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  • br Introduction Accounting educators and professional accoun


    Introduction Accounting educators and professional accounting organizations have speculated that advanced placement (AP) may be an effective tool for recruiting high-quality students into accounting education programs (Deines, Bittner, & Eichman, 2012; The Pathways Commission, 2012), and it is not surprising that the accounting NSC23766 perceives AP students to be good prospects for recruitment. Research shows that high-school students who pass AP exams have relatively higher college entrance exam scores (Warne, Larsen, Anderson, & Odasso, 2015), and they perform relatively better in college overall (Acerman, Kanfer, & Calderwood, 2013; Gruman, 2013). Similarly, the College Board found students who received AP credit for initial college courses performed better in subsequent intermediate-level courses than did students who took the traditional entry-level course (Morgan & Klaric, 2007). Collectively, these findings suggest that AP students may indeed represent the high-potential recruitment pool desired by the accounting profession. Although there has been substantial effort by the accounting community toward developing and gaining College Board approval for an AP accounting course (Cohn, 2014), there has been no empirical evidence showing that AP students actually perform better in future accounting academic pursuits compared to non-AP students. The current research explores this possibility by examining relationships between AP engagement and success and performance on the CPA exam. Since the early 1990\'s, changes in demographics and the global business environment have caused worry within the accounting profession about the supply chain of entry level accountants, both in terms of quantity and quality (Black, 2012). More recent predictions are that 75 percent of Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) will retire over the next two decades (Moore, 2011; Trabulsi, 2008), while overall high-school enrollments from 2014 to 2026 are expected to increase only a modest 2.9 percent, with twenty-one states experiencing an average 6.3 percent decrease in enrollments during that same period (National Center for Education Statistics, 2017). The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment of accountants and auditors will grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, a rate that is faster than the average for all occupations (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). Supply constraints, coupled with a global business environment that demands an increasingly higher set of analytical and critical thinking skills for entry-level accountants (AICPA, 2014), has fueled efforts within the accounting community to identify and recruit the best and brightest into the profession. The most high-profile response, a joint project by the American Accounting Association (AAA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), was the creation of the Commission on Accounting Higher Education, also known as the “Pathways Commission.” Officially launched in 2010, the Pathways Commission was charged to “study the future structure of higher education for the accounting profession and develop recommendations for educational pathways to engage and retain the strongest possible community of students, academics, practitioners, and other knowledgeable leaders in the practice and study of accounting” (The Pathways Commission, 2012, pg. 12). After two years of work, the Pathways NSC23766 Commission produced a comprehensive framework, the “National Strategy for the Next Generation of Accountants.” Recommendation 5 of the framework challenges the profession to “Improve the ability to attract high-potential, diverse entrants into the profession,” (The Pathways Commission, 2012, pg. 39) and recommends the development of a high school accounting class “eligible for AP credit” (pg. 40). Pathways co-chair William Ezell noted that although the profession has “… been doing really well attracting students to this profession in the last few years” … “it\'s a cycle thing. It comes, it goes. We want to make sure we have the best and the brightest” (Cohn, 2014).