I read, with some interest, the recent special issue (September 2017) on accounting education, which discussed pedagogical changes needed to create synergy between academics and professionals and enhance student learning and professional success. We agree with this sentiment and have developed a new part-time, weekend-only Master of Accounting degree program at Cambridge Judge Business School, the University of Cambridge that prominently embeds these changes. Our program, which is now taking applications for the first student cohort in Autumn 2018, is designed to develop global leaders in financial information.
Our target student already has experience in accounting, finance, computer science, or a related field and is looking to innovate or “disrupt-to-improve” existing accounting processes, embracing complexity, ambiguity, and risk. Our case-based curriculum focuses on data science, predictive analytics, strategic performance management, and advanced topics in financial and tax accounting, such as financial reporting for early-stage enterprises. Our teaching cases use real data and are developed in conjunction with world-leading professional advisors affiliated with entities such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, the International Accounting Standards Board, Connor Group, British Petroleum, Envonet, pre-IPO companies, accounting firms, investment banks, and private equity groups. Our curriculum also asks students to forecast and develop implementation plans for accounting profession changes that relate to issues such as blockchain technology and risks associated with global climate change.
We believe our students deserve a learning environment that goes well beyond exam-oriented content; therefore, they will also tackle complex problems that face real business entities, with peers from all regions of the world and advisors who are leading all these initiatives around the globe. There is considerable faculty cost to develop this new curriculum; however, we feel strongly, as do some of the CPA Journal‘s authors, that the profession needs better-trained global thought leaders, and we have the responsibility, ability, and the resources to support this learning.