Enhancing education for future auditors and accountants
Deloitte Foundation and American Accounting Association team with academia
New York, April 19, 2016 — A new kind of audit may require a new kind of auditor—one with deep knowledge in traditional areas including auditing standards, financial accounting, and reporting, as well as strong technology skills and experience in data analytics, visualization, and more. In other words, it requires an auditor who understands the transformative nature of innovation and how it is changing the audit profession.
Audit innovation was center stage at the recent “Robert M. Trueblood Seminars for Professors.” More than 75 leading accounting and auditing professionals and educators convened to discuss complex accounting and auditing issues, as well as case study materials designed to help enhance the in-classroom experience for undergraduate and graduate students of accounting.
For more than 50 years, the Trueblood Seminars have served the profession by teaching new developments in auditing and accounting to select accounting educators and thought leaders from around the country. The Deloitte Foundation and the American Accounting Association hosted the seminars at Deloitte University in Westlake, Texas.
More than a dozen case-based discussions explored various technical accounting and auditing issues facing the profession today. This year’s seminars included a track on innovation, reflecting the need for the profession and academia to collaborate in developing an auditor’s technical capabilities and critical thinking as disruptive technologies transform business.
As businesses continuously evolve and innovate, so, too, should audit, making these seminars all the more crucial. While financial reporting requirements have continued to evolve since the Trueblood Seminars began, technology has fundamentally changed the way businesses operate. Educators should not only consider exploring leading practices that will help prepare students for the evolving industry, but also continuing to innovate.
- Kathleen Shoztic, executive director of the Deloitte Foundation
Trueblood co-chairs Sarah Stein of Virginia Tech and Dan Wangerin of Michigan State focused this year’s agenda on an exploration of the mass data aggregation, modeling, and analytics approaches that many businesses now use in connection with financial reporting. In addition, the program featured senior Deloitte leaders on an array of specialized topics and a Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) presentation on the history of the income statement. Participants leveraged their diverse insights in discussing audit as a means to inform business objectives.
The Trueblood case studies prepared by Deloitte professionals are based on recent technical issues that often require significant research and judgment. The case topics highlight the “gray” areas of accounting and help prepare students for the types of questions likely to arise in professional practice.
“The Trueblood seminar is an incredible opportunity to learn from and network with experienced Deloitte professionals. These professionals share their experiences and institutional knowledge about the cases and other topics, which professors can take back to the classroom to better prepare students for their future careers,” said Stein.
“In particular, the case studies are a tremendous resource for accounting faculty to encourage critical thinking skills and professional judgment in the classroom. The cases tackle issues that have more than one potential alternative, which requires students to provide thoughtful, well-reasoned responses based on their research of the standards. These skills provide great value to the accounting profession,” added Stein.
This year’s seminars were delivered Feb. 17-20 and March 16-19. Committee members Kristian Allee (University of Wisconsin), Bruce Behn (University of Tennessee), Lauren Cunningham (University of Tennessee), Michael Iselin (University of Minnesota), Nicole Wright (Northeastern University), and Shoztic leveraged their wide-ranging experience to strategize about developing a new kind of auditor and providing students with the critical thinking they will likely need to adapt to the evolving profession.
“Future auditors and accountants will likely need new skills to apply more critical thinking, use advanced technologies, and apply statistical methods and advanced analytics. The Trueblood Seminars help professors enrich the accounting curriculum so that it reflects the skills likely needed for the auditor of the future,” Shoztic added.
The Deloitte Foundation’s Trueblood Case Study Series, which includes approximately 50 accounting and auditing cases, is available online for faculty use. For more information on the cases, please visit http://www.deloitte.com/us/truebloodcases.
About the Trueblood Seminars
The Robert M. Trueblood seminars have been held annually since 1966 under the auspices of the Deloitte Foundation. In 1975, the AAA joined the Deloitte Foundation in administering the seminars. Through the years, more than 2,200 professors have attended the program.
About the Deloitte Foundation
The Deloitte Foundation, founded in 1928, is a not-for-profit organization which supports education in the US through a variety of initiatives that help develop the talent of the future and their influencers and promote excellence in teaching, research and curriculum innovation. The Foundation sponsors an array of national programs relevant to a variety of professional services, benefitting middle/high school students, undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. For more information, please visit the Deloitte Foundation web page at www.deloitte.com/us/df.
About the American Accounting Association
The American Accounting Association is the largest community of accountants in academia. Founded in 1916, it has a rich and reputable history built on leading-edge research and publications. The diversity of the membership creates a fertile environment for collaboration and innovation. Collectively, AAA members shape the future of accounting through leading-edge research, education, publications and a powerful network, ensuring their position as thought leaders in accounting. Learn more about the AAA at http://aaahq.org.