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PwC grant supports integration of emerging technologies into Accounting program curriculum

Tuesday, May 27, 2014
PwC grant supports integration of emerging technologies into Accounting program curriculum



This summer, accounting faculty members from the business school’s Department of Accounting and Finance at Oakland University will take a deep dive into big data with the support of a $10,000 2014 PwC INQuiries grant. 


Driven by a recent update in AACSB-International accreditation standards to integrate current and emerging information technology into business and accounting programs, the goal is to create learning experiences related to data creation, sharing, analytics, mining, reporting and storage within and across organizations.


Accounting Professors Liang Fu, Joseph Callaghan, Donna
Free and Robert Nehmer meet about the PwC grant project.
“We are extremely grateful for PwC’s partnership with Oakland University’s business school, and their support of this very important initiative,” says Mohinder Parkash, Chair, Department of Accounting and Finance. This is the second PwC INQuiries grant Oakland University’s Department of Accounting and Finance has received since PwC initiated the program in 2007 to support curriculum development, diversity initiatives and applied research.

“By strategically wedding the new standard with new curricula, the Accounting Department seeks to be a national leader in embracing the standards while concurrently developing cutting-edge curricula,” Parkash adds.  “We also hope the department can provide leadership to other departments in the business school, where they may leverage our analytical efforts and apply them to their knowledge domains.”


Work over next year will involve creating and configuring the IT environment, and training interested faculty in specific software packages and their related databases to use to develop materials to update or create targeted courses. Faculty members Joseph H. Callaghan, Professor of Accounting; Robert Nehmer, Associate Professor of Accounting; and Donna Free, Special Instructor of Accounting, will take lead on this initiative.

“The first goal is to develop guidelines and direction for the appropriate and relevant changes in specific accounting courses to adhere to the new AACSB standards while maintaining the recognized quality and integrity of our undergraduate accounting and MAcc programs overall,” Parkash states.


“We expect the review will result in extensive revision in the accounting information system, managerial accounting and other undergraduate and graduate accounting courses are expected, as well, as the need to develop additional accounting courses like Managerial Accounting Data Analytics.”


Ultimately, the AACSB is looking for business schools to integrate interdisciplinary information technology learning experiences throughout the academic curricula, including real-world business strategies, privacy and security concerns, ethical issues, technology-driven changes in practices, and the complexities of decision making. Recognizing the dynamic nature of integrating information technology into the curriculum, the AACSB has instituted a transitional period of three years, from 2013-2016, related to this new standard.


Oakland University’s business school has been an accredited member of the AACSB since 1988, and fully accredited in both its business and accounting programs since 1994. Less than five percent of the world’s business programs hold this dual elite accreditation.  Today, there are more than 687 business schools in 45 countries and territories that have earned AACSB Accreditation. Only 182 institutions hold an additional specialized AACSB accreditation for their accounting programs.


AACSB accreditation is the hallmark of excellence in business and accounting education. Every five years AACSB-accredited institutions must complete a thorough review that is strategic and focused on the delivery of high-quality education, continuous improvement, market relevance and currency. 

Founded in 1916, AACSB International is the longest serving global accrediting body for business schools that offer undergraduate, master's and doctoral degrees in business and accounting.

PwC initiated the INQuires program in the Spring of 2007 to assist faculty and PhD students seeking to increase the knowledge base that contributes to the practice of auditing and tax. Since 2007, PwC has awarded over $3 million through the PwC INQuires program.