CPAexcel’s students learn from the top team of CPA Review Course Professors in the country. These professors author the content, deliver the lectures and mentor those students who have elected to receive Professor Mentoring services as part of their CPA Review Course. We decided to ask our CPA Review Course Professors a few fun questions to get to know them better. This week, we feature Dr. Dan Stone.
CPAexcel: What one thing do you wish all of your accounting students knew before coming into your class?
Dr. Stone: That accounting is mostly about linking together computers, business goals, and controls. That debits and credits are a fraction of what real accounting is about.
CPAexcel: Which accounting topic do your students currently find the most challenging?
Dr. Stone: Learning to write well. It is a life-time commitment and many students in accounting don’t see it as important to their careers. And so perhaps I’ve just given you a second answer to question #1!
CPAexcel: What do you say to students who ask, “Why should I major in accounting?”
Dr. Stone: It is a wonderful life. You can do important, meaningful work and earn a good living doing it. And it is fun or at least can be, if you find a work environment that is kind and supportive.
CPAexcel: What’s the most enjoyable accounting concept to teach?
Dr. Stone: Is there anything better than talking about clever frauds and how to catch and prevent them? Sometimes, when describing some of the most interesting fraud cases in class, I’m struck by how clever the fraudsters were. At other times, I’m struck by how diligent and clever the auditors and detectives were in catching the fraudster. Either way, teaching students about financial crimes is great fun.
CPAexcel: What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in the accounting teaching field during your career?
Dr. Stone: The ubiquity of computing and accounting systems. Almost anyone, anywhere can access an accounting system now. When I started in this profession, accounting system access was limited to a few terminals in a special part of one building. What a great opportunity for someone (like me) who is interested in fraud and system security. The other change is that almost anything, no matter how strange or inappropriate, is now available online, including stolen credit and debit card information.
CPAexcel: Does your family ask you to do their taxes?
Dr. Stone: No – but everyone in my family complains about their computing systems and asks why I haven’t done a better job of configuring their computers, why they run so slowly, why the network connection isn’t working, would I mind fixing just one thing on their computer, etc.
CPAexcel: What do you do for fun when not teaching? Or, how do you relax?
Dr. Stone: I have a canoe, a paddle board and two kayaks and have a house on a lake. It’s a good week if I get on the water at least 2 or 3 times. And if I can’t get on the water, I’ll at least spend 10-15 minutes watching the dance of reflected sunlight on the lake, or, watching the blue herons that nest by my house catch their evening meal of minnows.
University of Kentucky
Gatton Endowed Chair, Von Allmen School of Accountancy and the Department of Management
1987 — Ph.D., Accounting and Information Systems, University of Texas
1983 — M.P.A., Accounting, Washington State University
1979 — B.B.A., Accounting, University of Oregon
Dr. Stone is a prolific writer, having been published in professional journals such as the CPA Journal and Journal of General Management. He researches and writes on financial literacy, financial attitudes and happiness, and seller fraud in online auctions.