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In "Is It Time to Take Another Look at CPE?" (February 1996), Edwin N. Walley argues persuasively that CPE should include more than technical subjects. As I considered his views, I realized that his suggestions mirror the challenges and changes that are either in place or
are being contemplated in undergraduate and graduate-level accounting programs.

Whether they find their source in the recommendations of the Accounting Education Change Commission, in the AICPA's 150-hour requirement, or in suggestions from the practicing community, these changes have at least one thing in common: a concerted effort to broaden the focus of our curricular efforts to allow for improved critical skills development and more consideration of nontechnical subject matter.

If we think of accounting education as a continuum that begins with undergraduate education and continues throughout the professional career, it is easy to see the logic in a "match-up" between college curricula and CPE. If initial professional competence requires broad-based learning, education intended to continue that learning process should be equally broad based.

Ironically, what we have here is a mutual endorsement. Mr. Walley's suggestions constitute an implied endorsement of changes in college accounting programs. And, efforts by academics to broaden the curriculum constitute an implied endorsement of Mr. Walley's ideas.

If we succeed in these redefinitions, accounting education will be a model of "lifelong-learning" for which our profession will be justifiably proud.

Joel P. McAllister, PhD, CPA

Kennesaw State


As a strong proponent of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in the profession, I read with interest Ms. Ellis' article in the February issue of The CPA Journal.

I was honored to have chaired the Florida Institute of CPAs' Committee which adopted the pilot mediation project referenced in the article. Please allow me this opportunity to clarify the role of the FICPA in the process.

Convinced that litigation is the least effective mechanism for resolving disputes in accounting, and recognizing the reluctance of insurers to agree to binding arbitration, we opted for mediation under the rules of the American Arbitration Association. The institute specifically named the AAA due to its 70-year history of professional administration. In addition, it was felt that issues such as liability and unrelated business income tax were better left with the AAA, leaving the FICPA true to its own mission.

Steven M. Platau, JD, CPA

The University of Tampa

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