April 1, 2010; Issue 2
Notes from the faculty
From John Delaney: Accounting Certificate program gets started
We are off to a great start this year in the Accounting Department! This fall marks the start of our new Accounting Certificate Program, designed for students who wish to stay at Augustana to complete the 150-hour requirement to take the CPA exam. In addition to the accounting courses required for the accounting major, students completing the Certificate Program take 6 credits of additional accounting electives (choose from fraud investigation, government/non-profit, corporate accounting, advanced auditing, advanced managerial, advanced tax), business law, business ethics, and business writing.
Five students are enrolled in the Certificate Program this year. We hope to grow that number in coming years as we have seen a sharp increase in the number of students interested in taking the CPA exam.
Several students will be interning this year thanks to the connections we have made with the accounting firms over the past few years with the help of our alumni. Thirteen seniors and one student enrolled in our new Certificate Program will be interning with one of the following firms located in Chicago, Peoria, or the Quad Cities (Deloitte, Grant Thornton, KPMG, McGladrey, PwC). We also have several students interning at local manufacturing and financial services companies.
If you are aware of internship and/or full-time accounting/auditing opportunities at your firm, please do keep our students in mind. Thanks for your support. I hope to see you on campus or at one of our alumni events this year. Remember, the Accounting/Business/Economics Homecoming tent will be next to Evald Hall Oct. 22 and the Golf Outing is May 5 at Byron Hills Golf Course in Port Byron, Ill. See you then!
From Pamela Druger: Changing with the times
I'm going into the classroom to face 27 sophomores again. Each year there are fresh faces, new to the world of accounting. This is my 33rd year teaching a Principles of Accounting class. Does it ever get old? To be truthful, some things do tend to be dull and routine. But the world of accounting has changed so much that ever year there is a new twist.
When I first started teaching the course, we covered journal entries for Notes Receivable discounted and concentrated on special journals. These were complex and difficult, and finally relegated to the Intermediate and Systems classes. However, the void was quickly filled with an emphasis on the Ethics of Accounting, missing from most textbooks before the mid-1990s, as well as an increased emphasis on financial statement analysis.
Another addition to the curriculum is the introduction of International Accounting influences. This year's text is the first to include Fair Value as well as Cost for a basis of recording asset value. How we cover the financial statements from Day 1 might be dramatically changed if the proposal that all statements take the Operating, Investing, and Financing formats of the Statement of Cash Flows is ever approved.
The fun of teaching Principles after all these years remains the same. I get to watch students have that "light-bulb" moment — the moment that they understand that there is an organizing principle that helps make sense of the business world. It is early this term, and few bulbs have turned on. But when we begin to play Monopoly and each student has to do the accounting for their sole-proprietorship, the classroom should light up.
From Janene Finley: An additional title
Arthur Finley Larrison, son of Professor Janene Finely and her husband Ryan Larrison, is on schedule to graduate from Augustana in the Class of 2033.
Every year, the accounting department undergoes many
changes. This past year new courses were offered, the department's first service-learning community was a success, and I added new initials after my name — M.O.M. On May 20, my son Arthur was born.
The timing was excellent because I was able to spend the summer with him. In addition, the college, the accounting department, and I were able to arrange my schedule so I can spend even more time with Arthur by taking family leave during the fall term. If you have children in the future, you may want to look into your employer's family leave policy to see if you can spend extra time with a new addition to your family. And family leave isn't just for new moms; new dads may be able enjoy this benefit.
Although I'm looking forward to another exciting year at Augustana, I'm also looking forward to watching Arthur's many milestones, from sitting, to crawling, to walking.
From Rob Faulkner: Developing new courses
I am writing to tell you how excited I am to participate in Augustana's new accounting department certificate program, a program intended to ready our accounting majors for the CPA exam. As a part of that program I have been asked to develop and deliver one of the first new courses in the program, Advanced Income Taxes. It will be offered for the first time this fall.
As many of you may know, I was an accounting professor at St Ambrose University for nearly 35 years prior to coming to Augustana. Many of the courses I taught during those years were graduate courses. My philosophy regarding graduate courses is that they be presented with a research and applications format rather than a lecture style. Under this format, I believe the students take an "ownership" interest in the material which enhances the learning process. I believe it will be particularly beneficial for the course I will be offering.
I spent the better part of this summer preparing extensive notes and examples to supplement the text that will be used for the course, each major concept being accompanied by research assignments and three major projects to be completed during the fall term. My role will be largely as a facilitator helping the students research the topics to be included in the research assignments. Time permitting, I intend to cover tax code relating to C corporations, S Corporations, partnerships and LLC's, and, as time permits, estates and trusts.
Lest you are concerned that I wasted away my summer preparing for course, the day after I completed the last chapter my wife and I left for Maui for two weeks. What an incredible part of the world. There were moments when I wondered if I could muster the intenal fortitude to return to teach this fall. However, here I am once again! Aahh, there's nothing quite like Midwest summers. I hope yours was pleasant.