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Their project was headed by Rose Marie Bukics, Jones Professor of Economics

Research conducted by Alaina Masler ’09 and Samantha Speer ’09 under the guidance of Rose Marie Bukics, Jones Professor of Economics, has been published in the Summer 2009 edition of Pennsylvania CPA Journal.

Masler, who graduated with majors in Spanish and economics & business, and Speer, who graduated with a major in economics and business, worked with Bukics as part of an independent study.

The article, “IFRS Ripples Throughout the Profession,” discusses how a proposed accounting rule change would affect current and future accounting professionals, and addresses whether the industry and educational institutions are equipped to provide education on this change.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has proposed the rule change that would allow International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) to be used for corporate financial filings. If implemented, this new policy would require accountants to learn the new system.

Speer and Masler researched the issue by searching numerous accounting web sites for information relating to IFRS and its upcoming implementation in the U.S., and for statistics about how many people the change will affect. They also researched if and how IFRS will be taught at the university and corporate levels, which involved contacting accounting firms and professors at other universities. The students also had a hand in writing and editing the journal article.

They indicated that this research and the publication will be helpful as they begin their new careers.

“Helping to write the article kept me up-to-date on recent events in accounting, which is always good to know for finance. Also, doing the research for the article kept me involved in research techniques that I would need for my job,” says Speer, who is working in Manhattan for Bank of America-Merrill Lynch as an analyst in equity research.

Masler is also in Manhattan, working for accounting firm BDO Seidman LLP, where she interned last summer. She is working in the business restructuring services group of BDO Consulting.

“The information I learned throughout this process will be useful, as I am going to work in the field of accounting. I learned not only information directly related to accounting standards and specifically IFRS, but additional (and creative) ways to research,” Masler says. “Second, being published, especially as an undergrad, has provided me with additional networking opportunities. I expect it will help to open more doors in the future.”

Speer and Masler say their time at the College provided valuable experiences that will be helpful in their future endeavors.

“I think the most important thing that will help me in the future was the close student-faculty relationship,” Speer says. “Being able to work with a professor on special projects gives you more experience in academic studies outside of just class. You kind of get to stand out more, since you’re able to work on projects that a professor is actually working on, such as writing an article for the Pennsylvania CPA Journal.”

“I love the sense of community at Lafayette and the ability to get to know not only your classmates well, but also professors, administrators, and staff members,” Masler says. “These relationships have provided me with many opportunities, from research to career exploration to networking.”

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