Published on Brock University (http://brocku.ca)
CMA BAREC supports research on accounting, with particular emphasis on strategic management accounting and advanced management practices impacting on the management accounting profession. To this end, it has provided funding for a number of research studies since its inception.
In addition to research funding, CMA BAREC seeks to establish partnerships with community stakeholders. In keeping with this objective, it has been conducting the Annual Brock CMA Business Day for high schools in the Niagara Region. The event is always a great success with several area high schools in attendance. The day-long activities are supported by the Department of Accounting faculty, area CMAs, and Goodman School of Business students. After the unification of the accounting profession in 2013, the name of the event was changed to the Annual Brock CPA Business Day.
The most recent offering of the event took place on Thursday, December 5, 2014. Over 100 students belonging to the following 8 high schools from the Niagara Region participated in the event: A. N. Myer (Niagara Falls), E.L. Crossley (Fonthill), Eden (St. Catharines), Governor Simcoe (St. Catharines), Laura Secord (St. Catharines), South Lincoln (Smithville), Stamford Collegiate (Niagara Falls), and Westlane (Niagara Falls).
The event had three objectives: one, introduce the high school students to Brock University and the Goodman School of Business; two, present the students with a business problem so that they would get a feel for some strategic decision-making; and three, make sure they had an exciting, fun-filled day!
Upon arrival, students were met by Goodman School of Business student leaders and taken on a short tour of campus. At the Pond Inlet, they were welcomed by Paul Scarbrough, Chair of the Department of Accounting and briefed on the day’s activities. They were then assigned to different groups. Each of these groups was assigned a mentor (either Brock faculty or a practicing CPA/CMA), and then escorted to break-out rooms.
In the break-out rooms, with the help of their mentors, group members discussed creative solutions to the case. They identified the pros and cons of alternative solutions to the presented problem, taking into consideration not just cost considerations but also strategic objectives and ethical concerns. Small groups were then merged into three larger groups. Each of these groups was asked to formulate a consensus opinion. This provided the students with experience in consensus-building. After lunch, provided by CMA BAREC, the three large groups presented their solutions to the case. Despite the fact that they had had only a limited time in which to prepare their solutions to the case, they made some excellent points during the presentations. Each presentation also generated a great deal of audience participation as evidenced by the large number of questions students asked of the presenters. In fact, the Q&A sessions at the end of each presentation were so animated that they had to be curtailed in the interests of time!
The day concluded with several draws for various prizes as well as the grand prize, a virtual computer keyboard. Students left for their respective high schools with information about Brock University, the Goodman School of Business, and CPA Ontario. Students as well as volunteers (CPA/CMA’s, faculty and high school teachers) filled out surveys that gave us excellent feedback about the event. From the feedback, it was evident that the event was a tremendous success!
We look forward to the 8th Annual Brock CPA Business Day in December 2015.