APU’s New School of Accounting Stresses Ethics

The lingering financial crisis, corporate scandals such as MF Global, government overspending, and burgeoning personal debt have Americans asking the same question, “How do we fix our economy?” Grassroots political movements from the Tea Party to Occupy Wall Street reflect public discontent. “The country is demanding solutions, and our answer is to train a new generation of ethical accountants high in both character and competence,” said John Thornton, Ph.D., chair of accounting ethics for the new L.P. and Timothy Leung School of Accounting at Azusa Pacific University.

According to Thornton, the dedication of APU’s school of accounting this January could not come at a better time. “Ethical accounting is essential for economic growth,” he said. “Now more than ever we need trustworthy accountants who provide accurate financial information to the public. There is strong demand for accountants who help businesses succeed by improving operations and profitability while resisting the temptation to compromise corporate integrity.”

U.S.News & World Report included accounting as one of the 50 best careers in 2011 and projects strong growth for the profession over the next decade.

The school’s new master’s degree in accounting, launching in fall 2012, along with the existing undergraduate accounting major, meets recently enhanced ethics and education requirements for Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). Thornton said APU’s accounting students can expect nearly 100 percent job placement by the time they graduate thanks to internships, partnerships with area businesses, and a rigorous curriculum that prepares students for the CPA exam. Beyond that, students develop a Christian accounting ethic by studying biblical leaders such as Daniel, noted for being trustworthy and neither negligent nor corrupt.

“Who could predict where the country would be today if more ethical accountants had been working in our financial institutions,” said Ilene Smith-Bezjian, DBA, dean of APU’s School of Business and Management. “The world needs trustworthy, well-trained accountants to help us get out of this mess! With the Leung family gift and the naming of a new accounting school, APU can develop accountants who boldly stand for truth and reflect the light of Christ.”

Event Alert: The dedication of the L.P. and Timothy Leung School of Accounting

  • Tues., Jan. 17, 2012
  • 1:30 p.m.
  • Wilden School of Business and Management located on East Campus, at 901 E.Alosta Ave., in Azusa

The event includes a ribbon cutting by L.P. Leung and reception. APU President Jon R. Wallace, DBA, Executive Vice President David Bixby, Ed.D., and members of the Board of Trustees along with local community and government officials, businesses leaders, accounting alumni, and friends and family of L.P. Leung will attend.

An $8.6 million gift from the Leung family allowed APU to broaden its accounting major and establish the L.P. and Timothy Leung School of Accounting, housed in APU’s School of Business and Management, giving the accounting program the resources needed to expand its emphasis on strong academics, practical training, and teaching ethics.

Azusa Pacific University is an evangelical, Christian university committed to God First and excellence in higher education. With 53 undergraduate majors, 37 master’s degrees, 21 credentials, 7 doctoral programs, and 5 certificates, the university offers its more than 9,200 students a quality education on campus, online, and at seven regional centers throughout Southern California.