Dear Friends of the Department of Accounting,
I am honored and humbled to become the chair of this great department. I have been a faculty member at the Fox School for 12 years. During that time, our department benefited tremendously from the leadership of the former chair, Eric Press. I will do my very best to continue that strong tradition of leadership.
Now is a very exciting time for our department. We are positioned with a strong team of faculty, staff and students. Our faculty is composed of highly-accomplished research and practice professors who are nationally and internationally recognized. For example, Associate Dean Sudipta Basu was recently named the American Accounting Association’s inaugural Yuji Ijiri Lecturer on Foundations of Accounting, a prestigious lectureship sponsored by five global accounting associations.
This fall, we hired Hyun Jong Park, an outstanding young scholar in auditing research. Together with Jagan Krishnan and Jayanthi Krishnan, a strong and accomplished group of auditing researchers. We also added considerable breadth to our faculty with Jose Munoz, who brings years of experience in the C-suite and teaching. Read on to learn about their research interests, approach to teaching and more.
We are a very productive group of scholars. Over the past year, faculty published in top journals on topics such as internal control weaknesses and remediation, director liability reduction laws, executive compensation and taxation, health IT investments, international M&A and the market for control, and investor relations officers and disclosure.
In the classroom, we continue to focus on developing critical thinking, decision making and problem-solving skills which offers us the agility to fold in new technologies and trends as they emerge. We know that today’s accounting students need to be able to use data analytics in problem-solving and decision making and to use the appropriate data tools. For example, Cory Ng has designed an undergraduate course in data analytics in accounting covering topics and tools such as robotic process automation, SQL, Alteryx and Tableau. In other accounting major courses, we have integrated cases and projects using tools including Tableau, Excel and ACL. Similar courses have been added to our Master of Accountancy program.
I have very high expectations that our faculty will continue to deliver outstanding teaching and professional development for our students, and will impact the profession through timely and relevant research.
As always, you will get full disclosure in Footnotes from Fox. Go Owls!
This summer, the Accounting faculty at the Fox School of Business continued their tradition of offering thought leadership at the annual American Accounting Association (AAA) meeting.
Designing an Effective Data Visualization Course: A Workshop using Tableau
Cory Ng and Sheri Risler provided introductory training on Tableau, a data visualization software, and demonstrated how accounting instructors can design an effective data visualization course.
Running a Successful Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program on a College Campus
Professor Steven Balsam offered advice to participants on how to start and run a successful Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program on a college campus.
Adapting to a Rapidly Changing Profession
J. Kreimer moderated a NASBA Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge panel discussion with Warner Johnston, from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Raef A. Lawson at the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). Panelists provided insights on how educational institutions can adapt their courses and requirements to meet the needs of the changing accountancy environment.
What You Need to Know for Teaching Financial Accounting
The newly appointed accounting department chair Elizabeth Gordon moderated and sat on the panel for a NASBA Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge discussion about the recent FASB Accounting Standards Updates and their implications for teaching Intermediate Accounting. Gordon and Angeline Brown from Becker Professional Education reviewed the basics of recent changes from current GAAP and shared their insights on the revised standards.
How Robust are the Foundations of the Conceptual Frameworks?
Dean Sudipta Basu was named the American Accounting Association’s inaugural Yuji Ijiri Lecturer on Foundations of Accounting. The prestigious lectureship, sponsored by five global accounting associations, recognizes thought leadership from around the world. Basu presented his Ijiri Lecture, “How Robust are the Foundations of the Conceptual Frameworks?” at the annual American Accounting Association meeting in August.
The Fox School of Business prides itself on creating a community that helps students thrive long after graduation. The reformation of the Young Accounting Alumni Group (YAAG) shows that even after students graduate, they do not have to face the real world alone.
Co-presidents of YAAG, Melissa Cameron, MAcc ’18, and Eric Hamilton, BBA ’16, explore their personal motivation for reforming the group, why its existence is important for future alumni and what is in store for the future of YAAG.
Melissa first entered the world of accounting through arts administration and arts management positions. Since receiving her master of accountancy degree from the Fox School, she has worked at Deloitte in the audit and assurance practice. Eric started as an associate in the risk consulting practice at RSM and was promoted to senior associate after two years.
The driving force behind relaunching YAAG was the accounting faculty at the Fox School, Melissa and Eric explain. “They wanted to reconnect with the recent alumni to keep the bond strong when students graduate, and they wanted a group of motivated alumni to get it off the ground,” says Eric.
Relaunching the group shows that, while students may go down a multitude of career paths, there will always be a support system by their side.
“I’ve learned so much through other people’s experiences,” Melissa says. “I have had many key people willing to take time out of their busy schedules to go out for a coffee or lunch with me, or email, or call, just so that I could ask them my (dozens of) questions, pick their brain about their experiences and knowledge and background in accounting.”
She views YAAG as a platform to give back to her fellow Fox graduates and current students and is motivated to “pay-it-forward.” “I want to be available to be that person for the next round of students looking to establish themselves in an accounting or business field.”
The Young Accounting Alumni Group kicked off its relaunch with the YAAG Launch Happy Hour on August 6. The event served as a kick-off for recent alumni to meet Melissa, Eric and other members of the YAAG leadership team and learn about the group’s future plans. With over 50 recent graduates attending, the alumni board was able to reconnect with familiar faces and get the excitement going about the relaunch.
When looking to the future of YAAG, Eric says, “Be on the lookout for future events while we continue to develop our brand. Then we will eventually build the programming that our group wants to see, such as mentoring, continuing education and exclusive events.”
The resurgence of the Young Accounting Alumni Group has only just begun and is ready to help recent graduates every step of the way.
If you are interested in learning more about YAAG, check for emails from the group as well as the Temple Alumni site for future events, and register!
During her visit to the Fox School of Business, Cynthia Cooper put an auditorium holding 300 seats in her shoes as the whistleblower of one of the largest corporate scandals that catapulted her into the public consciousness.
Cooper, an accountant who served as the director of Internal Audit at WorldCom, a telecommunications giant, worked with her team to investigate and unearth $3.8 billion in fraud. At the time in 2002, it was the largest incident of accounting fraud in the U.S. Shortly after the fraud was uncovered, WorldCom filed for bankruptcy and collapsed.
“It was by far the most difficult thing I went through in my lifetime,” she says. “I weathered the storm with help from my family and my faith.”
During her talk “Ethical Leadership in the 21st Century,” she took students through the process of discovering the fraud. She also challenged them to think about the decisions they would have made and how those decisions would have impacted their lives and the lives of others. She detailed the backgrounds of the managers who had become complicit and explored the reasons why people make unethical choices.
Cooper harkened back to classic examples of moral dilemmas, such as the Milgram Experiment and the Parable of Sadhu to illustrate the point that these dilemmas are common, and can take on many different forms, such as cheating on a test or going over the speed limit.
“We have to prepare ourselves for these possibilities and recognize ethical dilemmas before we come to the crossroads,” she advises.
At one point in her presentation, Cooper had the group stand up, close their eyes and point to true north. Looking around the room, students were pointing in all different directions.
“You have to find your own moral compass,” she explains. “Define a mission statement and your core values. Find your courage, find a mentor, and don’t let yourself be intimidated.”
Cooper’s book about her life and the WorldCom fraud, Extraordinary Circumstances: The Journey of a Corporate Whistleblower, was published in 2008. Profits from the book were given to universities and organizations for ethics education.
One such organization is the Student Center for the Public Trust (StudentCPT), created by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). Temple University is one of the nationwide chapters that provides an interactive environment for ethical business behaviors and ideas to flourish. Temple StudentCPT, sponsored by Deloitte, allows students to engage with the business community, develop professional leadership skills and host high-caliber guest speakers.
For decades, business schools have been discussing how to translate the insights of academic research into real-world solutions to industry and societal problems. To address this issue head-on and truly move the needle of impact, the Fox School recently founded the Translational Research Center.
Charles Dhanaraj is the executive director of the center, an H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest Professor of Strategy and executive director of the Executive Doctorate in Business Administration program.
Q: What does translational research mean?
A: Research is about creating knowledge that will transform practice. Imagine it as a bridge between academics and practitioners. Translational research envisions keeping the two-way flow of knowledge: presenting business challenges to research scholars and providing research insights to business leaders.
Business executives understand what the big issues that face them are. Part of the emphasis of translational research is on helping academics understand what the real issues are that executives face and creating engagement between academics and business executives for that purpose.
The second emphasis is on getting research to professionals. Much of our research is published in journals that only academics read. Research findings do not become actionable insights on their own. Often research findings from multiple studies, sometimes multiple disciplines, need to be integrated to make them actionable insights.
Q: Why is translational research important?
A: Since the mid-1960s business schools have moved toward scholarly research that advances theoretical understanding of the business issues.
Business schools are rewarded when their work is published in well-known journals that focus on such issues. Prestigious scholarly research in the last decade has become the core currency on which schools have been rated.
Unfortunately, there have been three unintended effects:
- Research has gone on to explore exotic issues, and more and more of business research has become esoteric. Increasingly businesses and more recently even academics have started feeling that research is losing relevance;
- The misplaced emphasis on the “publish or perish” model has isolated academics from business executives and policymakers who are the major stakeholders in the research we create at such a high expense.
What gives this issue an urgency is that technology and the changing business dynamic is demanding accountability from business schools. We need research that can create growth in business and equip business leaders and policymakers for meeting today’s challenges. Research has to show impact. That’s what the Center is about.
Q: Who does translational research impact?
A: The predominant focus in our scholarly research in recent decades has been academia. We measure the impact of research by how well other academics value it. It is an important stakeholder community for us. But, if that dominates our thinking, we run the risk of becoming self-referential or talking to ourselves and creating an echo chamber.
Students, business executives, business policymakers and the community at large are also key stakeholders.
The value of bringing research to business executives and policymakers is self-evident. The problem we now run into is that increasingly business executives do not look up to business schools as knowledge providers—they see us only as labor market players—producing students who can be employed by them.
Students are largely the group that has paid a price in this system. Often they are drawn to prestigious schools because they are research-driven. The bifurcation of teachers and researchers in business schools helps manage budgets and maintain prestige but it does not serve the students best.
The larger community is the most distant from our scholarship. No business school is an island. We are embedded in communities. If we believe business can be a transformative agent, it should be so in our local communities. For example, we teach hundreds of students in multiple entrepreneurship courses. Imagine the power unleashed if we bring together our research insights on entrepreneurship, our ability to convene the strength of local institutions and transform communities into action laboratories where our students can engage and learn!
To learn more about the Translational Research Center, visit https://www.fox.temple.edu/institutes-and-centers/translational-research-center/.
While studying finance at the Fox School of Business, Tamika Boateng, BBA ’06, learned all about asset management and risk—she also learned the value of giving back to the community.
Boateng, now a management consultant for financial services at New York Price Warehouse Coopers (PwC), credits her commitment to volunteering for her professional success.
“While at Temple University, I discovered several new things that are meaningful in my life today, such as giving back,” Boateng says. “When I was 19, I applied with Big Brothers Big Sisters and was matched with an 8-year-old girl from North Philly. Every other week, I’d go to her house or bring her to campus. I tried to give her the college student experience and got to know her life. The experience made me realize the small things you do make a big impact on people’s lives.”
Boateng also joined the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA), where she eventually served as the student professional organization’s vice president. In addition to helping jumpstart her career—namely through networking and securing internships with Johnson & Johnson and Vanguard—she was able to help other students achieve similar goals.
“We connected students with employers,” recalls Boateng. “We invited different companies and leaders to speak at our weekly meetings and we connected students from different schools in the Philadelph
ia area. We also had an annual conference with a career fair and professional development that helped students learn critical skills, such as networking, public speaking, and interviewing. It helped our NABA members prepare for internships and careers. Being part of NABA made me more career-focused and successful, and I know it had the same impact on others, too.”
Boateng’s commitment to volunteering continued beyond her time at the Fox School. After graduation, she was hired by Vanguard—which happened as a result of the internship she landed through NABA—and she eventually became the global head of bank strategy and relations. While there, she co-led a program in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America where 60 of her coworkers became mentors to students at a school in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. The program cultivated relationships between students and professionals with the goal to increase the school’s graduation rate.
Her current volunteer activities include being a member of the board at the Settlement Music School Germantown Branch—one of the largest community arts schools in the country, alumni include Albert Einstein, Kevin Bacon, and Chubby Checker. Boateng connected with the school through Leadership Philadelphia, which matches the skills of professionals in the Philadelphia area to board opportunities with organizations in need. Boateng is passionate about music education (her twin sons both play piano), so it was a perfect match.
“My experiences in philanthropy made me the leader I am today,” says Boateng. “You gain so many skills through volunteering. While volunteering back at Temple, I did not fully grasp at the time all of the benefits. But I gained valuable communications skills and learned how to work with diverse groups of people from all different backgrounds; both these things would help me so much in the future. It’s so important to give back. I wouldn’t be where I am today without those experiences.”
U.S. News ranks Fox School of Business among nation’s top-50 undergrad business programs
Discussed in this issue:
- Amazon’s Ozii Obiyo, MBA ’12, takes Silicon Valley’s tech startups to the Cloud
- Fox unveils owl statue as part of centennial celebration
For Fox alums Tim Mounsey and Jesse DiLaura — the line between home and work is blurred
Discussed in this issue:
• Smart technology – and not body cameras – more likely to reduce use of lethal force by police, according to Fox researchers
• Entrepreneur Lauren Troop, BBA ’16, co-creates organic, fair trade cafe on campus
• Memorial service September 9 for Dr. Mitrabarun “MB” Sarkar
Fox School’s Masaaki Kotabe elected to three-year term as Academy of International Business President
Discussed in this issue:
• Research productivity by Accounting Department earns top rankings
• Fox Executive DBA candidate from La-Z-Boy presents at two leading industry conferences
• Fox researcher uncovers connection between workplace gender inequality and bosses’ political leanings