Business Faculty Spotlight: Jennifer Niece

Assumption College Undergraduate

bachelors in business professor Regardless of business degree concentration, Assumption students are required to take at least one accounting course. If you’ve already completed this business degree requirement, then you may have met Assumption’s Chair of the Business Studies Department and Associate Professor of Accounting, Jennifer Niece.

Professor Niece has completed her bachelor’s degree in Economics and Accounting from Holy Cross as well as an MBA degree from Boston College Carroll Graduate School of Management. She is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Massachusetts and has used her passion for accounting to create impactful projects such as the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) course. The VITA program connects students with low-income taxpayers who need help preparing and filing their tax returns.

Among her accomplishments, she has also published and presented papers on a range of accounting topics, including her research on Arthur Andersen — formerly one of the largest accounting firms that collapsed due to its handling of Enron auditing.

In her paper, titled “The Demise of Arthur Andersen’s One-Firm Concept: A Case Study in Corporate Governance,” Professor Niece explores the “possibility that the [Arthur Andersen’s] departure from its established culture ultimately led to its demise.” Ultimately, she concludes “the failure of local offices to uphold centralized firm principles contributed to a lack of protection to the public good.”

This topic has particular relevance to today’s business world and accounting industry. A recent Forbes article, “The Future Of The Accounting Industry In 2015” discusses predictions on how the accounting industry will evolve, and a few foresee a trend of mergers and acquisitions.

If these predictions are correct, CPA firms could face integration issues as disparity between different organizational branches or offices pose a serious management challenge. According to the Journal of Accountancy, typical issues contributing to why some mergers or acquisitions fail include introducing change too quickly or company culture differences.

For students interested in this or related topics, Assumption College offers Accounting as both a major and a minor. In addition, a minor in Fraud and Forensic Accounting may be pursued. Assumption also offers a BA/MBA program that allows students to earn a dual degree in just five years.  A special track of the MBA program includes a CPA Exam review course and a professional practicum to acquire real-world experience, making it possible for students to have their CPA license within 14 months of completing their undergraduate accounting degree.

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