Accounting has reached far beyond the image of calculators and balance sheets. As the world seems to shrink due to the increase in global trading of goods and services, technology processes and languages have been developed and deployed. And Kris Brands, assistant professor at Regis University CPS and world traveler, has been at the forefront of these emerging practices within the accounting and finance field.
Besides her position at Regis University, where she teaches at the School of Management, Kris also works on strategies for teaching International Financial Reporting Standards at graduate business schools across the globe.
Her travels also take her to speaking engagements, international conferences and symposiums, and to meet with thought leaders and decision makers in countries such as Germany and China. She brings these experiences, including business practices influenced by contentious capitalism and the Jesuit mission, back to her student’s learning experiences.
“It is imperative that we incorporate social justice, ethics, corporate responsibility, and sustainability in the classroom. Some people say that it doesn’t fit in an accounting course. Accounting doesn’t operate in a vacuum. It operates in society. You need to take a broader view,” Kris said.
Being on the forefront of these emerging issues such as sustainability, she’s become one of the global experts in XBRL, or Extensible Business Reporting Language.
XBRL is a transparent, cross-platform method of financial reporting that offers easy comparison and more accurate disclosures. Taken from the XBRL website relating to their XBRL Podcast for CPAs, the justification for implementing and understanding how this language works comes down to this, “Lower cost of production; lower cost of access, use and analysis of data; more timely data; and more time available for analysis.”
Kris goes further, “If you’re a decision maker, you want to compare apples to apples. XBRL is an information systems based reporting language that places the information at an investor’s fingertips.”
And she believes it relates directly to integrity in accounting, something that has been in short supply over the years.
Bridging best practices, sustainability, and technology such as XBRL is at the centerpiece of accounting courses that move the field and the career of her students into the future. They deal with the emerging issues in the accounting profession combined with critical thinking and communication skills. She believes this gives the students a competitive advantage while cultivating their team-building skills.
While the economy’s outlook is still uncertain and the world of business stays in a constant state of flux, staying in-the-know gives Kris that edge. From around the globe and back, it is what she delivers to Regis students so they in turn, can influence the future of accounting.