A Missouri State University professor’s outstanding work in higher education has not gone unnoticed by her industry.
The Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants (MOCPA) recognized Dr. Kimberly Swanson Church director of the university’s School of Accountancy (SOA) for excellence in accounting education.
Swanson Church recently chaired a taskforce that is bringing data analytics into the new CPA Evolution examination. The goal of updating the exam is to reflect the changes within the industry and to allow test takers to specialize.
Her involvement served as the catalyst for the nomination by a colleague in St. Louis.
“I was surprised to learn I would be receiving the outstanding educator’s award,” Swanson Church said.
“There are so many amazing accounting educators in the state, including those right down the hall from me.”
Awarded for excellence in higher education
Swanson Church’s time at Missouri State began in 2020 and she hit the ground running. She brought with her a renewed energy to create innovations within the school.
In addition to overseeing curriculum updates, Swanson Church seeks opportunities to support her students and faculty within the SOA while furthering the CPA profession.
“I have a servant leadership style. I take opportunities thinking about how I can help my students and my peers succeed,” Swanson Church said.
“I’m grateful to MOCPA for the award and for inviting me onto the board, so I can help other schools in the state to become CPA Evolution-ready.”
Leading the way for future CPAs
The CPA exam is a rigorous set of tests accounting students take to become certified public accountants after they graduate.
Swanson Church spearheaded the taskforce that would bring these exams into the 21st century in hopes of giving SOA a competitive edge.
“I took the opportunity to get involved with CPA Evolution because I knew it would be great opportunity to give my school a one-year head start,” Swanson Church said.
“We’re now transitioning our students to a new, more technology and competency-focused skillset that they will carry with them into their careers.”
Established in 1909, MOCPA is the premier professional development organization dedicated to CPAs in Missouri. The society represents more than 9,000 members in public practice, industry, government and education.
The outstanding educator award was created to honor the achievements of members who are full-time accounting educators distinguished for classroom excellence and for active involvement in the profession.
Partnership allows for unique opportunities
2021 marked 30 years of partnership between BKD, LLP, and the School of Accountancy. BKD has a proud history of supporting the school through scholarships, endowed faculty positions and collaborations with educators to provide enhanced learning opportunities.
Dr. Swanson Church not only serves as the director of the SOA, but also as a professor of leadership for BKD, which allows her the freedom to seek unique opportunities.
“We are extremely proud to play a role in supporting Dr. Swanson Church’s faculty position,” said Gary Schafer, BKD managing partner.
“As a new faculty member at Missouri State, she has already created a tremendous positive impact. We’re excited to see what she will accomplish next.”