to the Editor
Cannot Be Taught
My answer to
the question posed by the article “Accounting Ethics Courses:
Do They Work?” by David F. Bean and Richard A. Bernardi (January
2007) is: No! As the Good Book says, “The heart [of man] is
deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” Therefore,
no amount of ethics training will preclude illegal and unethical
state that no ethics courses can guarantee ethical behavior. So
would those not taking courses on ethics be more susceptible to
illegal acts or unethical behavior? I think not. If laws and professional
consequences are not deterrents to illegal and unethical actions,
how can a few CPE hours each year be? Note the latest accounting
scandal, on the backdating of stock options, after all we have
been through the last few years.
morals cannot be taught or legislated; they are innate, or at
least cultivated through the socialization each person experiences
during the formative years.
A. Howard, CIA, CPA
Palm Beach, Fla.
Distinctions: A Good Thing
Mary-Jo Kranacher’s February editorial, “The Great
Divide: Academia and Practice,” gave me some food for thought.
Although many professionals teach in academia and maintain accounting
practices, I believe that I might be one of the few whose academic
research interests directly support my business development activities
(and vice versa).
I am currently
experiencing the impact of the 150-hour requirement at Suffolk
University in Boston, and I previously experienced it a few years
ago when I taught and earned my PhD at the University of Connecticut.
In my opinion, one significant issue is the total blurring of
any distinctions between university courses, CPE sessions, and
on-the-job training activities during the period when young professionals
are completing their 150 hours, studying for the CPA exam, and
learning their professional responsibilities.
that this “blurring” is a good thing, because it helps
break down the barriers between academia and practice that the
editorial addressed. Suffolk, the University of Connecticut, and
other universities in states that have already experienced the
150-hour requirement have developed innovative approaches to merging
these two worlds. I’d be delighted to discuss their experiences.
Kraten, PhD, CPA
Founder and President, Enterprise Management Corp.,
Assistant Professor, Suffolk University, Boston, Mass.
editorial “The Great Divide: Academia and Practice”
nailed it. CPA practitioners possessing cutting-edge accounting
knowledge and superb communication skills are now “unqualified”
for full-time positions in accounting academia or are being relegated
to a second-class “clinical professor” role. Unfortunately,
this is the direction in which we are headed; in fact, the train
has left the station.
the underlying purpose of a PhD program in accounting? Is it to
help shape dynamic accounting educators? I think we know the “real”
answer to that question: In recent years, the purpose of a PhD
program in accounting has been to create full-time accounting
researchers. Success in the classroom is not a requirement. The
ability to teach effectively is an added bonus, but in today’s
environment it is not necessary to be successful. The model is
I would be happy to assist in any way I can with this endeavor.
The project will certainly require some heavy lifting.
M. Fornaro, CPA, CMA