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I just finished reading the September 2017 issue. It was a really good look at what goes wrong (and well) in accounting education. The takeaways for me were: 1) management accounting is indeed treated as a stepson throughout the accounting program, and 2) the article “A Positive Look at Accounting Education” is written in a selfish and tautological way that doesn’t really give a counterpoint to the previous article.

As an example, the author points out that the AACSB programs give better success rates than the overall rate. This is undoubtedly true, but it ignores the fact that students who enter such programs are most likely more qualified than those who enter non-accredited programs. So the author’s claim does little or nothing to prove something he has – and it is probably misleading.

In addition, the author claims that the CPA Review publishes articles that can be qualified as “applied research”. For the most part, this is just not true! For example, an article on how to register a lease under the new rules is definitely not applied research.

Finally, the author has a dismissive attitude towards academic research. Contrary to his assertion, there are in fact many practitioners who are interested in an article on cost of capital and Tobin’s “q” ratio, as this is the kind of information that is useful for performing consultancy services. The author cites the article as representative of academic research of little use to practitioners, but this is where his tautological (and erroneous) reasoning appears.

Anyway, I really enjoyed the September issue. However, I strongly disagree that the accounting curriculum should become a ‘learning program’, as Kenton B. Walker’s article subtly suggests (‘What’s Going On in Business Schools ? ”). This is the purpose of staff training. Accounting is an intellectual discipline. It shouldn’t be treated in college as a “job”.

Allan B. Afterman, Ph.D., CPA. Northfield, Illinois.