by Tim Gross, '11
St. Bonaventure University’s School of Business was named one of 15 recipients of a national grant sponsored by the PricewaterhouseCoopers Charitable Foundation, Inc.
Accounting professor Dr. Carol Fischer, along with co-applicants Dr. Joe Coate and Dr. Susan Anders, submitted the proposal, “Enhancing Global Awareness and Professionalism in Accounting Majors,” to PwC, a section 501(c)(3) public charity as part of the 2009 IFRS Ready Grant Program.
“The ‘call for proposals’ came out early in the fall 2009 semester, but the accounting department had been discussing how to integrate international issues in the curriculum for quite a bit longer than that,” she said. “In fact, we had just agreed at a meeting at the end of the spring 2009 semester to increase our international coverage in the financial accounting courses beginning in fall 2009.”
Fischer said the program is meant to incorporate international accounting topics across the curriculum. Fischer said she plans to work with Dr. Joe Coate and Dr. Susan Anders to update the curriculum in summer 2010. In addition, they will develop plans to present international issues to all accounting majors through guest speakers and special events to develop their understanding of international business.
“From the students’ perspective, developing a foundation in international accounting issues is critical because the U.S. is moving in the direction of adopting International Financial Reporting Standards in the near future,” Fischer said. “These standards have already been adopted by over 100 countries, including those in the European Union. As business has become more global, it is increasingly important for future business professionals to develop an understanding of international issues.”
PwC provided Fischer $30,000 for her project. Its Ready Grant Program awarded $250,000 to fund 15 proposals submitted by professors from more than 200 colleges and universities each year.
“Since we are one of only 15 schools across the country to be awarded this grant, it is a great honor and provides national recognition for our program,” Fischer said.
Fischer, Coate and Anders plan to work on developing plans for the program over the summer, implementing them for the 2010-2011 academic year.
The money is designated for faculty release time, giving Fischer and her department impetus to block out substantial time over the summer to work on their project.
“The grant enables us to forego other opportunities for summer projects and focus on the integration of international accounting in our curriculum,” Fischer said.
While the grant gives Fischer a chance to focus on a specific project, it provides students an opportunity to expand their repertoire in a growing international field.
“This grant will help us to be sure that SBU accounting students have the necessary background to be competitive in a global business environment,” she said. “It will also open their eyes to the breadth of career opportunities in international accounting.”