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Leavey School of Business Santa Clara University
Department ofAccounting

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Accounting Professor Haidan Li Head Shot

Accounting Professor Haidan Li Head Shot

2020 Chair's Message

Greetings and welcome to the Accounting Department’s annual newsletter. 2020 has been a year of tremendous change and challenges, but also one of resilience and innovation.

Greetings and welcome to the Accounting Department’s annual newsletter. 2020 has been a year of tremendous change and challenges, but also one of resilience and innovation. In March, the SCU campus was shut down due to the pandemic and we quickly adapted to remote teaching. Classes continue to be delivered online during the spring and fall quarters. Despite all the challenges and disruptions, our faculty have worked hard to ensure a high-quality educational experience for our students. Many faculty members participated in training workshops on online teaching and demonstrated innovation when redesigning courses and adopting new technology to enhance the quality of virtual learning. We are very proud of our students who have worked hard and remained strong, resilient, and flexible. We are also grateful for how our community has supported and cared for each other under these very difficult circumstances.

I am pleased to report that the Accounting Department earned the #2 ranking for best earning potential among undergraduate accounting programs in the US. The result is based on a recent study shared by Poets & Quants and conducted by Best Accounting Software, a platform that rates and reviews financial software. The department’s top ranking reflects the success of our program in developing well-rounded and well-prepared students who are highly sought after by national and regional accounting firms.

This fall, we implemented a major curriculum revision to incorporate data analytics into our program.  We developed a new course (ACTG 120) that provides data analytics and visualization content with accounting specific applications. This upper division course becomes a new required course for accounting and A&IS majors. In addition, we revamped an existing required course, Accounting Information Systems (ACTG 134) to incorporate key database concepts and the ETL processes (Extract, Transform and Loading). Going forward, we will continue to innovate our curriculum to improve our students’ data analytics skills to meet the demands of today’s business environment.

This past June, we graduated 82 students with 52 Accounting majors and 30 Accounting & Information Systems majors. An additional 59 students graduated from our Certificate of Advanced Accounting Proficiency (CAAP) program. Many of our students were recognized for their outstanding achievements.  For example, two of our graduates, Caitlin Colbert and Sarah Tatley, were selected as Poets & Quants "Best and Brightest" in 2020.  Another student, Karlise Loza, was selected as a Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) Scholar and received a $10,000 scholarship.

After nearly 25 years at SCU, Professor Michael "Lucky" Eames retired in summer 2020. Lucky has made many contributions to the accounting department, including starting the CAAP program to expand career opportunities for students without an accounting background. The program has been a success since its inception and graduated hundreds of students who have been well received by the professional community. We thank Lucky for his tremendous service and contributions to the department, and are glad that he will remain connected through his continued engagement with the CAAP program. 

We are excited to welcome two new faculty members this fall. Kevin Li joined the department as an associate professor.  He earned his PhD from University of California, Berkeley and was an assistant professor at the University of Toronto and University of California, Riverside before joining Santa Clara.  He teaches intermediate accounting courses. Matt Cedergren joined the department as an assistant professor after working at the Wharton School for five years as an assistant professor. He received his doctoral degree from New York University and before that, worked for several years in the Assurance practice of PwC in San Jose. He teaches financial accounting courses at both introductory and advanced levels.

We are delighted to announce Nicole Truesdale as our latest Advisory Board member. Nicole is a Managing Director in Accenture’s Customer, Sales, and Service practice. She graduated from Santa Clara University in 2010 with a Finance and Psychology degree. Our Advisory Board has now 25 members and, as always, plays an important role in supporting the department’s strategic mission.

The Accounting Department is AACSB accredited and receives an AACSB Continuous Improvement Review by a visit team every five years. The next review is scheduled in February 2021 and will be conducted virtually. The accounting faculty has been preparing for the accreditation visit since last year. Our faculty also continue to produce high quality scholarly work. This past year, faculty members published their research papers at prestigious accounting journals, including The Accounting Review, Journal of Accounting and Economics, and Management Science. Several faculty members serve as editors or on editorial boards of accounting journals. Professor Yongtae Kim, for example, serves as an editor for the Journal of Accounting and Public Policy.

As we look forward to the New Year, I want to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to those of you who have supported and continue to support our programs. The success of our department would not be possible without the help of our Advisory Board, our alumni, the professional community, and other donors and supporters – Thank you!