Accounting graduate program coordinator oversees projects aiding the Cedar Valley community and international business community

Accounting is more than taxes. Amy Igou, the accounting graduate program coordinator, is a testament to this reality. From bots to coffee beans, Igou works to ensure that UNI's accounting students get a range of experiences that build their accounting skills.

Igou is the current accounting graduate program coordinator at UNI. Additionally, she teaches courses like accounting information systems and business analytics, as well as an asynchronous course about fraud. 

Her training and teaching opportunities while at John Deere and Company for nineteen years motivated her to try adjunct teaching at Western Illinois University and Scott Community College. She loved it so much that she attended Southern Illinois University Carbondale for her PhD in business administration with a management information systems emphasis, ignoring accusations that she was too old to pursue her doctorate.

Igou’s range of projects shows the scope of what a graduate degree in accounting at UNI can provide. She is collecting data for a case study to aid students who are working on robotic processing automation, “so this will give the students some hands-on [experience] in building a little bot, that can then download data, do some analysis and how to report things like that,” said Igou. 

Accounting department faculty, and Igou, are also writing a paper for submission that analyzes answers from a March 2020 survey asking Iowa business owners what resources they needed to stay in business soon after the pandemic shutdowns began. This survey had real-world impact and helped the Iowa Economic Development Authority develop Iowa’s COVID relief allocation policies, which is why Igou finds the survey answers worthy of study. 

One of Igou’s most acclaimed projects is “Vistabeans,” which is a case study about a fictitious coffee shop she developed six years ago. It is one of the first case studies to use Tableau data visualization to help accounting professionals better understand data. Over one hundred universities worldwide have used Igou’s project. “It is a fun one because there's no right answer. So basically, you give them data from coffee shop store[s] throughout the nation, and they are supposed to make recommendations on how to increase profitability,” she said. 

Igou said that students should look into the accounting graduate program because “we have a lot of great professors here. If you really want to excel in your career, we give you the tools and the skills, and I'm not just talking debits and credits, and you know, the stuff in the textbook, I think our graduates come out well-rounded in their skills, and that's why a lot of our students do very well in their careers 5-10 years after they graduate.”

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