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State Board Report

July 2013

NASBA’s accounting research grant program is now in its third year and attendees at the Regional Meetings learned about some of the results of three studies that the program has helped to support. Dr. John Hasseldine, of the University of New Hampshire, called on tax practitioners at the Regional Meetings to help with his team’s research to investigate how decisions are made when a tax case includes facts and regulations that are ambiguous. Dr. Hasseldine has been working with Dr. Darius Fatemi of Northern Kentucky University and Dr. Peggy Hite of Indiana University on a study looking at the Code of Professional Conduct and what may perhaps be countervailing standards. To date their research has found students find conflict between two professional standards and the students have proved to be relatively conservative in reporting situations. The research team is now looking to dovetail responses received from research participants who are practitioners with those received from students. Dr. Hasseldine’s team believes ethical guidelines will become increasingly important as the profession adopts more principles based standards.

Dr. Mark Myring told the Regional Meetings about the work he is doing with his Ball State University colleagues, Dr. Jennifer P. Bott and Dr. Richard Edwards. Their aim is to improve on-line education. The team is using learning analytics to create a personalized learning environment for students. This is being accomplished by having students take a pre-test based on knowledge that they should have already mastered, then assessing the pre-test results, identifying what additional activities are required to mitigate the weaknesses that the pre-test identifies, and then assigning new course material to fit the needs of the class. Ball State has developed two modules, one on depreciation and the other on long term debt, that were both used in classes given during the spring 2013 semester and received positive student feedback. Dr. Myring said that further analysis will be conducted to determine the effect of the modules on student performance.

The third research project was described to the NASBA audience via a video prepared by Dr. Belverd E. Needles of DePaul University. He is working with Dr. Gert H. Karreman, also at DePaul, on a global accountancy education recognition study. Their report makes available a benchmarking methodology for the recognition of accountant and auditor qualifications between countries. Among the findings of the study’s analysis of 21 qualifications of accountants and auditors in 16 countries was: “Government agencies do not play a role as providers of accountancy education. However, governments and government agencies play an important and increasing role when responsibility for qualification requirements is considered. In most countries there is a shared responsibility between the government or government agencies, and the profession. This can be official and based on regulation, but also a result of practical cooperation.” Of the 21 qualifications studied by Drs. Needles and Karreman, none had qualifications for which the universities had sole responsibility.

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