The VITA Program: A Catalyst for Improving Accounting Education by ProQuest

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There is a growing consensus among accounting professionals that recent accounting graduates do not adequately meet the high standards set by potential employers. In 2000, the Accounting Education Change Commission (AECC) argued that accounting education must change to survive the future. As articulated in the report, the problems that had bedeviled accounting education are as follows: 1. course content and curricula, 2. pedagogy, 3. skill development, 4. technology, and 5. faculty development and reward systems. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program provides another vehicle through which essential skills can be acquired by college students. If a VITA program is restructured with clear-cut aims and objectives, it can play a more important role in the professional preparation of future qualified accountants than it traditionally has. The authors used the findings of the AECC and others as the basis for designing the objective of the VITA program, but other bases could have been used to further illustrate the program's uniqueness and flexibility.

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