I just finished reading the September 2017 issue. It was a very good overview of what’s wrong (and right) with accounting education. The takeaways for me were: 1) management accounting is indeed treated like a stepchild in the overall accounting curriculum, and 2) the article “A Positive Look at Accounting Education” is written in a self-serving and tautological manner that does not really make a counterpoint to the previous article.

As just one example, the author makes the point that AACSB programs yield better pass rates than the overall rate. No doubt that is true, but it does not take into account that students entering such programs most likely are more qualified than those entering nonac-credited programs. Thus, the author’s assertion does little if anything to prove any point he has — and it is probably misleading.

Also, the author claims that the CPA Journal publishes articles that can be characterized as “applied research.” For the most part, that is simply not true! For example, an article about how to record a lease under the new rules is definitely not applied research.

Finally, the author has a dismissive attitude toward academic research. Contrary to his assertion, there are in fact many practitioners who are interested in an article about the cost of capital and Tobin’s “q” ratio, because that is the kind of information that is useful in performing consulting services. The author cites the article as representative of academic research that is of little use to practitioners, but that is where his tautological (and flawed) reasoning appears.

Regardless, I very much enjoyed the September issue. I strongly disagree, however, that the accounting curriculum should become an “apprentice program,” as subtly suggested in Kenton B. Walker’s article (“What’s Going On in Business Schools?”). That’s what staff training is all about. Accountancy is an intellectual discipline. It should not be treated in college as a “trade.”

Allan B. Afterman, PhD, CPA. Northfield, Ill.