ABSTRACT

The accounting profession will experience a 50 percent decline in its ranks in the next ten years as accounting professionals from the Baby Boomer generation retire. To replace these professionals, the accounting profession will have to compete with law, medicine, engineering, and other professions that will also be replacing their “boomers.” During the period the boomers are retiring, the number of high school graduates is expected to decline, which suggests that the currently high accounting enrollments are unlikely to continue. If the accounting profession is to compete for the best and brightest students in the future, it is in its best interest to address structural impediments that exist in its educational supply chain. One significant structural impediment in the supply chain is the traditional high school accounting course. In 2000 the AICPA's Taylor Report stated high school accounting courses were a “systemic barrier” to entry into the profession for the very high school students the profession wants to attract (Taylor 2000). These courses have not changed substantially since the Taylor report was issued. The Accounting Pilot and Bridge Project (The Project) proposes to eliminate this barrier and has created a new college-level high school accounting course that provides college credit for those students who take the course and pass a rigorous qualifying examination. The Project is modeled after the College Board's highly successful Advanced Placement (AP) program. Once specific goals are achieved, The Project plans to submit a proposal to the College Board for it to adopt accounting as part of its Advanced Placement curriculum. After describing the research and initiatives that led to the creation of The Project, this paper discusses the goals of The Project, the process to have accounting added to the College Board's AP Curriculum, the curriculum used in the pilot course, the progress made to date, and what lies ahead.

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