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Connecting theory with practice

Connecting theory with practice

Employers today, more than ever before, want to hire new accountants who can “hit the ground running” and bring real value to their businesses quickly. These rising expectations put pressure on both graduates and academic institutions to not only understand the theory behind the practice of tax and accounting – but to acquire the real-world skills needed to actually practice.

The Thomson Reuters Practice Ready for accounting students program bridges this gap between academia and practice. Through a series of targeted experiential learning tools focused in tax, audit and professional skills, Practice Ready compliments traditional academic programs helping students move beyond book-smarts to develop the skills they need to succeed in the accounting world.

Transforming the ways accounting students prepare for the future
The Practice Ready program was built with three groups in mind.

1. Students
Students in graduate level accounting programs now have the opportunity to supplement their coursework with virtual boot camps focused in three areas: tax, audit and professional skills. These courses were designed with one purpose: to make graduates more hirable post-graduation. Students who take these courses can expect to be trained not on the why, but on the how, making them instantly more valuable to future employers.

2. Academic Institutions
Prospective students are savvier when evaluating their educational choices. Of course, they want to get a quality education, but they also want to know whether attending a specific university will make it easier for them to obtain employment after graduating.

Practice Ready is designed to supplement, not replace, traditional academic settings. By implementing Practice Ready, accounting schools set themselves apart from other universities. Providing students with access to real-world training ensures their graduates have a leg-up when competing for future jobs, which, in turn, makes schools more attractive to prospective accounting students.

3. Firms
One big complaint from employers is the amount of time they spend training new accountants. And time is money. The faster a new accountant gets up to speed, the faster they add value to a firm.

Thomson Reuters Practice Ready program has been designed to mimic the training and onboarding program provided by firms to their new accountants, making the ram-up period after joining a firm exponentially shorter.

Committed to the future of the tax and accounting industry
While Thomson Reuters has been providing tax, accounting and audit solutions to practitioners and schools for decades, the Practice Ready program demonstrates a true commitment to the industry.

“When I think about Thomson Reuters,” said Keith Nichols, General Manager of Small-Mid Firms at Thomson Reuters, “I think of all of the altruistic reasons we exist. The Practice Ready program is an opportunity for our company to help build the profession. By tapping into our resources, we can help students build the early stages of their career. It is cool to be part of a company that has such a demonstrated commitment to the future of the tax and accounting industry.”

A strategic partnership with the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants
For many years Thomson Reuters has supported CPAs across Texas, specifically through its partnership with the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (TXCPA). Recent conversations with Ila Kharbush, Manager of Strategic Relationships at Thomson Reuters, and Craig Nauta, Director of Business Development at TXCPA, uncovered a shared goal: to serve not only seasoned tax practitioners, but new accountants as well. Both leaders felt there was a gap, namely that accounting students need more exposure to the practical applications of tax and accounting before entering the professional world. Thomson Reuters was already addressing this gap in the Legal industry, but not in Tax and Accounting. Through continued conversations with the TXCPA, the Practice Ready for accounting students program was born.

“TXCPA’s longstanding commitment to accounting students in Texas will be significantly expanded through this new venture with Thompson Reuters. We have great confidence in Thompson Reuters’ forward-thinking approach to serving the accounting profession, and we are excited to work together on the Practice Forward program to help prepare the next generation for service and leadership,” says Craig Nauta.

Nichols says “Without the TXCPA society we’d be forging this new path on our own. The support and perspective of the society makes provides us with the additional insight we need to build a program that makes a true impact.”

What’s next?
The Practice Ready program for accounting students is currently in a pilot phase – being offered only to student members of the TXCPA. However, Nichols hopes the program is successful and can be quickly rolled out to other accounting students.

“I see this program growing. Thomson Reuters is committed to developing a program that truly bridges the gap between theory and practice. We will act quickly to implement the learnings we gain from this pilot year and continue to build the program. Our hope is that one day all accounting students in the U.S. will have access to Practice Ready.”

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