The Universal Alliance in Accounting Education
An alliance under the patronage of the International Institute of Certified Professional Accountants Verein IICPA, an association organized under the laws of Switzerland promoting the interests of international accounting and financial educators and professionals, firms and practitioners on this

Articles & News


Universities open classes face-to-face in September 2020 or go online

The the California State University system with ~500,000 students at 23 campuses announced on 12 May 2020 that most classes will be held online and that campuses expect to remain closed. The system’s chancellor, Timothy P. White, said the approach was necessary because “a course that might begin in a face-to-face modality would likely have to be switched to a virtual format during the term if a serious second wave of the pandemic occurs, as forecast.” — Cal State's announcement

    "Colleges are under financial pressure to keep as many operations going as possible, since many expect that it may be a tough sell to convince students to pay the price of a residential experience when campuses are closed." "[O]ne reason to keep courses online is that the university doesn’t have the money to afford to track the contacts of infected people and test everyone that would need a COVID-19 test should an outbreak occur on campus."
    Purdue's president and former governor, Mitch Daniels [photo], in his messages explains his decision to open in the fall of 2020, stressing Purdue's investment in infrastructure, arguing in justification that "Most important, all the evidence reveals that students who live and spend more of their time on campus succeed academically at higher rates. The learning experience is enhanced not only by being closer to faculty, labs, and classrooms, but also by being closer to other students, especially those from different backgrounds." And the punchline that bodes well with the lockdown critics: "At least 80% of our [50,000+] population is made up of young people, say, 35 and under. All data to date tell us that the COVID-19 virus, while it transmits rapidly in this age group, poses close to zero lethal threat to them." — See Purdue's message.
    — Article by Jeffrey R. Young on EdSurge 14 May 2020


Forbes — Why the Coronavirus Will Kill 500-1,000 Colleges

"Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, a large number of universities were in fair to poor financial shape, partly the result of a roughly 11% enrollment decline in U.S. higher education over the last decade (enrollment has fallen at an even greater pace at the lower reputation schools), and partly because of declining public support. Three types of schools especially were in trouble: non-selective private colleges with modest endowments, usually with a liberal arts emphasis; the bottom and middle tier state schools, especially in states, mostly in the East and Midwest, with stagnant population growth; and the community colleges."

    An analysis of November 2019 by Forbes's (see below) gave 19% or 177 of 933 rated private schools a "D" grade for financial health. "All told, an extraordinary 72% [671 of 933] of schools had a "C" grade or worse. And indications are that state universities are in similar shape."
    "Schools on average earn roughly 10% of their income from auxiliary operations, including food and lodging." "Most schools today are very tuition-dependent, getting minimally 30-40% and often more of their revenue from that source." "Well over 100 schools that will lose on average seven digit amounts from the cancellation of the NCAA men's basketball tournament."
    "What about the federal stimulus package or state aid? Not as much help there as you might think. Roughly $14 billion in federal money was allocated for higher ed, about $750 or so per college student" of mostly "politically favored schools, especially historically black colleges and universities serving a tiny portion of students. And a large part of the rest is allocated for assistance to low income students." "Hence, the following seems highly likely. Dozens (maybe more) of schools may well declare "financial exigency," opening the door to radical steps to reduce expenses, even in some cases dismissing tenured faculty"
    "Ideas worth discussing: three-year bachelor's degrees, non-degree certification of vocational competency including educational exit exams, getting universities out of the food and lodging business, moving to more Income Share Agreement financing arrangements. Necessity is the mother of invention."
  — By Richard Vedder, professor emeritus of economics at Ohio University and senior fellow at The Independent Institute. He is the author of "Restoring the Promise: Higher Education in America". The above contribution is published at Forbes 07 April 2020.


Dawn of the Dead — For Hundreds of Private U.S. Colleges it’s Merge or Perish

Photo: Forbes 27 November 2019 Daily Cover.   —   "[U]pper-crust colleges — members of the Ivy League as well as prestigious institutions from Stanford and MIT to Rice, Northwestern and Williams —returned to the top of our list with perfect 4.5 GPAs and A+ grades. This year 34 colleges received A+ grades, and another 40 scored at least A-. However, just as income inequality has become more pronounced among U.S. households, the wealthiest elite colleges are getting richer, but the most of the rest have become poorer." "Forbes's "most recent ranking reveals that the number of D-graded colleges, those with GPAs less than 1.5, have swelled from 110 when we started grading finances in 2013 to 177 today—a 61% increase. Those earning GPAs from 1.5 to 2.5, C colleges like Goucher, Marquette and Drexel, make up 498 of our 933,

up from 434 in 2013. Most Cs and Ds, a total of 675 private colleges, are so-called tuition-dependent schools—meaning they squeak by year-after-year, often losing money or eating into their dwindling endowments. Though colleges and the government provide little transparency into the financial health of schools, a significant number among our lower ranks are nearly insolvent.     "Unfortunately, most college administrators have their heads in the sand. “There is kind of an immutable natural force that exists only on the college campus. It’s like gravity,” says Fred Prager, a veteran higher education financial advisor who recently staved off a payroll crisis at Holy Names University in Oakland, California, by helping the school issue a $49 million private bond offering. “That force is denial. It’s denial by faculty, denial by the board, denial by the administration and denial by families that financial exigency is real.”

—   By Matt Schifrin and Carter Coudriet, "Dawn F The Dead: For Hundreds Of The Nation’s Private Colleges, It’s Merge Or Perish," 27 November 2019 Forbes.


International Strategic Alliance in Higher Education Sectors (Learning for Competitive Advantage) - A Case From Malaysian Private College.

Photo: Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Phd, Department of Economics and Management, Faculty of Economics and Management, University Putra Malaysia.   —   "This case shows that the partners (SIT and HUBS/Blackburn College) had initiated the alliance partnership program from scratch, and that learning was facilitated both directly and indirectly, and much of the time, through a 'flying teacher' approach. The findings show that this alliance program added value to SIT's current program, while the delivery style, which drew upon the input from the UK 'flying teachers', helped the 'child' business gain new skills and experience.
    The findings also suggest that the 'child' business had successfully gained individual and group learning. At the group level, the Centre had benefited in terms of having alliance background experience (in administration and paperwork), especially in dealing with the UK partners. At an individual level, the local staff (particularly the lecturers) had learned new insights into self-development."
— By Zuraina Dato Mansor, "International Strategic Alliance in Higher Education Sectors," The Journal of Human Resource and Adult Learning Vol. 5, Num. 2, December 2009 Download


The IASB Conceptual Framework

Conceptual Framework, IASCF, London video 2004:   —   "The fundamental nature of most accounting debates is that we don't agree on what should be considered earnings [U.S. term] or profit and loss [international]." Leisenring's characterization of APB Statement's No. 4 (1970) defining Assets and Liabilities: "It's not a definition, just a statement that runs a bunch of words together" that have retarded "the development of an entire generation of accountants." And talking about Robert Sprouse's FASB 1973-1985) article, Assets, liabilities, or watchamacallits: "I have no idea what it is, but I lke it. And I know it's got a name, but I don't know what the name is". — Citing Sandy Burton on the matching concept to achieve the appropriate amount of net income: "Debits and credits in heat, waiting for the opportunity of mating on the income statement."   — Video Clip - MP4 ,ay take a minute to load.


Robert T. Sprouse and Fundamental Concepts of Financial Accounting

SYNOPSIS: This paper reviews the life and contributions of the late Robert T. Sprouse to the conceptual development of financial accounting. He was an influential accounting academic and standard setter who is perhaps best known for his joint monograph with Maurice Moonitz, A Tentative Set of Broad Accounting Principles for Business Enterprises, which provided a springboard for the development and use of fundamental concepts that are expressed or implied in the FASB conceptual framework, accounting standards, and related publications and have changed the way we analyze and resolve financial accounting and reporting issues.

  — By Robert J. Swieringa, Accounting Horizons, Vol. 25, No. 1, American Accounting Association, DOI: 10.2308/acch.2011.25.1.207 — Download

Updated 2020-05-17