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Bringing Public Accounting Knowledge Into the Classroom


February 02, 2024

Carolyn Previti, CPA and PhD candidate in accounting, received a valuable boost to her academic career as she prepares her dissertation.

Previti was one of 10 CPAs pursuing a PhD in accounting to receive a $10,000 scholarship from the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) Foundation through the William Ezzell Scholarship program and the Accounting Doctoral Scholars program. Both programs aim to increase the number of experienced CPAs in academia who can inspire students in the classroom.

The 2023–24 Ezzell Scholarship recipients are all Certified Public Accountants currently pursuing doctoral degrees. Previti worked in public accounting in PwC’s Philadelphia office and obtained her CPA prior to entering LeBow’s PhD program.

“I’m really grateful to receive this scholarship, and share in Mr. Ezzell’s belief that bringing professional experience to the classroom offers students valuable insight,” Previti says.

Working with Ford Professor of Accounting Anthony Curatola, PhD, as her advisor, Previti is exploring tax uncertainty: instances where public companies take positions on their tax returns that might later be challenged by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Previti is focused on the outcomes for corporate taxpayers in these situations. Using disclosure from publicly traded companies, she’s examining their actions: do they settle with the IRS? Do companies update and revise their estimates? Or do these positions expire without an audit being performed?

Previti defended her dissertation proposal in June 2023. Alongside this academic work, she is continuing to gain teaching experience in one of LeBow’s core undergraduate accounting courses – Financial Accounting Foundations (ACCT 115).

The focus on financial statement analysis in this introductory course reinforces the concept that “accounting is everywhere.”

As a CPA with prior accounting industry experience, Previti finds she’s able to provide first-year business students with knowledge about public accounting and concepts they may encounter during co-op experiences or in full-term roles after graduating, including workplace culture and industry terminology.

“I bring practical examples from my accounting career into the classroom, and students really seem to engage when hearing about the things they might face in the world of public accounting.”

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PhD Candidate, Accounting

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Joseph F. Ford Professor of Accounting, Professor, Accounting

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