Saturday, September 21

Accounting minor changes catch many students off guard


Recent changes to the accounting minor requirements have caught
many students off guard, forcing some to attend summer school and
others to scramble to adjust their schedules.

The changes, which will go into effect fall 2004, are the result
of seven months of collaboration between UCLA faculty and the top
four accounting firms in Los Angeles. They are aimed to better
prepare students for the CPA exam.

“The changes come in line with the fact that accounting
has changed a lot and our program hadn’t,” said David
Aboody, the area chair and associate professor of accounting at the
UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Only 80 of the 350 students accepted into the program over the
last two years sat for the CPA exam.

“We haven’t been fulfilling our mission, which is to
produce CPAs,” Aboody said.

He also emphasized that the new acceptance cap of 150 students
per year will make the minor more competitive and prevent students
who do not have a desire to become CPAs from “clogging up the
system.” This move will allow for more effective use of
resources and smaller class sizes.

Even though the purpose of the changes is to help students by
giving them a stronger foundation in accounting, students who had
planned their academic schedules according to the old system find
the sudden implementation of the modifications inconvenient and
poorly communicated.

“The fact that they just notified us this quarter is
extremely frustrating,” said second-year pre-business
economics student Chris Smith. “I was not planning on going
to summer school, but now I will have to spend a lot more money for
just one class that I was hoping to take in spring.”

Due to one of the new requirements, Smith must attend summer
school to apply for the minor during the first fall quarter after
completing 90 units.

In addition to the limited application acceptance period, an
added required upper division course and the elimination of
“Business Law” as an elective are also disrupting
student’s academic schedules.

“I had my four years all planned out for a major and
double minor, which is an already-packed schedule,” said
second-year pre-economics student Ara Ko. “Now I will have to
take a few quarters with four classes or go to summer school
because of the extra management courses required.”

Ko also noted that she will have completed 10 upper division
management courses before she graduates with the minor in
accounting.

She said some majors have almost the same amount of upper
division requirements.

“I don’t understand why all of the work only earns a
minor when it is definitely comparable to a major,” she
said.

The sudden implementation of the changes is difficult for
students, but Francesca Baugh, associate director of the
Undergraduate Minor in Accounting Program, said the changes are
necessary.

“We don’t want the program to be the easiest; we
want it to be the best,” she added.

Not all changes will inconvenience accounting minor
students.

The new curriculum will combine pre-minor courses
“Management 1A” and “Management 1B” into
one lower division course, which will be known as “Management
100,” reducing the overlap between the two classes.

“The new 100 course will have a new approach by starting
out with the big picture of why to learn accounting, instead of
just the basic nuts and bolts,” said John Riley, director of
the business/economics department.

Applications to the minor will only be accepted during the first
three weeks of the fall quarter after a student has completed 90
units.

Transfer students must apply in the fall quarter of their second
year at UCLA.

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