Department of Accountancy 2018-2019 Annual Report
Excellence and innovation intersect at Gies As I complete my second year as head of the department, I am proud to share with you the progress we are making in achieving our vision “to lead the world in accountancy education and thought.” It starts with our steadfast commitment to innovation and excellence—a commitment that has guided our department for more than 100 years. It’s how we have been able to envision and implement bold curricular initiatives, recruit the highest-caliber faculty and students, build collaborative partnerships with the profession, and establish an international reputation as a premier accountancy program. In this annual report, you’ll see how our focus on excellence and innovation—and on their complements, access and opportunity— intersect to build a program that delivers on our promise to lead the world in accountancy education and thought. It’s that dedication to big thinking, strategic decision making, and bold action that will make our department, and our students, #1.
W. Brooke Elliott Head, Department of Accountancy EY Distinguished Professor in Accountancy
I N N O V AT I O N AC CE S S E X C E L L E N CE OPPORTUNIT Y
Accounting faculty BYU Faculty Research Rankings
undergraduate Accounting program in the country US News & World Report and Public Accounting Report
Public Accounting Report
online accredited Masterâ€™s in Accounting program
year the University of IllinoisDeloitte Foundation Center for Business Analytics was established
Masterâ€™s in Accounting program in the country
first-time CPA pass rate for MAS graduates
Accountancy faculty members have been named R.C. Evans Data Analytics Fellows
Accounting programs requested the first course in our data analytics curriculum in its first week of release
student-faculty ratio in Accountancy
Where tomorrow’s accountancy leaders meet Our department has a long history of making the highest-quality accountancy education available to a broad, diverse audience. That commitment to accessibility has earned us a reputation for leadership in preparing generations of accountancy professionals. In 2018, we continued that focus through new initiatives designed to offer more students the opportunity to receive a Gies accountancy education.
College delivers an unmatched academic product, so “Our what can I do to add value? Give students personal attention,
show them we care, and make it a priority to be accessible.
– Tim Reierson, ACCY ’81, Clinical Assistant Professor, Recipient of a 2018 Dean’s Impact Award
iMSA • Launched in 2017, a high-engagement online degree for working professionals from around the world delivered through a live global classroom and self-directed course modules • 253 students from 36 states and 18 countries enrolled in Spring 2019 • Joint iMBA/iMSA currently approved
Master of Accounting Science • A 9-month, STEM-designated program for students who already hold a bachelor of science in accountancy • Expanded in 2018 to include students outside the University of Illinois; a partnership with Millikin University refers their top undergraduate students • The Academy for Accountancy Excellence and Innovation, an online class for MAS students from outside Gies, delivers critical content prior to them arriving on campus
Master of Science in Accountancy • A one-year, STEM-designated accountancy program • Designed for international students with any undergraduate degree and domestic students who do not have a bachelor’s degree in accountancy • Will be expanding access for Illinois students by changing the tuition structure
Run the numbers
Over the last 100+ years, tens
of students have graduated with bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and PhDs in accountancy. We continue to think outside the box so that our
5 degree programs are
even more accessible to talented students.
Teaching and research excellence converge here Assistant Professor Vic Anand (below) is an R.C. Evans Data Analytics Fellow responsible for developing innovative curriculum that provides students with the data science knowledge and skills to become leaders in business analytics. Together with Professors Robert Brunner and Theodore Sougiannis, he is also working on a research project that uses machine learning to predict changes in company profits. Their recent working paper suggests that such data science methods can make successful predictions 55 to 65 percent of the time.
As computer algorithms gain
Assistant professor Christie Hayne
popularity in providing financial
(above) uses qualitative methods
advice, Assistant Professor Kim
in her research. That approach
Mendoza (above) is conducting
has taken her to five prisons to
research to determine how
interview senior executives who
investors respond to robo advisors
have engaged in group fraud.
versus human ones. By creating
She investigates how group
experiments and drawing from
fraud occurs in an organization,
psychology theories, Mendozaâ€™s
how participants are recruited,
work focuses on how accounting
what makes individuals agree or
information influences individual
refuse to participate, and how
investorsâ€™ judgments and decisions.
management control systems are
Her work in the classroom is also
overridden to commit fraud. She is
at the intersection of technology
also seeking participants who have
and accountancy as she teaches
felt pressure to commit fraud but
students the skills they need to
refused. To participate, visit
communicate with data scientists.
tinyurl.com/talesofthevictor or tinyurl.com/preferinterview.
Run the numbers
In 2018, we continued to advance excellence by hiring: 3 tenured faculty members; Associate Professor Nerissa Brown served as the academic fellow in the Office of the Chief Accountant for the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2017-2018. That firsthand knowledge of the regulatory environment, and an interest in data analytics, impacts Brownâ€™s work in the classroom and her research on financial reporting and disclosure practices, which includes examining how firms use social media to make disclosures and how machine learning can be used to examine a firmâ€™s disclosures.
3 tenure-track 5 specialized
faculty with CFO and senior executive experience; 1 program director and
2 assistant directors for our
undergraduate and MAS programs;
1 assistant director for the Center for Business Analytics; and we promoted our third female, Clara Chen, to full professor.
Here’s where purposeful paths cross Our reputation for excellence in accounting education has been earned by a long-held commitment to engaging thought leaders in conversations about timely topics that move the profession forward. At Gies, our students cross paths with those leaders because we intentionally connect their academic experiences with the profession. Our faculty advance those conversations as well through industry research and accessibility to the profession.
a Gies undergraduate, I was in the Air Force Reserve and “Asworked at FedEx at night to earn money to get my degree and help my family. Now I have been accepted into the ACCY Opportunities cohort for Fall 2020, and that gives me the opportunity to advance my education in a way I never thought possible.
–Leslie Clottey, ACCY ’19, ACCY Opportunities Fall 2020 Cohort
Accountancy Lyceum Series
• Launched in 2018 for talented
• A speaker series that provides
opportunities for the department
candidates wanting to earn an MAS
to stay connected to practice and
accountancy majors and MAS
for students to hear from and
students the opportunity to
engage with accountancy leaders
develop leadership skills
• Offers a full tuition waiver, a $10,000 stipend, and unrivaled CPA exam
• Speakers represent a wide variety of expertise across the
prep • Partners with the Illinois CPA Society
profession; in 2018 speakers
• Offers selected undergraduate
• Provides engagement opportunities with leaders in the profession
and the Mary T. Washington Wylie
included PwC CEO Tim Ryan,
program; expanding the program
Deloitte Chief Innovation Officer
students to engage with the
through potential partnerships with
Ragu Gurumurthy, and Deputy
the Center for Audit Quality and the
Chief Accountant for the SEC
• 4 students participated in the Fall 2019 cohort; 11 students for Fall 2020
Run the numbers
Named the #3 doctoral accounting program in the country by the Public Accounting Report, we are on the forefront of preparing the next generation of accountancy professors, ensuring strong Gies connections between academia and the profession.
• Creates opportunities for
Curriculum and the profession intersect
Our Department of Accountancy has a reputation for innovation, and we continue to build that reputation through our expertise and commitment to delivering an education that prepares students to lead their businesses into the future. It’s a future where big data will play a big role for organizations that want to make enlightened financial and operational decisions, while improving their competitive position in the global marketplace.
University of Illinois-Deloitte Foundation Center for Business Analytics • Launched in 2017 through a $5 million gift from the Deloitte Foundation • Develops leading-edge data analytics curriculum
STEM-Designated Graduate Programs • One of the first accountancy programs to receive the STEM designation from the Illinois Board of Higher Education for all our graduate programs • Recognizes the department’s investment in
and makes those courses accessible to anyone
technology and innovation and the embedding
who wants to better understand the rapidly
of analytics in all required courses
changing business analytics landscape • Connects curriculum with the profession
• Reflects our commitment and understanding of how emerging technology will impact the future
are revolutionizing “ We accountancy education by developing innovative analytics courses, delivering them to our students, and sharing them with faculty around the world as part of our commitment to encourage data-driven discovery.
– Robert Brunner, Associate Dean for Innovation and Chief Disruption Officer
Data Analytics Tracks • Launched a three-course sequence in data analytics for both our MAS and MSA programs and added a fourth course in Fall 2018; planning to add a similar track to the iMSA • Four new courses will be offered in Fall 2019, including Infonomics, an innovative course developed by Doug Laney, Caserta – Principal, Data & Analytics Strategy, a Gies alumnus and one of the nation’s leading experts in data analytics • Exploring an ACCY and Data Science Degree as part of our campus initiative to expand access to data science
Run the numbers In 2018, 2 data analytics courses and 3 case studies were developed and within a week after the first course was released, we received nearly
600 requests for download.