CTR Home Internal  Relations and Communications Home About CTR Publication Schedule CTR Archives

June 7, 2001 Accountancy gains international status and a new research chair



Molson School professors

Dean Mohsen Anvari (left) paid tribute to George Kanaan, chair of Accountancy, and Professor Derek Acland, of the same department, for their help in achieving AACSB accreditation. Nearly 100 people attended the reception that saw Dr. Michel Magnan (right) installed in the new Lawrence Bloomberg Chair in Accountancy. In a short but pithy speech, Mr. Bloomberg (centre) urged the business community to support academic excellence, and told the professors, “Papers are one thing, but teach the kids well!”

Photo by Andrew Dobrowolskyj

by Sigalit Hoffman

The AACSB, which sets the standards for business schools worldwide and accredited the John Molson School of Business four years ago, has now accredited the Department of Accountancy. AACSB stands for the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

“If you want to be part of the club, it’s essential you get accredited,” said Professor Michel Magnan in an interview.

The AACSB sets the standards for business schools worldwide, starting with universities like Harvard, Yale, and Cornell.

Concordia is the first university in Canada to have its accountancy program accredited by the association, an event that Magnan called “major recognition and a major opportunity.” He believes the move will open the university up to international students and foreign exchanges.

“It broadens the pool of universities with which we can do exchange programs, and it’s a signal that if you come and study at Concordia in accounting, your program will be recognized in the U.S. and around the world.”

The Department of Accountancy’s Graduate Certificate in Management Accounting was also recently accredited by CMA Canada.

A CMA (certified management accountant) is usually responsible for a company’s finances. Before Concordia’s program was accredited, business students interested in becoming CMAs would have to take outside classes and tests on top of their core courses.

Accreditation means fewer extra courses and evaluations for Concordia students. The program completes the requirements to become a CMA, Magnan said. “Once they complete the program, they don’t have much else to do to qualify.”

The AACSB and CMA accreditations are not the only reason for celebration. Professor Magnan is the holder of Concordia’s new Lawrence Bloomberg Chair in Accountancy, and his appointment was celebrated at a reception at Samuel Bronfman House on May 31.

Mr. Bloomberg is a director of the National Bank of Canada, and was a member of the Toronto Stock Exchange’s board of governors. A financial analyst, he received his Bachelor of Commerce from Concordia.

Magnan’s mandate is to encourage research in the Accountancy Department. He joined Concordia last July after spending six years teaching accounting at the École des Hautes Études Commerciales. Magnan has been a chartered accountant since 1982, and has been a fellow of the Quebec Order of Chartered Accountants since 1998. His research focuses on environmental reporting, ethics and financial statement analysis. The new chair plans to redirect the department’s focus.

“We’re on the right track,” Magnan said. “We’re moving from a professional orientation to a research orientation.”

He plans to forge on with his own research and help his peers with theirs. He wants to encourage faculty members to do research by bringing workshops and special speakers to the department. “You should always improve on what you are doing, and try to find ways to make it better.”