As the recently appointed Chair of the Accountancy Department, I am delighted to welcome all returning students and faculty back to campus. And for the 64 new accounting majors joining us as the Class of 2020, welcome to the PC School of Business!
For those of you who have not yet met me, I have been a faculty member at PC since the Fall of 2008. After spending a few years in the Dean’s Office as Associate Dean, I took a leave of absence for the past two years to work at KPMG’s Global Services Center in Montvale, New Jersey.
I learned a lot during my time in the “real world,” and now I am happy to be back on campus. We have so much to look forward to this year, with the 100th year anniversary of the College and the new Ryan Center for Business Studies opening in Spring 2017.
We are working hard as a faculty to organize events for Accounting majors, including a great line-up for Introduction to the Profession, informative Accounting Association events, and exciting activities associated with the opening of the new building. Several accounting firms donated funds to name spaces in the new building (with information forthcoming in more detail in the coming months), and the late Gus Cote, a former PC accounting professor, made a sizable donation to name a computer lab for accounting students.
These generous donations will be recognized more fully during the spring semester, when there will be a groundbreaking ceremony and other events surrounding the building opening. We will invite some important people and prominent alumni to campus for these events, and I hope that you will be able to attend and use these networking opportunities to meet some wonderful supporters of PC and our students.
I want to encourage all of you to learn as much as you can about changes to the accounting profession during the next few years. They will have a profound effect on the skills that accountants will need in the future. For instance, you have probably heard the terms “Big Data” and “Analytics” used a lot in all aspects of business and in business education. And I know that some Class of 2017 students just completed a “Data Analytics” bootcamp at the PCSB!
All accountants will be impacted by the growing need for data and analytic skills in the future, and you will see changes in some of your accounting courses in response to this priority. Although these skills involve some quantitative components, Analytics actually depends on reasoning, and on making connections between items of information.
In other words, many of the skills that you learned in DWC and your liberal arts core will actually be needed to perform these functions. Data Analytics involves asking data questions, knowing how to use technology to provide the answers, and then interpreting the results. I hope that you all embrace learning these skills to better position yourselves for your future careers.
Most importantly, enjoy the beginning of the semester. I hope to see many of you soon, either in class or around campus at one of our events.