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        Accountancy, College, Research

        School of Accountancy ranked No. 1 worldwide in educational case research

        February 26, 2020 By Joe McAdory

        All News


        School of Accountancy ranked first globally for case research

        “This is just another example of our faculty’s dedicated efforts to engage in scholarship that impacts education at Auburn and beyond."”

        The Harbert College of Business is dedicated to producing research that advances the academy, extends business thought and shapes practice. It’s no wonder that Harbert College’s School of Accountancy was recently ranked No. 1 in Educational Case Research by BYU’s Accounting Research Rankings for the six years from 2013 to 2019.

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        James Long

        Not only was the School of Accountancy recognized from an institutional standpoint, but four professors earned worldwide acclaim.

        Over the past six years, James Long, Harbert College Advisory Council Associate Professor, Associate Professor Kerry Inger and C. McKenzie Taylor, Jr., Associate Professor Jonathan Stanley were ranked 5th, 17th and 17th in the world, respectively. In addition, over the past 12 years, BYU ranks Tina Loraas, C. McKenzie Taylor, Jr., Professor, 12th worldwide.


        Duane Brandon

        “This is just another example of our faculty’s dedicated efforts to engage in scholarship that impacts education at Auburn and beyond,” said Duane Brandon, School of Accountancy Director at the Harbert College of Business. “What is missing from the rankings is that several of these cases were formally recognized with awards for innovation and quality.”


        Jennifer Mueller-Phillips

        Other School of Accountancy faculty contributing to the ranking include Jennifer Mueller-Phillips, Harbert College of Business Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; Kim Key, PWC Professor; Jeff Jones, Associate Professor; Brian Vansant, Associate Professor and C.G. Mills Fellow; and Norman Godwin, Auburn University Associate Provost for Academic Effectiveness.


        Kerry Inger

        “This ranking recognizes that we are the best accounting case-writing school in the country,” said Long, a 2017 Fulbright Scholar who also earned Auburn University’s prestigious Gerald and Emily Leischuck Endowed Presidential Award for Teaching in 2018. “Instruction is one of the core missions of the university. Writing these cases has been useful for our curriculum but the fact that they have been published in the top accounting education journals means that instructors at other institutions can also employ them.”


        Jonathan Stanley

        These cases cover topics in financial, managerial, and tax accounting, as well as auditing and accounting information systems. For instance, “The Mysterious Case of the Loaded Leprechaun,” (based on an actual Irish pub in Florida) was published in 2013 in Issues in Accounting Education, the top accounting education journal. Co-authored by Long, Inger, Loraas and Stanley, the case required students to investigate the potential legal, financial accounting, auditing and tax issues arising from an Irish pub’s tradition of having customers staple decorated dollar bills to the pub’s walls.


        Tina Loraas

        Inger, Associate Professor in Accounting, also co-authored “The Not So Pokey Hokies,” published in Issues in Accounting Education in 2017. This case allowed students to investigate charitable contribution deductions and expenses incurred by a fictitious running club that participated in charitable, not-for-profit events. Students were asked to identify and build tax research skills to address the issues and gained technical knowledge through exposure to a variety of tax concepts and written communication skills via a written analysis case component.


        Jeff Jones

        Long, a three-time recipient of the School of Accountancy’s Outstanding Research Award, believes that educational research provides a nice complement to the basic and applied research produced by the scholars in the Harbert College of Business.


        Kim Key

        “Researchers get excited about the quest for new knowledge, and say, ‘I have this research question and I want to design experiments to answer the question, or I want to find data that will help answer the question’,” he said. 

        “With educational cases, it’s a different animal because we’re not seeking to create new knowledge or apply it to solve a key business issue.


        Brian Vansant

        "Instead, we are trying to design a set of instructional resources that help students develop an understanding of a complex area of accounting, while also developing fundamental workplace competencies, such as written and oral presentation skills, the ability to conduct professional research, and the ability to work effectively as a member of a team.


        Norman Godwin

        "In addition, we want students to feel more engaged with the material, and case writing allows us to construct an environment that more closely resembles the ‘real world’ relative to a traditional set of assessment materials such as homework or an exam.

        "These case studies generally get a little more buy-in from the student because we’re not just working through abstract problems; instead, they get to see how the concepts we are teaching in class are applied in practice.”