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Georgia Southern’s Beta Alpha Psi chapter receives Superior status

The Georgia Southern University Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) chapter has been awarded Superior status for the 2016-17 reporting year.

The BAP chapter completed a number of important activity requirements to be considered for Superior status. These activities included having a beginning-of-year, mid-year and end-of-year report meeting, an initiation meeting, at least eight reaching out activities, at least six professional activities and at least one service activity throughout the 2016-17 school year. Each member of the organization is also required to have a minimum of 32 hours for professional and service activities.

For their efforts, BAP will receive a reward of $500 later this year sponsored by KPMG and the KPMG Foundation, along with a letter from Sandra Richtermeyer, the 2017-18 President of BAP, recognizing the chapter and its students for this achievement. Students attending the BAP annual meeting in August will also have the honor of wearing a green Superior ribbon.

“Our chapter has achieved Superior status for 18 of the last 20 years, which is as far back as Beta Alpha Psi’s database goes,” said Eddie Metrejean, Ph.D., CPA, CFE, associate professor of accounting and advisor of the BAP student chapter.

“All the hard work is done by the students who have to meet certain requirements for us to be considered Superior,” said Metrejean.

According to Metrejean, Superior status requires the members of the organization be involved in two main areas, professional meetings and service activities. Reach out activities are also required.

“We typically meet 12 or 13 times per semester,” said Metrejean. “For the professional meetings, we have accounting firms and other companies present different topics to our members. Topics are usually about résumé writing, interviewing skills, business etiquette, managing stress, etc.”

Metrejean said the group is typically involved in five or six service activities per semester.

“Our biggest activity is tutoring for the Financial Accounting and Managerial Accounting [courses]. We probably spend more than 300 hours tutoring,” he said. “[BAP] also ha[s] been involved with School of Accountancy activities such as Meet the Firms and Accounting Day setup, Executive in Residence and Forensic Accounting Lecture, among others. College of Business activities [we are involved in] include Professional Development Day [and] students’ lunches. [We also participate in] activities with local elementary and middle schools [and] activities with Bulloch County Recreation.”

Finally, the student organization is required to participate in eight Reach Out Activities, in which points are accrued for each activity. These activities range from attending and presenting at regional and national meetings, participating in Community Service Day at the national meeting, and certain service activities about financial literacy, among other activities.

About Beta Apha Psi

Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) is an honorary organization for financial information students and professionals. The primary objective of BAP is to encourage and give recognition to scholastic and professional excellence in the business information field. This includes promoting the study and practice of accounting, finance and information systems; providing opportunities for self-development, service and association among members and practicing professionals, and encouraging a sense of ethical, social and public responsibility. To be eligible for membership, students must have completed at least ACCT 3131 (Intermediate Accounting I), have at least a 3.0 GPA in all upper level accounting courses and have at least a cumulative GPA of 3.0. Membership to Beta Alpha Psi is by invitation only.


Volunteer to help with the 2017 BIG Pitch Competition

Georgia Southern’s College of Business and the Business Innovation Group (BIG) are seeking volunteers for the BIG Pitch Competition, an annual event hosted in conjunction with Ocean Exchange. This year’s event is Oct. 8-10 at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center.

The competition provides the opportunity for startup companies focused on energy, fresh water, healthy oceans, biomaterials, shipping/logistics and sustainable agriculture to present their ideas in front of a panel of judges and delegates for a $10,000 cash prize.

Volunteering is a great opportunity for students to network with a variety of business owners, develop communication skills and build relationships within the community.

“I loved being able to meet so many well-connected and diverse entrepreneurs and successful business men and women,” said Madeleine Haney, a freshman who volunteered for last year’s competition. “Everyone was so nice and wanted the others around them to flourish in their businesses as well.

Two volunteers are needed on Sunday, Oct. 8, from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. to help with the registration table and assist guests with check-in and downloading the event app.

At least 15 volunteers are needed Monday, Oct. 9, and Tuesday Oct. 10, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for various shifts. These volunteers will listen to finalists present their sustainable solutions, then assist delegates in discussions about each of the presentations. Volunteers will also take notes of these discussions to record feedback for the presenters.

Note-taking volunteers will be given a fact sheet with a summary of each solution, note-taking guidelines, and paper and pens. Volunteers may bring their own personal laptop or tablet if they wish to type notes.

Click here to volunteer, or contact Suzanne Hallman at Shallman@georgiasouthern.edu or 912-478-5586.


College of Business programs prepare students for fraud examination and forensic accounting careers

Don Berecz, senior lecturer in the School of Accountancy and retired FBI agent, explains to students how a lie detector test works. These are some of the skills students gain with the Fraud Examination and Forensic Accounting certificate programs offered in the College of Business.

Students interested in pursuing careers in fraud examination or forensic accounting have the opportunity to hone their skills and be competitive in the workforce thanks to specialty tracks offered through the School of Accountancy in Georgia Southern University’s College of Business.

The four-course Forensic Accounting Certificate and Fraud Examination Certificate programs are available to students pursuing master’s degrees. These certificate programs provide specific training in high-demand areas of accounting and investigation.

“The employment possibilities are endless with this knowledge,” said Don Berecz, senior lecturer in the School of Accountancy and retired FBI agent. “This training prepares students with skills for any kind of employment. Fraud permeates all aspects of society. The [Association of Certified Fraud Examiners] estimates that all organizations lose 5–6 percent of their gross earnings to fraudulent activity due to fraud by employees, managers and executives.”

The Forensic Accounting Certificate program includes courses expert witnessing, cyber forensics, fraudulent financial reporting and forensic accounting capstone. The Fraud Examination Certificate program includes the courses fraud schemes, fraud examination, white collar crime, and forensic interviews and interrogation. Georgia Southern’s program was designed to prepare forensic accounting masters students for careers in public accounting firms and law firms.

Berecz added that students do not necessarily have to go into public accounting or forensic accounting careers to be able to use the Fraud Examination certificate in their areas of study.

“Based on the fraud detection and investigative skills learned in this program, students should be able to spot small frauds in their employment positions before they become larger frauds. When these frauds become large frauds, they involve cash or stolen assets that usually cannot be recovered,” he said. “Students of any major will find employment opportunities in law enforcement, retail management, loss prevention, information security, corporate security, human resources, and hospitality and restaurant management.”

Since the inception of these tracks in 2007, Berecz said 111 students have successfully completed the Forensic Accounting program, with an average of a dozen Master of Accounting students enrolled each year. Some of the program’s alumni have gone on to work for companies like KPMG, SunTrust Bank, Dycom Industries Inc., as well as government agencies such as the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service and police departments, among others.

“Graduates of either certificate program will set themselves apart from other employment candidates,” Berecz said. “Our graduates attain specialized knowledge that makes them appealing to employers because of their ability to identify fraud and/or investigate it.”

The programs at Georgia Southern are also supported by the School of Accountancy’s Forensic Accounting Advisory Board, which is made up of professionals from diverse employment backgrounds who provide guidance of programs, make speaker presentations and offer assistance with internships for students and/or employment opportunities for graduates.

Recently, the School of Accountancy was featured on ForensicsColleges.com for its growing opportunities in its forensic accounting program. Georgia Southern was identified as one of the top programs in the country to prepare students for a career in forensic accounting by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.

For more information about the Fraud Examination and Forensic Accounting certificate programs, visit GeorgiaSouthern.edu/soa/fraud-forensic-accounting.


Georgia Southern student group receives prestigious award from world’s largest HR association

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has awarded a 2016-2017 Superior Merit Award designation to the Georgia Southern University SHRM student chapter for providing superior growth and development opportunities to its student chapter members.

Of the 327 student chapters from across the United States, Georgia Southern University was one of 149 winners.

“These chapters truly represent the future of the HR profession,” said Susan Post, SHRM-SCP, east divisional director at SHRM and the lead for SHRM’s student programs. “Their achievements go above and beyond their everyday academic and work commitments, and we applaud the positive impact their efforts have on their schools, their local communities and beyond.”

SHRM student chapters had the opportunity to earn an award based on the number of activities they completed during the merit award cycle, which ran from April 1, 2016, to March 31, 2017.

The Georgia Southern University student chapter of SHRM completed a number of important initiatives leading to its Superior Merit Award recognition for the 2016-2017 academic year. These activities included the establishment of a Human Resources Mentorship Program with the Statesboro Professional SHRM chapter. This mentorship program allows Georgia Southern SHRM members to regularly interact with HR practitioners in local business and government organizations. The program provides informal career advice and professional networking for chapter members.

The student chapter also worked with the Georgia Southern Human Resources and Career Services groups to present a series of chapter meetings aimed at helping students develop professional résumés, build their interviewing skills and learn to better network with employers.

Finally, the chapter presented a panel discussion with HR professionals and business owners aimed at helping students understand how employers make hiring decisions and what they look for in top job candidates.

For Fall 2017, the Georgia Southern University student chapter officers include Joslyn Ballingall (president), Tiffany Daniels (vice president, fundraising), Barbara Jordan (vice president, membership), Thomas Boynton (vice president, public relations), Brandy Hurt (vice president, merit), Bryan Barron-Ponce (secretary), Jada Long (succession chair) and Caroline Nolen (treasurer).

The SHRM student chapter Merit Award Program, which began in 1972, was created to encourage student chapters to require ongoing excellence in the following areas: student chapter requirements, chapter operations, chapter programming and professional development of members, support of the human resource profession, and SHRM engagement.

About the Society for Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR professional society, representing 285,000 members in more than 165 countries. For nearly seven decades, the Society has been the leading provider of resources serving the needs of HR professionals and advancing the practice of human resource management. SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China, India and United Arab Emirates. Visit us at shrm.org and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @SHRMPress.


Master of Accounting program at Georgia Southern ranked No. 11 most affordable program

Georgia Southern University’s Master of Accounting (MAcc) program was ranked No. 11 for 2017 Most Affordable Online College for Masters of Accounting Degrees by OnlineU. Georgia Southern offers a MAcc with an annual tuition rate of $10,305.

The MAcc program objective is to provide graduates with the knowledge and skills for a career in public accounting and consulting. The skills and competencies addressed by this program include learning practical and theoretical concepts, which are later applied on the CPA exam and in life outside of the classroom.

The AACSB International accredited program provides students with the opportunity to focus on forensic accounting and offers courses in SAP® systems. Other courses offered by the Georgia Southern MAcc program include current legal issues, fraudulent financial reporting, seminar in accounting information systems and tax research, among others. Georgia Southern also offers an online MAcc degree.

The list published by OnlineU includes the 25 most affordable online colleges and universities offering masters degrees in accounting. OnlineU is a product of SR Education Group whose mission is to be the most authoritative online resource to help students choose the best school for their career aspirations and budget. They believe objective information about education, careers and educational financing should be easily accessible.

The College of Business seeks to develop and promote a learning environment of the highest quality, characterized by inspired teaching and informed by meaningful research. Consistent with the traditions and mission of Georgia Southern University, the College of Business offers a broad array of undergraduate programs and select graduate programs.