Accounting Pilot & Bridge Project

In August I had the opportunity to attend the Accounting Pilot & Bridge Project (APBP) training sponsored by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPAs). At one time the National Business Education Association members were hoping that this project would lead to approval by the College Board as an Advanced Placement Accounting class. The APBP, a program that trains high school educators to teach a higher level accounting curriculum, was founded in 2006 by Dr. Dan Deines, CPA, and is modeled on a class he developed at Kansas State University. We do not have approval from the College Board, but I would encourage anyone who teaches Accounting (or one day hopes to be able to), to take advantage of this training. The AICPA research has found that 44 percent of high school students have either taken an accounting course in high school or plan on taking one, mean the potential impact of the APBP is substantial. Teachers who complete the training will receive support from the AICPA, as they work to implement the course in their state, including:

  • Support from APBP trainers
  • Access to online teaching resources
  • Daily lesson plans and assignments
  • Pre-written exams with answer keys
  • A textbook, including teacher’s notes and Power Point presentations
  • Scholarships specifically for high school students who took their accounting course from an APBP trained teacher

When in college (over 40 years ago) at Salem State College in Salem, MA, (now known as Salem State University), I was trained to teach secretarial and accounting classes. Due to staff strength in the accounting area, I didn’t teach accounting until about five or six years ago. My point in telling you all this is that one thing I learned during the training is that I could—given time—begin to recall the material regarding advanced accounting concepts for long-term liabilities and equity. I then needed to apply it to the material that we were discussing and practicing. I wasn’t quite as quick as some other educators at doing the problems; I had to get through all those cobwebs to first recall the material from my college years! I also used a financial calculator for the first time. (Thank you to Barbara Iannoni and the Massachusetts Society of CPAs for providing a set we could use.)

Another thing is the kindness that was shown to one of my colleagues when she suffered an unfortunate fall. From the hotel’s front office manager to the EMTs to colleagues at the conference, there was genuine care and concern shown in the unfortunate situation. Our thoughts continue to be with her for a steady and full recovery.

Accounting is the core business course in our curriculum and all business majors need to have an understanding of the basic accounting concepts. This course will be challenging to all accounting student levels. The higher-level students can take the course test offered for those completing the (APBP program) at the end of the year. Other students will be exposed but perhaps not expected to master the concepts of the material at the level of the other students. If you have an opportunity to participate in this training, don’t hesitate to participate.

About the blogger:  Cynthia “Cindy” Durkee is the President of the Massachusetts Business Educators Association (@MBEAMA). She is a Business Education Teacher at Wahconah Regional High School in Dalton, MA, and can be reached at

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