The US Pathways Commission on Accounting
Higher Education has outlined its vision for the future structure
of higher education for the accounting profession in a report.

The Pathways Commission, launched by the
American Accounting Association (AAA) and the American Institute of
Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), has been gathering feedback
from different stakeholders during the last two years.

The report, Charting a National Strategy
for the Next Generation of Accountants,
explores avenues to
enhance the accounting education experience in the broadest

The Pathways Commission said it worked on the
assumption that the preparation of accountants should rest on a
comprehensive vision of its role in the wider society. As
accounting and business evolve, the commission said, the required
knowledge and skills will also change.

“For instance, the amount and complexity of
information accountants are charged with interpreting, processing,
reviewing, and reporting is continuously increasing,” the
commission remarked.

On top of that, many accountants work in
different roles across several fields, from private to
non-for-profit sectors. That involves challenges to both curriculum
development and effective learning environments.

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The Pathways Commission made seven

  •    Build a learned profession for
    the future by purposeful integration of accounting research,
    education, and practice for students, accounting practitioners, and
  •    Develop mechanisms to meet
    future demand for faculty by unlocking doctoral education via
    flexible pedagogies in existing programs and by exploring
    alternative pathways to terminal degrees that align with
    institutional missions and accounting education and research
  •    Reform accounting education so
    teaching is respected and rewarded as a critical component in
    achieving each institution’s mission;
  •    Develop curriculum models,
    engaging learning resources, and mechanisms for easily sharing them
    as well as enhancing faculty development opportunities in support
    of sustaining a robust curriculum;
  •    Improve the ability to attract
    high-potential, diverse entrants into the profession;
  •    Create mechanisms for
    collecting, analysing, and disseminating information about the
    current and future markets for accounting professionals and
    accounting faculty; and,
  •    Convert thought to action by
    establishing an implementation process to address these and future
    recommendations by creating structures and mechanisms to transition
    accounting change efforts from episodic events to a more
    continuous, sustainable process.

The commission said to ensure successful
implementation of its recommendations continued joint efforts will
be necessary.

The Pathways Commission concluded it is the
integration of knowledge, skills, and ethical action that form
competency and fulfil the accounting profession’s responsibility to