AICPA selects professor’s data analytics assignment for national award

Grace Johnson speaking with two students

Marietta College Professor Grace Johnson’s Tableau-based data analytics assignment for junior accounting majors was awarded Honorable Mention in the short case category by the Association of International Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

In a nationwide competition open to accounting faculty teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, four prizes were awarded: first prize and honorable mention each in short-case and long-case categories.

Her “Superstore Memo” assignment uses the Sample-Superstore dataset available with Tableau academic licenses. Students communicate their observations from visualizations and formulate questions for Superstore’s director of sales and marketing. Students role-play a member of the financial analysis team at the fictitious retailer Superstore, and communicate their observations and questions through a memo. Objectives of the assignment include identifying matters of interest, framing inquiries using language appropriate to a senior member of the Superstore leadership team, and writing professional memos.

“What a surprise and honor it is to be selected by the judges at the AICPA,” Johnson said. “There are so many creative and talented faculty teaching accounting at colleges and universities around the nation. My assignment is but a small one developed to aid our accounting majors’ fundamental understanding of data analytics.”

Johnson, along with the other three award winners, will present their assignments at the AICPA’s monthly “Faculty Hour” webinars in January and February. Johnson will present at the January 28th Faculty Hour.