Rotman School of Management

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Centre for Innovation in Accounting Education

Projects Supported



Recent projects funded by the CPA/Rotman Centre for Innovation in Accounting Education


Development Funding for Accreditation of MMPA 24-Month Program and Three 12-Month Programs

By Irene Wiecek (Associate Director, MMPA), Sandra Daga (Associate Chair & Senior Lecturer UTSC – Management Dept.), Lisa Harvey (Lecturer, University of Toronto – Rotman School of Management)

The 12 month MMPA Program is a new program which will be offered the beginning of the fall of 2015.  It is designed to provide a master’s level education to undergrad students from Accounting Specialist Programs across the three campuses: the Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), Accounting Specialist Program from the University of Toronto, Mississauga; or the Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), Accounting Specialist Program from the University of Toronto, St. George; or the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Specialist in Management and Accounting Program from the University of Toronto, Scarborough.  Graduates from the program will have advanced standing in the CPA Professional Education Program and will advance to Capstone 2 of that program and then onto CPA Common Final Exam (CFE). The funding will be used for coordination and mapping of courses across the three programs, as well as the development of the accreditation proposals.


In addition, the funding will be used for development of the accreditation proposal for the revamped MMPA 24 month program.  This program is designed to provide a master’s level education to undergraduate students from non-business/non-accounting backgrounds.  Graduates from the program will have advanced standing in the CPA Professional Education Program and will advance to Capstone 2 of that program and then onto the CPA Common Final Exam.



Development Funding for the Rotman Graduate School Diploma

By Wally Smieliauskas, Professor of Accounting & Area Coordinator, Accounting (Rotman) 

The proposal is to request funding for the development and implementation of five courses for the proposed diploma in accounting.  The courses include Financial Accounting, Tax, Assurance, Finance and Capstone.  Faculty mentors are supporting the development team.



Development of the MMPA 12 Month Program and Related New Integration courses

By Irene Wiecek, Associate Director MMPA

The 12 month MMPA Program is a new program which will be offered the beginning of the fall of 2015.  It is designed to provide a master’s level education to undergrad students from Accounting Specialist Programs.  Graduates from the program will have advanced standing in the CPA Professional Education Program and will advance to Capstone 2 of that program and then onto CPA Common Final Exam (CFE).


The program will include core MBA type courses as well integrative decision – making courses.  It will include core MBA type courses.  It will be specifically designed to dovetail with the undergraduate content.  The program will focus on development of enabling competencies and filling any technical gaps.  This proposal is being submitted on behalf of the MMPA Development Team consisting of experts in the fields of ethics, assurance, performance management, finance and financial reporting.


The funding will be used for course development, program structure and design, integration initiatives between courses and professors and the development of related course material.



Development of the MMPA24 and 27 Month Program and Related New Integration courses

By Irene Wiecek, Associate Director MMPA

The revamped MMPA 24 and 27 month program is now CPA accredited (2014).  It is designed to provide a master’s level education to undergraduate students from non-business/non-accounting backgrounds.  Graduates from the program will have advanced standing in the CPA Professional Education Program and will advance to Capstone 2 of that program and then onto the CPA Common Final Exam.


The Program has been redesigned to include numerous integrative decision-making courses.  The courses will build upon the core MBA and professional accounting courses already in the program.


The funding will be used for development of a technical challenge exam, integration initiatives between courses and professors, use of technology to enhance the learning environment and the development of related course material.



Development of an Integrated Case for Taxation I (RSM324 and MGT423)

By Abraham Iqbal, MTax, CPA, CA, Lecturer, University of Toronto Mississauga

The purpose of this project is to give the students in the Accounting Specialist programs at UTM and Rotman opportunities to further develop their skills of critical thinking, comprehension, integration and communication.  Towards these ends, a non-directed, integrated case will be developed and used as part of the midterm examinations in MGT423 and RSM324.


The case will integrate material covered in the course up to the midterm. The case will be graded based on a grading rubric which rewards good organization and communication skills as well as technical and analytical skills.  To help students prepare for this a short writing assignment will be incorporated into the courses early in the term for which they will receive feedback on their written communication skills.



Creation of teaching cases on IFRS vs. other GAAP Frameworks

By Ramy Elitzur Ph.D., CPA, CMA

The objective of this initiative is to develop- several teaching cases that will introduce students to differences between key reporting frame works and about the proposed revised cash flow statement.  The teaching materials proposed would enhance the knowledge of students in the introductory graduate courses about the various reporting frameworks and the differences between them.  It will also be applicable for undergrad course and future Master’s programs. 


The move towards a unified accounting profession in Canada, the CPA designation, has created demand for quality education for all segments within the accounting and management more generally.  With the move towards IFRA and the GAAP systems, the educational challenge in graduate accounting has become more challenging. 


The proposed project will also tackle emerging issues in accounting standards.  The IFRS is pushing towards a direct flow statement as opposed to the indirect format used by most reporting companies and this funding for new cases will bridge that gap.  The new cases will focus on the differences with respect to leases, intangibles, contingencies and disclosures.


The funds will provide research assistance and case development.



Case Study: Leasing

By Tanya Kirsch, CPA, CA, CFA and Eckhard Schumann, CPA, CA (Lecturers: UTM Dept. of Management)

The proposal is to fund the creation of a case simulation on the topic of Leases.  The case simulation will look at leases as an off-balance sheet issue from a finance perspective, and will also address issues relating to accounting leases.


The case will involve the financial statements of a fictitious airline company to illustrate the concepts in a simplified format so that students can focus primarily on the leasing issues.  It will address the issue of quality of financial statement information, and in particular the issue of leases as an example of off-balance financing. Students will discuss accounting for leases, covering issues relating to operating and finance leases and apply that knowledge to a specific set of circumstances.  The case simulation will look at how an analyst could adjust the financial statements of a company to bring operating leases on the balance sheet and the impact of these adjustments on the key financial ratios.


The funding for this project will cover the costs incurred in the development of a case that can be used as an assignment or as a case for class discussion in MGM320, Financial Reporting.  This case develops critical thinking skills with an emphasis on the application of theory in a practical world. 


This case will also be entered in the CAAA’s annual case competition.  The winners of this case competition and their university receive significant exposure in the accounting academic profession.



Application of an Excel Online Assignment Tool in UG Accounting Courses

By Gerhard Trippen, Lecturer – UTM, Department of Management

The proposed Online Excel Assignment Automarker in Visual Basic (VBA) reduces the level of expertise of excel required by students and instructors, evaluating students on their accounting knowledge as opposed to their excel skills.  Instructors can easily create assignments, post or distribute and collect through Blackboard via a LMS or other tool.  The submissions are automarked.  


The assignment generator can be run on Windows and MacOS.  The password protected excel sheets are kept in a fixed format to allow the automarker to evaluate student answers.  Students can still add additional worksheets into the Excel Workbook which might allow for further calculations or to run the Excel solver.  Answers here can be linked to the question sheets.  The first page of the question sheets is open for instructors to add information such as dates, course codes and instructions.


For basically all the dependent variable types the author enters a value (text or number) or an excel formula into the column “Formula” to define how the answer should be calculated based on any given se4t of randomized, independent variables.  The full underlying functionality of Excel can be used without any restriction.  This makes writing an answer a very easy task for any question author with some basic Excel knowledge.  The constraints within the worksheet can also be defined by the author.


When generating the individual assignments the tool will also generate the corresponding answer key.  The students answers will then be compared to these answers in the solution keys while automarking.  The tool will also create a database for any question for which it finds new answers for the solution key and prompt the marker to leave feedback or assign partial marks. 


The cells are coded such that students can hover a mouse over a cell for detailed feedback on how many points they received for a question, what the correct answer is and any further comments made by the marker.


The funds will be used to support the resources required to complete the development of an online Excel automarking system that allows for multi-part randomized algorithmic questions and the creation of a set of assignments for the tool.



Creation of a MBA Major in Accounting

By Alex Edwards, Assistant Professor of Accounting and Partha Mohanram, PhD, CGA, Professor of Accounting

The Masters of Business Administration program at the Rotman School of Management currently includes a number of majors in marketing, finance, economics, organizational behaviour and others.  The proposal includes funding to provide research and development of an accounting base major for the Masters in Business Administration.  An accounting major would generate interest in the accounting electives and may also provide an opportunity for other accounting faculty to develop new electives.    The process would include the review of other Masters of Business Administration majors offered at Rotman, review of the existing elective courses available at the master’s level and consultation with instructors and the registrar.  This research would include a draft proposal of an accounting based major.



Creation of a New Capstone Course for Rotman Commerce Financial Reporting and Control Stream – Financial Statement Analysis and Valuation

By Partha Mohanram, PhD, CGA, Professor of Financial Accounting & Professor of Accounting

Rotman commerce recently created a new stream within the accounting specialization – Financial Reporting and Control for students who intend to pursue careers in accounting but not necessarily public accounting.  This program is designed for students pursuing careers as financial analysts, managerial accountants, financial statement preparers, controllers, internal auditors or financial professionals in general.  The specialization offers greater flexibility for students to take non-accounting RSM courses focusing more on management and financial accounting as opposed to tax and audit.


The approval of this proposal would allow the implementation of resources to create a new Capstone course, Financial Statement Analysis and Valuation.  The overall objective of this capstone course is to help students valuate business using financial statements.  It would include discussion of how accounting regulations and managerial discretion influence presented financial statements.  In addition, students will understand how to interpret financial statements, analyze cash flows, make judgements about earnings quality and uncover hidden assets and liabilities.  Students will also be exposed to research from accounting and finance that focuses on how financial statement analysis can be used in devising trading rules.  The course will use financial statement analysis prospectively to forecast and valuate firms using cash-flow-based and accounting-based-methods.


The funding will provide resources to create the Capstone course which would entail the creation of a comprehensive course outline, review textbook, case and additional material op0tions.  This course will be case-based, use real-time technology in the class room and use valuation models based on the accounting based residual income valuation model.  Resources will also be utilized in the creation of new Canadian cases that use IFRS financial statements relevant to the students.



Case Study:  Analysis of Working Capital using The Brick

By Tanya Kirsch, CA, CFA, Lecturer - UTM, Department of Management

The proposal is for the creation of a case study to illustrate working capital analysis and the importance of working capital management.  The case use financial statements of a listed company to illustrate the concepts and the analysis.  The initial intention is to use the financial statement of The Brick to provide a real-life experience for students.


The case study will provide lecture slides on working capital for lecturer support, as well as historical data on The Brick which will be provided to students.  Student will work through the capital components of the financial statements, perform a targeted ratio analysis exercise looking in particular at working capital, and interpret and discuss whether the working capital cycle has improved or deteriorated.   Any linking through the company’s strategy will also be discussed.  Working capital information will be provided for comparative companies and The Brick working capital cycle will be compared and contrasted to comparative companies.


This case study will support the students’ understanding of work capital and provide students with insight into the usefulness of ratio analysis in a critical area of financial management.  The case will give students the opportunity to discuss the importance of good cash flow management over and above good margins in the income statement and analyze and interpret the financial statements of a real company.


In addition to the required competency coverage, one of the areas in industry where new graduates can add value is through a good understanding of working capital management. 


This case will form part of the cases to be covered in MGM320 Financial Reporting.



Accounting Capstone Course – Integrative Case Analysis

By Sandra Daga, Associate Chair & Senior Lecturer – Teaching – UTSC – Management Dept.

The current capstone course needs to be revised to meet the CPA requirements.  The revision will include a requirement for the capstone course in the accounting stream in the regular undergraduate program in the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA).  The current capstone course is currently not required but the revisions will mean this capstone course will be available as well for the Masters/Graduate Diploma program once this program is implemented.  The course will integrate accounting assurance, governance, tax and finance through the study of business simulations.


The funding will provide resources to develop a course plan and the development of appropriate case materials.



A Review of MGT323 and MGT428 Course Design Based on the New CPA Competency Map

By Yui Li, PhD, CMA, Associate Professor of Accounting – UTM – Department of Management

The funding for this project will be used to conduct a review of the course design and topic coverage with the goal to improve managerial accounting curricula to facilitate students who are interested in pursuing a CPA designation.


Research will identify areas of the CPA competency map that need to be included or enhanced in the MGT323 and MGT428 course designs, identify course materials such as textbooks, research papers, case studies and other teaching materials.  Funding will allow for participation in CMA Ontario Professional Development Programs and in the AAA Annual meeting to exchange ideas with peers and industry experts and to consult with colleagues at the University of Toronto. 


The final report will outline the improved managerial curriculum I the context of meeting the new CPA competence requirements.



High School Update: Building Supplemental IFRS Resources for Harbord Collegiate Institute

By Lisa Harvey MAcc, CPA, CA, Lecturer University of Toronto & Zach White, Senior Accountant KPMG

Accounting textbooks for high school students have not been through a modernization process and still teach accounting under Canadian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).  There are currently no textbooks that cover IFRS in a current context.   This project would consist of preparing IFRS summaries of key accounting topics and covered at the grade 11 and 12 levels.


The proposal would strengthen Rotman Commerce’s connection to feeder schools, which in turn would increase the brand image of Rotman and its reputation with potential applicants.  The proposal will strengthen the calibre of future Rotman Commerce students in the Rotman Commerce Accounting Program by building a strong foundation of accounting knowledge in both ASPE and IFRS.  Through this assistance, Rotman Commerce will become a beacon of educational support for our feeder schools and increase the connection between secondary and post-secondary accounting education. 


The funding would support the research and summaries for first principles under IFRS and Major accounting areas such as inventory and impairment under IFRS.



Financial Accounting in Practice

By Scott Liao, Associate Professor of Accounting  

Students have expressed an interest in understanding how accounting is used in practice and the accounting issues that companies encounter.  Journal articles are often useful in helping students relate accounting theories learned in classrooms to real-life issues that attract public attentions and engaging students to stay motivated.  The most useful articles tend to be simple, uncomplicated and to the pint.  It is challenging to find appropriate articles because most articles pertain to multiple accounting issues or involve very complicated transaction that in most times blur the focus of interest for students especially those who do not have an accounting background. 


The funding would be used to research articles that will assist with the teaching and improve the learning experience of students in RSM221 Intermediate Accounting II and RSM 1320 Financial Accounting.  The articles would be posted for other lecturers in the Accounting programs.



Creating a Case Simulation for MGT1222 – Managerial Accounting – and the Canadian Academic Accounting Association’s (CAAA) Case Competition

By Eckhard Schumann, CPA, CA, Lecturer – UTM, Department of Management

The proposed project is the creation of a case simulation called Pricing Decisions at Silver Oaks Motel- A Case in Cost Behaviour Analysis.  The case simulation is relatively short (five pages, including exhibits) and covers cost behaviour analysis.  The objectives of the simulation would be to teach the impact of cost behaviour on business decisions and teach students to separate hybrid costs into ifs fixed and variable components using Excel or a financial calculator.  The objective would also introduce the students to the concepts of contribution and contribution margin as well as breakeven analysis to compare two entities.  The process would highlight the importance of qualitative analysis in any business decision.


The case is meant to be used in a class discussion.


No funding is required at this time.  The lecturer researched and identified a case simulation that was practical and develops critical thinking skills and that will emphasize the application of theory in a practical setting.  The case simulation will also be entered in the CAAA’s annual case competition.  The winners of the case competition and their university receive significant exposure in the accounting academic profession.  I believe this case simulation will be ideal for this competition.



Undergraduate Accounting at UTM – Program Redesign

By Louis Florence, Director Undergraduate Programs UTM, Chair of the Undergraduate Accounting Curriculum Committee

With the unification over the past year of the accounting professions a new national and provincial accounting designation has been created – the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation.  A new national professional organization has been created, CPA Canada as well as a provincial body in Ontario know as CPA Ontario.  In Ontario, the CAs and CMAs have agreed to merge but the CGAs will remain separate.


The CPA profession has created a new professional education program (PEP) and a new CPA Competency Map which outlines the competencies that CPA’s possess.  There is also a CPA Knowledge Reference List which outlines the knowledge that is expected of a CPA at various stages of their education process.  The PEP may be offered as a post undergraduate professionally delivered program or by universities.  There are 6 modules. 


Currently, UTM offers two programs which major in Accounting; the Accounting Specialist Program and the Master of Management & Professional Accounting Program.  Under the existing professional programs the Accounting Specialist graduate taking the CA stream would graduate in June and write in September over a year later and the student taking the CMA stream would enter the strategic leadership 2 year professional program.  Those in the MMPA program taking the CA designation would write the CKE and SOA exams while in the MMPA program and finish MMPA classes in July and write the CA exams in September of the same year.  Those in the CMA steam would complete the requirements during their graduating year while still attending MMPA classes.


A preliminary review of the content of the undergrad courses and the CPA Competency Map was taken to determine sufficiency and appropriateness of coverage. 


Funding would be used to do a comprehensive review to establish coverage of the CPA Competency Map.  Competency Area Champions will be appointed to revisit the Map to ensure all areas are covered and to determine integrations between areas.  This review will look at the need for new courses or requirements needed for the Accounting Specialist program.  MMPA will be analyzed as a separate initiative.



Course Revision of RSM427 & MGT422 to Address CPA Requirements

By Michael Khan, Lecturer in Accounting

The unification of the accounting professions bodies has led to a new CPA Competency Map.  Several changes will be required to RS427 and MGT422 to ensure the courses are in line with the new expectations, thus better preparing students for professional examinations.


A complete mapping of the two courses and selected textbook and reading materials to the CPA Competency Map and Knowledge Supplement will be required.  A summary report noting the changes to the course including new cases added and teaching materials adjusted will be required as well as documentation of issues that arise from meetings with the CPA Working Group.


Funding will cover in-depth mapping of the text book and reading materials, researching and editing new cases, scouring other potential textbooks and obtaining course outlines from other instructors of similar courses at other universities.  This research will allow for the revision of current course outlines and existing course material.



The Architecture of Change:  Revising the Accounting Curriculum for Professional Accounting Education

By Lisa Harvey MAcc, CPA, CA, Lecturer University of Toronto and Donna Losell MBA, CPA, CA, Senior Lecturer University of Toronto

Since the Chartered Accountants (CAs), Certified Management Accountants (CMAs) and Certified General Accountants (CGAs) are in or have completed merger discussions across the country to form one designation – the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation, accounting education requirements are in a state of change.   This change affects the depth and breadth of material that aspirants to a career in professional accounting are required to possess.  This study is focused on determining the extent to which these educational reforms will affect the current and future curriculum on the St. George campus for both the undergraduate and graduate levels.


This proposed study has three main objectives.  The first is to determine by review of course outlines and interview the course coordinators and instructors to determine exactly how the current course materials correspond to the competency requirements of the CPA, identifying gaps in entry level knowledge and determining the extent of course modifications and course development requirements.  The plan also includes a design option for a transitional or bridging program to ensure that University of Toronto students are successful when challenging the new exams during the transitional period.  The results of the research required will determine how much incremental change is necessary to increase the depth of coverage at the core and/or elective levels including new course development, the design of a potential graduate diploma or the creation of a graduate degree program.


Funding in such a project, demonstrates the University of Toronto’s commitment in taking on a leadership role in establishing the academic requirement of or future CPAs to ensure the commitment to high quality and relevance of knowledge of professional accountants remains within the purview of Ontario Universities.  This study will not only promote and create enhanced learning environments by identifying areas of course change but also by suggesting options for new programs corresponding with the mission of the CA/Rotman Centre for Innovation in Accounting Education. 



Engaging Students in Accounting Education

By Michael Khan

The purpose of this initiative was to research and pilot techniques to encourage and maintain student engagement in Accounting education. Unlike many other university level courses which allow a great deal of flexibility in content delivered, courses in accounting typically have highly regimented and inflexible content requirements.  For example, a student taking RSM221, Financial Accounting Theory and Policy I, is expected to learn the fundamentals of financial accounting for leases, revenue recognition etc.  These externally imposed restrictions on curriculum can make it difficult to deliver the theory in an engaging manner.  Steps must be taken by the instructor to ensure the learning experience remains rich by maintaining student engagement both inside and outside the classroom.


I took several steps to understand and improve student engagement both inside and outside the classroom.  It was important to not just implement techniques in class to engage students but understand deeply what maintains student engagement.



Redevelopment of RSM395Y0 - International Course

By Michael Khan

A key objective of Rotman’s Accounting Stream is to prepare students for a career in professional accounting.  Increased globalization has resulted in the increased need for our students to be globally aware and able to do business in the international marketplace. Students specializing in Accounting at all three campuses of the University of Toronto have previously been unable to participate in study abroad programs as accounting curriculum requirements left little room for flexibility in course choices.  RSM395 was introduced to allow students studying accounting to gain credit towards their degree for international study. In the summer of 2012 an experimental course was developed (RSM395Y) to address this need.  The American University of Sharjah (AUS) was chosen as the venue for this course as it is recognized as the best academic institution in the UAE and arguably the entire Middle East.



Using Securexam to Administer Tests and Examinations - a pilot project for MGT419

By Eckhard Schumann

[Findings of this project was presented at the CAAA Annual Conference 2013 on Friday, May 31, 2013]

The objective of this project is to give the students the opportunity to write the tests and examinations under similar conditions as what they will experience when writing professional examinations.


Students will download the Securexam software on their laptops. Students will be responsible for providing their own laptops and ensuring that it is in good working order throughout the tests and examination. An Internet connection is not required. The software deactivates all software on the laptop, except a word processor and spreadsheet program. The students will answer the tests and examination using these programs and upload their answers to Blackboard.



Creating Xtranormal Animated Movies to present Cases and Simulations - a pilot project for MGT419

By Eckhard Schumann

The website provides the opportunity to create 3D animated movies. The website provides a near limitless list of characters, scenes and environments one can use to create one’s own animated 3D movies.


Their slogan is “If you can type, you can make movies.” The process begins by selecting a set for the movie. There are numerous choices, but an office setting would be the most popular for the purpose of this proposal. The next step is to select the characters for the movie and a voice for each character. One can either type or record the dialogue between the characters. There are various options for gestures, facial expressions, background noises and camera angles. Once the movie is finished, it can be posted on Blackboard or Youtube.


I plan to use to present scenarios in simulations and cases in the form of animated movies. It will be used as a pilot project in MGT419 Critical Thinking, Analysis and Decision Making in the Spring 2014 semester.



Creation of Integrated Case Study (based on Rona)

By Eckhard Schumann and Tanya Kirsch

This is a proposal to create an integrated case study based on the annual report of RONA Inc. for the financial year ended December 25, 2011, as well as on significant events relating to RONA Inc. that have taken place since that date.


The emphasis of the case study is on:

·               financial statement analysis

·               finance

·               financial accounting

·               management decision making

·               business strategy


The case has the potential for much further discussion, including taxation and auditing issues. It is up to the instructor to decide how comprehensive the case should be. The case is flexible. An instructor can omit certain aspects of the case or add other issues to the case discussion.



Review of UTSc Accounting Specialist Program (review to be carried out by team of Faculty)

Sandra Daga

This proposal essentially involves a review of skills and knowledge required of a “modern” chartered accountant; a review of the education needs and process of the modern chartered accountant, and the organizing of a course path commencing from first year and ending with certain “capstone” or integrative courses in their final years and perhaps beyond.


We would propose the following:

·               Defining “objectives” of a university accounting program (e.g. technical; lifetime learning; fun/social; professionalism);

·               A review of other university accounting programs;

·               Consideration of the skills and abilities of a 1st year student; 2nd year etc.;

·               Determining the most suitable learning environment (e.g. should accounting students be in the same “group” for their 4 year program);

·               Setting out of specific courses with general objectives and content (e.g. 1st year – Financial Accounting 1; Management Accounting 1; Marketing; Business math etc.)

·               Linking the “ideal” back to the CA competency map (as well as other accounting professionals);

·               Identification of new courses (e.g. Corporate Governance, Personal Financial Accounting; Business Valuation principles and concepts);

·               Establishing expectations about the, communication, writing and comprehension competencies of accounting students and developing course enhancements

·               Consideration of integration to proposed Masters Programs at UTSC

·               Consideration of the feasibility of achieving “all” within the constraints of a 4 year program. For example, it may be determined that students in the accounting program would have to complete additional courses beyond their 4 year degree (e.g. Advanced Tax; Advanced Auditing; Advanced Accounting: Comprehensive writing).

·               Consideration of the education changes anticipated by the new CPA education path.

·               Consideration of the impact of the pending accreditation of the UTSC program.



Flipping the Classroom experiment

By Dragan Stojanovic

Going beyond the previous research projects to implement “webcasting” and recording of lectures, this project aims to take the next step in using technology to “flip the classroom”. In this model, students watch video lectures and other (preferably interactive) content before coming to lecture. In other words, the self-study component comes before the lecture. Lectures consist of group work, discussion, and applying the concepts learned in the self-study sessions. In other words, the typical approach of lecturing first and then letting students do homework problems as self-study is “flipped” or “inverted”.



Future of Accounting Education: Technology and Answers to the Coming Disruption

By Dragan Stojanovic

[Findings of this project was presented at the CAAA Annual Conference 2013 on Friday, May 31, 2013]

Higher education is undergoing significant changes and disruption is on the horizon. While MIT has offered open courseware for many years, new initiatives such as EdX and Coursera are showing incredible interest in a new way of learning. Both of these initiatives provide free university-level courses (often with certification from top universities) that are delivered online. University of Toronto has joined Coursera with five pilot courses in 2012/2013; as UofT provost Cheryl Misak commented on this trend, “This is the world we live in now” (Bradshaw, 2012).


While most innovation has happened in the fields of computer science and engineering, course offerings have expanded across all disciplines. Coursera now offers over 200 courses, and new offerings include business courses as well (Course Explorer, 2012). Similarly, Sal Khan (whom Google’s Eric Schmidt recently described as follows: “it may very well be that Salman Kahn becomes the most important educator in the entire world”) has recently announced a project to provide a whole MBA curriculum online – for free (Authors at Google: Salman Khan | The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined, 2012). In other words, disruption is coming. And, if all we are doing in class is lecturing, then disruption is already here.


The purpose of this study is to research the trends in higher education with respect to technology – with a special focus on business and accounting education. The goal is to imagine a future of accounting education that can benefit from technology and improve the success of our students. Finally, the goal is to also provide practical and direct steps forward for accounting educators and innovators – to face and realize this future.



Review and re-Allocation of Content in the Undergraduate Tax Courses

By Joan Kitunen and Alex Edwards

Effective September 2013, students enrolled in the Rotman Commerce Accounting Specialist (BCom) may complete one of two streams; either Public Accounting (Stream A) or Financial Reporting and Control (Stream B).  For students in Steam A, two tax courses are required, RSM324 and RSM424.  For students in the new Stream B, only one tax course, RSM324 is required.  As well, the CPA Competency Map and Knowledge Supplement has just become available.


The content of RSM324 needs to be tailored to suit the needs of Accounting Specialist students in Steam B for whom this tax course will be the only tax course. The order and depth of topics covered in both RSM324 and RSM424 must continue to best meet the needs of the students in Stream A and the ICAO accreditation requirements. The content of RSM324 and RSM424 needs to be mapped to the CPA Competency Map and Knowledge Supplement to ensure complete coverage.



Website for Accounting Online Learning Environment

By George Quan Fun

The objective of this project is to create a website for an online learning environment which would allow students to review difficult and challenging course materials and concepts previously covered in class, along with providing more complex problem solving material to further increase their understanding of the course subject matter. In addition, this website would also serve instructors, as it would allow them to cover additional material that was not covered in the regular class time (due to time constraint) or perhaps showcase application of more complex problems. This website would be the depository of all learning concepts and tools to aid students in understanding management concepts and theory and could be easily updated and reused year after year. For example, if a 3rd year accounting student wanted to refresh their basic understanding of a particular accounting topic taught in 1st or 2nd year, they could go to the website and replay the video on that subject matter.



Rotman Case Competition

By Elisa Zuliani and Michael Khan

We seek to explore the possibility of incorporating a case competition in the Rotman Commerce curriculum. Case competitions are used in other business programs including Waterloo and UTM’s MMPA; in addition they can be used to build alliances with other areas such as Finance, Marketing and Economics. In addition, there has been some interest from accounting firms (specifically, KPMG) as possible sponsors.



UTSc new course on corporate governance

A Corporate Governance course is proposed to be developed by myself and one other faculty member. I will facilitate and teach the course as well as the other faculty member who is a lawyer.


The content of the course would tie to the C.A. Competencies as outlined in the 2013 Competency Map of the ICAO. This course is needed in our Accounting program to ensure students have the necessary background in corporate governance and ethics.






Past Projects Funded by the ICAO/Rotman Centre for Innovation in Accounting Education



Integrative Learning in Accounting Education:  Toward a Working Framework

By Dr. Joel Amernic

This research paper researches new ways of looking at and delivering accounting education at the university level as a first entry point into the accounting profession – recognizing that accounting education is the first step in the learning continuum for professional accountants. It lays out a working practical framework for integrative learning in professional education.



MGT 220 Financial Accounting II – Course Enhancement

By Dr. Gus DeFranco and Peter Thomas, CA

This project involves revamping the MGT 220 curriculum to significantly increase the case content covered in class as well as in testing.  The project involves the development of new case material with teaching notes and evaluation guides.  Students taking MGT 220 in the future will be required to write these cases and will receive feedback on their case writing skills.



MGT 223 Management Accounting I – Course Enhancement

By Connie Reed, CMA

This project involves the development of new case material with teaching notes and evaluation guides linked to the CICA Competency Map.  These cases are based on entities such as The Hospital for Sick Children, for example. These cases will be used in MGT 223, the first managerial accounting course.



MGT 321 Auditing – Course Enhancement

By Manfred S. Schneider, LLB, CFP, CA

This project involves the development of a series of mini cases and evaluation guides grounded in the CA competency map.  The evaluation guides are prepared in accordance with the new evaluation guides used by the ICAO and the CICA.  These cases were integrated into MGT 321 in the 2005/2006 academic year.



MGT 421 Advanced Auditing Topics – Course Enhancement

By Manfred S. Schneider, LLB, CFP, CA

Learning is ongoing collective process. The first time that students are exposed to a topic they learn the fundamentals or “the basics”.  For example, in auditing, we cover audit reports.  The first time through, students learn about the standard report and the basic concepts/changes – except for; adverse; denial.  Although as an instructor we think and hope that the students “know it all” – they have in fact only absorbed the basic layer. MGT 421 is what I would envision as “321 plus plus plus”.  The first plus – is to add a second layer.  This involves re-visiting the core materials covered in 321 and adding more illustrations and more professional judgment to certain core materials.  The second plus – is to integrate more accounting; more unusual assurance situations.  The third plus is to bring in special topics such as forensic auditing; auditing in the public sector; assurance standards.  Each “plus” adds layers to the basics acquired in 321, the first auditing course.  This project involves reworking MGT421 so that fits into the existing CA competency map.  It will result in the development of integrative cases for each topic.  In addition a “current events” component will be developed.  The integrative cases and the current events component were integrated into MGT421 in the 2005/2006 academic year.



Specific Discipline/Competency Champions (Framework)

By Dr. Dan Segal, Donna Lossell, Joan Kitunen, FCA, and Irene Wiecek, FCA

This project lays out the architecture for change and integrated program development for the two programs at UTM, i.e., the Specialist Program in Accounting and the MMPA Program, as well as the B.Com program on the St. George campus.  Integration involves both horizontal and vertical integration. A major thrust at Rotman is for horizontal integration (across the specific competencies). As we integrate horizontally, there is also a need for vertical integration. Vertical integration ensures that the foundations laid in early courses are built upon in successive courses. This project is part of the framework for developing integrated programs in accounting education. It will be part of the architecture for change and will move the innovation and integration initiative forward.  Part of this project involves identifying course overlaps and deficiencies.



Multiple intelligence (Gardner, 1983) and Other Intelligence/Personality Testing Models and Their Use as a Framework for Integrative learning in Professional Accounting Education

This research paper involves the use of MI theory in accounting education.  It involves creating a database of major North American Accounting Programs listing institution, type and level of program, degree(s) granted, organizing principle of the program; the review of Multiple Intelligences and its potential benefits/weaknesses as an organizing principle in general, and in accounting education in particular; and the comparison of MI to other possible organizing principles/intelligence tests.



Case Analysis as a Tool for Integrative Thinking and Learning

By Dr. Gordon Richardson, FCA and Irene Wiecek, FCA

The outcome of this project is a document describing the University of Toronto case method.  A case means different things to different people.  The expectations with respect to students’ abilities to analyse cases changes from the University entry level to the University graduate level. This document will help to clarify expectations.



MGT 220 Financial Accounting II – Writing Project

By Dr. Gus DeFranco

This project involves using research information available on teaching writing and problem-solving skills to students to develop a writing program within MGT 220.  The project involves recruiting and training teaching assistants to grade and provide feedback on writing skills.  The UTM academic skills centre is a partner in this project.



MGT 371 Business Information Systems and MGT 422 Computer Auditing

By Manfred S. Schneider, LLB, CFP, CA

This project involves integrating MGT 371 Business Information Systems and MGT 422 Computer Auditing into one new course – Information Systems Audit and Control.  To eliminate overlap and redundancy in course materials and to improve the overall quality of materials delivered to students, these two courses are being combined and some of the materials further integrated into other existing courses.  As part of this project a detailed review of the CA competencies in the related areas of Performance Measurement – Managerial Accounting, Information Technology and assurance was carried out.



Case Analysis – The fundaments

By Manfred S. Schneider, LLB, CFP, CA



MGT 1222 Development and Integration of Case Analysis

By Manfred S. Schneider, LLB, CFP, CA

University of Toronto Business Plan Competition 2006-2007

This event for the business students received support from the Centre



The Quality of Business Communication and Textual Analysis:  Helping Accounting Students Develop Critical Competencies in Reading and Writing

By Dr. Joel Amernic

This research paper examines evidence-based curriculum plans for the development of accounting students’ critical competencies in reading and writing through textual and discourse analysis, across courses.  The project will provide teaching/learning materials for second and third-year courses which will enhance students’ ability to discuss, critically and constructively, professional and other published textual discourse in business and accounting.  An article summarizing and demonstrating the process and the results of the project will be submitted to a refereed accounting journal.



Perceptions and Experiences of the Accounting Students in the UTM Commerce Program

By Michael Jalland

This research project involves obtaining information from graduates of the UTM Commerce Program at various stages in their careers after graduation.  It is intended that this information be used to design the new Accounting Specialist Program within the B Com degree.



Review of Rotman MBA Accounting Courses

By Dr. Ramy Elitzur

This project involves the undertaking of a review of the accounting courses offered in the Rotman MBA.  The review entails both the contents within the courses already offered in the Rotman MBA and, even more importantly,  new courses that should be offered.



Implementation of the New Accounting Stream in the Rotman Commerce Program

By Dr. Ping Zhang and Dr. Gordon Richardson, FCA




Ongoing Projects



MGT 419/420 Critical Thinking, Analysis and Decision Making

By Dr. Gordon Richardson, FCA and Elisa Zuliani, CA

This course was first introduced as a pilot course for undergraduate accounting students in 2006.  It has since then become a permanent course.  The effectiveness of this course as a learning tool lies equally in the integrative nature of the course and its instruction by Gordon Richardson and Elisa Zuliani, both of whom are actively involved with the CA qualification process and professional development at the ICAO.  The course acts as a forum to showcase and strengthen one’s technical and practical knowledge – knowledge that has been developed through courses completed thus far.  While emphasis is placed upon accounting courses, students are actively encouraged and rewarded for drawing upon, integrating and merging knowledge silos relating to Finance, Organizational Behavior, and Marketing to name just a few.  Via a highly interactive and discussion orientated framework, this course utilizes integrative cases to stimulate real-life issues routinely encountered by accounting professionals. The ICAO partners with the University in delivering this course and funds the development of new case simulation materials to be used in the course each year. This project receives ongoing support from the Centre as well.



MMPA Integrative Case Competition

The Centre is please to support the annual ICAO/Rotman Centre for Innovation in Accounting Education Integrative Case Competition in the Master of Management and Professional Accounting program (MMPA).  Integrative initiatives such as this helps students develop intellectually and professionally.

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