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Lacey to be Honored with Accounting Educator Award

Published: June 15, 2009

Being recognized for his nearly 40 years of service in both collegiate and industry accounting, CSULB Professor John Lacey will receive the 2008-09 Outstanding Accounting Educator award from the California Society of Certified Public Accountants (CalCPA).

Lacey will accept the honor Friday, June 19 in San Francisco at the Centennial Celebration of CalCPA. He has also been nominated by CalCPA for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ (AICPA) Distinguished Achievement in Accounting Education award.

“I am very proud to be recognized by my fellow professionals. One of my goals has been to have had a positive effect on my students and on the practice of accounting and the accounting profession. This award is evidence that I have made a difference,” said Lacey.

Lacey, the Ernst and Young Research Fellow, has been teaching in CSULB’s Department of Accountancy within the College of Business Administration (CBA) since 1989. He previously taught at the Leventhal School of Accounting at USC, where he also earned his MBA and bachelor’s of science degrees, and at the Anderson Graduate School of Manage¬ment at UCLA. He earned his Ph.D. at UCLA with a major in accounting information systems and minors in economics and mathematics.

At CSULB, Lacey teaches financial and international accounting and will begin teaching intermediate accounting next year, which is the core course in the accounting curriculum.

“We in the College of Business Administration [CBA] are all very proud that John is being recognized by CalCPA for his educational efforts over his long and illustrative career,” said Dean Michael Solt. “John brings much-needed realism and practical application to the classroom that gives our accounting students an unmatched education.

Solt added, “His concern for his students shows in how he encourages beginning accounting students to think about their future careers and in how he brings new topics like International Financial Reporting Standards into our advanced classes. This award for John is well earned and well deserved.”

Active in his industry for decades, Lacey has served as a board member of CalCPA, is currently a member of its Litigation Section Steering Committee and recently served as chair of its Blue Ribbon Committee on the Future of California’s Professional Accountants. He has been a member of the organization for more than 30 years.

Lacey has served on AICPA’s Accounting Standards Executive Committee (AcSEC). He was also chair of its real estate industry committee and founding chair of its National Real Estate Conference and has served on a variety of AICPA taskforces.

Always the teacher, Lacey has been conducting accounting training programs for judges for more than 10 years on behalf of the AICPA Judiciary Committee for the National Judicial College and other judicial education programs. To date, he has represented CSULB by teaching accounting to more than 2,000 federal and state judges.

Lacey regularly conducts training programs and technical updates for The Capital Group and Union Bank of California. He also presents continuing education programs for members of the Los Angeles Society of Financial Analysts and conducts the Level I and Level II accounting reviews for their CFA Review Program.

John Lacey
Photo by Victoria Sanchez
John Lacey

“I love sharing ideas with my students every day as well as with my students at the university,” said Lacey. “I teach bankers, investment professionals and judges. I tell people that the keys to happiness in life are good health, marrying the right person and finding a job that you love. I’m very lucky.”

Lacey is the author of a research study on auditor independence that was commissioned by the chief accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission. He has published research monographs and articles in academic and professional journals, including an academic paper that was listed as one of the 25 most-cited accounting studies in 30 years. His most recent article is “Recommendations from the Committee on the Future of California’s Professional Accountants,” California CPA, December, 2005.

Prior to his academic career, Lacey was a supervisor in the national office of a major CPA firm and served as corporate officer and controller of a manufacturing company. With his brother Mike, he currently owns The Comedy and Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, the South Bay’s famous nightspot which has hosted such stars as Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, Rodney Dangerfield and Jim Carrey.

Lacey continues to draft contemporary articles and reports that are essential in the industry while teaching in several public and private sectors. However, he always makes it a point to teach his colleagues and students how the core tasks performed and values practiced by accountants today have not changed in hundreds of years.

“Accounting is still about keeping track of the stuff a business owns and the claims to that stuff. I have a picture of the father of accounting, Luca Pacioli, in my office and I tell my students that we still do the basic things he talked about more than 500 years ago,” said Lacey. “We need to give students a strong foundation in ethics and basic accounting principles on which they can build, and good learning tools they can use to add the more specific knowledge as they proceed in their careers.”