State Board Report

July 2009

The eight students who addressed NASBA’s 2009 Regional Meetings were all looking forward to entering public practice, not afraid of putting in long hours and drawn to firms that said they were concerned about their staff’s work/life balance. Panel moderators Education Committee Chair Melanie Thompson (TX), Education Committee Member Penelope Yunker (IL) and NASBA Vice Chair Billy Atkinson (TX) questioned the upper level students, who had been nominated by their schools and then selected by Beta Alpha Psi to speak to the Boards’ representatives. The panelists at the Western Meeting were: Sara Bennett – University of Oregon, Nicole Blaschko – University of Nebraska at Kearney, Devin Claus – University of North Dakota, and Wesley Martin – San Diego State University. At the Eastern Meeting they were: Christine Cisneros – Bradley University, Katherine Crawford – Drexel University, Robert Dornan – Niagara University, and Matthew Fisk – University of Miami/University of Notre Dame. Four of the panelists are set to begin their careers at PricewaterhouseCoopers, which was a pleasant surprise to Mr. Atkinson, a PWC partner. Most of the students had taken accounting courses in high school, some expect to be taking a course in International Financial Reporting Standards and several said they would consider teaching accounting at a later point in their careers. The students remarked that teachers who had careers in public accounting were especially valuable, as were firm speakers at Beta Alpha Psi meetings. One panelist stated he learned more from those speakers than he did from standard classroom PowerPoints.

When asked about their preference for the 120? or 150? hour requirement to take the Uniform CPA Examination: one liked the 120 because he could prepare for the test before he had clients, another liked the 150 because it forced her to take more pertinent courses, and two said they would find it beneficial if there were courses specified to qualify.

While the students said they were familiar with the accounting societies, they were unsure about what the State Boards do. NASBA Communications Committee Chair Sally Flowers asked what would be the best ways for boards to communicate with students. E?mailing students through their university’s site was suggested, as well as speaking at the school’s accounting club, reaching out through local chapters of Beta Alpha Psi, and setting up a table at the university’s student center for a few days.

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