Create the next big accounting podcast

It seems like everyone has a podcast these days. As a result, you can find ones about almost anything (such as pop culture, true crime, organization, wrestling, meat and meditation), and new ones keep popping up every day. 

The number of accounting-specific podcasts out there might surprise you. But there’s always room for more—like the ones your students are going to produce. This project will help them further develop their ability to collaborate as well as their tech savviness—two must-haves that help accounting professionals master their everyday tasks. 

Before providing students with the instructional download and setting them loose to create audio-accounting magic, have a class discussion about podcasts and the medium itself to help get their wheels turning. It can be helpful to talk about their favorite podcasts, what they like about them, various formats used, what makes a podcast successful and what holes they see in the landscape that their new podcast could fill. (Currently, the top accounting-related podcasts revolve around best practices, all things accounting careers, the CPA Exam, Xero, accounting news, etc.)

To encourage active participation, we recommend students be broken into small groups of three or four. Once the class has been divided, give students some time to research, discuss and ideate topics for their podcasts. Encourage them to be creative and think outside the box. Maybe their podcast is a deep dive into one major financial fraud case that unfolds across an entire season. Or maybe it’s a show where recruiters and hiring managers tell all about the best and worst potential candidates they’ve interviewed. Or it might be a “For Dummies”-type show that educates novices on basic accounting principles. It could even be a podcast in which each episode dissects a single commodity, looking at it from various accounting angles. The possibilities are endless.  

As they’re weighing the merits of their possible show topics, recommend your students also consider the audience for each. Some topics might appeal more to the general public, while others will only pique the interest of accountants—or even certain types of accountants. But just because some ideas might have a broader possible audience doesn’t mean they’ll be more successful. A well-executed niche topic can easily outperform a mediocre podcast that speaks to a wider audience. Thinking about who they want to talk to—and how successfully they can connect with them—may help students decide which idea they ultimately want to pursue. 

While the subject of their podcasts is as limitless as their imaginations, it’s important to establish some parameters for its execution. For example, the “pilot episodes” they’re creating should be no shorter than 30 and no longer than 60 minutes. Also, topics must be approved before production starts and—as previously mentioned—must relate to accounting. 

Additionally, pilot episodes must be complete and professional in their execution. This means using an audio-editing program (some free ones include Audacity, Ocenaudio and Free Audio Editor) and transitional interludes of music or sound effects, etc., depending on topic and format. Final files should be emailed or posted in MP3 format. 

While the duration of this project and the amount of class time that will be devoted to it are completely up to you, we do have some recommendations. Because this project is meant to build upon collaboration skills, we suggest each student provide a post-project review of themselves as well as their fellow team members. You may also choose to include “post-mortem review” group discussions as a way to wrap up the experience. This gives students the opportunity to analyze their successes and struggles throughout the process and discuss strategies for future improvement. Overall grades should take into account creativity and longevity of concept, content quality, production level, peer and self-reviews and post-mortem review participation and attitude.

This project allows students to leverage their creativity, resourcefulness, teamwork and tech savviness to make something amazing—and we can’t wait to hear what they’ve come up with! Please share the next big accounting podcasts with us at StartHereGoPlaces@aicpa.org

Difficulty
Intermediate
Duration
Multi-day
Format
Lesson plan