Capstone: Changing the landscape for a greener pasture (Final part of the academic criticism on the accountancy program)

Now we round-up the previous discussions on the degrading quality of Philippine education for accountancy by looking again at the main discussion point in Part 1. In Part 1, I have discussed that there are indeed problems in schools measuring their performance through number of CPAs produced or the number of topnotchers produced during the CPA board examination. In this last piece, I want to look at more appropriate measures which I believe are of more relevance to the universities as a primary institution for research.

I would like to envisage that each academic institution be an institution focussed on research and developing the analytical skills of graduates. Accountancy is a highly dynamic program in which graduates can go in diverse paths and practices. Knowledge of accounting standards without being able to apply them in real life are simply theories left to die.

The future of the accountancy program should be case-study and research heavy program in which early focus on core accounting, finance and economics knowledge will drive the penultimate year of conducting research, fieldwork and market analysis. We need to have young professionals who are able to deliver in depth understanding of business through being able to interpret the story behind each figures in a company’s accounts.

Schools should start to challenge and select the best in-practice lecturer to lead and guide discussions in the penultimate year. We need to incorporate industry knowledge and early exposure on issues and grey areas in the world of accounting. We have to stop silent assumptions killing the mind of our students by making things appear so simple. Real accounting outside the classroom are highly complicated and rarely the same. It is just that even budding professionals in the public practice don’t find an issue in how company’s do their entries because they’ve been so confident that basic entries are always as basic as they are.

Universities providing accountancy should start shutting up their mouths on the success rates of their CPA examinees, rather, we should be measured at how successful our alumni have become after they leave the school (e.g., through workplace surveys and satisfaction ratings). Schools should be measured by how much ‘academic’ research that they’ve been able to produce rather than by the quantity of examinees who passed the exam.

This post is short and straightforward. We know that change should start to flow in by now, because the output of the schools? Nah, let’s not talk about it anymore.