Hazera, Alejandro [faculty advisor, College of Business Administration]
accounting; education; Mexico; United States; finance; comparison
In order to gain a better understanding of accounting education in Mexico and the United States, this study examines how differences in the countries’ business culture, economic history and financial market structure affect accounting education at the university level. A literature review was first conducted of each country’s economic history, business culture, and capital markets. This review then served as the basis for the construction of an interview questionnaire which concerned how differences in the countries’ business environments affect accounting education. The questionnaire focused on several aspects of accounting education, including the accounting curriculum, the professional exam (required to practice as a certified public accountant), internship opportunities, the job market, and the overall objective of accounting information (i.e. the investor’s interest in the company).
The questionnaire was then used to conduct interviews in Mexico City of accounting academics and professionals. The individuals interviewed included business professors at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), leaders in Mexico’s academic accounting organizations (e.g., Asociación Nacional de Facultades y Escuelas de Contaduría y Administración (ANFECA) and Asociación de Profesores de Contaduría y Administración de México (APCAM), and practicing professionals, such as a partner and a senior manager of the major CPA firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers. The professors at the National Autonomous University described key aspects of Mexican accounting education, including internship programs, key courses offered, and teaching methods. The leaders in Mexico’s academic accounting organizations discussed how the objectives of Mexican accounting impact accounting education. Finally, the practicing professionals discussed how the objectives of Mexican accounting are reflected in the professional work environment.