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April 1, 2010; Issue 2

Notes from the faculty

From Pamela Druger: Ethics and a new elective

Pamela Druger

After 23 years of teaching, the students at Augustana are always a revelation to me. New skills, new approaches, and a continued confidence in the future keep me intrigued.

This year we started the new seminar sequence, with students taking a research class, then an ethics class, and then a capstone experience. The research class started just as the Codification Project was completed, so our students were learning it along with every other practicing accountant from a new hire to the Senior Partner.

The Ethics seminar offered an opportunity for extended discussion on what it means to be an ethical accountant in today’s business climate. The Millgram study on obedience (getting subjects to severely shock the "student" learner) was an eye-opener and prompted soul-searching by the students as to where they would draw the line.

The capstone experiences are just beginning. Some students will be performing the academic audit, under the direction of Dr. John Delaney. Others will be researching a topic of their choice, including social auditing and responsibility, the impact of International Accounting Standards, and how the changing economy effects the financial reporting of an entity.

Next year the department rolls out the first new elective courses offered in decades. Corporate Accounting Issues, Fraud, and Advanced Tax will be offered. It should be an exciting year.

From John Delaney: Focus groups and a question for you

john delaney

I am pleased to report my sabbatical project has been a success! In our last newsletter I asked for your help as we spread the word about our accounting program and the availability of our students for internships. The response I received was terrific.

Dr. Rob Faulkner and I met with several firms in the Quad Cities and Chicago area. We also conducted a focus group in Chicago with several recent Augustana accounting graduates currently working in public accounting. Consequently, we have expanded the list of firms actively recruiting our students locally and in Chicago. However, more work needs to be done.

If you think you can help make the connection between Augustana and your firm I would appreciate hearing from you. During my sabbatical I also looked at the feasibility of expanding our course offerings for those students interested in obtaining the course credit hours required to sit for the CPA exam (150 in Illinois). We are still gathering data but would be interested to hear from you on this as well. Would you have stayed at Augustana an extra term to get the hours for the CPA exam? Also, would you have been interested in a CPA exam prep course? If you have input please send me a note:

On a fun note I will be working on preparation for the golf outing May 7 (lots of trips to the driving range)! Hope to see you there and as always thanks for your continued support of the Accounting Department.

janene finley

From Janene Finley: A welcomed addition

The year 2009 consisted of many changes for both the Augustana Accounting Department and GAAP.

The Accounting Department implemented its new senior inquiry requirement, which includes a one-credit accounting research class. Shortly after the department changed the requirements for the major, FASB adopted the Accounting Standards Codification as the sole source of GAAP.

Students in the research class have been able to experience the new Codification instead of working with FARS. The ease of use of the Codification is a welcomed addition to GAAP.

rob faulkner

From Rob Faulkner: The real world

Dr. Rob Faulkner, adjunct professor of accounting at Augustana, reports that he is again gearing up for another income tax season in the midst of his teaching and mentoring duties at Augustana.

"The challenges of balancing my teaching assignments and servicing my tax clients seems more demanding each year. Perhaps age is catching up with me!"

He reports that maintaining an accounting practice helps provide a real world experience for the students in the classroom.