By Wayne France
MBA CSEA Standards Consultant
One may ask, “How can anyone actually LIKE having their employment numbers and internal procedures reviewed by an external accounting firm?” As a former MBA Career Services Professional, I enjoyed the process very much. The reasons why are very simple:
- The AUP review process is a learning process. It is having someone from the outside step into our data and processes, review the calculations and assumptions, and challenge them. They then provide insight we may not have considered to remedy any issues found.
- It allowed me to internally market to the Dean about Career Services – showing that our processes and procedures have been verified to follow the MBA CSEA Standards and in our case, showed the need for an increased budget in certain areas.
- I was always looking for ways to get better and realized that our school may not have always done the process perfectly (even when I was Chair of the Standards Committee). Therefore, I was open to and even wanting of both confirmation of correctness in our processes and numbers, and learning ways we could improve.
- If we follow the same standards as other schools, it allows for an “Apples to Apples” comparison. If we are not reviewed to verify our processes and employment numbers, comparisons are not possible, for our schools or students. This helps with both confirming and refuting comparisons made internally and externally.
- With the use of technology, what used to take days of prep work and one whole day of onsite review by the accounting firm for an AUP review, has been reduced to about 3 hours of prep work and 1.5 hours of an online review. The insight, verification and empowered feeling from a review is certainly worth a half day’s work.
I view having someone else looking at our process and employment results as an opportunity to both improve and to ratify. With the AUP process, I invited the chance to learn more from others’ perspectives, to challenge the methods we had been using to fulfill the requirements of the Standards.
Why? I wanted to ensure that our data was correct and verified for our:
- Prospective Students – who make decisions based on the employment data we submit
- Current Students – who are marketing the programs and employment successes of the school to hiring companies
- Employers – who make decisions to recruit based on the presented employment information
- School – who makes strategic moves based on the comparative numbers we submit. If our numbers are not verified to follow the standards, there is no comparability with other schools
- Alumni – who make hiring decisions based on metrics and categories we submit
Of course, the AUP process takes a bit of time, but I believe that the benefits of this review far outweigh the costs. I was eager to have someone show the areas we excel in and the areas where we might need some work. I would ask everyone to employ this same eagerness and diligence to make your school’s data eligible for AUP Review.
To make your data eligible for review, you must first enter it into the MBA CSEA Employment Data System within AACSB Data Direct. On the Basic Questions page, you will see a check box to agree to make your data eligible for a review.
If you have any questions about the AUP process, please do not hesitate to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org. I am here to answer questions, dispel myths about the process and guide schools as needed.