What’s in a name? A lot when we fight for recognition, funding and legitimacy in academia. As a result, elevating Cal State Fullerton’s accounting department to an accounting school is a big deal. With the move, the new CSUF school becomes just the fourth in the state and the second at a public university in California. Fullerton joins the University of Santa Clara and the State of San Diego with accounting schools. Only 188 of the 900 accredited university business schools have dual recognition in accounting from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Once considered either the stilted old maid or the scandalous business rascal, accounting is undergoing a metamorphosis. Through the use of data analytics, artificial intelligence and emerging technologies, accounting is at the forefront of business strategy.
New tools make accounting more powerful than ever, while opening it up to more scrutiny.
Gone are the days when scribes ticked the boxes on tax returns and checked the books and scoured obscure compliance issues. The profession is also trying to erase the stain of Enron Corp’s accounting scandals. to Lehman Brothers, because it marks out new territories in the business world.
In modern, data-driven business practices, those who work the numbers are far more than the paper pushers of the past
“These days, massive amounts of data are available,” said Vivek Mande, principal of the school. “The accountants were the ones who really took care of the data.”
This allowed accountants to evolve into consulting and consulting firms and to participate in strategy sessions.
“Consulting is an important area,” Mande said, especially in international business.
As business with China continues to grow, Mande says the ability to mine data is a must.
Kelsie Scott is a graduate student who obtained her Bachelor of Business Administration.
As a senior, she picked up an accounting leaflet and found out “Liked it a lot”.
As a graduate student, she dives into areas such as robotic process automation, where students learn about emerging technologies and write their own robots to organize and sort data.
“The programs help you find, extract and aggregate data,” Mande said. “Bots put (the data) into a usable format and tell the story behind the data. What should I tell you? “
Scott says automation is transforming accounting.
She says her studies at Fullerton will provide “real-world applications beyond traditional applications,” adding that she believes this will give her more opportunities.
“That’s what we’re trying to do with the program,” Mande said of the focus on emerging technologies. The school also uses professionals to teach and give lectures.
Mande said that with technology changing rapidly, no business or school can remain static.
“This is a game-changer for both Cal State Fullerton and the region,” CSUF President Fram Virjee told CSUF News of the school. “The future of Orange County has arrived with the Titans leading the way in preparing students to be technologically advanced, culturally agile, and workforce ready. “
The school of accounting’s continued association with the College of Business and Economics only contributes to the reputation of both. Money magazine ranked the College of Business and Economics at CSUF ninth on its list of the best colleges for business majors in 2020.
Even before accreditation, accounting was an important part of the College. With over 1,400 accounting students, the School of Accountancy is one of the largest undergraduate programs in the country.
According to the university, “it is also one of the most diverse and accessible, in part thanks to the scholarships and rewards offered each semester to successful and under-represented students.”
Mande said the university began the process of gaining recognition from the School of Accountancy about two years ago, following the 2019 accreditation and with the green light from Virjee.
“It’s kind of like when a private business goes public,” he said of the process, noting that a full program had to be developed, an advisory board formed and fundraising started.
And now he said, “The time has come.
The next big step, he says, will be to obtain a name sponsorship for the school.
“I see this as a first step,” Mande said of the school’s designation.
The rise of accounting has also received the approval of the Business College and complements its mission.
“Our forward-looking curriculum is shaping the workforce of tomorrow and is an engine to drive business growth in Orange County,” said Sridhar Sundaram, Dean of the College of Business and Economics at CSUF News. “In recent years, technology and analytics have revolutionized the accounting industry. We will continue to evolve our program so that our students are equipped to be leaders in the field. “
As for Scott, the graduate student, his instincts seem perfect.
Scott says she already has an offer from Ernst and Young, one of the “Big 4” accounting firms, in its information systems and analytical services.
Now, says Scott, it’s time to dispel the accounting myths.
People think, “All they do is taxes. This is not the case.