Ideas with Impact
UNB Faculty of Management

Unlocking success: The impact of case writing in accounting at UNB’s Faculty of Management

Author: Faculty of Management

Posted on Jan 18, 2024

Category: Faculty , Programs

Photo: Professor Suzanne Tucker developed a Case Writing in Accounting course that teaches students how to start thinking and communicating like professionals and prepare them to enter the CPA PEP.

Meet Colin Cossaboom, a determined individual on the path to obtaining his CPA designation. As he successfully completed the challenges of the first module in the CPA Professional Education Program (PEP), he took a moment to express gratitude to his former accounting professor, Suzanne Tucker. Why? One of the secret weapons behind his success was the "amazing" Case Writing in Accounting course she developed at UNB’s faculty of management.

The journey to becoming a CPA is not for the faint of heart. After completing at least an undergraduate degree, in addition to completing a slate of challenging accounting courses, students embark on the CPA PEP, a rigorous process involving six modules, each enriched with real-world business problems and accounting challenges. These modules culminate in a three-day, case-based, common final exam. It's a transformative journey, and one that demands a unique set of skills, especially in case writing.

Professor Suzanne Tucker, an instructor in accounting education for over two decades, identified a gap between university teachings and the expectations of the CPA PEP. This prompted her to develop the Case Writing in Accounting course. Offered as part of the BBA Honours in Accounting program, this fourth-year elective course equips students with invaluable skills for the challenges that lie ahead in their CPA journey.

Tucker noticed a higher success rate among graduates from another university that had mandatory case writing assignments. This observation inspired her to introduce a course that would expose and challenge students to use The CPA Way, the framework that unpins successful case writing in the CPA PEP, to structure responses to accounting problems found in real-world cases.

In their final year BBA students in UNB’s faculty of management can elect to take Case Writing in Accounting. The course not only teaches them to integrate various accounting topics into a cohesive report, where they learn to read, search, and use the CPA Handbook like professionals. It also provides hands-on experience in writing case responses within a timed environment, mirroring the CPA program.

Tucker's vision is clear: she wants students to think like accountants and write like professionals. "I want them to know how to write a response to a financial reporting, management, or governance issue, and to understand what they need to communicate," she shares.

The impact of Case Writing in Accounting is evident in the success stories of other students like Brent Wishart. and Matt Bonnell. Wishart emphasizes the advantage of prior experience and comfort gained through the course, making the Core 1 of the CPA PEP more manageable. Bonnell attests that the course provided a head start, setting him up for success by helping him understand the challenges and intricacies of case writing. (Wishart is nearing the last modules of his CPA journey, while Bonnell successfully completed the Common Final Exam in September 2023).

Professor Tucker, a CPA and recipient of the Fellowship award in 2014, brings a wealth of experience to the classroom. Deeply involved in the CPA PEP, she serves as a facilitator, session leader, content developer and technical advisor. She has been shaping the future of accounting professionals at the faculty of management since 2016.

Learn more about Professor Suzanne Tucker and about the Faculty of Management’s Accounting Program.

Media contact: Liz Lemon-Mitchell