a fictional manufacturing business to experience the process by interviewing fictional owners and employees, and analyzing specific processes and management systems, in order to learn how to design and implement an improved AIS system.

Cassy Budd, CPA, teaching professor at Brigham Young University, received an honorable mention for her submission, “Case Method Teaching in a Graduate Class: Setting the Stage for Success.”

The award sponsors – AICPA, The Federation of Schools of Accountancy (FSA) and Grant Thornton – will provide each award recipient or team with $2,500 and a plaque. The winners will have the opportunity to present their curriculum and receive their awards at the 2017 American Accounting Association (AAA) annual meeting.

“The AICPA is thankful to the AAA for providing this opportunity for the winners to present their research to a broader audience. AICPA is also deeply appreciative of the contributions from the FSA and Grant Thornton, which allow us to recognize these professors for the work they are doing to further the education of accounting students," said Steve Matzke, AICPA's director of faculty and university initiatives.

Each award winner was selected by a task force comprised of past award winners and members of the AICPA’s Pre-certification Education Executive Committee (PcEEC). The mission of the PcEEC is to assist the academic community in preparing students with the core competencies needed for entry into the profession.

The winners’ curricula will be included alongside past winners as part of the Accounting Professors' Curriculum Resource, AICPA’s curriculum tool. The Curriculum Resource offers accounting curricula specifically designed to encourage faculty and engage accounting students while furthering their knowledge of the profession. Access to the tool is limited to AICPA members.

More information about the AICPA educator awards, including submission criteria, can be found online.