Message from Accounting Chair Laurel Franzen, Ph.D.

My first year as chair of the Accounting Department has certainly been a wild ride. Who could have predicted that we would end the academic year without traditional graduation ceremonies on the bluff? Congratulations again to our seniors and master’s students who graduated in May with a B.S or M.S in Accounting! While it was disappointing that we couldn’t celebrate in person with our graduates or hold the Accounting Society Spring Banquet, we’ve found new and varied ways to celebrate, engage and connect virtually. It has been amazing to see such dedication, creativity, resilience and strength from our faculty and students.

In March, our faculty pivoted to online learning and began delivering rigorous course content in creative ways using new platforms and technologies. Our faculty have demonstrated such care and commitment to our accounting students through this pandemic, and our students continue to learn and connect in dynamic virtual classrooms. We certainly look forward to resuming campus activities and in-person instruction, but in the meantime, we continue to explore and implement best practices for remote learning.

In the upheaval of this year, we are especially thankful to be able to support our deserving accounting students with meaningful and impactful scholarship awards. This year, we awarded approximately $236,000 in scholarships to 35 accounting students. These scholarships are made possible by our generous donors consisting of LMU alumni, firms, parents and friends. We cannot thank our donors enough for all they do to support the Accounting Department and our students.

LMU accounting majors continue to be in high demand in the workforce. Our juniors participated in virtual internships this summer, gaining valuable professional experience in remote work environments. A survey of our recent graduates indicates that 90% have full-time positions with the top accounting firms in Los Angeles and across the U.S. We expect recruiting activities will continue full force in the fall with accounting firms holding virtual interviews for junior internships and full-time positions.

Meanwhile, our student-run Accounting Society continues to provide workshops and networking events to prepare accounting majors for the interview process and connect them with firm professionals. The Accounting Society hosted a very successful online panel discussion this summer to introduce business students to careers in accounting. I am hopeful that we will see a rise in the number of accounting majors as students learn about the many opportunities that continue to be available to our accounting students.

Our Accounting Advisory Board (AAB) continues to be a driving force behind new programs, events and curriculum updates. We are so thankful for the advice and insight from the accounting professionals who serve on the AAB, guiding and supporting our programs.

Finally, I want to thank my accounting faculty colleagues, our students, loyal alumni, donors, friends and recruiters. The success of LMU Accounting is in no small part a result of the incredible support we receive from our many stakeholders. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about how to get involved, please contact me at 310.338.5716 or laurel.franzen@lmu.edu.

We look forward to another successful year for LMU Accounting!

Laurel Franzen, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Accounting