Preparing Tomorrow’s CPAs: An Interview with Dr. Tim Kizirian

By all accounts, teachers are an underappreciated lot. But, accounting teachers have an especially difficult job. The topic, itself, isn’t generally considered exciting, and it requires a special type of instructor to create compelling course material that will keep students engaged and learning.
Dr. Tim Kizirian knows this better than most. Known for injecting a sense of humor into his accounting and auditing curricula, Dr. Kizirian has been a valuable member of the CSU, Chico business faculty since 2000. As a well known and respected accounting teacher, he can offer a unique perspective on what it takes to make a successful career preparing tomorrow’s CPA’s.

RCPAR: Thanks for taking the time to interview with us. How long have you been teaching Accounting?

Dr. Kizirian: “10 years”

R: What keeps you passionate about teaching?

K: “My passion for teaching actually comes from my passion for the accounting profession. I think the accounting profession is one of the most noble, exciting, and interesting professions a college student could chose. It is also rewarding, especially financially.”

R: If you were entering the workforce today, would you choose to be an accounting teacher, or a CPA? Why?

K: “I think you should become a CPA, THEN become an accounting teacher. This way, you are teaching from street knowledge, not just textbook knowledge.”

R: What can universities and colleges do to encourage more accounting students to become accounting instructors?

K: “Every accounting program should, at a minimum, introduce accounting academia as a potential career choice to the accounting students.”

R: Do you support private class sponsorship as a potential solution? For example, a class called Price Waterhouse Coopers presents “Accounting 101”

K: “Sure, we academics welcome all kinds of money!”

R: What do you consider to be the greatest challenge facing accounting instructors today?

K: “The general lack of drive (motivation), critical thinking skills, and math and writing skills in the average American high school graduate.”

R: Do you have any suggestions for accounting students or CPAs who want to become instructors?

K: “Don’t do it just for the money. You have to actually care about the student’s well-being, and future success. You have to love the accounting profession.”

For more information about Dr. Tim Kizirian, please visit his biography page on the CSU, Chico website.

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