Archive of European Projects

International Learning Platform for Accountancy
Start date: 01 Sep 2014, End date: 31 Aug 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The title of the project is “International Learning Platform for Accountancy (ILPA)”. Accountancy includes Financial Reporting, Auditing of Financial Statements, Financial Statement Analysis and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Reporting. Graduates of a University or Business School with a specialisation in accountancy do need specific competence (knowledge, skills, values, ethics and attitudes). This competence cannot be acquired effectively through a didactic concept which involves only traditional lectures and seminars. A concept should therefore be developed that addresses all these needs. Graduates will mainly be employed by large institutions (e.g. large audit firms, groups) that work in an international, complex & changing environment. Problem solving skills needed in these institutions have also to be taken into account in higher education. At the moment, no learning concept exists that addresses all these needs in higher education in accountancy (cf. the proposals for improvements in the Report of the Pathways Commission, 2012, AAA). The overall objective of the project is to generate a learning platform in accountancy that supports students in acquiring the specific competences that they will need as accounting professionals. Thereto we plan to: (1) Generate integrative cases (including financial accounting, auditing, CSR, evaluating and analysing issues); (2) Define a didactical concept of how to use the accountancy cases to create a motivating teaching environment and how to integrate social, ethical and technical aspects; (3) Provide theory-based, didactically and practically proofed teaching material relevant throughout Europe so that the content of the platform can be used in the context of different cultures and legislation in Europe; (4) Evaluate the learning platform with accounting students on the Master level in ISPs; (5) Integrate the outputs of the project in the curricula of the project partners and make the outputs available to HEIs; (6) Gather suggestions for improvement of the platform and adapt the content of the platform after the end of the project to keep the platform up to date. Ten higher education institutions (HEIs) will work on this project. All partners do have competence in education in financial accounting, social accounting and/or auditing and carry out research related to accounting, auditing or another accountancy related fields. The partners are part of a network of Universities and Business Schools that has enabled student exchange as well as faculty exchange and has organized an EU Intensive Program for many years. The partners will develop integrative case studies concerning financial reporting, auditing of financial statements, analysing financial statements, and reporting on CSR. These case studies will be embedded in a didactical concept that includes knowledge, ethical and technical aspects. All generated teaching material will be available on an e-learning platform. Real life problems will be used as basis for building the case studies. A concept for instructors will be developed to use these case studies effectively. The case studies and the didactic concept will be evaluated in five day ISPs. The results of this evaluation will be used to optimise the concept and the cases. The overall result of the project is a comprehensive, unique and innovative learning platform for accountancy that can be integrated into accountancy (Master) programs’ curricula in higher education institutions. We expect that our project will have an impact on a regional, national and European level. The outcomes of the project will enhance the quality of education of the higher education institutions using the platform. The students will raise their employability as the competence that they will acquire through the innovative concept is highly demanded in the accountancy practice. The students will not only be fit for regional or national jobs, they will also be prepared for jobs in internationally acting institutions. In this sense the project could foster international labour market mobility. Overall we expect a significant enhancement in teaching accountancy in higher education institutions in Europe. The competence of accountancy professionals is of existential importance for the economy of the European Union and all Member States. The crisis we are facing in Europe is mainly an economic and financial crisis. Students with a specialisation in accountancy are the emerging professionals who will have major influence and responsibility for the economy in the future. Well trained students in our fields will have the necessary awareness for their responsibility. To enhance the education in accountancy in HEIs is therefore an investment in Europe as a whole.
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