2022-23 Accounting Newsletter

In This Issue:

New Things Going on in the Major

I hope you are all having a productive fall semester.

Ashutosh Deshmukh

Ashutosh Deshmukh

Credit: Penn State Behrend

The new academic year begins with a host of new activities in the department. First, we welcome Janel Bonsell, principal, Schaffner Knight Minnaugh & Company, and Christopher Elwell, partner, Maloney, Reed, Scarpitti & Company, as Executives in Residence. They will be involved in guest lectures, career advising, and mentoring of students, among other things. We are very excited that these two seasoned professionals will be guiding our students.

Second, the Accounting program is now modified to meet the emerging CPA and CMA requirements. The students will now take a required Excel and data analytics class. We are also recommending a series of technology classes for students who plan to take the CPA examination. Also, the MPAcc program has just undergone a program review. We have received many glowing comments and also some constructive criticism. We are working on changing the program and making it more relevant.

Third, we recently held Accounting Day. The CPA firms in the region, our corporate partners, faculty, and students made the event a great success. My special thanks to Professor Charles Brown and Professor Linda Hajec for organizing and executing the event.

Finally, we graduated a strong, career-ready accounting class in May. Many of our students have landed jobs with premier accounting firms and corporations. The prognosis for recent accounting graduates remains bright. I hope you will be proactive in managing your career. Join accounting clubs and seek leadership positions, find substantive internships and work hard, and choose electives that will help you in your career.

I wish you all the best for the fall semester and beyond.

—Dr. Ash Deshmukh, chair, Accounting and MIS

Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Charles Brown, associate professor of accounting, teaches multiple courses throughout a range of levels. He also serves as the NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative.

Charles Brown

Charles Brown

Credit: Penn State

What do you most want accounting students to know/do/learn?
I want all our accounting majors to understand that their faculty are passionate about student learning and desire for each and every student to have tremendous success—in the classroom and in their future careers. But it’s a two-way street. If students are dedicated and willing to work hard to help themselves, then the accounting faculty will do as much as we can to ensure student success. There is nothing more rewarding than to see our majors walk across the stage at graduation knowing that they have a great career ahead built on a solid Behrend accounting education.

What’s the proudest moment of your career?
Penn State Behrend has given me a lot of fun moments and opportunities throughout my career, but I’ve had two really proud moments. The first was earning tenure. Ask any faculty member—going through the tenure process, and ultimately succeeding, is a tremendously rewarding experience! If you’ve ever watched The Shawshank Redemption and, at the end, we see Andy Dufresne basking in the glory of escaping after crawling through the drainpipe, then that gives you an idea of what it feels like to earn tenure. It is pure satisfaction! The other moment was being asked to be the commencement speaker a few years ago. Truly an honor.

Alumni Spotlight

Scott Herzing, CPA, Supervisor at McGill, Power, Bell & Associates, LLP

Photo of Scott Herzing

Scott Herzing specializes in corporate and individual taxation with an emphasis on the Research and Experimentation Tax Credit.

What is one of the most interesting or unique aspects of your job?
Working in public accounting, I see a variety of businesses’ internal operations. Taking a tour of a manufacturing facility is always interesting. Seeing the concepts, development phases, and production lines in person really helps to translate the debits and credits that you will see when working through their books.

What came as the biggest surprise to you at your first post-Behrend job?
I did not know nearly as much as I thought I did. The knowledge learned in college is a great base, but success at a job is determined by your willingness to grow every day. Career growth will come to those who accept criticism and learn from all experiences on the job.

Student Spotlight

Austin Ryan ’23

Photo of Austin Ryan

Majors: Accounting and Finance

Club Involvement: Accounting Club, FMA Club

Internship: PNC Bank. Received full-time offer at the completion of the internship.

What has most surprised you about the study of accounting?
How much it applies to other areas in the business world.

What was your biggest takeaway from your internship?
Classwork is great; however, you still have a lot of learning to do when you start working. Learning does not stop in the classroom. You will pick up so many new skills afterward. 

Club Updates

The Accounting Club started off the year by attending the Back 2 Business event, where we were able to meet a lot of accounting students and recruit new members. We also had our annual picnic, which was a great opportunity for students and professors to get together and socialize. Our second meeting of the year was hosted with the FMA Club, and we heard from a representative from PNC Bank about their Accounting/Finance programs.

Photo of Back 2 Business Event

Photo of Back 2 Business Event

Credit: Penn State Behrend

Last semester we had several good meetings where students were able to learn a little more about the field and some opportunities in it. Our biggest event of the semester was the accounting-specific résumé event we hosted, where students were able to get some tips from professionals in the field about their résumé.

We hope to host a few more events this semester with speakers from various fields of accounting. If you are interested in more information about our club or want to know when our upcoming events are, check out our BehrendSync page, join our Slack group chat, or email our president, Hannah Christy, at [email protected].