Accounting education is a critical component in addressing the pipeline problem. Accounting students are trained to be generalists, and they often learn how to apply their skills across various industries. This makes them attractive candidates for employers and allows them to move around more easily within their careers. However, accounting programs have been slow to adapt their curricula in response to changing demands in the job market–and this has led some companies like Deloitte & Touche USA LLP (D&T) and PwC US LLP (PWC) US) to take matters into their own hands. These firms are investing in training programs that aim to increase the number of graduates with technical degrees, but they’re also making changes to the education system as a whole. This article explores these efforts and how they may impact students in accounting programs across the country.
The Need for More Diverse Perspectives in Accounting Education
The need for more diverse perspectives in accounting education is a critical issue. In addition to the need for greater racial and gender diversity in the accounting profession, there is also a need for greater cultural awareness. Accounting students should be exposed to different economic and social backgrounds so they can better understand how their decisions affect people from different backgrounds. The lack of diversity in accounting education is a significant problem. The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) recently expressed concern about the lack of diversity in accounting programs and its impact on the profession. In response to this concern, the AICPA formed a task force that studied the issue and made recommendations for change. https://us.aicpa.org/content/dam/aicpa/career/diversityinitiatives/downloadabledocuments/aicpa-accounting-education-pipeline-resources.pdf
Creating a More Inclusive Accounting Education Environment
In order to create a more inclusive accounting education environment, we need to address the following issues:
- Greater cultural sensitivity and understanding. Accounting courses should be taught in ways that are accessible for students from diverse backgrounds, including those who may not have had access to high-quality education or resources in their formative years. For example, instructors can incorporate more visual aids into their lectures or allow students time during class for group discussions about course material instead of relying solely on lecture-style teaching methods.
- More diverse course offerings. Accounting classes should include materials related specifically to topics such as race, gender and sexuality–topics often left out of traditional accounting curricula despite their importance in today’s society (and workplace).
Creating Accessible Opportunities for Accounting Education
In order to address the pipeline problem, we need to make accounting education accessible. That means creating more scholarships and financial aid programs for students who want to pursue accounting degrees. For example: https://www.aicpa-cima.com/resources/article/aicpa-scholarships-can-support-your-accounting-education. It also means creating mentorship programs that connect students with professionals in their fields of study but also those in other industries who can help them understand how their skills can be applied outside of traditional roles in finance or auditing. Finally, we need more internships and job opportunities for young people looking to break into these careers–not just at big firms like Deloitte but also smaller companies where they can gain valuable experience before starting out on their own path as an entrepreneur or small business owner!
Creating More Inclusive Curricula
- More inclusive curricula.
- Courses on ethics, including those that teach students how to be good citizens and leaders in their communities.
- Global accounting standards, including best practices for reporting financial information in different countries around the world.
- Technology and data analytics courses that focus on how technology can be used to improve efficiency, reduce costs or create new revenue streams for businesses (e.g., drones delivering packages).
- More affordable and flexible accounting courses from sites like cpacredits.com that offer college courses from regionally accredited colleges that are self-paced and available online.
Supporting Students from Diverse Backgrounds
In order to support students from diverse backgrounds, we need to take a look at the resources available for them. This can include mentorship programs and guidance counselors who understand the unique needs of first-generation college students. It also means providing more resources and support for student-led initiatives that help create a welcoming environment on campus.
- Mentorship programs are crucial in helping students navigate their way through college life and achieve their goals: they offer guidance in areas such as course selection, career planning, networking opportunities and financial aid applications–all things that may be unfamiliar territory for first generation college students who might not have had access to these types of services before enrolling in school.
- As part of this effort, we should also make sure that our institutions have enough counselors working with underrepresented populations so no one falls through the cracks due to lack of attention or resources being put towards their success
Encouraging More Diversity in the Accounting Profession
- Encourage more diversity in the accounting profession.
- Make a concerted effort to encourage more women and minorities to study accounting, and make sure they have access to the same opportunities as their white male counterparts.
- Work with professors to ensure that they are teaching students about how their biases affect their actions and decisions, so they can recognize them when they occur–and make changes accordingly.
- Support organizations like Women in Accounting (WIA) that work toward increasing gender parity within the industry by providing networking opportunities for female professionals and offering scholarships for undergraduate students interested in pursuing careers in accounting or finance
Promoting Equity in the Accounting Profession
The accounting profession is not immune to the same issues that plague other industries. The lack of diversity in the accounting world has been well documented, and there’s no reason to think it won’t get worse unless we start making some changes.
The first step toward addressing this problem is promoting equity in the workplace. This means ensuring that all employees are paid equally for equal work, regardless of gender, race or ethnicity; providing equal opportunities for career advancement; and providing equal access to resources (like mentoring programs) so everyone can succeed at their jobs without feeling left out because they don’t fit into some arbitrary category like “male” or “white.”
The accounting profession is in a state of crisis. The pipeline problem, which refers to the lack of diversity among accounting students and professionals, has been well documented by organizations like the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and National Association for Female Executives (NAFE). In fact, research conducted by NAFE found that only 3 percent of new hires at Fortune 500 companies were women in 2017–a figure unchanged from 2016 despite efforts from both industry leaders as well as educators to increase representation among their ranks.
This issue extends beyond gender: according to another study conducted by NAFE, minorities make up less than 10 percent of all partners at major accounting firms. And while there are many reasons why this may be happening–including unconscious bias on behalf of hiring managers or simply not having enough qualified candidates applying for positions–one thing seems clear: if we want our profession to reflect society more fully and accurately then we need better ways of educating future accountants so they can compete with each other fairly when vying for jobs with top firms like PwC or Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd..