AICPA Honors Accounting Educators for Innovative Teaching Strategies

November 15, 2017

New York (November 15, 2017) – The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is pleased to honor seven educators from colleges and universities across the country with the 2017 Effective Learning Strategies (ELS) Awards. The ELS Awards are given annually to professors who employ innovative teaching practices and curriculums in three distinct levels of accounting coursework.

“With these awards, the AICPA is recognizing educators who are thinking outside of the box and developing new, creative, and inspiring curriculum to engage their students,” said Joanne Fiore, AICPA vice president, professional media, academic and student engagement. “The work of these educators is crucial to the accounting profession continuing to develop innovative thinkers who are able to solve the problems of tomorrow.”

The AICPA’s Pre-certification Education Executive Committee's (PcEEC) ELS Educator Awards Task Force selected the winners. 

Bea Sanders/AICPA Innovation in Teaching Award 

The recipient of the 2017 Bea Sanders/AICPA Innovation in Teaching Award for innovative teaching practices in the first sequence of accounting – (1st and 2nd year studies)-  was Dr. Wendy Tietz, CPA, CMA, professor at Kent State University. 

Her submission, "Create Customized Financial Accounting Case Assignments with the Accounting Case Template (ACT), " is a web tool that allows instructors to quickly build custom assignments relevant to the specific needs of their course by choosing from a number of options. As part of the coursework, students analyze two companies to determine which of the two is the financially healthier and provide the rationale for their choice.  

Dr. Chris McCullick, assistant professor; and Ashley Minnich, professor, both of William Jewell College, received an honorable mention for their submission, “Brainteasers, Black Lights, and Balance Sheets: Applying Introductory Financial Accounting Concepts in an Interactive Escape Room Environment." 

George Krull/Grant Thornton Teaching Innovation Award 

The 2017 George Krull/Grant Thornton Teaching Innovation Award for the innovative teaching of junior- and senior-level accounting courses was awarded to Dr. Jeffrey Miller, CPA, CIA, associate professor at Sam Houston State University; and Dr. Grace Lixuan Zhang, assistant professor at Weber State University. 

They were awarded for, "Student Distinctive Consolidated Financial Statement Assignment," which challenges students completing the assignment to determine the appropriate, relevant, and reliable measures in preparing consolidated financial statements, through the utilization of technology to document the work they’ve performed. 

Mark Chain/Federation of Schools of Accountancy Teaching Innovation Award 

The winners of the 2017 Mark Chain/FSA Teaching Innovation Award for innovative graduate-level accounting teaching practices were: Dr. Maureen Butler, CPA, associate professor at University of Tampa; Dr. Kimberly Swanson Church, assistant professor at University of Missouri; Dr. Gail Hoover-King, CPA, professor at Purdue University Northwest; and Dr. Angela Wheeler Spencer, CPA, associate professor at Oklahoma State University.

Their award-winning entry, "AICPA Core Competencies - An Experiential Learning Case to Increase Student Awareness of Professional Competencies for Accounting Career Success," challenged students to explore the functional, personal, and business perspectives needed for successful entry into the accounting profession. Students came away with an increased awareness of the necessary professional competencies and improved critical thinking skills. In addition, they were tasked with taking initiative and ownership of acquiring necessary skills to begin their careers.

Each winner or team will receive $2,500 and a plaque. The winners will have the chance to present their curriculum and receive their awards at the American Accounting Association's (AAA) annual meeting in August 2018. 

“The AICPA would like to thank the AAA for the opportunity for these outstanding professors to share their work in front of a larger audience. We also appreciate the support from the FSA and Grant Thornton, whose support helps us recognize educators who are doing great work developing innovative teaching strategies are for today's accounting students," said Steve Matzke, AICPA's director of faculty and university initiatives.

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.