Increase Accounting Awareness & Education Accounting STEM Pursuit Act
Debits and credits aren’t the only thing in balance as democrats and republicans propose a bipartisan accounting-related education bill.
The Accounting STEM Pursuit Act of 2021, a bipartisan effort by Congresswoman Victoria Spartz (Indiana) and Congresswoman Haley Stevens (Michigan), would help provide schools better access to government funds for accounting awareness and education.
What does the Bill say?
Here's the gist of the Act:
- This Act seeks to build on existing financial literacy initiatives by establishing the significance of early course offerings in accounting education as drivers for improving career opportunity and diversity within this STEM profession
- There is a clear and logical integration between accounting and technology: as the profession continues to advance its use of technology to serve the public interest, accounting professionals, including CPAs, are technological leaders who manage and analyze big data, ensure data security, manage cybersecurity risk, and work alongside Information Technology professionals.
Accounting is STEM. The accounting field has been evolving for years in the areas of big data analytics, artificial intelligence, cyber security, and automation. Coding and programming isn’t just for computer scientists and engineers.
More and more colleges are offering “data analytics” tracks or minors within their accounting programs. If you’re still impressed by pivot tables, you’ll be blown away by the data analytics that today’s graduates can perform using more advanced analytical tools and programming languages like PowerBI and Python.
What would the Bill do?
The Bill would amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 with the following:
- The section that discusses “increasing student access to and improving student engagement and achievement” would be supplemented to include “accounting education, including accounting career awareness”.
- The section that discusses how schools can spend money they receive is supplemented to include “activities to promote the development, implementation, and strengthening of programs to teach accounting, including increasing access to high-quality accounting courses for students through grade 12 who are members of groups underrepresented in accounting careers”
Why I Care?
I volunteer on my local CPA Society’s “CPA’s Helping Schools” Committee. Two of our primary initiatives include 1) Going out to K-12 schools and talking about accounting, and 2) Raising money so that we can provide grants to educators for educational projects
I’ve seen so many educators request grant funds to get STEM programs into their schools by teaching students coding through lessons including robotics and 3-D printing. One of the reasons that we support these types of programs is because a student who can code is a student who can become an accountant or CPA.
Check out the proposed bill here
Check out an article in Accounting Today about the Act
Congresswoman Victoria Spartz CPA (Indiana)
Congresswoman Haley Stevens (Michigan)
Educate students about diversity in accounting through Dr. Adrian Mayse's book "When I Grow Up I Want to Be...An Accountant!"
Shameless Plug to my own accounting children's book