Paul L. Caron

Saturday, December 2, 2023

STEAM: Should Accounting Be Added To STEM To Reinvigorate And Diversify The Profession?

Bloomberg, Official STEM Designation Would Strengthen Accounting Profession:

STEMTechnology has reshaped accountants’ day-to-day responsibilities so much so that not only are they learning and leveraging cutting-edge tools, but they’re also developing and innovating mechanisms to help clients make informed decisions and improve services.

But ask a typical high school student what accountants do, and it’s clear there’s a gap between perception and reality. Most younger people aren’t aware that digital technology tools are automating and improving many old accounting tasks, opening up avenues for more creative work such as data analysis, advising on business decisions, and hunting down fraud.

That perception problem is contributing to a decline of accounting graduates as well as the lack of diversity in the pipeline.

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is endorsing bipartisan legislation in Congress that would establish the accounting profession as a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics career pathway and supporting long-standing efforts to diversify the future accounting workforce.

H.R. 3541, the Accounting STEM Pursuit Act of 2023, and S. 1705, the STEM Education in Accounting Act, would allow federal K-12 funding to be used for accounting education, with a focus on improving access for underrepresented students. ...

As the profession works to create a sustainable and robust future, finding and retaining qualified staff are consistently among the top issues facing CPA firms of every size segment and among businesses that employ accounting professionals. These bills would help ensure future leaders are highly skilled and prepared to meet the public’s evolving needs.

If the bills become law, educators could apply for STEM grants to teach basic accounting education in the classroom, exposing younger students to a career in accounting and providing an opportunity to increase diversity in the profession.

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