Dhillon School of Business Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) hopefuls can get ahead this September with a new accounting course, Accounting Information Systems and Data Analytics (Management 3171). The course satisfies a new key competency area introduced by CPA Canada which students will need to complete before they enter into the CPA Professional Education Program (PEP). The Dhillon School of Business at the University of Lethbridge was the first and is one of only a few schools in all of Alberta to have a course in this subject area recognized as meeting the data analytics pre-requisite requirements for PEP.

Dhillon accounting faculty member, Dr. Carla Carnaghan, who was on the nationwide CPA Canada task force recommending the competencies for the new data analytics and information systems component, says that she and her colleagues Dr. George Gonzalez and information systems auditor Ademola Ajidagba, started working on the course a few years ago.

“The accounting curriculum at the Dhillon School of Business has always included a technology component, but data analytics is new,” says Carnaghan. “We’ll be helping students visualize and analyze data that influences business decisions. They’ll take both large and small volumes of data and look for patterns and relationships which will help evaluate business performance and risk.”

Though spring 2020 was the first time Accounting Information Systems and Data Analytics was taught on the Lethbridge campus, the Dhillon School of Business at the Calgary Campus started offering the course in 2019.

Dean Kerry Godfrey says that these types of courses, with a focus on technology and data analytics, are central to the school’s pursuit of innovation both in business education and in business management.

“The Dhillon School of Business is continually exploring opportunities to introduce data analytics into the curriculum to ensure our graduates are best equipped to meet the challenge of current and future business issues and opportunities,” he says.

Non-accounting majors are also eligible to take the new course. In addition, Management Information Systems, a course taken by all other Dhillon business students is being redeveloped to include a data analytics component.

Universities across Alberta will have until fall 2021 to catch up with the new CPA Canada competency requirements.