Issuu on Google+


Since 1985

Contents FEATURES

STUDENT OUTLOOK

Williams, Graduate Student, Valdosta State University

COVER STORY

4 Minorities in the Accounting Profession By Dr. Ronald Stunda, CPA, CMA, Valdosta State University and Cameron 6 Mapping Your Career on a Global Scale: How to turn your CPA credential into an international opportunity

By Benjamin Wong, Director of Business Operations, Asia Pacific, Becker Professional Education

GLOBAL OUTLOOK

Page 4

9 Advancing Your Career through

International Experiences

By Kimberly Charron, Ph.D., CMA, Department of Accounting, College of Business University of Nevada, Las Vegas

BUSINESS OUTLOOK

Public Accounting

By Ken Tudhope CPA, CMA, MBA

WORDS OF WISDOM

SUSTAINABILITY OUTLOOK

By Dr. Lorraine Magrath, Amanda Paul and Dr. Rick A. Turpin, all Assistant Professors of Accounting, School of Accountancy, Troy University

STUDENT OUTLOOK

By Assorted Authors

14 Networking: A Valuable Skill in

Page 6

19 The World’s Strangest Laws 20 What Students Know About Cloud Computing

23 Words of Wisdom for Graduates

Visit NewAccountantUSA.com for more information on your career

Page 20


Student Outlook

Minorities in the Accounting Profession Although while growing, why isn’t the minority accounting profession growing at a quicker rate? By Dr. Ronald Stunda, CPA, CMA, Valdosta State University and Cameron Williams, Graduate Student-Valdosta State University

A

ccording to the U.S. Census, there are approximately 100 million ethnic minorities in the United States. In addition, the population will continue to increase, and by 2050, minorities will account for nearly half of the U.S. population. Based on this data, there is a high probability that minorities will represent an increasing percentage of those working in the accounting profession. Today, however, minorities do not represent a great number in this rapidly growing field. As of the end of 2011, minorities account for 8% of American CPAs. Of these, 4% consist of Asian/Pacific Islander, 3% Hispanic, and 1% African American. Although small, these numbers represent significant growth. In 2005, only 1% of American CPAs were of minority background. During 2011, minorities represented 22% of all accounting graduates, consisting of 10% Asian/Pacific Islander, 7% African American, and 5% Hispanic. Although the accounting profession ranks among the top five open positions in the U.S. and employment is expected to grow 27% through 2014, it has not attracted the minority growth of other notable professions such as the legal and medical fields. But then, these two professions are highly visible on both the movie and television screens. When was the last time you watched a TV series centered around a Big Four auditor? Some questions that come to mind regarding the above paradox are: Although while growing, why isn’t the minority accounting profession growing at a quicker rate? Are there structural or other barriers keeping the minority representation low? Is anything being done to assist minorities looking for a career in accounting?

4 NEW ACCOUNTANT

Editor & Publisher Steven N. Polydoris Associate Publisher Marie Centenail Contributing Editor Cathy Demetropoulos Advertising Advertising@NewAccountantUSA.com 773-866-9900 ext. 11 Editorial Editor@NewAccountantUSA.com Subscriptions Subscriptions@NewAccountantUSA.com Chairman Ilias G. Basioudis, University of Aston, UK Themin Suwardy, School of Accountancy Singapore Management University, Singapore Paul Wells, Department of Accounting Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand Anthony Ng, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China Paul DeLange, RMIT, Australia Maen Qatamin, Knowledge Horizon Dubai, United Arab Emirates

We conducted a survey of the University System of Georgia (consisting of 37 institutions throughout the state) and found why minority students are hesitant to pursue accounting as a profession. The top reasons students gave for deciding against accounting were:

Steve Dellaportas, University of Deakin, Australia Omneya Abd-Elsalam, Aston University, UK Nicole Ratzinger-Sakel, Ulm University, Germany Jacqueline Birt, Monash University, Australia Radiah Othman, Accounting Research Institute and Faculty of Accountancy, UiTM, Malaysia

• Too much focus on math • Don’t know much about what accounting includes • Don’t know of anyone who is an accountant • Seems too mundane

Editorial, Advertising, and Circulation Offices: 3500 W. Peterson Ave. Chicago, IL 60659 Phone: 773.866.9900 Fax: 773.866.9907 www.NewAccountantUSA.com

• Can’t afford the extra year of schooling For the most part, it seems that minority students, (and this can also be generalized to ALL students), lack a real understanding of what the accounting Continued on Page 18

International Edition Issue #42012 Copyright © 2012 by Real Estate News Corp. All rights reserved. 3500 W. Peterson Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60659 Phone (773) 866-9900


Student Outlook

New Accountants’ 11 Rules For Living... Here is a list of 11 things that many high school and college graduates did not learn in school.

Rule #1

Life is not fair; get used to it.

Rule #2

The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule #3

You will NOT make 40 thousand dollars a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice president with a cell phone, until you earn both.

Rule #4

If you think your teacher is tough, wait until you get a boss. He doesn’t have tenure.

Rule #5

Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping; they called it opportunity.

Rule #8

Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades; they’ll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule #6

If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule #9

Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.

Rule #7

Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes, and listening to you talk about how cool you are. So before you save the rainforest from the parasites of your parents’ generation, try “delousing” the closet in your own room.

Excerpted from “Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good About Themselves But Can’t Read, Write or Add” by Charles J. Sykes.

Rule #10

Television is NOT real life. In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule #11

Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

NewAccountantUSA.com 5


Cover Story

Mapping Your Career on a Global Scale

How to turn your CPA credential into an international opportunity If anyone asks you where you think your U.S. CPA credential will take you, give the two-word answer: The world. By Benjamin Wong, Director of Business Operations, Asia Pacific, Becker Professional Education.

I

t’s short and sweet. And it’s literally true. With global business a fact of life and the initials CPA behind your name, there’s every chance in the world you’ll have an opportunity for international experience at some point in your career. U.S. CPAs. They’re everywhere. Virtually every corporation and accounting firm with a global presence needs U.S. CPAs with international perspective. For audit and tax work alone, there’s an extraordinary demand for CPAs to work internationally in traditional roles. But even the briefest scan of the world’s largest accounting firms’ websites provides ample evidence that global assignments for CPAs can be far-flung and more intriguing than many might ever imagine. Take for example: Investigating fraud in Latin America. Tracking money laundering in Indonesia. Doing tax work in Brazil. Developing a phone company business model in Australia. Training Indian accountants to use U.S. GAAP. Leading a global audit team in China. Wherever you go in the world, if a business is on the map at all, chances are you’ll find a CPA involved at some level. There’s more in it for you than a plane ticket. It’s true, international business is fueling the demand for U.S. CPAs. As globalization into new growth markets continues at a rapid pace for his firm’s clients, Gary Baker, Global Mobility Leader for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), 6 NEW ACCOUNTANT

®

says, “One of our business priorities is to further increase the mobility of our people to enhance the overall talent in our global network to support the challenges faced by our clients. We expect to see even greater international mobility opportunities over the next three to five years.” John Roselli, President of Becker Professional Education, has noted that the U.S. CPA credential not only creates opportunities for international experience,

the experience gained can also be critical to career growth. “Employers all over the world recognize the value that CPAs bring to their organizations. Over the past fifty years, in our work with CPA candidates, we’ve seen the U.S. CPA credential become a global asset for those who earn it.” It’s a message not lost on young professionals. Scott Cameron, partner at Grant Thornton, a Chicago-based accounting firm with a global presence, says that in


his firm’s on-campus recruiting efforts he’s seen a significant increase in students’ interest in international opportunities. “A few years ago, we might have had one or two inquiries over the course of the day,” he says. “Now, it seems to be a topic we discuss with every other student we interview. They understand that the marketplace is more competitive and that international experience is great for career growth.” Preparing to make the journey. So how do you go about securing an international assignment? On one level, it’s deceptively simple because the demand is there with the major global accounting firms and multi-national corporations, as well as with smaller businesses in virtually every industry. On the flip side, landing a global assignment can be complex simply because international business is complex. You have to consider issues such as differences in international accounting standards and principles, professional credentials, and licensure. Experience plays heavily into the equation. Often, language and cultural differences create barriers. Preparing yourself to meet those challenges takes more than just a desire to see the world. Obviously, global firms and corporations expect a mastery of accounting and a high level of professionalism from international team members. But accounting expertise alone is not enough. Firms also look for individuals who have a broad view of the world and how social customs and cultural diversity affect the way business is done in other countries. A second or even third language is also a major asset—sometimes even a requirement—if you’re aiming for a longer-term international career. Where to look. Today and tomorrow. Most of the major accounting firms and many large multi-national corporations have formal global mobility pro-

Few, if any, new U.S. CPAs land their dream international assignment immediately. Nonetheless, a number of very valuable early career opportunities for international experience and career development do exist.

grams that groom staff members for international responsibilities ranging from relatively short three- to six-month assignments to longer ones lasting several years. Few, if any, new U.S. CPAs land their dream international assignment immediately. Nonetheless, a number of very valuable early career opportunities for international experience and career development do exist. For example, Ernst & Young launched a new global exchange internship program last year that places select summer interns in short-term international assignments with the firm. “We’re seeing students come in with a pre-loaded global mindset,” says Karen Glover, Americas Director of Recruiting and Mobility for the firm, “Eighty-seven percent of the participants at our recent international intern conference had already traveled outside their home countries.” The global exchange internship program is available in 11 host countries: Australia, Canada, China, UK, US, Germany, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Portugal and Romania, and to U.S. students going abroad and non-U.S. students coming to the United States. Glover also points to the firm’s Corporate Responsibility Fellows initiative. This competitive program sends highperforming Ernst & Young staff members to work with high-impact entrepreneurs in Central and South America for threemonth assignments. These are typically smaller ventures that otherwise could not access such sophisticated advice,

but still have the potential to contribute significantly to the economy in which they operate. At PwC, EPIC—Early PwC International Challenge—focuses on professionals below manager level with three-to-five years of experience who have indicated a definite interest in international assignment work. Those who qualify—a high job performance rating is prerequisite—embark on a two-year international assignment to one of a host of exciting destinations in major established economic centers and key developing global markets. Indeed, almost half of the current EPIC assignee population is deployed to or from an emerging market. In addition, within the PwC global network opportunities exist for selected interns to go on a brief assignment to see inside the firm in another territory, experience a new culture, make friends, and enjoy new life challenges that will be valuable for their future careers. PwC’s Gary Baker, whose own career has been enhanced by his international assignments, says, “Global assignments help build competencies and skills that generate lasting personal and professional rewards. Working outside their home countries, often experiencing what it’s like to be in a minority, our people often face challenges that require highly creative problem-solving skills, which in turn build their self-confidence and leadership abilities. They also expand their personal and professional networks on a global scale.” NewAccountantUSA.com 7


Cover Story It’s a big world out there. Or is it? When you look at the world through the lens of a U.S. CPA, you soon recognize that accounting—the language of business—has a way to go before it’s truly an international one. Accounting principles and standards vary from country to country, sometimes significantly, which can create serious challenges for companies that routinely cross international borders to do business. To help find workable, long-term solutions to the complexities of international accounting, the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has been working to converge its standards with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The significance of this convergence was demonstrated by the incorporation of questions on IFRS into the U.S. CPA Exam starting in 2011. So what does that mean to accounting students planning their careers? Obviously it will require new knowledge and skills, which has implications for education and credentialing. It also makes the U.S. CPA credential even more important. Because it is globally recognized and respected, U.S. CPAs will remain in the forefront of the profession—as leaders, innovators, and citizens of the world. A global view from abroad. Fadi Ganni, Managing Director of the Morgan Group, represents Becker Professional Education’s sizable presence in the Middle East, India, and Canada. He sees firsthand the growing global demand for U.S. CPAs in both domestic and non-domestic firms and corporations, “As the most valued accounting qualification in the world’s leading economy, the U.S. CPA credential is respected globally. It can open doors anywhere in the world to a wealth of opportunities for moving up the ladder at a faster pace and at higher pay.” The fact that international candidates can now sit for the U.S. CPA Exam in 8 NEW ACCOUNTANT

locations outside North America and the rapid growth in Becker’s CPA Exam Review registrations internationally confirm his view. In response to rapidly escalating international demand for U.S. CPA licensure, the U.S.-based National Association of State Boards of Accountancy began offering the geographically expanded opportunity to sit for the U.S. CPA Exam in August 2011. Testing sites are now open in Bahrain, Brazil, Japan, Kuwait, Lebanon, and the United Arad Emirates. Complete information on sites and the application process is available at www.nasba.org. Want to go global? Make yourself marketable. It’s safe to say that the U.S. CPA credential can be a critical stepping stone to advancement and professional achievement in accounting. Scott Cameron, who says that his international assignment with Grant Thornton in London was a “once-in-lifetime opportunity,” agrees. He advises students interested in global

assignments, “Make yourself marketable. Sit for the CPA Exam as soon as you can. Having the credential made my international experience possible.” He adds, “To be considered for the best international assignments, you must understand the global environment you’ll be working in. Take courses in international business. Become conversational in another language. If two candidates are vying for the same international position, the one who speaks the language has the advantage. And try to do some international travel. Students who travel just seem to have a different perspective; they’re more adaptable and insightful, qualities we look for in the candidates we hire.” NA ................................ For more information about Becker Professional Education, including preparing and sitting for the U.S. CPA Exam internationally, visit www.becker.com.


Global Outlook

Advancing Your Career through International Experiences As new accountants there are many ways to prepare for a career in accounting. One often overlooked aspect is developing your cultural literacy. By Kimberly Charron, Ph.D., CMA, Department of Accounting, College of Business University of Nevada, Las Vegas

P

reparing yourself for a successful career in a global economy will require more than a college degree. Your knowledge of accounting and business topics is just one of the many tools you will need to advance in your career in a global marketplace. Many new accountants look for opportunities that help them develop leadership, critical thinking, or communication skills. Others may focus on learning more about International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) or gaining the CPA or other credential to enhance their career opportunities. While these are excellent endeavors, one area that may be overlooked as you think about your career is your cultural literacy. Cultural literacy is your awareness and sensitivity to cultural differences. Understanding and appreciating that not all employees, mangers, or clients you engage with have a similar background to you or look at problems through the same cultural lens can make a tremendous difference in how you are perceived by colleagues or clients and how effective you are in working in a global environment. Cultural literacy goes beyond speaking a second language. In fact, speaking additional languages will not necessarily guarantee success in a cross-cultural setting. With English being the international language of business knowing a second language may not even be necessary. To be a truly educated person in today’s marketplace one needs skills that come from exposure to other cultures and

studying different societies. This applies whether you work abroad or work locally since our society is a diverse melting pot of cultures and we interact globally. So how does one go about developing cultural literacy that goes beyond becoming fluent in Spanish, French or Chinese? There are various ways to expand your cultural literacy. Certainly, participating in multicultural events or organizations in your community can be a first step. However, being truly successful in an international business setting may require a greater appreciation of the culture, politics and social environment of other countries in addition to foreign business practices. This will

likely require travel. As Rudyard Kipling said, “the first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it�. While still in school, consider the possibility of studying abroad for a term or taking an international business class that incorporates a country visit into the curriculum. Most universities offer study abroad programs and many offer business students the opportunity to travel as part of an International Business (IB) Class. In many of these IB classes you receive intense immersion into the business and cultural practices of the country you visit, as you participate in company tours and information sessions on doing business in

NewAccountantUSA.com 9


Global Outlook the particular country of interest as well as have cultural visits to better understand the history, social, political and physical environment of the country. Researchers have found that international trips have transformative cultural value for students. Participants reported that the international travel class increased their interest in understanding foreign clients and customers. In particular the study found that greater gains in cultural awareness are made when traveling to locations where the culture is significantly different than that of the United States (or your home country). For example, traveling to South American or Asia may be more eye-opening to a typical American student than traveling to England or other areas in Western Europe that are not dramatically different than our own culture. Based on personal experience these class trips can lead to a better appreciation and awareness of the complexities introduced into business relationships across multiple cultures than would be gained as a typical tourist. As a faculty member at the University of Nevada Las Vegas I recently traveled with a group of students to Lima, Peru as part of an International Business class. On this trip we visited four different companies as well as the U.S. Embassy where we received a briefing on the business and economic climate of Peru. Each visit brought to light a different aspect of business from issues of expansion through mergers vs. organic growth to product development and the impact of various types of marketing on gaining market share. What was most interesting about these visits though, was the impact of the current political environment on discussions of the future of these firms. At the time of travel, presidential elections were just over a week away. In their earlier primaries the three centrist candidates had split the vote considerably leaving the two extreme candidates for the general election. Each business professional we spoke with, as well as the staff at the Embassy, expressed concerns over the elections and 10 NEW ACCOUNTANT

In particular the study found that greater gains in cultural awareness are made when traveling to locations where the culture is significantly different than that of the United States (or your home country).

the potential impact each side may have on doing business in the country. While in the United States we do not worry about our government nationalizing business, this was a genuine concern among some of the people we spoke with. In many developing countries these types of elections can alter the business landscape dramatically and having been there I can appreciate the stress and concern the Peruvians expressed. While it may not be possible to undertake an international trip as a student, once employed you can volunteer to engage in cross-cultural assignments or accept an overseas position to further develop your cultural literacy and advance your career potential. For some people the idea of traveling to another country to work may seem daunting, but to draw a business analogy one way to think about this is to compare your experience with that of a company that would like to grow internationally. The company can grow organically by developing a new marketplace through internal efforts. Time will be spent hiring and training

people, learning the regulatory and business practices of the new location and the profile of the customers you will soon be serving. Alternatively the company can acquire an existing business in the desired location and immediately be entrenched with available employees who have experiences working within the regulatory environment and with the customers served. This is not to say that the business will not expand or make changes, but getting up to speed on regulatory issues, customer profiles, and business practices will take considerably less time when a transition team enters the new location. So, if you want to develop a career in a global marketplace you can spend time learning a language, reading books and articles about other countries, and participate in local events to help hone your cultural literacy. However this will take time just like growing a business organically does. But by jumping right into another culture you will be able to assimilate more quickly. For example, you will be able to appreciate difference in personal space requirements or


the formality of meetings. You will quickly learn the culture’s sense of time; they may be punctual about meeting times or the start time may be merely a suggestion. There are also opportunities after you complete school to participate in international trips that are focused on professional development. I have also participated in a “Women in Accounting Delegation” to Russia through People To People, International Citizens Ambassador Programs (for information see http://www.peopletopeople.com/ OurPrograms/CAP/Pages/default.aspx). On this trip a group of accountants from across the United States were able to visit various accounting firms and a University in Russia to learn about business practices as well as challenges and opportunities in accounting within that country. We learned about the difficulties anticipated as they transition to IFRS for both those in the profession as well as those preparing

students to become accountants. We also heard from many professionals regarding the struggles the country goes through with regard to corruption and the need to attract foreign investment. But what was also wonderful about this type of professional development experience is all that we learned from each other in the delegation as well as from our counterparts in Russia. Consider this, in “Get Ahead by Going Abroad” Stacie Nevadomaki Berdan and C. Perry Yeatman study the careers of women in business and find that women who worked abroad (with a typical assignment of three to five years) advanced professionally at a much faster pace than women who stayed in their home country. Also consider that international positions can be somewhat infrequent and highly competitive. Moreover, the failure rate with international assignments is often quite high where employees come home early or

without achieving their objectives. With all that to contemplate employers will be very careful in whom they select to fill these roles. For young professionals who have had the cross-cultural experience through previous travel the ability to jump into these assignments is likely to be less intimidating and more likely to be successful. It is likely that many accounting students will either be employed by a large international accounting firms serving multinational corporations (MNC) with international operation or in the MNC themselves, so regardless of where you get your cross-cultural experiences, in our global workplace having cultural literacy will benefit your career. For now the key is to start contemplating how you will get that experience and keeping your eyes open for opportunities. As the Chinese Proverb goes, “It is better to travel ten thousand miles than to read ten thousand books”. NA

NewAccountantUSA.com 11


plan for your future

U . S . C E R T I F I E D P U B L I C A C C O U N TA N T ( C P A )

|

A G L O B A L D E S I G N AT I O N


Becker Professional Education, Morgan Int’l and TAC are here to help you become a U.S. CPA. Get started now! Visit becker.com/CPA

A designation with global demand. For years, the U.S. Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation has been recognized as the gold standard in demonstrating financial reporting expertise. That recognition is even more evident as the U.S. continues to converge its accounting standards with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The significance of this convergence is demonstrated by the incorporation of questions on IFRS into the U.S. CPA Exam that began in 2011. The designation has never been more relevant to global accountants. For the first time in history, the U.S. CPA Exam is being offered in Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, the UAE, Japan and Brazil— bringing with it a new level of convenience, professional opportunity and significant savings in travel expenses. And, this international exam is exactly the same as the one offered in the U.S. The opportunity to prepare just got easier.

Becker Professional Education, a leader in exam preparation, has partnered with Morgan International and TAC to bring world-class CPA Exam Review programs directly to international candidates. • Together we have provided world-class instruction, curriculum and interactive tools to students. • Nearly half a million accounting professionals around the globe have passed the CPA Exam preparing with Becker Professional Education. • Students who prepare with Becker pass at double the rate of non-Becker candidates.* The CPA designation is your opportunity for success.

With international partners across the globe, Becker can help you prepare for exam day and start a career filled with respect and potential. Visit becker.com/CPA to learn more.

®

* Becker Professional Education students pass at double the rate of all CPA exam candidates who did not take a Becker course, based on averages of AICPA-published pass rates. ©2012 DeVry/Becker Educational Development Corp. All rights reserved.


Business Outlook

Networking: A Valuable Skill in Public Accounting This is a fictitious narrative of a professional woman in public accounting.It starts when she accepts an entry level job with KPMG and continues for 8 years. The article highlights key networking activities that are available to anyone without cost. It also gives examples of some of the benefits accrue to those with good professional networks. By Ken Tudhope CPA, CMA, MBA

A

nn was so happy to receive the job offer from KPMG, one of the large international “Big 4” accounting firms. It was the successful “next step” in her new accounting career which began with the decision to become an accounting major at Cal State University Fullerton. Ann attributed her multiple job offers to the fact she had so much exposure to the accounting firms during the year she was president of her University’s chapter of Beta Alpha Psi (BAP). The job with KPMG had huge potential, but would start out with an incredibly demanding schedule of 60+ hour work weeks and preparation for the CPA exam on top of that. Nonetheless, she could hear the voice of Ken Tudhope reverberating in her head, “it’s who you know and who knows you that really matters for career success.” Ken is a networking fanatic / expert who came to the school each semester to evangelize on the importance of relationships in business. He is a Big 4 CPA who attributes much of his corporate and entrepreneurial success to networking. At his presentations, Ken would display his 5 or 6 Rolodex’s filled with business cards and claim they were his most valuable assets. By graduation, Ann had seen Ken speak about networking more than 6 times and his message was implanted indelibly in her memory. She actually began to look forward to his stories about

14 NEW ACCOUNTANT

the value of networking and liked his optimistic opinion of the future for those with good contacts. Thinking back, she smiled when remembering the amusing story Ken told about his friend from a Big 4 firm who said they simply hire the people they like. At the time, Ann thought there was some sophisticated hiring process going on behind the scenes when actually the busy professionals only had time enough to report who they liked and didn’t like (membership in BAP had already vetted the students academically and the BAP leadership hierarchy was a good indicator of social skills). At some point during the recruiting process, Ann consciously

decided to make every effort to stay in touch with these valuable contacts regardless of the demands of her new job and profession. One of the things she did while wrapping-up her college career was to create a list of the people she’d met along the way. The students were easy, she had the BAP and Accounting Society rosters from her junior and senior years already in excel. She got the names and contact information for the 2 accounting professors she liked the most and added them to the list. She really liked Dr. Tang, he was a great guy who was originally from China and in addition to teaching, was the faculty liaison to BAP so she


To raise money for the KPMG All-star team, Ann sent an e-mail to her contact list (now over 400) and was amazed at the response. Networking was having an impact!

had spent considerable time with him when she was chapter president. The professionals were a bit tougher since she had not done a great job managing all the business cards she had collected over the years. Ann was committed, but not exactly sure what to do next so she decided to call Ken, and he recommended that she start by sending an e-mail thanking the people who had helped her in school and announcing her new position at KPMG. The e-mail would be quick and simple using her contacts list. The message was short and included her new contact information. At the end of the message, she asked for job status and updated contact information from the recipients. The message was written in a way so it could be sent to everyone: friends, family, students, professionals, etc. Some of the e-mails bounced, but Ann was surprised at how many people responded, even some she couldn’t exactly remember (she now knew what Ken meant by “Who knows you?”). Ann made sure to look at the e-mail signatures to ensure nothing had changed, e.g. address, title, phone number, etc. As she expected, work was very demanding and there was absolutely ZERO time for formal networking. In her first year, she decided, however, she committed to carrying her own business cards and using them to get the cards of clients, coworkers she didn’t already know, and basically everyone else she met in business. The best way to get someone’s card is to offer yours and Ann was never without her business card. For

example, Ann took a CPA review course and while she was all business in preparing for the exam, when she met someone new in the preparation class she offered her card and obtained the other person’s card. Her second and third years were just as busy, but she successfully passed the CPA exam which freed-up some time. This was a great accomplishment and she used the occasion to send out an announcement. It felt very awkward announcing her success; Ann’s family was traditional Chinese and they believed letting hard work and results speak for themselves. Ann decided to send the announcement anyway and was glad she did. At the bottom of the message she asked for updated contact information and received quite a few responses. She was amazed how many congratulations e-mails she received from the “professionals” she met while BAP President, these people were beginning to feel like old friends. Again she sent mostly holiday emails and didn’t do much formal networking (she did volunteer to be on the KPMG recruiting team at her alma mater and “bumped” into Dr. Tang once or twice which she enjoyed greatly). Frankly, at this time Ann was beginning to have questions about networking and relationship building. She worked so hard and just surviving the Big 4 was all consuming. Any additional work activities layered on top of that was extremely difficult and so far it seemed that networking was a “one way street” with Ann doing all the work. She tried to have an attitude of “give first, expect nothing” and all that, but it had now been almost 4 years NewAccountantUSA.com 15


Business Outlook and there had been few if any tangible benefits from her networking activities. Nonetheless, Ann could see that the most successful people in the firm and at client companies were well connected. She decided to stay at it. At the beginning of Ann’s forth year she was promoted to Senior Accountant so she sent another announcement. The process was the same as all the previous announcements and she was getting more efficient each time. This time the responses resulted in one noticeable difference; her contacts outside the firm began inquiring about her career plans and implied that they could help her when she was ready for a move. She was happy at KPMG and was certainly not looking for a new job, but it sure felt nice to know there was opportunity waiting and her network was looking out for her. Ann wasn’t actually an extrovert, but she was becoming known as a bit of a connector with her peers at the office. That year she was invited by several of the managers and partners to ride on the KPMG All-stars cycling team to raise money for MS. MS was the top national charity for KMPG and a popular event in her local office. Ann didn’t sign up at first because she wasn’t much of an athlete, but during the slow time in the fall she went to lunch with Ken Tudhope. At lunch she mentioned the MS ride and was surprised to find that Ken was riding on the team! You don’t have to be a KPMG employee to ride on the team and Ken had been invited by an ex-Partner who actually founded the KPMG All-stars! Ken highly encouraged Ann to join the team, “it’s a good cause, great networking and good for your health”. Ann signed up and reluctantly agreed to the $400 minimum for fundraising. On weekends in the fall, Ann did training rides with partners, managers, peers, clients and others. She learned things about the firm she didn’t know, some of which was quite surprising

16 NEW ACCOUNTANT

(Ann thought it was great that she was now somewhat on the “inside”), and one partner even invited her to lunch to discuss her career development goals and how he could help. Relationships deepened and it made going to work every day even more enjoyable. To raise money for the KPMG All-star team, Ann sent an e-mail to her contact list (now over 400) and was amazed at the response. Small donations flowed in from many people and she easily exceeded the minimum and ultimately rose to near the top of the fund raiser list. All the networking was having an impact! In her fifth year, Ann was getting good at networking. She was still too busy to be out “networking,” per se, but she was always careful to get people’s

business cards and follow up. She found a way to send an announcement or two throughout the year. This year she was co-captain of the KPMG All-stars and was becoming quite comfortable working on the event with partners, managers and even the National Office. Ann couldn’t really announce it to her network, but she was so excited when one of her undergraduate colleagues from BAP called her and asked her to bid on the audit for his family’s manufacturing business. Ann had no idea really how this was done, but got an immediate return call for the office Partner in Charge after she left him a voicemail regarding the opportunity. KPMG won the business and Ann received an unexpected cash bonus. Frankly, Ann did not know this fellow very well when they were in school

Ann wasn’t actually an extrovert, but she was becoming known as a bit of a connector with her peers at the office.


and could have never guessed he’d be the one to bring her a sales opportunity. When she thanked him, she asked why he had called her, he replied, “You have always been a leader. I benefited from your work at Bata Alpha Psi and have enjoyed following your progress over the years.” That year there were lay-offs at the firm and fortunately Ann was not selected for termination. Ann had good intelligence and a strong work ethic, but only slightly above average technical skills. There was little doubt in her mind that her excellent relationships with many of the decision makers in the firm contributed to her “get out of jail free” card. When word got out about the lay-offs at the firm, Ann received several unsolicited recruiting calls from people in her network. Ann was confident that if she had been selected, she would have found her next career opportunity quickly through her network of contacts. Ann’s family was originally from Taiwan and had only come to the US when Ann was in her teens. She always felt a little bit like an outsider and was concerned that her accent and lack of knowledge of the native culture might hold her back. Lately she had turned down one or two opportunities to speak publically due to lack of confidence and saw this as a potential weakness she wanted to address. She heard that Toast Masters had a fantastic development program and remembered Ken highly recommending it. The early morning club that met monthly at the Community Center near her apartment was perfect for her busy schedule so she signed up and paid the nominal $40 registration fee. Ann’s progress in Toast Masters was better than expected and in the following year she accepted a few speaking engagements at KPMG training events and client-facing seminars. When it was appropriate, Ann made sure to invite a few of her contacts to each speaking activity she was involved in. Very few accepted,

but they all appreciated the invitation and it helped them know what Ann was up to. In years 6 and 7 her career progressed quite nicely. Ann was promoted to Manager in the ordinary time frame and was able to add regular business lunches to her networking activities. The lunches were easy. Ann always paid the tab; why not pay, she was being reimbursed. Once these lunches became a habit she wondered why more of her peers didn’t take advantage of the reimbursed lunches. At first she was afraid she wouldn’t have anything to talk about at lunch. An hour can be a long time with a relative stranger, but Ann learned that people love to talk about themselves so she memorized a list of good questions like, “What have you learned?” “What advice would you have?” “What is your favorite…? “Where are you from?” “Tell me about your family? She continued to send announcements, holiday cards and the annual MS ride e-mail to her network. There is no way her contacts could forget her and by this time some would say she was developing a personal brand of sorts. Ann was amazed that twice she was called for proposal opportunities by the professionals from the small regional firms who had recruited her. In one case, a client had out-grown

their regional CPA firm and needed to engage a Big 4 firm, and in another case a client acquired a company in Europe and needed international transactions services the regional firm didn’t provide. Once again, KPMG won the business and Ann earned a bonus. Once, while at lunch with a client Ann learned confidentially about a client issue that was extremely important to the firm. She was conflicted by her loyalty to her client friend who had disclosed the information and the firm that she loved so much. Ann’s solution was to counsel with an experienced female partner she had grown very close to through the KPMG All Star team. The trusted partner proposed a clever plan that Ann had not thought of which created a “win-win” between the firm and its client, and enabled Ann to honor all her relationships.In a way, because of her trusted relationships Ann was a small hero in the office. It was a big deal and one of the things the Partners took into consideration when they invited her into the partnership. Like Harvey MacKay says in his excellent book, Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty. “Networking is like getting dressed, it does matter how you do it, what’s important is that you do it.” NA

NewAccountantUSA.com NewAccountantUSA.com 17 17


Student Outlook

Minorities in the Accounting Profession Continued from Page 4 profession truly consists. So it appears that the biggest barrier to conquer in this area is lack of understanding of the profession. Enter firms such as Ernst and Young. Ernst and Young has been recognized for its efforts in maintaining a diverse culture with a number of awards, including FORTUNE’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” for 12 consecutive years, Hispanic Business magazine’s “Diversity Elite Top 60 for Hispanics,” DiversityInc magazine’s “Top 50 Companies for Diversity,” BusinessWeek’s “Best Places to Launch a Career” list, and Universum USA’s ranking as the number 1 employer for undergraduate business students. Ernst and Young’s main focus is on the Inclusiveness Recruiting Team that works with local and national organizations to promote the interest of minority students in accounting. In fact, a full-time partnerlevel individual is assigned to this area. The Inclusiveness Recruiting Team seeks to raise awareness of the accounting profession, starting at the high-school level, and continuing throughout the college career through the following programs:

accounting professionals has been significant and sets the standard for other firms in the profession. Another potential barrier for the minority student is funding the education required by the 150 hour rule in over 40 states. This has been greatly minimized in recent years by a growing number of scholarship opportunities for minority accounting students which include the following:

• Leadership and Development (LEADS) introduces high-school students to business and accounting careers.

• Varying amounts from the National Indian Education Association for Native Americans.

• Accounting Career Awareness Program (ACAP) - includes one-week summer programs at universities to introduce minority high-school students to accounting careers.

• Various state-sponsored scholarships for minority accounting and finance students.

• Minority scholarships- awards made available for undergraduate accounting majors.

From the private sector’s perspective, Superscholar.org has put together a list of the most popular scholarships for minority and all students. Topping the list is AT&T. The AT&T Labs Fellowship Program awards scholarships and grants to women and minority post-graduate students. The AT&T Foundation has also announced a new scholarship program offered in conjunction with UNCF to provide scholarships for African-American children or stepchildren of regular full-time employees of AT&T, Inc. and its U.S. subsidiaries.

Traditionally, accounting has been a profession that was a bridge for firstgeneration immigrants or first-generation college graduates entering the professional business world. As we grow more diverse as a nation, we must also grow more diverse as a profession. Although statistics have shown that the accounting profession has improved in its recruitment of minorities, the number still falls short in proportion to the general population. Only through continued efforts as mentioned above will the minority population in the accounting profession grow. NA

• Minority scholarships - committed more than $7.5 million to date to fund scholarships for minority accounting students. •

Horizon Internship Program - over 300 interns participate each year in an internship program designed to facilitate accounting careers of minority students.

The impact that Ernst and Young has had on increasing the number of minority

18 NEW ACCOUNTANT

• $3,000 per academic year for minority accounting students from the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). • $1,500 up to $10,000 from the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting (ALPFA). • $1,500 Ascend Achievement Scholarship to further business potential of Accounting and Finance Pan-Asian students. • $1,000 International Society of Young Philipino Accountants. • $1,000 to $10,000 National Association of Black Accountants (NABA).

The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) provides Diversity Awards for minority accounting students through the Eli Broad Foundation. Eli Broad is a renowned business leader who built two Fortune 500 companies from the ground up. His foundation has assets in excess of $2 billion which, among other things, helps to improve opportunities for minority students. The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) has also been a long-time proponent of increasing diversity in the accounting profession. One of the programs that the AICPA instituted in 1970 was the Diversity Fund. This fund supports activities that help to broaden the diversity in the profession. Such activities include: • Leadership workshops- a 2-day program to enhance students’ leadership skills and interact with leaders from public accounting firms. • Fellowship for minority doctoral students - 20 awards made annually to enhance diversity representation in academics. • INROADS- organization that helps place minority college students in internships with sponsoring organizations.


Words of Wisdom

The World’s Strangest Laws Did you know it’s illegal in France to name a pig Napoleon? Or that in Ohio you’re not allowed to get a fish drunk? It is an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British monarch upside down.

In Vermont, women must obtain written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth.

In Alabama, it is illegal for a driver to be blindfolded while driving a vehicle.

In San Salvador, drunk drivers can be punished by death before a firing squad.

In Boulder, Colorado, it is illegal to kill a bird within the city limits and also to “own” a pet – the town’s citizens, legally speaking, are merely “pet minders”.

Under the UK’s Tax Avoidance Schemes Regulations 2006, it is illegal not to tell the taxman anything you don’t want him to know, though you don’t have to tell him anything you don’t mind him knowing.

In Florida, unmarried women who parachute on Sundays can be jailed.

In the UK, a man who feels compelled to urinate in public can do so only if he aims for his rear wheel and keeps his right hand on his vehicle.

In Kentucky, it is illegal to carry a concealed weapon more than six-feet long.

NewAccountantUSA.com 19


Sustainability Outlook

What Students Know About Cloud Computing This article discusses cloud computer, discusses what students should know about cloud computing, and illustrates how students use cloud computing. By Dr. Lorraine Magrath, Amanda Paul and Dr. Rick A. Turpin, all Assistant Professors of Accounting, School of Accountancy, Troy University

T

here are many advertisements on the internet, on television, and in print extolling the virtues of computing “in the cloud�. Some analyst and computer specialists are discussing cloud computing as the next big trend in computing and suggesting the future of the internet is tied to cloud computing. Many businesses, including CPA firms, are becoming interested in cloud computing and reviewing cloud applications. Because these trends potentially impact the way CPA firms do business, accounting students should understand what cloud computing means, how cloud computing affects them now, and the potential impact of cloud computing on their careers. What is cloud computing? In its simplest form, cloud computing is using the internet to access computer applications that are not installed on the user’s computer or internet-access device. In more formal terms, cloud computing is internet-based computing that uses many networked servers to allow many users online access to computer services or resources. The National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) defines cloud computing as delivering computing as a service rather than a product and providing resources, 20 NEW ACCOUNTANT

The National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) defines cloud computing as delivering computing as a service rather than a product and providing resources, software, and information to internet-connected devices over a network.


software, and information to internetconnected devices over a network. In this definition, “computing as a service rather than a product” refers to the ability to access applications online rather than installing the applications on individual hard drives or servers. For example, playing a game online involves “computing as a service rather than a product”. The service, a software application that allows you to shoot the enemy, simulate an action, or perform some other gaming function, is provided by the cloud provider and does not need to be installed on your computer. You use the gaming service on demand, when you have available time and computer resources. Likewise, uploading photographs of your last vacation to Facebook for your friends and family to access involves using the software and application services provided by Facebook to screen users so that only those approved by you can view your pictures. The computer applications developed by Facebook allow users to specify the group or groups that they wish to allow access to their Facebook information page. The users do not need to develop or download software—the services provided by the software are available 24-7 on the internet. Online gaming, Facebook, email, and other cloud-based applications provide a service only. Of course, according to the NIST definition, the services are shared resources, software, and information. The resources made available by the cloud service provider are “shared” because they can be accessed by any user who has taken the time to register to the gaming site, Facebook, the web-based email site, or any other cloud service. For example, after a user registers to Skype, a cloud tele-communication service, the user has “shared” access to all Skype users. 21 NEW ACCOUNTANT

One distinct advantage of cloud computing for students is the ability to access files from any computing device connected to the internet.

The user does not have access to those internet users who have not registered with Skype—only with those users who have agreed to “share” the services of Skype with other internet users. Likewise, Facebook is limited to those users who agree to share the resources provided by Facebook. Internet users who have not registered with Facebook are not able to search for or view the web-pages of Facebook participants. The “network” component of the definition refers specifically to the rather complex connection of computers that are necessary to allow on-demand users access to cloud-based applications and software. These networks and the resources that manage them are scalable, meaning the resources are suitable for many users or for few users. Adding one more user is not a problem. Scalability is a key component to on-demand computing because it allows providers to capably handle ever-increasing user bases. Different Types of Clouds: What Cloud Computing is Not Using the internet is not the same as using the cloud. Many data and software applications available on the internet are provided by cloud providers. However, many common functions that we perform on the internet are not cloud-based. For example, Google provides Gmail, Google Docs, and other cloud-based applications. Google also has a rather well known search engine that is not a cloud application. When

you “Google it” you are not using a cloud application. Because every user who searches for the term “the cloud” will be presented with the same results as every other user who searches for “the cloud,” using the Google search engine does not provide unique data. Users are not treated “privately.” In contrast, when you access your email account in Gmail, you are distinguished as a unique user with unique data and information stored in “the cloud”. When you access a learning management system provided by your university (for example, Blackboard), you are not in the cloud. You are accessing learning management software that has been installed on computers at your university. Typically, when you access your bank account at your local bank, you are not using cloud computing. You are accessing software installed by your bank on its own servers and protected from unauthorized users. When you visit a website that provides information but does not require unique user input, you are very probably not using a public cloud. How the Cloud is Used: the email example Typically, users use web-browsers or mobile applications to access cloudbased applications. In general, any device, such as a laptop or smartphone, which allows internet access and the ability to access a web-browser such as Explorer or Google Chrome will allow users access to most cloud-based applications. For NewAccountantUSA.com 21


Sustainability Outlook example, users with internet access can easily access web-based email services such as Gmail or Hotmail from their own computers or mobile devices. Users do not need to install software or make adjustments or changes to their own computers to access the web-based, cloud email services. Gmail and Hotmail make their product, web-based email, available “in the cloud”. When users log into and use these email services, the users are engaged in cloud computing. As suggested by the NIST definition of cloud computing, Gmail and Hotmail email services are on demand. Users do not need to install applications or otherwise plan for the use of the email services until they have a need to send or receive email. At that time, users simply access the internet and log into their email service. The on demand characteristic of cloud software and applications allows users to access many different types of software, applications, and services. Users have on demand access to any cloud-based application without having to purchase or install software to their own hard drives or servers. Although users do not need to install software or applications on their own hard drives or devices in order to access cloud-based applications, users using cloud computing are accessing, editing, and using unique data which the cloud service provider stores for them. The cloud service provider also restricts access to unique user data. For example, logging onto the Gmail email software gives me access to the Gmail software as well as any email message that I have chosen to receive or compose using that software. However, the application software does not allow me to access the unique email messages of other users who have shared the resources of the cloud service provider. 22 NEW ACCOUNTANT

Some Everyday Applications for Students One distinct advantage of cloud computing for students is the ability to access files from any computing device connected to the internet. For example, online file storage and retrieval clouds (e.g., Dropbox, Carbonite, Sugar Sync) allow users to access, view, edit, change, and save files by simply accessing the website and providing user and password information. Most cloud storage applications such as Google Docs and Windows Live allow students to share documents with team members or professors without having to email and download the documents. In addition, group and team members can edit files and documents simultaneously and be assured that changes will be reflected in the cloud file. Equally useful is the ability to access school or home email applications from any computer. Gmail and other email applications allow users to receive email from other servers and to send email with other server proxies. For example, students using Gmail can have their “school” server email downloaded to Gmail. They can then compose, reply, forward, sort, and perform all Gmail functions on their “school” mail. They can also reply or compose and send

email with their school email address. Of course, users must first inform the cloud application of the other servers, a simple process that can typically be performed in minutes using “settings” or “preferences”. Of course, students can store pictures, videos, and music in the cloud. These are readily available to share with friends and family from any internet-connected computing device. And, of course, files stored in the cloud are accessible even if your laptop or thumb drive is lost, stolen or broken. There are also many organizing and note-taking tools that are available Article By online. For example, Evernote is a “remember everything” notebook that can be used to take notes. Evernote (and similar applications such as Microsoft OneNote) allow users to take searchable screen clips from internet sites and then catalog the information for later use. Resources There are many resources available to assist students in getting started using the cloud to enhance their productivity. A good starting point for many users is visiting the websites of one or more of the companies mentioned in this article (e.g, Evernote, Carbonite, Google Docs). NA


Student Outlook

Words of Wisdom for Graduates Experienced CPAs offer advice to students on how to start your accounting career, recognize the opportunities available to you and excel in the field. On Getting Started Andy Lafond: “As a graduate with an accounting degree, you can work in several areas within the accounting field or outside of it in areas such as finance, marketing, management or law enforcement (the FBI, CIA, etc.). The key for students upon graduation is that even though your formal education may be completed, you need to continue learning. The accounting profession and the business world are constantly changing and those that continually grow and learn will be one step ahead.” Chuck Burch: “I would tell aspiring accountants to learn the nuts and bolts, study and master the principles. The principles are not what accountants do on a day-in and day-out basis, but if you know them, you can be paid very well to tell others what you know and how it is applied.” Benetta Leon: “Sit for the CPA exam or get whatever certification will help you in your career. It shows that you have gone the extra mile to be more specialized. In addition, an internship can be very important in helping you understand what you want to do with your career. To learn more about your options, talk to people in the field, find out what they do and what they like about their jobs. Networking is key.”

Opportunities Await Chuck Burch: “Careers in accounting are as varied as the individuals who enter the field.

Be Passiona te!

r ni a e L ue n i ont C o T d You Nee

ng

There are numerous directions you can take with an accounting degree.”

with people and communicating about how a company is doing.”

Emily Richards: “I don’t think it could ever be a mistake to get an accounting education because of the skills you learn and the choices it opens up. I didn’t always think of myself as a businessperson, but you can get a true satisfaction from what you learn. I get a real fulfillment when I balance a balance sheet, for example.”

Chuck Burch: “Be passionate about excellence and apply it to every facet of your accounting journey. Your excitement about doing the best for yourself and your clients shows when talking to people. You can be hired based on your enthusiasm alone.”

Achieving Excellence Leslie Seidman: “Communication skills and writing and analytical abilities are things that are very important for success in this career. I haven’t used a calculator in years! If you like to work with numbers you can, but there are also many roles that involve analyzing information, working

David Houchen: “Whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability. Decision makers are looking for employees who have financial competence and for people they can trust. If you do your job well, carry out what you’re charged with and then go beyond that, the people you work with will learn they can trust you. That’s how you grow in responsibility.”

NewAccountantUSA.com 23



New Accountant INTERNATIONAL