I am one of those few people that has the privilege of going to work every day to do what I truly love: teaching and accounting. I started my career like many accounting graduates, working in the industry as an accountant. I have always loved the challenge of accounting—the analyzation, logic and critical thinking that goes into solving complex problems. The challenge is what makes accounting cool and keeps me coming back.
After 10 years as a professional accountant, I was offered an adjunct teaching position at night, teaching a principles of accounting class at a local community college. It was there that I found my true passion: teaching and mentoring students. I began teaching full-time for the University of South Florida in 2005 and have since earned my Doctor of Business Administration from the University of Florida.
I currently teach two large, mass-lecture classes of 450+ students each semester, and have found that I love the challenge of teaching business students their first debits and credits while keeping them engaged in such a large class. Many students come into my classes dreading principles of accounting, but I hope my classes at least teach them that accounting is the language of business and their foundation knowledge will help them throughout their business careers.
I also believe it’s critical to prepare our students for the rapidly changing business environment they face. I am on a mission to infuse data analytics into all the courses I teach and to help other educators do so as well. Wendy Tietz, Tracie Miller-Nobles and I have worked together to create several free data analytics cases for use in introductory accounting courses, utilizing Excel, Power BI and Tableau. Our goal is to share what we’ve learned with other accounting educators to equip all of us and our students for the impact technology is having on the accounting profession. You can check out some of our latest projects on our blog at www.accountingisanalytics.com.
I have been fortunate to have learned both accounting and the craft of teaching from several great teachers and mentors over the years, including my parents. I hope my work honors them.
— Dr. Jennifer M. Cainas