The objectives of the workshop were:
- to agree on a regional approach to the future development of accounting and auditing education in the region;
- to provide insights on a range of approaches to the design and delivery of effective accounting education;
- to provide resources to support the effective implementation of continuing professional development (CPD) for accountants and auditors; and
- to form subject-based working groups to support the implementation of effective accounting education.
EduCoP - working together
The workshop was opened by the newly arrived CFRR program manager Mr. Henri Fortin, who was promoted from the World Bank's Washington office where he was previously responsible for the development of corporate financial reporting in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region. Henri, who was appointed as the Head of the CFRR on 1 January 2011, also provided a presentation on the development of accounting and auditing education in the LAC region, showing examples of how LAC countries solved (or faced difficulties in attempting to solve) some of the common challenges in developing accounting education and capacities. You may view Henri's presentation slides here (the video of the presentation is available here).
In previous workshops the EduCoP members shared experiences of the different models of certification, qualification and auditor licensing schemes operating within the REPARIS region. Examples of the Certified Accounting Practitioner/Certified International Professional Accountant (CAP/CIPA) model operated in Moldova, the BiH Commission model operating throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina and the system operated in the FYR Macedonia may be found here. In this workshop the CFRR presented a proposed model under which all REPARIS countries could work together. Aimed at achieving a common passport for qualifications within the region, the approach is based upon the goals of meeting the requirements of the Statutory Audit Directive for licensed auditors, together with the complimentary requirements of IES 8, and the IAESB requirements for professional accountants (IES 1-7).
Drawing on the above approaches, the community drew up a three-stage approach, with the foundation covering the accounting education requirements for certified accounting technicians, as well as providing standards and guidance (drawing on the IESs) to Universities implementing Introductory accounting courses for undergraduate students. The next level addresses the professional education requirements for professional accountants (based on IES 1-7), while the top tier (Tier 1) addresses the most advanced, focuses on the requirements for statutory auditors as set out in the EU's Statutory Audit Directive and IES 8. (The CFRR presentation outlining the model can be found here).
The community restructured itself into 4 subject-specific groups, each of which aims to develop regional accounting and auditing education resources for each subject set. These will support the development of accounting education, CPD and qualification programs.
The EduCoP's new structure recognizes that all of the subjects that make up the requirements of the IES, the Statutory Audit Directive and also University programs can be classified under 4 headings, as follows:
- Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR);
- Management Accounting and Financial Management (MFM);
- Auditing (AUD), and
- Business and Regulatory Environment (BRE).
In order to facilitate effective implementation of CPD, the CFRR provided a resource of available CPD courses and education support materials to guide the development of accounting education within each subject area on a CD ROM.
IAESB - plans for 2011 and impact for accounting education
Dr Adrian Pulham of the International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB) and Director of Education of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) gave a presentation via Adobe Connect from his office in London. Dr Pulham explained the IAESB's work plan for 2011, which focuses on the revision of the IESs to improve their clarity, ensure their alignment with the Framework for IES and also to facilitate their adoption by broader stakeholders in accounting education, including the University sector. He encouraged the EduCoP to respond to IAESB consultations on proposed IESs, and stated that the Committee would especially welcomed feedback from the REPARIS region. The most recent exposure draft on IES 7 (CPD) was issued by the IAESB in December 2010. You may view Dr Pulham's presentation here.
EduCoP: Effective accounting teaching
CFRR staff provided a presentation on the limitations of lecture based teaching methods, (see presentation here), and this was complimented by a presentation and interactive session held by CFRR CoP consultants on different theories of learning and how these could be applied to the provision of accounting education (their presentation can be found here).
One of the main objectives of this workshop was to provide insights for making accounting education more effective, and the presentation on Framework-based teaching of financial reporting that is governed by principle-based standards by Michael Wells, Education Director of the IFRS Foundation was especially valued by participants. His presentation used a number of practical financial reporting challenges to illustrate the benefits of adopting a framework-based approach to teaching IFRS.
This approach was shown to be equally valid for teaching other subjects with similar characteristics (principles based standards) such as auditing. Mr. Wells' presentation slides can be found here (the video of the presentation is available here).
Ronnie Patton, Senior Lecturer at the University of Ulster Business School (UUBS), Belfast, UK illustrated the factors in design of the UUBS accounting related degree programs. Mr. Patton explained that demand and consultation were essential characteristics of the process of establishing or updating accounting courses at the University. Once the University was satisfied that its stakeholders were supportive, there were two key goals when setting up an accounting degree course: meeting the university's requirements that the course was of degree standard ("validation") and ensuring that its content allowed students to meet the educational requirements set by the professional bodies ("accreditation'). Courses offered by the University of Ulster are accredited with the UK's professional bodies and allow students studying, for example the ACCA qualification, to achieve a maximum of 9 exemptions (out of 14 papers). Mr. Patton, who is also the incoming President of ACCA in Ireland and has been an ACCA examiner, encouraged the University sector and Professional Bodies to work in a mutually supportive way to meet the needs of the economy for skilled and qualified staff. Mr. Patton's presentation slides can be found here (a video of the presentation is available here).
The EduCoP unanimously adopted a common approach to the future development of accounting and auditing education in the REPARIS region
The Community formed subject specialist groups to focus on the implementation and delivery of effective accounting education, leveraging existing national competences
The Financial Reporting Education group has requested and will facilitate expanded provision of framework based teaching of financial reporting using IFRS throughout the region