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Accounting students attend the IMA Student Leadership Conference

ISSUED: 24 January 2020
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University accounting students attended the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) Student Leadership Conference. This is the first time Shepherd students have attended the conference, which took place in Charlotte, North Carolina, November 14-16, 2019, and included more than 600 attendees from 30 states and several countries.

The IMA’s Nation’s Capital Chapter and Shepherd University Accounting Club sponsored attendance by accounting majors Justin Collins, Charles Town, and Andrew Dudrow, Hedgesville. The conference offered many opportunities for professional development and learning in the field of accounting. The topics covered by speakers ranged from ethics discussions to integrating recent technological innovations into accounting and finance processes.

Collins said the conference helped prepare him for the accounting profession and he was most interested in the applications of robotic process automation (RPA).

“A demonstration of RPA software at the conference showed a multitude of potential applications that I continue to study after the conference,” Collins said.

Dudrow said he was hesitant to attend the conference because he thought it would be about accounting concepts and theories. However, he was surprised that most of the speakers talked about how to deal with stress and how to move up in your career.

“Attending the conference made me realize how important it is to have a good work-life balance,” Dudrow said.

Another highlight from the conference was being able to meet and hear Weston Smith’s presentation on ethics fraud at HealthSouth. Smith was the chief financial officer (CFO) of HealthSouth Corporation and a participant in the $3 billion financial statement fraud. Smith became a whistleblower and accepted the consequences of his actions. The HealthSouth Corporation is a case study that Collins and Dudrow studied in Shepherd’s Accounting Ethics course so they were familiar with Smith’s background.

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