Date of Award
W. Mark Wilder
The Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College and the Patterson School of Accountancy allow honors accounting students an “alternate route” for fulfillment of their thesis requirement. A structured class is held, with a series of twelve case studies assigned over the course of two semesters. The content of the case studies varies, but each involves a final product consisting of a thorough analysis and response relevant to the topic at hand. On other weeks, we hear from invited accounting professionals; and in lieu of a traditional defense, we participate in two separate case competitions which require intense team preparations and presentations.
In order to allow students to participate in spring internships during their senior year, the accountancy alternate route thesis is fully completed by the end of junior year. Looking back now on work I completed one year ago, I can clearly articulate overarching takeaways from the course, such as how the case studies, guest speaker presentations, and case competitions all combined to give me a well-rounded accounting education beyond what can be obtained in the traditional classroom. I feel like these insights have given me a leg up in both understanding and opportunities, and for that I am grateful.
For articulation of my real-time impressions of the class, I have included within this document the original abstracts written to accompany each individual case study. Combined, these abstracts should serve to demonstrate the knowledge, and appreciation thereof, which I have gained over the course of my capstone experience.
One might be surprised to discover that each case is not devoted wholly to number-crunching, and in fact certain cases involve no numbers at all. The benefits of this course are wide-ranging – the cases have taught me how to enhance my critical thinking skills as they apply to accounting, shown me how the concepts I have learned in the classroom are applied in the “real world,” and even helped me come to key realizations concerning my immediate future within the accounting profession following graduation. I am certain that my takeaways from this class will be an invaluable resource as I begin my career.
Fenske, Nicholas, "A Series of Case Studies in Financial Reporting" (2020). Honors Theses. 1268.
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