Monday, September 19, 2011

Beta Alpha Psi to host conference to address proposed adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards

James Leisenring
Accountants in the region will gather to learn about a proposal to adopt the International Financial Reporting Standards from accounting experts who are setting those standards. The day-long conference will take place on the campus of Western Michigan University in late October.

James Leisenring, MBA’64, senior advisor, Financial Accounting Standards Board, will discuss the proposal that would integrate the IFRS and generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) standards into a single-set of high quality standards. 

James Kroeker, chief accountant, Securities and Exchange Commission, will share insight on the potential convergence from the perspective of the SEC.

James Kroeker
Hosted by the WMU Gamma Rho Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, in conjunction with WMU’s Haworth College of Business, the IFRS conference, titled “What you need to know now!” will take place on Thursday, Oct. 27 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Fetzer Center. Participants can receive eight credit hours of continuing professional education recognized by the State of Michigan for attendance at the event.

Key speakers, topics and highlights include:

·         8:10 a.m. -  James Leisenring, Senior Advisor, Financial Accounting Standards Board, “History and Update of Convergence”
·         8:50 a.m. – Ron Edmonds, Vice-President and Controller, The Dow Chemical Company, “SEC Registrant Perspective”
·         10:10 a.m. – James Kroeker, Chief Accountant, Securities and Exchange Commission, “SEC Discussion on IFRS”
·         10:55 a.m. – Dr. Roger Tang, WMU Professor of Accountancy and Upjohn Chair of Business Administration, “Major Differences between IFRS and GAAP”
·         12:40 a.m. – James Leisenring, “Technical Project Updates”
·         1:25 p.m. – David Schmid, Partner, Transaction ServicesAccounting and Financial Reporting, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP,  “Preparing Within the Core Practice of Assurance”
·         2:45 p.m. - Dr. Ola Smith, WMU associate professor of accountancy, will moderate a question and answer session.

Mike Eubanks, conference coordinator and president of BAP, says the goal of the conference is “for participants to gain insight and get familiar with some of proposed changes as it pertains to potentially adopting the international standards. The program will provide practical information to all levels of participants.

“In addition to professional accountants, we are inviting students from area business schools to participate in the day’s events,” says Eubanks. “We are targeting students at the senior and master level at WMU and surrounding universities.”

“The Beta Alpha Psi officers have spent much time and effort planning the conference,” says Dr. Don Gribbin, chair, Department of Accountancy. “The organization has demonstrated great initiative in this undertaking.” 

Registration for the event is required by Wednesday, Oct. 12. For further information or to register, visit: . The registration fee is $299 for professional accountants and the event is free for students.

About Beta Alpha Psi
Beta Alpha Psi is an international honorary organization for financial information professionals. The WMU Gamma Rho Chapter is a vital campus organization of men and women accounting majors. While membership implies past academic achievements, emphasis in the organization is on professional development of members and the advancement of the profession. Active involvement is required and helps prepare accounting students for the leadership roles they will assume during their careers. Social activities provide a “lighter” side to campus life.

About the IFRS
The IFRS Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit private sector organization working in the public interest. Its principal objectives are:

·         To develop a single set of high quality, understandable, enforceable and globally accepted international financial reporting standards (IFRSs) through its standard-setting body, the IASB;

·         To promote the use and rigorous application of those standards.

·         To take account of the financial reporting needs of emerging economies and small and medium-sized entities, and
·         To bring about convergence of national accounting standards and IFRS to high quality solutions.

To learn more about the IFRS, visit: .

Key Speaker Bios

James Leisenring, MBA '64
Senior Advisor
Financial Accounting Standards Board
James Leisenring has spent his professional life literally “setting the standard.”  He began doing so as partner and director of accounting and auditing for Bristol, Leisenring, Herker & Co., in his hometown of Battle Creek, Mich; the firm is now a part of Plante & Moran.   During his tenure at Bristol, Leisenring, Herker & Co., he was active in the American Institute of CPAs and served as the chair of its Auditing Standards Board as well as a member of many other institute committees.  He became known for not only his knowledge of the field, but also for his sound judgment and business acumen.  

In 1982 he joined the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), a private, not-for-profit organization that develops generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) that are in the best interest of the public.  His first post was as director of research and technical activities, and he later became chair of the Emerging Issues Task Force when it was developed in 1984.  In 1987 he became a member of the FASB Board and was appointed vice chair in 1988.  He also served as chair of the FASB Derivatives Implementation Group and the FASB Financial Instruments Task Force.

Leisenring was appointed to the International Accounting Standards Board to be its liaison member to the FASB in 2001.  At that time, he was serving as the director of international activities at FASB.

Recognition of Leisenring's contributions to the field of accounting has come in numerous forms.  He has been named a Distinguished Alumni Award winner at both Albion College and Western Michigan University.  In 2003, he was inducted into the Accounting Hall of Fame in recognition of his contributions to the advancement of accounting. He serves frequently as an expert in the area of accounting standards for conferences and for the media.

James Kroeker
Chief Accountant
Securities and Exchange Commission
James Kroeker is the chief accountant at the Securities and Exchange Commission, where he oversees accounting interpretations, professional practice issues, and international accounting matters. 

Previously, Kroeker served as Acting Chief Accountant and guided the day-to-day operations of the SEC's Office of Accountant. He served as staff director of the SEC's Congressionally mandated study of fair value accounting standards, and led the efforts of the Office of the Chief Accountant to address the economic turmoil, including steps to improve off-balance sheet accounting standards.

Prior to joining the SEC as deputy chief accountant in 2007, Kroeker was a partner in the Deloitte and Touche LLP, National Office Accounting Services Group. At Deloitte, he was responsible for providing consultation and support regarding the implementation, application, communication and development of accounting standards, including disclosure and reporting matters.

Kroeker also served as a Practice Fellow at the Financial Accounting Standards Board, where he assisted in the development of accounting guidance related to evolving accounting issues.

Prior to joining Deloitte's national office, Kroeker was responsible for the audits of financial statements of several large national and multinational public companies and consulted with clients on technical accounting issues, coordinated the firm's work related to clients' mergers and acquisitions, and conducted special projects for the firm.

Kroeker received a Bachelor of Science degree with an emphasis in accounting from the University of Nebraska.

Students to network and explore possibilities on Business Career Day, Oct. 27

More than 100 organizations will arrive on the campus of Western Michigan University on Thursday, Oct. 27 for Business Career Day. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the East Ballroom of the Bernhard Center and is open to all students, alumni and the public.

Hosted by Alpha Kappa Psi and the Career Center, Haworth College of Business, Business Career Day is designed for students to network with employer representatives to discuss internship and professional career opportunities.

Some employers will arrive on Wednesday, Oct. 26 for the Food Marketing Career Night, to deliver informative presentations and network with students at the Fetzer Center. In addition, many employers will be conducting on-campus interviews on Friday, Oct. 28 as well as in the weeks following the event. “Students are encouraged to attend Career Day to meet hundreds of recruiters and WMU alumni representing a variety of diverse organizations and learn about opportunities in accounting, IT, marketing, sales, management, supply chain and finance," says Ade Weir, Business Career Day intern. 

"We are thankful for the commitment employers make to WMU by recruiting our talented students,” says Linda Ickes, director of the Career Center.  “The 2011-12 Career Center premier partners are C.H. Robinson, Coyote Logistics Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Kraft, Meijer, Stryker and Walmart. Additional employers sponsoring the event include American Transport Group, Borg Warner, New York Life and Northwestern Mutual Financial Network.

Candidates are asked to dress professionally and bring copies of their resumes. A list of participating employers is available from The Career Center website at . Students may also use their smart phones to read the QR code from the Business Career Day promotional materials for the most current listing of employers attending the event. Employers may also visit the Career Center website site until Oct. 20 to register to attend the Business Career Day.

Two programs designed to help students prepare to network and interview with employers are scheduled. They are Resume Critique Night on Monday, Oct. 3 and Practice Interview Day on Friday, Oct 7. Students may sign up through Broncojobs or by visiting the Career Center, 3020 Schneider Hall. 

Beginning Oct. 7, students are invited to pick up a “Business Career Day Booklet” from the Career Center at the Haworth College of Business.

Learn the Secrets of Networking with SKIRT

Co-author of ‘SKIRTWorking’ to share strategies
for making powerful professional connections at West Michigan events

Women professionals: Is networking really working for you?  Western Michigan University graduate Michelle Alberda, BBA ’89, says that if they aren’t, it could be time to shed your old ideas about how to do it.

At two upcoming events to be held Oct. 12 in Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids, Alberda, a senior financial advisor and co-author of “SKIRTWorking” (Sharing Knowledge Information and Resources Together), will discuss how to make the most of networking by using techniques developed for women, for use by women. 

Details of the events are as follows:

Inforum Luncheon Event at Fetzer Center
WMU’s Haworth College of Business is hosting Alberda, who will speak from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at a luncheon at the WMU Fetzer Center on Wednesday, Oct. 12. The event is being held in conjunction with Inforum, Michigan’s leading network of professional women, dedicated to providing opportunities for women to lead and succeed.

The Fetzer Center is located on the campus of Western Michigan University at 2350 Business Court. Cost for the luncheon event is $30 for Inforum members and $45 for non-members or $350 per table of eight. Reservations are required by Oct. 5 and can be made through Inforum at:

Reception in Grand Rapids
Also on Oct. 12, Alberda will speak at 6 p.m. at Noto’s Old World Dining, 6600 28th St. in Grand Rapids, Mich., at an event sponsored by the WMUFAMILY of Grand Rapids.
Reservations are also required for the evening event in Grand Rapids. Cost is $20 per person, which includes hor d’ouvres and keynote speaker. RSVP by Oct. 5 by calling 269.387.8746. Further information is available at:

At each event, Alberda will describe the idea of “SKIRTWorking,” a concept created by the book’s co-authors that takes people and businesses to the next level through new ideas and connections with others. The book grew to be a No. 1 Bestseller in the Women and Business category on, and remains among the top-rated books on the bestseller list today.

Alberda teamed up with co-authors Michelle Balog and Stacey Fleece over seven years ago after they recognized a shared and unified interest in the desire to capitalize on the power of networking. The idea of SKIRTWorking, (Sharing Knowledge Information and Resources Together) evolved from their collective insight.
Autographed copies of the book will be available for sale following both events.

About Michelle Alberda
An entrepreneur who earned her CFP© certification in 2004, Alberda established her solo financial advisory practice, Ameriprise Financial Services in San Francisco, Calif. in 2007.  Previously, Alberda worked in Southeast Asia where she co-founded a consulting firm that specialized in government infrastructure projects. She has a degree in marketing and Asian studies from WMU and is a Chartered Life Underwriter. Learn more about “SKIRTWorking,” and the authors at: .

About Inforum
Inforum is Michigan’s leading business forum for women, with more than 1,800 members from a cross-section of Michigan's business community. The mission of the organization is to strengthen the business environment by creating opportunities for women to lead and succeed. Founded as the Women's Economic Club in 1962 in Detroit, Inforum has affiliates in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Lansing, Mich. For more information, visit   or call 877.633.3500.

About Haworth College of Business
Haworth College of Business, one of the largest schools of business in the United States, is the academic home to nearly 4, 000 undergraduate students majoring in 15 specialized areas of business. An additional 500 graduate students study business administration (MBA) and accountancy (MSA).The Haworth College of Business is among an elite group of fewer than five percent of business schools worldwide that are accredited at both the undergraduate and graduate levels by the American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business. It is among a select two percent of business schools worldwide that have additional specialized accreditation for their accountancy programs.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Events acquaint students with business programs

Western Michigan University invites new and returning students to attend two Haworth College of Business successive events to learn more about programs and organizations offered through the Haworth College of Business. 
Major Info Night will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21. A brief presentation from each of the business college's academic departments will acquaint students with all five departments and 15 business majors. Activities will be held in Room 1120 of Schneider Hall. Immediately after the presentations, students, faculty and staff are invited for pizza and refreshments in the Schneider Hall Lobby.

Business Bash, will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 22, in the Schneider Hall Courtyard. This is an opportunity for students to drop in at any time to learn about business-related professional student organizations, majors, study-abroad opportunities and career services. 

Event organizers say this is an excellent opportunity for new students to become acquainted with business majors and meet faculty and student organization leaders.

"Deciding on a major is an important decision in a student's career development," says Linda Ickes, Career Center director and co-advisor of the Student Leadership Advisory Board. "Employers want to hire students for internships who are confident in discussing their interests and motivators, are self-directed and work well with others. Business Bash provides a fun, interactive environment to do just that with representatives from student organizations, academic majors, study abroad and the Career Center!"

The premier partners of the Career Center support Business Bash by sponsoring the T-shirts. Thanks to CH Robinson, Kraft Foods, Coyote Logistics, Stryker, Meijer, Walmart and Enterprise Rent-a-Car.

For more information on Major Info Night or Business Bash, contact the Haworth College of Business Career Center at (269) 387-2711.