Globalization and Its Impact on Accounting Education

Globalization, defined by dictionary.com as ‘worldwide integration and development,’ is a movement that has affected many industries worldwide. One of the main industries affected by globalization is the accounting industry, including college accounting education. College accounting education has been affected by the 150 credit hour requirement to sit for the CPA, and the issue of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) vs. International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The accounting industry has been affected by the changes in accounting education and the consequent learning gaps between students from different countries.

The United States has recently implemented a 150 credit hour requirement in order for students to be able to sit for the CPA exam. This requirement was put in place to improve the preparation of students for the profession and increase their chances of success on the CPA exam. Before this rule, students were only required to have 120 credits before they could take the exam. The additional 30 credits is beneficial to students because it allows them to become more well-rounded students by taking more accounting courses, learning more about the accounting profession, and pursuing an MBA.

While the 150 credit hour rule is beneficial to the students that it applies to, the rule does not apply to all accounting students worldwide, therefore creating a learning gap in accounting education. In some countries outside of the United States, an accounting degree is the only prerequisite required to sit for the CPA exam. This learning gap is magnified as a result of accounting firms following the trend of globalization and expanding their practice into multiple countries. The result will be accounting students from different countries having the same qualifications, but varying technical skills and knowledge.

Another way that accounting education has been affected by globalization is the conflict between GAAP and IFRS. GAAP is the set of accounting principles used in United States, and American companies are required to follow GAAP standards when reporting and analyzing financial information. Students in the United States will have to learn the GAAP principles, but these principles will not be enforced internationally.

The result of this would be American students learning two sets of accounting principles: GAAP and IFRS. IFRS is used internationally by over one hundred countries to report their financial statements. The use of IFRS is supported by the International Accounting Education Standards Board, which was established to “serve the public interest by the world-wide advancement of education and development for professional accountants leading to harmonized standards (Needles, S70).”

The goal of IFRS is to create a uniform set of standards for all countries so they can compare financial statements internationally. The immediate way to make this happen would be to withdrawal GAAP from use in the United States and switch to IFRS. Though this method would solve the issue of the conflicting sets of standards, it would cause a multitude of other problems within college accounting education. Professors would need to learn the new IFRS rules, and then re-work their class structures and learning objectives accordingly. Also, new textbooks would have to be produced with information on the updated IFRS rules, and less emphasis on the GAAP principles. While an immediate change to IFRS from GAAP in the United States would be problematic, a change over time is the goal that should be pursued. “The Securities Exchange Commission has announced that it will attempt to abandon the use of GAAP and move towards IFRS (Scanlan).” The production of new textbooks would have to begin almost immediately so the textbooks could be circulated to schools around the United States within the next few years. New courses addressing the change from the use of GAAP to the use of IFRS would then have to be implemented into school curriculums within the same time period of the textbooks being circulated.

The switch from the use of GAAP to IFRS should also be a goal that is being worked towards in the professional accounting industry. Several benefits would come from achieving this goal, such as providing a common framework that supports the globalization of capital markets, allowing financial performance to be better understood globally, and strengthening accounting practice internationally. “It is encouraging that the majority of the Fortune Global 500 companies are likely to use IFRS (or word-for-word IFRS equivalents) by 2015 (Needles 603).”

Overall, globalization’s impact on accounting education and the accounting industry has been substantial, and cannot be ignored. The 150 credit hour rule, which is not currently enforced in all countries, has created a knowledge gap between professionals who have been educated in different countries. The trend of accounting firms expanding their business internationally has forced the United States to acknowledge the idea of adopting a set of accounting principles that is recognized internationally. As a result, the accounting education practice in the United States will have to adjust to match the trends of the accounting industry. In the end, the changes caused by globalization will help the accounting industry in the United States become more internationally friendly, as well as help accounting students become more prepared to take on the challenges they will face when they get into the industry.

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Important Considerations in Selecting Primary Schools For Your Children

Primary education is when challenges begin both for the student and the parents. For countries, this is where compulsory education starts. This would mean that parents are mandated by law to send their children to primary education and children are mandated by their parents to attend school. This stage, however, can be very crucial because it is where students first shape their study habits, enthusiasm for learning, ideals, and goals in life. Hence, parents try to find the most conducive primary schools for their children’s early educational development so as to make sure their children are guided by their schools accordingly.

The following are several issues that parents may consider when selecting the best educational institution for their children:

1.Inadequate school facilities. Although learning does not really rely on how fully equipped an educational institution is, it is very important for quality learning that the school has sufficient facilities in order for the student to be able to learn comfortably or without impediments. Enough classrooms with comfortable breathing space and desks, a library with sufficient books and space for reading, fully supplied laboratories, clean comfort rooms, cafeteria that serves healthy meals and snacks, well-maintained gym and areas for physical activities, and so on are among the most important school facilities.

2.Quality instruction. It would really be hard to assess what kind of instruction a school offers but this may be inferred from the related achievements of the faculty as well as how well the school’s graduates have performed in higher education. Almost always, an educational institution would post achievements of their staff on their websites or brochures. A little research would help a great deal in making the right decision. It would also help if parents get to talk to some of the graduates of a certain school just to get an idea of the quality of education a school provides to its students.

3.Extracurricular activities. Learning is not confined in books and in the classroom. Students should be provided with avenues to develop their talents and skills such as in the area of arts, drama, music, debate, sports, and so on. As most experts would say, people have multiple intelligences and it would do well for an educational institution to help its students develop all these areas as much as they can. People are found to be more productive when they are provided with a lot of room to be more creative and to explore their multiple intelligences.

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Mobile Learning – Gets Learners Performance Support Via Their Mobile Devices

Technology has evolved rapidly over the past few years and so has the way we work. The workplace has transitioned from traditional desk spaces to a large and fluid area where people are connected to each other all the time. Employees have moved on from desktop computers to laptops, and now tablets and smart-phones.

Taking into consideration the ever-expanding numbers and geographical spread of employees, technology-aided learning has been adopted in large numbers – across varied industries. Mobile learning has also made a powerful contribution in the area of training – making it available as per the needs of the learner, anytime and anywhere. Can mobile learning management systems provide more than just learning nuggets or can they be utilized to provide performance support well?

Here are some ways that the mobile learning platform can be utilized to enhance the learners’ performance:

    • To enhance and support the learning imparted in class or through an e-course, course notes can be shared after an instructor-led session or once the learner completes an e-course. This re-enforces the learning and increases its impact drastically. The learners can refer to these notes from time to time, and refresh their learning which then reflects on their performance as well. Similarly, checklists can also be prepared for courses or sessions which highlight the crux of the learning through tabulated pointers. Through the mobile device, the learners can refer to these anytime and anywhere – especially during the course of actual work.
    • Another performance support tool can be sent as practice assignments so that learners can practise newly acquired skills outside of the class as well. The assignments can also be sent after the learner completes the e-course. The added advantage is that the learner can read up an e-course on the mobile learning management system and then the same system provides practice assignments to develop the skills gained.
    • Short audio recordings or podcasts can also be developed that provide performance support at the time of need. In-house podcasts can be developed by instructors or the learners themselves to encourage sharing and peer-learning.
    • Similarly, videos can also be created to gain the instant appeal of all learner groups. Videos are a great way of providing performance enhancement tools through mobile learning as it delivers just-in-time learning – which can be accessed as per the emerging needs of the learner. Videos can encapsulate concepts or topics in way that appeals to learners as it has minimal text and attractive graphics. It helps learners gain quick knowledge quickly and apply it instantly on to the area of work. Organizations can encourage knowledge sharing by providing learners with simple devices with built in cameras to record videos themselves and share it with fellow learners.
  • It is important to keep in mind that in the mobile platform, reading space is constricted. Also the opportunity to read is when the learner is on the move. In this scenario, infographics can be utilized to convey information. Infographics can be easily created and easily disseminated among the learners providing encapsulated and tabulated knowledge in an attractive way. Infographics use graphics and minimal text to create visual representations of concepts, which works very well for the mobile platform. Also, infographics are image files that are compatible with all learner devices and learners do not have to download any other supporting programmes. They also take up very little hard-disk space and thus can thus be saved or stored in the device for further utilization as per the perceived need of the learners.

To help and support learners, to learn as well as apply the learning on to their work, it is necessary to provide performance support tools too. There are many ways of utilizing the mobile platform, and providing performance support is certainly one of them.

Gireesh is an e-learning enthusiast and an avid follower of leading industry blogs related to topics related to online training software like Rapid Authoring, game based learning, learning management system elearning outsourcing, online learning courses, Mobile Learning, etc. and like to discuss leading trends of new-age corporate learning.

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