Macquarie University’s Dr Rahat Munir, head of the department of accounting and corporate governance, outlined to AccountantsDaily the significant changes to the school’s accounting curriculum, prompted by industry-led feedback.
Of particular interest is the inclusion of a ‘business advisory unit’ within accounting courses from 2017, which reflects the changing nature of the profession towards a multi-faceted advisory role.
“We have introduced a business advisory component [to the course]. I don’t think anyone in NSW is currently offering business advisory at a graduate level,” said Dr Munir.
According to Dr Munir, the business advisory unit is being developed in partnership with one of the big four, and will allow students to work with that firm to develop their own advisory skill sets.
Dr Munir added that “experiential learning” would be a major change to the coursework, allowing students to take a hands-on approach to an accounting workload.
“Experiential learning is learning by doing certain activities. It could be by engaging with some industry partners, working on a project with an industry-related person, or by bringing industry partners to the campus itself.”
Additionally, Dr Munir announced a ‘shadow-a-CFO’ initiative, reserved for only the highest achievers in the course, which aims to grant students a rare look into the day-to-day operations of CFOs from some of Australia’s biggest corporations.
“A student, someone who is a very high achiever, will be sent out for three to four weeks to shadow a CFO, literally working as a CFO for that period of time, sitting on board meetings, etc.”
“Having that exposure is something that is very unique within an educational setting. It is something that we are implementing and that will be available from 2017.
“What we’re doing to do is change the perception of accounting … I believe that by implementing these changes a student will have a completely different experience of learning here. We want more engagement and traction,” Dr Munir concluded.