AACSB Updates Accounting Standards

Standards streamlined from nine to six.

AACSB International has released its new accounting accreditation standards designed to help business school programs better meet the changing needs of the accounting profession. The proposed standards were approved by members of the AACSB Accounting Accreditation Council in April during the association’s International Conference and Annual Meeting in Hawaii.

“This move signals a major shift in the current culture and mindset of accreditation to what we envision for the future,” says Stephanie Bryant, AACSB’s executive vice president and chief accreditation officer. “Practitioners will be active participants, shaping the curriculum to reflect the practical skills and know-how that industry is looking for in new graduates.”

For instance, the old standards were compliance-oriented, and the peer review process was conducted by all-academic teams. The new standards will still incorporate a compliance benchmark, but schools will receive peer guidance from both academics and accounting practitioners.

To earn accounting accreditation, institutions first must earn or maintain business accreditation through AACSB. The association has been able to streamline accounting standards from nine to six by eliminating redundancies between the accounting and business standards.

Implementation of the new standards will occur on a rolling cycle, beginning with volunteer schools in spring 2019. In the 2019–20 academic year, schools will choose between adhering to the old or the new standards, and in the 2020–21 academic year, all schools will adopt the new standards.

Find AACSB’s new accounting accreditation standards at aacsb.edu/accreditation/standards/accounting.