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Interview with Dr. James Martin, Professor Emeritus, University of South Florida

We recently had the opportunity to interview Dr. James Martin, Professor Emeritus, University of South Florida. Dr. Martin currently maintains the website Management and Accounting Web (https://maaw.info). His research interests include financial accounting, auditing, accounting information systems, and accounting education. Dr. Martin shared with us a few of his insights into the field of accounting and accounting education, which you can read below.

What books or journals would you recommend to students studying accounting in preparation for a career in the field?

I include 44 Journal Bibliographies in the following section of my website that indicate the journals I think are important(https://maaw.info/AccountingJournalsMain.htm). In addition to accounting textbooks, I would recommend books related to systems thinking. Senge’s Fifth Discipline (https://maaw.info/ArticleSummaries/ArtSumSenge90.htm) and Deming’s New Economics (https://maaw.info/ArticleSummaries/ArtSumDeming93.htm) are good examples. The controversy related to responsibility accounting indicates why this is so important. See https://maaw.info/ResponAccMain.htm and https://maaw.info/WholeSystemsMain.htm.

What professional development opportunities would you recommend to current accounting and finance students?

Become a student member of the AICPA and IMA  and go to the meetings if you can. Join Beta Alpha Psi as well and become active. https://www.bap.org

Are there any interdisciplinary study opportunities that you think are of particular benefit to accounting majors?

Take as many courses as you can in the area of management information systems and computer science. The IT area has lots of opportunities for accounting graduates.

One ongoing project you have on your website, Management and Accounting Web, is an index of accounting systems for business, which ties into the need that finance professionals have for up-to-date information in recognizable systems of organization. Do you have any tips for future accounting professionals for adopting indexing and organization systems?

I don’t have an answer for this question, but I think a lot of accountants become specialists in a particular industry, either as auditors or management accountants. If you go with a big accounting firm you will have many training opportunities, but don’t ignore the corporate training programs. See https://maaw.info/TrainingPrograms.htm

Many publications have recently noted a national shortage in accounting and finance professors. What advantages might there be to current accounting students in pursuing an education track that leads to teaching?

There are many opportunities to teach accounting. You can teach with a Masters degree, but you need a PhD to get a tenure track position at an AACSB school. See my discussion of the Accounting Doctoral Shortage at https://maaw.info/ArticleSummaries/ArtSumAccountingDoctoralShortage.htm

Is there any further advice you would share with students considering accounting as a career?

Textbooks provide a good introduction to accounting, but you need to start reading the accounting journals if you want to really learn what accounting is all about. The Journal of Accountancy is a good place to start. https://maaw.info/JournalOfAccountancy.htm

In addition, the CPA and CMA are the main accounting certifications, but there are many others. See https://maaw.info/AccountingCertifications.htm

For more advice from Dr. Martin, visit his Management and Accounting Web pages How to Manage Yourself  (https://maaw.info/HowtoManageYourselfMain.htm) and Advice for Accounting PhD Students (https://maaw.info/AdviceforAccountingPhDstudentsMain.htm). Thank you to Dr. Martin for taking the time to answer our questions!