Grant Helps SJU Accounting Department Stay One Step Ahead
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
The accounting department at Saint Joseph’s University is developing a program which will give students a leading edge on a major change occurring soon within the accounting industry. The shift, from GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), requires a new set of skills. With the aid of a grant from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), the accounting department, along with student STAR scholars, has been working on developing new curriculum which should be ready for implementation in the 2010 fall semester.
The $50,000 grant was awarded in 2008 as part of the IFRS Ready Grant Program, an initiative that assists the accounting industry in preparing for the switch, which may occur as soon as 2014. The change to IFRS will affect nearly every aspect of accounting from reporting to valuation. PWC, whose employees include many SJU alumni, hopes that the programs developed from their grants will help prepare students to enter the job market fully trained in the new guidelines.
The award allotted a two-year time period to develop programs before implementation. SJU professors and students are in their second year of developing tools such as simulated transactions and practice sets. Next fall these materials will be ready for use in the Financial Accounting Information Systems I,II and III courses. They will also be shared with other schools through PWC.
Joseph Ragan, chair and professor of accounting, recognizes the importance of keeping the curriculum at SJU up-to-date with changes in the industry. "The transition from teaching U.S. GAAP to teaching IFRS is one that must be made so that our students are not only able to appreciate the transition, but also to develop skill sets enabling them to compete in even entry-level positions,” Ragan said. “The quicker this transition is made educationally, the more significantly competitive our students will be in terms of professional accounting positions."
SJU is one of 24 schools around the country receiving grants from PWC.