1 BEACOM SCHOOL OF BUSINESS FOOTNOTES DIVISION OF ACCOUNTING & FINANCE NEWSLETTER SPRING/Summer 2013 Inside This Issue Letter from the Chair Lavin Presented with USD s 2013 Belbas-Larson Award South Dakota, the U.S. and our World M.P.A. Program Prepares Students for Bright Futures Outstanding, Students and Alumni Honored Alumni and Student Spotlights Angeline Lavin of the Beacom School of Business was one of two university faculty members honored with the 2013 Belbas-Larson Award for Excellence in Teaching, the highest honor USD bestows upon its educators, at the 126th spring commencement ceremony in May. Honored in the tenured category, Lavin, Ph.D., C.F.A., is a professor of finance in the business school. She received her bachelor s degree in business administration from the University of South Dakota (1993) and attended graduate school at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln, where she received a Master of Business Administration (1996) and a Ph.D. in finance (1997). In addition to teaching Managerial Finance, Foundations of Finance, Investments and Security Analysis, Lavin is also director of the M.B.A. and M.P.A. programs at USD. In addition to having several articles featured in publications such as the Journal of Business & Economics Research, Lavin has given presentations across the United States, including conferences in Vermillion, S.D., Phoenix, Ariz. and Ft. Myers, Fla. Dr. Lavin is the consummate professor and extremely deserving of this most recent recognition, said Tom Davies, LL.M., Beacom School of Business associate dean. She excels not only in teaching, but in research and service as well. Angeline is the ideal colleague, always willing to help her students or other faculty any way that she can. Professor Lavin is truly an asset to the finance department, Beacom School of Business and USD. This isn t Lavin s first Belbas-Larson honor; she was given the award in the tenure-track category in She has also received the Best of Session Award from the Academy of Business Disciplines Annual Conference in Ft. Myers in 2009, 2011 and 2012, and the Beacom School of Business Research award for the Division of Accounting and Finance in She also serves on the Sioux Falls City Employee s Pension Board, the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation Board as chair the Investment Management Committee and the Wellmark, Inc. Board of Directors. Lavin has been a member of the USD faculty since It has been a privilege serving on the faculty of my alma mater for the past 16 years, and I look forward to many future years, said Lavin, a Vermillion native. I enjoy the opportunity to work with excellent colleagues who are dedicated to providing a superior learning environment. I am honored to have the opportunity to impact the future, and I believe that I can accomplish the most by igniting sparks that will motivate students to want to learn and by providing tools and opportunities for each student. One student at a time, we make a big difference. The Belbas-Larson Awards were established by a 1956 graduate of USD, Dean Belbas of Edina, Minn. and Sioux Falls, S.D., and his friends, Harold W. and Kathryn Larson of Bemidji, Minn. and Scottsdale, Ariz. Each winner of the prestigious Belbas-Larson Award received a $5,000 tribute, a framed certificate commemorating their accomplishment and a commemorative medal.
2 Letter from the Chair Tom Davies presently serves as Black Hills Corporation Distinguished Professor of Accounting, Chair of the Division of Accounting and Finance, and Associate Dean of the School of Business. In addition to his administrative duties, he teaches tax classes at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He has degrees from USD and the University of Missouri Kansas City. Prior to academia, Davies worked as a tax manager in the Des Moines office of KPMG. Dear Alumni, Friends, Supporters, Parents and Students: I hope you find this second annual issue of the Accounting and Finance Division s newsletter to be informative. Thanks to those who contacted me after receiving last year s inaugural edition with comments, suggestions and personal updates. I very much appreciate hearing from former students and others who fondly remember their days at USD. It is especially nice to learn how a particular professor, such as Art Volk, made such a difference in the lives of so many individuals. I would love to hear from each of you about your experiences while in school and after; I can be reached at or at if you want to contact me. Post-secondary education continues to change to meet the needs of our many constituents. As mentioned a year ago, we have begun offering our Master of Professional Accountancy program online, and it has proven to be a popular alternative. We will now be offering our undergraduate accounting major in Sioux Falls using a hybrid delivery method. Essentially this means that two-thirds of a course s content will be delivered online, with the remaining material being taught in a face-to-face environment. We continue to offer our undergraduate and graduate degrees on campus in a more traditional setting. In fall 2012, enrollment records indicated that we had 156 accounting majors consisting of juniors, seniors and those working on their joint B.B.A. (Bachelor of Business Administration) and M.P.A. degrees. The management major was the second largest with 105 students, followed by finance with 54 students. Further, accounting has been the only major to show growth in the business school in recent years, and we are up from 127 majors in We are pleased that we have been able to grow our programs. Our ability to attract strong students can be largely attributed to having a high quality faculty who continue to perform at a very high level both inside and outside of the classroom. Not only do faculty teach multiple classes each semester, they engage in scholarly efforts and perform a variety of service activities including student academic and career advising. More is being asked of our department members every day, and they continue to rise to the occasion. One faculty member deserving of special mention is Dr. Angeline Lavin, professor of finance and graduate business programs director. Professor Lavin was named the university s 2013 recipient of the Belbas-Larson Award for Excellence in Teaching in the tenured faculty category. The Beacom School of Business is truly fortunate to have faculty such as Dr. Lavin who are committed to providing students with the best learning experience available. Without question, the strength of the accounting and finance programs is also a result of the support we continue to receive from employers, alumni and donors, including those who sponsor our Summer Accounting Institute for high school students. When jobs are plentiful and financial support in the form of scholarships, etc., is available, the best and brightest students often reach the conclusion that it makes sense to pursue a degree in accounting or finance which will offer opportunities for a challenging yet rewarding career. We are grateful to everyone who gives back in a variety of ways. While challenges remain as we seek to educate future business professionals, with your help we will continue to be successful! Best wishes, 2 Tom Davies, LL.M.
3 South Dakota, the U.S. and our World By Kumoli Ramakrishnan, Ph.D. Ramakrishnan, associate professor of finance, holds a Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Texas at Dallas, an M.B.A. from the Asian Institute of Management in Manila and a B.S. from Poona University. Living in our beautiful unique corner of the planet, it is sometimes easy to forget about the world outside our state, region and country. But with each passing day the world is becoming more interconnected and our prospects and lives increasingly shaped by what happens outside our borders. A look around us at the things we use, the products we consume, the places we travel to, indeed the very air we breathe will demonstrate the influence of the interconnected world. At the same time, at least on the face of it, we are still very homogenous in South Dakota and sometimes we feel insulated from what happens outside our borders. At USD, as in many educational institutions, one encounters much more diversity than perhaps outside. To quite an extent, this is the outcome of deliberate effort to enrich the lives of our students and community. Sometimes it is the happy outcome of a challenging situation the best or maybe even the only available person to fill that teaching position is a foreigner, a foreign-born resident or foreign citizen. Walking down the halls of the Beacom School of Business, we easily encounter faculty members from China, Germany, India, Nepal and Singapore, in addition, of course, to those from different parts of the U.S. Students present even more diversity and these provide a window into the rest of the world and insiders perspectives on global developments. The fastest growing regions of the world are no longer in the developed world of the U.S., Japan and Europe. They are in Asia (China, India), Africa and the Middle East. Growth includes not just total populations, but composition of the populations younger generations accounting for a much larger percentage than in the case of the developed world. It is also the growth rate of the economies many growing at three and four times the rate of the developed world, as their larger and younger populations enter the global workforce and engage with the world. The rapidly rising standard of living there reflects not so much the decline of the west, but the rise of the rest. We in the U.S. have a lot to offer the world, not just in our management principles, technological innovations and purchasing power, but also in the power of ideas and ideals. Key elements of our founding principles are being adopted and adapted in countries around the world, and make for much more productive and happy populations. The interconnected world is perhaps best evidenced by the flow of goods and services and capital across national borders and the ripple effects of developments in one country spreading worldwide. The fiscal and monetary policies of a country affect the flow of funds (savings, investments, both short-term and long-term) and thus, the returns that investors can expect. Competitive devaluation of currencies, or at least relative depreciation of the U.S. dollar and the Euro over the past few years, has seen greater growth in jobs and output in the U.S. and Germany, compared to Japan, for example. This imposes costs on other countries in the Euro-zone and even export-dependent China, as they are forced to undertake real adjustments to cope with their relative disadvantage. Hence we see efforts to stimulate domestic consumption in China or require more economic assistance from Germany for affected Euro-zone countries today. Ultimately birth and mortality rates have long term implications for countries demographics mix, labor force, investment needs and resources, market and even military power and the trend of faster aging developed countries and younger and faster growing developing world will affect us all for our lifetimes. Even as we spend more, by far, on health care (18 percent of GDP and projected to grow) than any other nation, and similarly, on defense, that does not guarantee better outcomes and is not sustainable. We are being forced to rein in this spending and rethink our priorities in the U.S. Other countries are increasingly more efficient, if we consider efficiency to be doing more and better with less. Ensuring greater awareness of this among our population will generate the pressure needed to force earlier actions to address this. So why is this more important today than ever? We all suffer from home country bias, to use a term from the investments area of finance the natural tendency to think that what we know well is better or safer and thus end up with an over-exposure to that which we are familiar with. With the U.S., while still large, becoming a shrinking and smaller part of the world economy over two thirds and nearer to three fourths being outside the U.S. this bias is worth becoming aware of and countering actively. Here, briefly, are some things that the Accounting and Finance Division at the Beacom School of Business does to sensitize our students and community to the global aspects of business and economy. continued on page 5 3
4 M.P.A. Program Prepares Students for Bright Futures By Angeline Lavin, Ph.D. Lavin is a 1993 graduate of the Beacom School of Business. She obtained her M.B.A. and Ph.D. in finance from the University of Nebraska and returned to USD to begin teaching Lavin is a professor of finance and currently serves as the Graduate Business Programs director. In the 2012 issue of Footnotes, we told you about the launch of the online M.P.A. program. As of now, 50 percent of the 700-level M.P.A. courses (three of the required six) have been offered online, and the remaining courses are in development. USD is one of the few AACSB-International accredited institutions to offer a master s degree in accounting online, which makes the program attractive to those seeking a quality education. Currently there are approximately 30 students in the online M.P.A. program, which is impressive given its short roll-out. One-third of those students are from South Dakota, with the rest coming from 14 additional states including Florida, Hawaii, New Mexico and New York. Accepted students may begin the program in January, May or August and can earn a graduate degree in as little as two years through part-time study. GetEducated.com, a consumer watchdog group that reviews and ranks online universities for cost, quality and credibility, ranked our online M.P.A. second on its 2012 Best Affordable Online Masters in Accounting list, not only making it a Best Buy, but also one of the most affordable online master s degree programs available. This designation indicates USD s program has been independently reviewed and found to offer a high quality distance master s degree in accounting at a cost rate well below the national average. According to GetEducated.com, the average cost of a distance learning M.P.A is $21,188; USD s online M.P.A. average cost is $11,040. USD and Florida Atlantic University, which ranks first on the Best Affordable list, are the only two online M.P.A. programs to receive A grades from GetEducated.com. In fact, USD s M.P.A. program received A s in all areas reviewed: affordability, student satisfaction and public perception. We love it when alumni, current students and employers who hire our students write reviews of our program at GetEducated.com! Developments such as the globalization of business and the increased demand for accountability and transparency in financial dealings make advanced preparation and expertise desirable in order to deal successfully with the added complexity that results. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the employment of accountants and auditors is expected to grow by 16 percent between 2010 and This increase in demand has also led to an increase in salaries for accounting professionals. The 2012 national averages, based on a salary survey conducted by National Association of Colleges and Employers, indicate that the starting salary for a graduate with a master s degree in accounting is now $62,300. The increased demand for accounting professionals is expected to continue as businesses face changing financial laws, potential tax law revisions and corporate governance regulations which emphasize accountability, transparency and controls in financial reporting. The 30 credit hour M.P.A. program includes six graduate accounting courses that give students the opportunity to gain specialized knowledge in entity taxation, auditing, non-profit and governmental accounting, cost accounting, financial accounting and accounting theory. The program also includes a business policy and strategy class and room for electives; students may also customize their program by choosing either an internship or thesis option. All M.P.A. courses are taught by the same credentialed faculty and cover the same challenging subject matter regardless of delivery mode, whether online or on campus. In addition to the online M.P.A., students in the Sioux Falls area can pursue the hybrid M.P.A. program, taking some of their graduate classes online and others face-to-face at the University Center. Of course, students may still complete the graduate program in as little as one year with full-time study in Vermillion and may pursue a joint J.D./M.P.A. in conjunction with the USD School of Law on the main campus. The Beacom School also offers a bachelor s degree in accounting (B.B.A.), both on campus in Vermillion as well as at the University Center. Thus, students interested in public accounting can earn both an undergraduate and graduate degree in as little as five years, while earning the 150 hours necessary to sit for the CPA exam in most states. If you have questions about the M.P.A. program or would like to learn about the program or online education in general, please contact the Graduate Business Programs office at or Dr. Angeline Lavin, the Director of Graduate Business Programs, at 4
5 South Dakota, the U.S. and our World, continued A range of courses taught by experts in international business, accounting and finance provides the theoretical underpinnings for our students. Subsidized study tour opportunities abroad expose our students to life, business and economic conditions in Europe and elsewhere. The Coyote Capital Management student managed investment portfolios, now exceeding $1 million under effective and active management by students (with faculty oversight), has portfolios targeting international exposure by design, as well as general portfolios that allocate funds globally (U.S. and international) with the objective of matching if not exceeding the performance of domestic and international benchmarks. The CCM team placed first in the Undergraduate Core Category in G.A.M.E (Global Asset Management Education) in New York in April 2013 external validation of the effectiveness of our education. As more of the baby boom generation continues to exit our workforce, and birth rates among U.S. born citizens drop well below replacement rates, it will take concerted efforts and out-of-the-box thinking to provide for the retired and ensure a good standard of living for the young. Global awareness and ability to lead the world become crucial, and we are doing our best to ensure our students have the knowledge, tools and imagination to flourish. Dinner Recognizes Outstanding Students and Alumni On Nov. 15, the Accounting and Finance Division hosted a recognition dinner honoring students academic achievements as well as several alumni. Aesoph and Otten Three Beacom School of Business alumni were honored for their outstanding service to the accounting and finance division: Tammy Otten, John Aesoph and Daniel Meyer. Otten is an assistant investment officer with the South Dakota Investment Council in Sioux Falls, S.D. She completed her business degree with a major in accounting from USD in Aesoph, a partner with KPMG LLP in Omaha, Neb., received his B.B.A. with a major in accounting from USD in Daniel Meyer is a partner with Ernst and Young LLP in Milwaukee, Wis. and obtained his undergraduate degree from USD. Accounting and finance students were recognized by faculty nominations for their academic performances for the academic year. After submitting applications Student Winners and resumes, top performance award winners were selected based on their academic achievements as well as community involvement, including active membership in USD s accounting and finance organizations, and by participating in community service activities. Top performance award winners received plaques, certificates of achievement and gift cards. Top performance award winners were Kara Fischbach, Mellette, S.D.; Bailey Fish, Brandon, S.D.; Jill Guericke, White Lake, S.D.; Evan Hegge, Dell Rapids, S.D.; Brett Kruiter, Watertown, S.D.; Molly Larson, Sioux Falls, S.D.; Maggie Lubeck, Cherokee, Iowa; Judon Mehlhaff, Eureka, S.D.; Erik Muckey, Corsica, S.D.; Jennifer Murtha, Parkston, S.D.; Jerry Rodriguez, Sturgis, S.D.; Kendell Smith, Mitchell, S.D. and Carlye Williams, Madison, S.D. 5
6 ALUMNI SPOTLIGHTS Originally from Wagner, S.D., Joe Soukup s interest in finance began as early as high school when he found an enjoyment for investing in the stock market in his spare time. His interests led him to USD, where he graduated with a bachelor s degree in both business administration and finance. He went on to graduate with honors with a master s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago. Soukup, a 2005 graduate of the Beacom Joe Soukup School of Business, is now the senior research associate at Citadel Investment Group in Chicago, Ill., a CFA charter holder and member of the CFA Institute of Chicago. The market and the companies we invest in are continually changing and there is something new to learn every day, which is what makes the career path appealing to me, he said. Soukup is quick to praise USD for providing him with the financial background and education that he uses daily in his career. USD was an easy choice for me given the reputation of its business program, faculty and the out-of-class, real world learning experiences they offer with organizations such as Coyote Capital Management (CCM), he explained. The school allowed me to take what I learned in class and apply it in real world investment situations, which is what my career revolves around today. During his time at USD, Soukup was president of CCM, treasurer of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity, active in organizations including FMA, Coyote Investment Club, SIFE and Student Ambassadors, and received the Outstanding Senior award. He also completed an internship as a finance intern at Wells Fargo Educational Financial Services. Soukup reflects that one of the highlights of his USD career involved creating a marketing pitch to grow a fund for CCM. With the help of USD professors, Soukup and a group of USD students presented the plan to prospective investors. They were able to raise additional funds and help grow CCM into the organization it is today. The entire experience was terrific and gave us all a sense of ownership, something which I feel is very unique in an undergrad setting, said Soukup. As an alum, Soukup understands the importance of giving back to USD and ultimately to the current students. It is our duty to help provide future Beacom students with the opportunities and experiences that we were given, and if possible, continue to improve them, he said. Soukup says that his classes at Beacom and experiences with CCM helped prepare him for interviews which ultimately led to a position with Fidelity Management and Research in Boston, Mass. One of the only hires that wasn t from an Ivy League school, Soukup said that his unique experience at USD allowed him to differentiate himself from thousands of applicants. If I did not attend Beacom, getting a job with Fidelity would have been impossible, he said. The skills I learned and the people I interacted with are something I will never forget. Daniel Meyer s interest in business and computer science led him to spend his college years at USD, where he graduated in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree. I had an interest in computer science and business and USD provided a quality education in both degrees, explained Meyer. I found that the business classes appealed to me more Dan Meyer once I arrived at USD and subsequently changed my major to business. Meyer, a Hartley, Iowa native, is now a tax partner with the accounting firm Ernst & Young LLP in Milwaukee, Wis. Prior to starting his career, Meyer, like many, had preconceived notions of what working in the accounting profession was really like. Originally, I thought accounting had to do only with working with numbers, said Meyer. But once I started working in the business community, I saw that working with numbers was only a small part of the career I had chosen. Interpersonal skills and writing skills are very important as well. During his time at USD, Meyer was very involved in student life, where he was a staff member his first year and a resident assistant during his next two years. Meyer got involved with the South Dakota Board of Accountancy and the Sioux Falls Ronald McDonald House after graduating, and he is currently a board member of the USD Foundation. Meyer credits a professor in the School of Business, Milo McCabe, for helping him to understand the principles of business and how multiple factors work together to influence how a business operates. Of McCabe s Introduction to Economics class, Meyer said, It was a very difficult class that required many hours of class time as well as studying; yet it was very intriguing and held my interest. Meyer said the Beacom School of Business provided him with a multitude of skills and helped him develop a baseline of knowledge that allowed him to succeed in the business world. It s because the university gave so much to Meyer that he decided to give back. According to Meyer, philanthropy is especially important because so many universities, including USD, are being asked to do more with fewer funds. It is this perceived obligation to help the university, and his desire to keep the school of business competitive, that made Meyer a donor. Without the education I received there [at USD], I would not have had the opportunities that I have had throughout my career, Meyer said. I feel it is important to help others have the ability to have the same opportunities to learn at the school of business that I had many years ago. 6
7 STUDENT PROFILES After two successful internships and an outstanding academic career, Mackenzie Heyl knows first-hand that hard work pays off. Heyl looks forward to graduating from USD in spring 2013 with a joint Master of Professional Accountancy and Bachelor in Business Administration degree with a major in accounting. Originally from Akron, Iowa, Heyl never expected to major in accounting until she took her first account- Mackenzie Heyl ing course and realized she wanted to pursue accounting at a more advanced level. Heyl spent her first two years of college at the University of Iowa before transferring to USD. Impressed by USD s affordability and quality AACSB International accredited business school, Heyl immediately noticed a difference in quality of student-professor relationships in the Beacom School of Business. The faculty at USD really cares about each student s progress in the classes, she explained. You can truly tell that you matter as a student. At USD, Heyl has been named to the Dean s List every semester and was inducted into Beta Alpha Psi and Beta Gamma Sigma. She also has served as associate vice president of operations for Coyoteopoly. USD s Meet the Firm, a speed-networking format event where students interact with potential employers, proved to be one of Heyl s most valuable experiences at USD. The event not only allowed her to meet employers before her interviews but also helped her to attain two internships, the first as an audit intern at KPMG in the winter of 2012 and the second at Eide Bailly, where she is currently a tax intern. At both KPMG and Eide Bailly, Heyl felt prepared for everything the companies asked of her. I attribute this to the challenging coursework at the senior and graduate level within the accounting major, said Heyl. The professors at USD required my classmates and me to think beyond the text and learn to apply the concepts. During training for both positions, I felt like I had a better grasp on the basic concepts than some of my fellow interns from other schools. After graduation, Heyl will begin to study for and hopes to complete the CPA exam by the by the end of the summer. She then has her sights set on working in the tax department of a public accounting firm. When he started at USD, Dell Rapids, S.D. native Evan Hegge said he knew absolutely nothing about accounting. But in May 2013, Hegge will graduate well-equipped to start his career with a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) in Accounting and a Master of Professional Accountancy. After doing well in his core accounting classes, Hegge realized Evan Hegge that he had a knack for the field and decided that accounting was where he should focus his studies. Hegge has excelled throughout his college career. He s been recognized for his achievements in the classroom as the recipient of several scholarships from the CPA Society, Henry Speh, American Legion, Deloitte & Touche, JT Vucurevich, Gerald Labor, Harry E. Olson and Kim and Linda Keller. During the academic year, he was recognized for Academic Performance in the Division of Accounting and Finance and in 2012 was also recognized by the Division of Accounting and Finance for Outstanding Academics and Leadership. Hegge also has been inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma, which is the highest recognition a business student anywhere in the world can receive in a baccalaureate or post-baccalaureate program accredited by AACSB International. I m grateful for the opportunities given to me by USD, Hegge said. I chose the University of South Dakota because I felt the Beacom School of Business was, by far, the best option. USD has smaller classes, caring faculty, and an accredited business school with very reasonable tuition. During the summers of 2011 and 2012, Hegge completed an internship in Rapid City, S.D. with Black Hills Corporation. During the winter of , he worked at Eide Bailly LLP in Sioux Falls. He is also a graduate assistant for the Beacom School of Business, where he assists a professor with a research project. Outside of the classroom, Hegge finds time to use his skills in accounting to help others. He is active in Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), which helps qualifying Vermillion residents prepare and file tax returns, as a Beta Alpha Psi President and tutor and as a CPAexcel representative. Hegge credits the business school for teaching him the fundamentals of accounting and preparing him for his intended career. Beacom has helped me gain confidence in my abilities and has given me a strong background in the theory of accounting, he explained. This summer, upon completion of an internship at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Phoenix, Ariz., Hegge plans to take the Certified Public Accounting (CPA) exam and then pursue a career in public accounting. 7