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PACE Academic IG

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One of the challenges I see, and have seen more keenly of late, is the disconnect in the accounting and finance profession(s) from thought leadership. There seems precious little interest in engaging with thought and research which might challenge status-quo. Even with continuing education requirements for most credentials in the profession, what constitutes CPE in the profession is usually laughably basic (at best) and I'l leave it there rather than describe what CPE is when it's not best.

Accounting and finance professionals like to consider themselves comparable to doctors and engineers as professions, but can anyone really imagine doctors and engineers not at least casually interested in how the discipline is advancing, or not intentionally taking some of their professional time to learn new skills to improve their abilities within their discipline? Certainly there is a distribution within any profession, but I have a hard time imagining an engineer largely disconnected from thought leadership within their field. So, why is it such an issue in accounting and finance?

Gary Cokins
Gary Cokins
06 oct. 2023

I agree with JP's observations. Although I am not a faculty member or have a PhD (but I do have an MBA), I have periodically attended the annual AAA Management Accounting Section conference. I was always amazed that the excellent and relevant presented research papers and thesis hardly ever were adopted by practitioners (e.g., CFOs).

To add to JP's analogy of doctors, I humorously refer to accountants as coroners ! They try to understand "what happened?" (typically with flawed and incomplete information) rather than trying to plan for "what should happen next?" ... meaning to make good decisions.



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