TAMPA, Fla., April 30, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) released its new accounting accreditation standards designed to help business schools shape their accounting programs to better meet the needs of an ever-changing business environment and accounting profession. The new standards were approved by the AACSB Accounting Accreditation Council on April 23, 2018, at the organization's International Conference and Annual Meeting.
"This move signals a major shift in the current culture and mindset of accreditation to what we envision for the future," said Stephanie Bryant, AACSB's executive vice president and chief accreditation officer. "It brings academia and practice much closer together. Practitioners will be active participants, shaping the curriculum in accounting programs to reflect the practical skills and know-how that industry is looking for in new graduates."
After 18 months of careful consideration and review, an Accounting Accreditation Task Force comprising 19 highly-respected accounting educators and practitioners, including leaders from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), and members of public accounting firms, made a series of improvements to AACSB's existing accounting accreditation standards.
"In the past, accounting standards were compliance-oriented with an all-academic peer review process," said Mark Higgins, the Edward Jones Dean and Professor of Accounting at Saint Louis University'sRichard A. Chaifetz School of Business. "With the new standards, we still have a compliance benchmark, but the focus is on schools receiving peer consultative guidance with both academics and accounting practitioners comprising the peer review teams."
To realize accounting accreditation, an institution must first earn or maintain AACSB Business Accreditation. Then, in addition to developing and implementing a mission-driven plan to satisfy the business accreditation quality standards, accounting accreditation requires the satisfaction of an additional set of accreditation standards that are specific to the discipline and profession of accounting. Currently, 810 institutions across 53 countries and territories maintain AACSB Accreditation, with 186 of those institutions, primarily in the United States, maintaining supplemental AACSB Accreditation for their accounting programs.
Since accounting accreditation is supplemental to and built upon the business standards, the new standards greatly streamline the process by eliminating redundancies found within the business standards. This has reduced the number of required accounting standards from nine to six.
Another notable change focuses on adding value to accounting schools. "The new standards recognize that insights from practitioners add value to the accounting accreditation process. The resulting principles-based, outcomes-driven approach will better prepare students to enter our rapidly changing profession," said Yvonne Hinson, academic in residence at the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants.
Implementation of the new standards will occur on a rolling cycle. In spring of 2019, a small group of volunteer schools will be the first to be reviewed under the new accounting standards, with all other schools remaining under the 2013 standards. In the 2019–20 academic year, schools will have a choice between adhering to the old or the new standards, and in the 2020–21 academic year, all schools will adopt the new standards.
About AACSB International As the world's largest business education alliance, AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) connects educators, students, and business to achieve a common goal: to create the next generation of great leaders. Synonymous with the highest standards of excellence since 1916, AACSB provides quality assurance, business education intelligence, and professional development services to over 1,600 member organizations and more than 800 accredited business schools worldwide. With its global headquarters in Tampa, Florida, USA; Europe, Middle East, and Africa headquarters in Amsterdam, the Netherlands; and Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore, AACSB's mission is to foster engagement, accelerate innovation, and amplify impact in business education. For more information, visit aacsb.edu.