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ASU professor receives 2020 Innovation in Accounting Education Award

Assistant Professor Scott Emett answered the American Accounting Association's call for innovative teaching curriculum

headshot of ASU Assistant Professor Scott Emett

Scott Emett

July 29, 2020

As discussions of the coming digital revolution in accounting began in the late 2000s and early 2010s, accounting professionals and accreditors urged the American Accounting Association to update teaching curriculums to prepare students for emerging technologies. The association looked to the profession for the guidance, data and resources necessary to implement these changes.

ASU Assistant Professor of accountancy Scott Emett and his academic and practitioner colleagues answered the associaton's call as part of the EY Academic Resource Center, sponsored by the Ernst and Young Foundation.

Recently, the team’s innovative teaching curriculum earned the American Accounting Association's 2020 Innovation in Accounting Education Award, which recognizes significant programmatic changes or an important activity, concept or set of educational materials. Submissions are judged by their innovation, demonstrated educational benefits and adaptability by other academic institutions or to other situations. 

“As the accounting profession embraces more technology to improve client service, the academic accounting world must also keep pace,” said Andy Call, director and professor of accountancy. “The EY Academic Resource Center is an important resource used by faculty around the country as they revise their curriculum to prepare students for the changing accounting landscape. Professor Emett’s leadership in this effort is a testament to his dedication and innovative mentality and is in line with the forward-looking spirit around data analytics in the School of Accountancy at ASU. I am very pleased to see Scott formally recognized by the academy for his important contributions.”

Emett’s and his fellow colleagues’ “EYARCEY Academic Resource Center Analytics Mindset Curriculum” is a collection of high-quality teaching cases focused on helping students develop and engage an “analytics mindset.” An analytics mindset is the ability to ask the right questions; extract, transform and load relevant data; apply appropriate data analytics techniques; and interpret and share results with stakeholders.

To date, the EY Academic Resource Center has created 27 “analytics mindset” cases, which have been accessed by 870 academic institutions and more than 3,200 faculty from 41 countries across the world. The cases address a variety of accounting topics covered in introductory through masters-level courses and employ the most cutting-edge technology used by accounting professionals today. Each case includes training videos, multiple case options to allow flexibility and different technological approaches, editable documents for adaptation and unique real-world datasets that allow students to answer practice-motivated questions. The center's “Analytics Mindset” materials have helped students prepare for the digital transformation that is disrupting the accounting profession. 

Emett’s research focuses on judgment and decision-making in external and internal financial reporting. Much of his work uses experiments and applies theories from both psychology and economics to understand how cognitive and motivational forces lead decision-makers to deviate from the behavior predicted by classical economic theories. Emett previously taught courses in financial accounting and managerial accounting at Cornell University and Brigham Young University. His research has been published in the Accounting Review; Accounting, Organizations, and Society; Contemporary Accounting Research; Accounting and Business Research; Strategic Finance; and Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory; among others.

“I feel honored to receive this award alongside outstanding colleagues at the EY Academic Resource Center,” Emett said. “My collaborations with the EYARC team have helped me focus on cutting-edge innovations in both teaching and research. I believe this unique partnership between faculty and practitioners will help accounting students at ASU thrive as they enter a rapidly innovating profession.”

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