UNI teams with Big Four Accounting Firm KPMG LLP on new hybrid accounting program

UNI teams with Big Four Accounting Firm KPMG LLP on new hybrid accounting program

College of Business /

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa (UNI) announces it's working with KPMG LLP, the Big Four tax, audit and advisory firm, to launch its new, innovative hybrid accounting program. The program, which was unveiled earlier this month, allows busy adult learners with an AA or AAS degree to obtain a bachelor’s degree in accounting. The hybrid delivery model offers the convenience of online business-core and elective courses with in-person evening accounting courses at the Des Moines Area Community College–Urban campus.

“We’re really excited to work together with UNI on the hybrid accounting program,” said Sean Vicente, managing partner of KPMG’s Des Moines office. “This initiative perfectly aligns with our goals to address the shortage of accounting talent in the market and expand the experiences and diversity of the candidate pool.”

The Des Moines area, where KPMG operates a major accounting office, has seen posted positions outnumber new accounting graduates by over 6-to-1 during the past year. UNI’s new hybrid accounting program seeks to open a wider range of career opportunities for graduates and ultimately drive a more diverse applicant pool in the city and state.

“For those looking to go into public accounting and tax, this is a natural pathway to work at a big accounting firm and start an incredible career,” said Joe Ugrin, head of the accounting department for the UNI College of Business. “The tax area in accounting probably has the biggest shortage. KPMG recognizes that this program will help its firm but also the profession as a whole in Des Moines and throughout the state. It’s a win for students, a win for KPMG, a win for accounting in the state of Iowa and UNI.”

KPMG professionals have expressed excitement at the potential of getting involved in the program as adjunct professors, Vicente said. While UNI’s world-class faculty already have significant professional experience, students will gain additional benefit by making connections with current practitioners and KPMG will have the opportunity to share what a career in accounting can provide.

“Having KPMG professionals serve as adjunct faculty could help us continue to be on the leading edge, with their current experience complementing the foundational knowledge and critical thinking skills of our existing faculty,” Ugrin said. “We’ll likely see them contribute in some of the more specialized parts of accounting, like tax or audit.”

Applications for the hybrid program are now being accepted for Fall 2023, with classes beginning on August 21. For more information about the hybrid accounting degree program offered in Des Moines, visit online.uni.edu/accounting.