One of the most exciting parts of my experience at Ohio State so far has been attending MAcc talks. These events bring in exciting speakers from a variety of backgrounds to discuss their experiences and how it can pertain to our future careers as accountants. (We also receive a free lunch from Panera for each session, so I’ve also learned to always go for the Bacon Turkey Bravo.) The speakers come in through professors directly reaching out and I am always amazed at the connections Fisher professors can have.
Some of the guest speakers so far this semester have been the CEO of Pelotonia, a transparency reporter for DowJones MarketWatch, a Stanford tax researcher, an OSU law professor, and the Ohio Auditor of State. Their areas of expertise are incredibly broad and lead to thought-provoking discussions with my classmates. The talks are often a lot less technical than a lecture and encourage thinking about accounting issues in terms far more broad than simple debits and credits.
A recent speaker was Weston Smith, the former CFO of HealthSouth. He walked us through the fraud that occurred within the corporation. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which of course we all had learned about in depth in accounting courses, played a key part in the unraveling of inflated earnings reports for HealthSouth. It was pretty satisfying to see how technical topics like SOX play out in real world scenarios.