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Good Writing

Writing and speaking properly are important for financial professionals, professors and students.  Although there are no grammar police walking a beat, a poorly worded communication has the potential to offend the receiver.  Giving offense is bad because it distracts from the message.  Here is an example.

Two people meet, and one says to the other, “How are you today?”

The other responds, “I am good.”

The proper response is, “I am well.”

I have heard many anecdotes of the heavy cost incurred by financial professionals who write or speak poorly, for it is not unusual to lose business as a result of unpolished prose.  Moreover, there are significant benefits to writing and speaking properly.

Why do I blog about this today?  A recent discussion on AECM (e-mail listserv for accounting professors) focused on the proper use of active and passive voice.  Although some say that it is bad to use passive voice, it really isn’t.  It depends upon meaning and style.

In my opinion, a balanced program of continuing professional education (CPAs must take at least 40 hours per year) should include instruction in writing and speaking properly.  I would be happy to offer these CPE sessions, should any state society wish to hire me.

It takes a tremendous effort to learn proper English.  Like most, I learned proper English from reading.  After teaching myself to read, I read hundreds of magazine short stories, thousands of science fiction novels, countless newspaper sports pages and many encyclopedia articles.  If you don’t like to read, realize that you are limiting yourself in much the same way as not regularly bathing, or even not brushing your teeth.

Then there are the K-12 courses in English, endured but not enjoyed.  I took English literature courses in college, which not only provided instruction in writing, but also provided many opportunities to practice.

Being able to practice writing is the final building block.  Written communications, papers in school and perhaps even short stories give writers the necessary exercise to build their Enlgish muscles.  Always there is the goal of doing a better job of expressing thoughts, emotions and depictions of events.

Web sites can supplement the learning process, but they do not substitute for the reading and practice.  For the AECM issue of active or passive voice, a visit to the Grammar Girl blog provides guidance.

For an entertaining look at proper wording, visit the Terribly Write blog.

Bob Jensen (emeritus professor from Trinity University) has some links to writing helpers (wait 10 seconds for page to load).

[Editing is very important.  Failure to spot an error can lead to embarrassing errors.  Thanks to Gary Zeune for spotting one that was in the first sentence.]

Debit and credit – - David Albrecht

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Meh, No

It was a simple question, I thought.  Worth 30 points on an Intermediate Accounting final exam, I was expecting a yes or no answer with appropriate reasoning.  Knock my socks off, I asked them.

The rest of the world uses FIFO, but does not permit LIFO.
Should the U.S. continue to use LIFO?

Little was I prepared for one student’s response, “Meh, no.”

I could have handled mais oui (yes, with emphasis) or mais non (no) because I took French in ninth grade.  I still remember, “Je ne parle pas Français,” but prefer to say, “Mais, non,” when asked if I speak French.

It might have been better for the student to answer a yes or no type of question with either oui or non, but he didn’t.  He responded meh.

Dare I admit I didn’t know what it means?  Refusing to admit guilt (hey, the SEC doesn’t require it from crooks paying fines and damages for committing fraud), I asked my colleagues on AECM if they knew what it meant.

No one did, but two looked it up:

Indifference; to be used when one simply does not care.

The folks on AECM went on for a while about the need to use proper English in school (and later on in professional life), but I think they missed the point.  It’s a word that is commonly used to communicate a specific meaning.  And when used in a formal setting, adds emphasis!!!!!!!  At least no one gave me a series of exclamation points.

The student could have mounted a spirited defense of meh, arguing that in an era of convergence (or lack there of), it simply doesn’t matter.  Or perhaps LIFO is insignificant in the grand scheme of things.  Unfortunately, the student wandered around for a couple hundred words, then turned to other questions on the exam.

If the SEC ever polls us on whether we should keep GAAP, the survey instrument better have four boxes to check:

Debit and credit – - David Albrecht

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The following story is reprinted in its entirety from The Forum of Fargo, ND.  Adva Aharonovich is one of my students.

Life’s journey has led swimmer to Cobbers after
near-drowning incident, stint in Israeli Defense Forces

By: Eric Peterson
November 25, 2011

Concordia College swimmer Adva Aharonovich is from Israel. Dave Wallis / The Forum

Moorhead – Adva Aharonovich remembers one of her first experiences in a swimming pool being quite traumatic.

She was in grade school and in an outdoor pool in her native Israel.

“They told me not to let go of the wall and I did,” Aharonovich said.

Aharonovich said no one immediately noticed she “was drowning.”

“Finally, my sister caught me and then she jumped and saved me,” Aharonovich said. “That was pretty scary. That was the end of it, and my mom put me in swimming.”

These days, she is at home in the water and more than 6,000 miles away from home. She is a senior swimmer for Concordia.

“It’s been really great,” said Aharonovich, who is 24 years old. “It’s a really a nice school and I have no regrets.”

Aharonovich came to Concordia after two years of mandatory service in the Israel Defense Forces. She was athletic trainer for the Israeli Air Force. Part of her job included teaching self-defense, including using an M16 as a “cold weapon.”

Aharonovich went into the military about six months after high school. She said in Israel, women are required to serve for two years and men for three years.

“It’s mandatory, and that is kind of surprising to people here,” she said. “For me, it’s just not a big deal because you grew up in that. … You knew you were going to be serving in the military whether you liked it or not. I had an amazing service and I would do it all over again.”

Aharonovich grew up in Kiryat Bialik, which is a suburb of Haifa in the north part of Israel. After her military service, she knew she wanted to study abroad. She knew she wanted to go to a small liberal arts college. She wanted to go to a school that had a swim program and offered accounting and computer science majors.

Those factors led her to Concordia. Aharonovich had been to the United State many times before she came to Concordia in August 2008, but she had mixed emotions initially. She was starting from scratch, coming to a part of the United States where she didn’t know anyone and also had to get used to a new climate. In Israel, Aharonovich said it would get as hot as 120 degrees with brutal humidity. In Moorhead, she would have to brave temperatures that could hit 30 degrees below zero.

None of that fazed her too much.

“I was really excited and also kind of afraid, because I hadn’t touched anything school-wise for a good three years,” Aharonovich said.

She has handled the academic transition and turned into a reliable member on the Concordia swimming team. Cobbers head coach Julie Lucier said Aharonovich’s drive was evident near the end of her sophomore season.

Late in the season, she had yet to qualify for the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference meet in the 50-yard freestyle. Aharonovich swam the event three times in one day in the team’s final meet of the regular season.

The third and final time she swam the 50 freestyle was in a time trial. She clocked the qualifying time she needed after falling short the first two times.

“She perseveres,” said Lucier. “And she knows what I think about time trials because it’s unlikely that you are going to do better. She is persistent.”

Aharonovich is taking 21 credits this semester and also works 15 hours a week at an accounting internship. Her junior year, she worked 30-40 hours a week in that same internship.

“She’s a tough girl,” said Lucier, who is having Aharonovich over for Thanksgiving dinner. “The first time I met her I could tell she was determined.”

.

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When I Grow Up

A cute Thomson Reuters video is making the rounds of accounting blogs, “When I Grow Up, I Want to be a Tax Accountant.”  I’m curious to see what, “When I Grow Up, I Want to be an Accounting Professor,” would look like.

The video’s recipe is simple.  First, start with attractive kids.  The two boys and two girls used here are enchanting, especially the one missing his two front teeth.  Second, dress them in grown-up sized business attire.  Third, coach the kids to read a script about the daily frustrations and complaints of being an adult working as a tax accountant.   Fourth, cue the rolling acoustic guitar line with a happy bounce.   Fifth, release on Youtube.

Voilà!  A tasty video going viral by accounting standards (>100,o00 hits).

If you listen carefully to the lyrics, you catch lines such as, “When I grow up, I want to manage a tax department.  I want to have lots of turnover and burnt out employees, and I want to have only three employees to do the work of eight.”

Really?  With such prospects in store, why would anyone want to become a tax accountant?   The video offers no clue.

The template can be used in a variety of settings.  For example, if I knew then what I know now about the frustrations of working as an accounting professor, would I ever have started down the path?  The answer varies depending on whether the day is good or bad.

Why did any of us decide to become an accountant?  I think the answer is fairly simple.  We can do numbers.  More than being able to do arithmetic, we can read numbers, and we are able to hear what the numbers say to us.  For that we are willing to put up with all the frustrations.

It didn’t hurt that being an accounting major is fun.  Well, it’s fun for nerds.  In anticipation of Accountant Day, I asked my students what we’d look like in costume.  They had fun with it.  Nerd clothes include pocket protectors filled with pencils, white shirts stained from coffee droplets, unkempt hair, clothes that no longer wear well after a 12 hour day, and a caustic sense of humor.

Accounting classes have always been fun, sort of.  We got hooked with the first statement of accounting 101, “Assets equal Liabilities plus Owners Equity.”  Then it was accounting 102, Intermediate Accounting, Cost Accounting, Auditing, and various tax courses.  Do you know there is no college curriculum as standardized as that of accounting?

Most of us loved being an accounting major.  A 2009 video put together by some graduating University of Florida Fisher School of Accounting students says it well.

This video helps to bring back memories.  It contains a clip of Hadley Schaefer, one of my favorites.  The years of studying accounting were some of the best years of my life.

Yours too.

And I’d do it again.

Debit and credit – - David Albrecht

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Today is Accountant Day (aka Accounting Day).  In the hopes of coming up with something clever enough to get linked to from Going Concern and RTed on Twitter, I queried a few dozen accounting notables including professors, bloggers, journalists, regulators and Top 100 Most Influential People.

How do you intend to celebrate Accountant Day on November 10?

At least Paul Bahnson (professor at Boise State, Accounting Today columnist, and member of the 2011 Top 100 list) was honest, “I wasn’t even aware that there was any such thing as Accountant Day.”

Denny Beresford, former Chairman of the FASB, is going to work today.  Ugh.  “I’ll be attending the PCAOB Standing Advisory Group meeting in DC in the morning, flying and driving home to Athens, GA in the afternoon, and participating in a corporate board meeting in Seoul, South Korea by phone that evening.”  Denny is still working off the bills from his college toga parties.

Professors Bahnson and Ed Ketz (Penn State professor and Grumpy Old Accountants blogger), like most accountants, really know how to cut lose. Bahnson said, “I’m thinking I might put up an entry in class where the debits don’t equal the credits (on purpose!) just to celebrate.”  Ketz said, “I’m giving an exam on currency forwards, foreign translation, and options as fair value and cash flow hedges.  Should be fun.”

Ed Scribner (accounting department Head at New Mexico State University and  Funniest Accounting Professor in America), has a day long program planned:

  • Dr. John Loveland will be delivering his special address entitled, “Accountants – You Can’t Do Without Them, But I’d Certainly Like to Try.”
  • Dr. David Boje will be telling a story entitled, “Interesting Accountants I Have Known.”  (This session will be brief.)
  • Dr. Carl Enomoto will be explaining why accountants cannot have personality conflicts, by definition.
  • Dr. Janet Green will be presenting favorite bean recipes from the kitchens of HRTM.

Jim Peterson (blogger at re:Balance and audit theorist) will propose new wording for the auditor opinion:

“Having performed such calendar-reading tests as we deemed reasonable in the circumstances, it is our opinion that, in accordance with generally accepted calendar principles, Accountants’ Day is fairly likely to be observed on Thursday, October 10, 2011.

“Third parties are advised, however, that our opinion is intended for use only by those with whom we are in privity, and that they should perform such other or further due diligence as they may require or deem suitable.”

Hey Jim, very funny.

Sam Antar, the most creative accountant of his generation, (as well as convicted felon, former CFO at Crazy Eddie’s and now blogger at White Collar Fraud), says,

I will be giving thanks to Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and its auditors at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Their antics have provided me with fresh materialfor teaching how to find accounting irregularities in plain sight.

The most interesting party plans come from the regulators:  James Kroeker (SEC), Leslie Seidman (FASB), Hans Hoogervorst (IASB).  They chose not to respond to my invitation to comment, so I’m just going to make stuff up.

Hoogervorst suggests that on Accounting Day debits and credits should be optional and used only according to professional judgment.  Seidman exposed the idea of debits and credits switching sides.  Henceforth, credits are now to be located on the left side.  Kroeker is to issue a Convergence Roadmap to a party at his house.

How are you celebrating on this day?  Leave details in the comment section below.

Debit and credit – - David Albrecht

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Charles T. Horngren, 1926-2011

Charles T. Horngren has passed away.  Born on October 28, 1926, he died October 23, 2011 of natural causes.  He is well known for authoring Cost Accounting: A Managerial Emphasis, the best selling textbook in cost accounting for the past 40 years.  Now in its 14th edition and co-authored with Srikant M. Datar and George Foster, I first read the book in 1977 as a young accounting student.  At that time, it was already the dominate cost textbook nation-wide.

According to Bob Jensen, “He was not only a well-loved member of the GSB community, he was regarded with the same admiration by his professional peers beyond Stanford.”  I agree.

The Graduate School of Business at Stanford University has set up a testimonial page.  Quoting from it,

It is with great sadness the GSB must inform you that Charles T. (Chuck) Horngren, Edmund W. Littlefield Professor of Accounting, Emeritus, passed away peacefully October 23, 2011. He was not only a well-loved member of the GSB community, he was regarded with the same admiration by his professional peers beyond Stanford …

A memorial service is planned for 10 am, Saturday, November. 12, at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 751 Waverley Street, Palo Alto. A reception will follow at the Garden Court Hotel, 520 Cowper, Palo Alto (free valet parking will be provided for those attending the memorial reception.)

Horngren was added to the Accounting Hall of Fame in 1990.

Horngren's Cost Accounting: A Managerial Emphasis

Pearson, which published his popular textbook, lists his many accomplishments,

Charles T. Horngren is the Edmund W. Littlefield Professor Emeritus of Accounting at Stanford University. A graduate of Marquette University, he received his MBA from Harvard University and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He is also the recipient of honorary doctorates from Marquette University and DePaul University.

A Certified Public Accountant, Horngren served on the Accounting Principles Board for six years, the Financial Accounting Standards Board Advisory Council for five years, and the Council of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants for three years. In addition, he served as a trustee of the Financial Accounting Foundation, which oversees the Financial Accounting Standards Board and the Government Accounting Standards Board for six years.

A member of the American Accounting Association, Horngren has also served as its President and Director of Research. He received the Outstanding Accounting Educator Award in 1973, when the association initiated an annual series of such awards.

The California Certified Public Accountants Foundation gave Horngren its Faculty Excellence Award in 1975 and its Distinguished Professor Award in 1983. He is the first person to have received both awards. In 1985, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants presented him with its first Outstanding Educator Award. Five years later, he was elected to the Accounting Hall of Fame.

In 1993, Horngren was named Accountant of the Year, Education, by the national professional accounting fraternity, Beta Alpha Psi.

Professor Horngren is a member of the National Association of Accountants, and served on its research planning committee for three years. He was also a member of the Board of Regents, Institute of Management Accounting, which administers the Certified Management Accountant examinations.

Dr. Horngren, I appreciate your contributions to my professional life.

Debit and credit – - David Albrecht

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The Writing Spectrum

Most people don’t write well.  They lack sufficient skill.  Don’t question this, I know what I’m talking about.

I’m paid both to evaluate the writing of others and to write for publication (professors must publish or perish).  After years of requiring writing assignments in my accounting and general business courses, I have concluded that those opting into accounting are worse writers than most other students.  After graduation, writing skills remain lacking because accountants do not pursue professional development in writing.

It wouldn’t be a problem if bad writers didn’t write.  They have to, however, because in today’s social media world business professionals (including accountants) write more than ever before.

The problem is exacerbated when bad writers believe they are better writers than they actually are.  Instead of avoiding advanced writing tasks that result in failure, they rush to volunteer for such opportunities.  Qué pena.

Tom Johnson at I’d Rather Be Writing, authors my favorite blog on writing. He provides insight into this problem in a recent post, “What Does It Mean to Know How to Write?”  His key contribution, in my opinion, is organizing typical writing tasks into a writing spectrum.

Image credit: Tom Johnson of I'd Rather Be Writing

Johnson explains that various writing tasks require different level of skill.  The simplest writing tasks–texts, e-mails, PowerPoint slides and tweets–don’t need much writing skill.  Much of the time, professionals who are bad writers can perform such tasks successfully.

On the other end of the writing spectrum, there are writing tasks needing, “… original idea development, organization of lengthy arguments, style and flow and voice, and a host of other elements that require more advanced abilities.”  When most professionals attempt tasks requiring lots of writing ability, lack of writing skill results in embarrassment and loss of clients.  [And how!]

There are two ways to mitigate the problem.  The first is to have one’s writing skill professionally assessed.  Armed with an honest appraisal of writing ability, professionals then can avoid tasks for which they are unqualified.  The second is for professionals to seek continuing education in writing.

I vote for improvement through continuing education.

Debit and credit – - David Albrecht

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Master accounting teacher Joe Hoyle (U of Richmond) asks and attempts to answer a very relevant question in, “Lessons from Dilbert,” on September 28 at his blog, Teaching:  Getting the Most from Your Students.  His essay is based on the first pane of a Dilbert cartoon from Scott Adams:

Pic credit: Scott Adams (9-28-2011)

I love this cartoon because Dilbert approaches an expert on garbage to find out about PowerPoint.  Is this an example of a simile or metaphor?  Have you ever heard the phrase, “Death by PowerPoint?”  Adams could also have used a funeral home operator or grave digger in his cartoon.

Hoyle goes on to offer two hints on a better PowerPoint presentation:  a maximum of ten words per slide, and ask a question on every slide.  He then admits he’ll use 50 PowerPoint slides in his next presentation.  I think questions are good, but ten words is a bit much.  50 slides is about 30 more than needed for a decent assassination.

When making a speech (or presentation), most of us metaphorically suck.  The best speeches (or lectures or presentations) rouse and inspire.  Although TED Talks do that, most of us don’t get asked to present a TED Talk because we are unable to rouse and inspire.

Twenty years ago, the knock on business and accounting education was that the building temperature was always ten degrees warmer than any other building on campus.  Why?  Heavy use of overhead projectors.  Today the knock is that business and accounting students nap longer and better in class than other students on campus due to heavy use of PowerPoint.  The same could be said about most business and accounting presentations out in the professional world.

We know the best collegiate educational practices involve engaging students through having them practice realistic exercises in class.  I have taken this route to becoming a popular and effective teacher.

Never-the-less, boring lecture (with or without PowerPoint) endures as the presentation style of choice by a majority of professors and business speakers.  There are only a very few who are great orators.  Through the power of their oratory, they are able to plant important lessons into the minds of their students.

So, how does one become a rousing and inspirational speaker (an orator)?  When I took freshman speech class many years ago, the objective of the class was to get us only to where we didn’t embarrass ourselves during a speech.  I didn’t learn much.  Through decades of trial and error, I’m not sure where I’m at.

I’m guessing that most great speakers don’t fully understand how they do it.  If they did, by now perhaps one would have tried to teach the rest of us.

The best book on the subject I’ve read is about sticky ideas.  Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, is written by Chip and Dan Heath.  I do not know the Heaths, nor do I have any idea as to why they should be viewed as credible.  However, I have read much of the book and their ideas seem sound to me.  Keep in mind that I’m not a master orator, so may not be a good judge.

A review by Christopher Johnson summarizes the book’s key ideas as:

The authors cover 6 essential characteristics of ideas that last and impact those they come in contact with:

  1. The core message should be simple.
  2. Presentation should be unexpected.
  3. The imagery should be concrete.
  4. There must be credibility to the idea.
  5. People are emotional and ideas that stick should not forget the emotional element of “human-ness”
  6. Stories can carry ideas farther than facts and figures can.

If more professors, accountants and business speakers became rousing and inspirational speakers, there would be far fewer complaints about the boring use of PowerPoint.

Debit and credit – - David Albrecht

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Miscellany — interesting items that caught my eye during the week.


Ed Ketz and Tony Catanach, the Grumpy Old Accountants, give us another reminder of “Accountants Behaving Badly.”


Tom Selling has a really good blog post over at the Accounting Onion.  In “The IASB’s Revisions to Pension Accounting Rules are Based on a Preposterous Premise,” Tom does a good job of politely explaining why we need a pooper scooper to take care of the mess the IASB has made of pension accounting.  When I finally write my essay on it, I will call it the worst case of accounting standard setting in the history of humankind.


Caleb Newquist, one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting, reports that “West Virginia University to Offer PhD Program in Forensic Accounting and Fraud Investigation.”  If I was younger, I would enroll in it.  Congratulations, WVU.


Danielle Lee writes about “10 Blogs Worth Watching” in Accounting Today.  Some ProfAlbrecht favorites (TaxGirl, Accounting Onion, JrDeputyAccountant) are listed.  But all listed blogs are great.


I lust after new technology. Jeff Drew writes about “The iPad Decision” in the October issue of the Journal of Accountancy.  Maybe I’ll get one someday.


I advocate social media usage, especially blogging.  TJ McCue, guesting at Open Forum, blogs, “Four Reasons You Should Not Blog.”  I disagree.  I frequently hear from profs that they don’t blog because they have nothing to say.  A professor with nothing to say?  Classes are probably very short.

We don’t have enough good blogs in accounting.


Debit and credit – - David Albrecht

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I surf a lot in my eternal quest to learn as much as possible about the worlds of accounting and business.  I like videos.  Short videos, that is.  Two of the world’s leading universities have been filming short videos of professors discussing a current business topic.

The two best examples of this are the Harvard Business School (US), and the Cranfield School of Management (UK).  I have searched and searched, and can’t really find any others.  However, the idea is so good, other business schools should pick it up.

The basic idea is to have an interviewer, such as a professor or grad student or newscaster, query a faculty member on a relatively narrow topic.  The interview is filmed with two cameras so as to show different angles.  The videos last from four to ten minutes, which is just about right for the contemporary attention span.  I imagine the schools have invested in a set with sufficient technical equipment to create the videos.  The videos are then uploaded to both the B-school web page and Youtube.  Interested parties come to view the clips.  So far, none have gone viral.

This is a great idea, and I would love to be a part of something like this.  I suggested such a set for the new business building at Concordia College, but got rebuffed.

The advantage of such a series is that it assists in creating a brand image for the business school.  Some potential students are attracted to these two schools because the professors are experts, the obvious conclusion from a school that has invested in video.  It is also appealing to alumni and big money donors.

Another way to establish and promote a brand is to have a cadre of faculty members who blog.  Of course it helps if the bloggers become stars.  However, B-school blogging is not yet an idea whose time has come.

I show two videos here.  The video from Harvard features Dutch Leonard and Lynn Paine, two professors, who talk about their new book, Capitalism at Risk.  In this six minute clip, they talk about today’s interrelated challenges gleaned from interviewing several corporate executives.

The video from Cranfield features senior finance and accounting lecturer, Ruth Bender.  Although we’ve not met face to face, we are friends who have had many interactions through social media.

The Harvard Business School has a channel on Youtube, as does Cranfield School of Management.

Debit and credit – - David Albrecht

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Yesterday, the Accounting Today released its 2011 list of “Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting.”  Thanks, AT, for publishing this list.

What does influential mean?  A year ago, I wrote about it in “To Ripple or Not to Ripple.” Influence is in some ways like starting a ripple.

People won’t remember you if your make your own life better.  People will remember you if you help make their lives better.  The first is valueless to anyone else but you.  The second is of great value to the universe.

You will be fortunate indeed if the recipients of your good life in turn make life better for those with whom they come in contact.  If so, you will have started a ripple effect.

In past years, the list has been comprised of four types of professionals.  First are executives of the largest CPA firms.  Second are government officials and regulators.  Third are AICPA executives and key staffers, as well as top officials at the largest state CPA societies.  Fourth are CEOs of large companies that provide software or key services to CPA firms.

Bloggers and commentators to the accounting and auditing industries have not made the list, until last year.  Professors have rarely, if ever, made the list.

Last year, though, one blogger and two blogger combos (influence rooted in traditional sectors, but also a well known blogger) made the list.  This year, there are more.  There are also three accounting professors on this year’s list.

First, I recognize and congratulate the bloggers.

Paul Caron is on both the 2011 and 2010 lists.  He makes the list because of his TaxProf Blog.  AT says, “In seven years, Caron has gone from an upstart exploring social media to one of the most important sources of tax news in any format, with close to three million visitors in 2010.”  Look for Caron to be a permanent fixture of the list.

Caleb Newquist is on the 2011 list.  He makes the list because of his Going Concern blog.  AT says, “You might suspect that we put accounting news blogger Newquist in the T100 list so he’ll stop saying the list is boring–and you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong.  But he’s also here because his Going Concern site has become a major source of news, analysis and inside dirt on the world of public accounting, building a strong community from the trenches of the large audit firms.”  Look for Newquist to be a regular on the list.

Michelle Golden is on the 2011 and 2010 lists because she is an accounting marketing guru, but she is also a popular blogger (Golden Practices).  AT says, “Well regarded for her social media savvy and practice management counsel, Golden’s conference sessions on everything from sales proposals to practice management pack rooms and spark discussions.  She continues the discussion on the blog she established in 2005, now supplemented with insightful tweets to her thousands of followers and a published book on social media strategy.”  She will remain on the list permanently.

Tom Hood has been on the 2011 and 2010 lists (he might have been on in previous years) because he is CEO of the Maryland Association of CPAs.  However, his blogging (CPASuccess) is important.  AT says, “Hood harnesses his vast social media reach to promote new programs, like like the strategic thinking program he co-developed that is now used by the AICPA Leadership Academy, state based CPA leadership programs in Utah and Maryland, and the 16 workships he ran in eight cities to crowd-source ideas about the profession’s future for the AICPA’s forward thinking Horizons 2025 initiative.”  He will be a fixture on the list.

I made the list mostly for blogging on The Summa, and partly for innovative teaching.  Accounting Today, thank you very much.

Professors Paul Miller (University of Colorado at Colorado Springs) and Paul Bahnson (Boise State) made the list for their column in the Accounting Today magazine.  They have written numerous essays against the adoption of IFRS in the United States.

Congratulations to all 100, and especially to the bloggers and professors mentioned here.

Debit and credit – - David Albrecht

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The 2011 AICPA Accounting Competition is now accepting entries.  Last year I reviewed the submitted videos from the finalists, and thought they were very impressive.  Copied from the website:

The 2011 AICPA Accounting Competition asks college students to flex their fraud and forensic skills in advising a client on a major overseas expansion. The top three teams strut their stuff in Washington D.C., and the one that does the best job keeping the project on track — and on the right side of the law — gets a very legal $10,000.

The schedule:

Call for entries Aug. 29-Sep. 30
Judging Sep. 30-Oct. 11
Submissions Oct. 11-Nov. 7
Public voting Nov. 14-21
Judging Nov. 21-23
Finalists Announced Nov. 23
Presentations and Judging Dec. 16
Champions announced Dec. 17

This is an excellent competition with great rewards.  I recommend all accounting students consider entering.

Debit and credit – - David Albrecht

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