Dr. Chester H. Brearey , CPA

Associate Professor of Accounting; Director, Master of Science in Accounting

Phone: (518) 783‑4257
Email: cbrearey@siena.edu


D.M. Management Case Western Reserve University
M.Acc. Case Western Reserve University
B.B.A. Accounting Cleveland State University
B.A. History John Carroll University


EDUCATION: D.M., Case Western Reserve University, Weatherhead School of Management ; M.Acc., Case Western Reserve University, Weatherhead School of Management; B.B.A., Accounting, Cleveland State University; B.A., History, John Carroll University.

RESEARCH: The first of my two research streams is the development of accounting thought and institutions; this work investigates the corporate origins and ongoing events that have shaped contemporary accounting practices. The second area of focus is on regulation of accounting disclosures. In this research, I have worked with coauthors to review and evaluate the contributions of principal policy setters such as at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, and the Financial Accounting Standards Board.

PRACTICE EXPERIENCE: My experiences as a former partner with an international accounting firm brings a broad-breath of experience and a full-throated voice in preparing and auditing financial statements which brings valuable practical perspectives and assists in understanding how  at any given time  the prevailing economy provides context for discussion and resolution of issues. Certification: Certified Public Accountant, State of Ohio. Practice Experience - Audit Partner, Laventhol & Horwath, - Vice President, Union Commerce Bank - President; Chief Financial Officer, Edgepark Surgical Inc. - Currently: Partner with PayBiz Payroll Solutions

What I love about Siena:

Historically Siena has been involved in education for hundreds of years. Being a product of the liberal arts and a Jesuit education at John Carroll University, Siena was an ideal choice because of their knowledgeable scholarship and their practical and matter-of-fact style of teaching. For Franciscans, education is guide to understanding God’s will in human life and destiny - this made my choice quite simple.

Secondly, the Siena student is eager to learn, respectful of the process, and engaged in the classroom and understanding that lived human experience is more important that abstract reasoning in ones guide to the truth.

My Favorite courses to teach are:

Undergraduate and graduate Auditing

Financial Accounting Theory

Advanced Accounting

Professional Experience:

Partner HK Payroll Solutions 2015 - Now
Director, Master of Accounting Program Siena College 2014 - Now
Associate Professor of Accounting Siena College 2013 - Now
Assistant Professor of Accounting Siena College 2009 - 2013
Assistant Professor of Accounting Hiram College 2007 - 2008
Visiting Instructor of Accounting Cleveland State University 2006 - 2007
Partner TSI Inc.dba Western Reserve Financial Services/PayBiz Payroll Solutions 1995 - Now
President, Chief Financial Officer Edgepark Surgical Inc 1988 - 2004
Audit Partner Walthall and Drake 1984 - 1988
Senior Vice President Union Commerce Bank 1982 - 1983
Audit Partner Laventhol & Horwath 1973 - 1982

Why I chose Siena:

Office Hours:

TUE: 11:30 AM-12:30 PM,01:00 PM-02:00 PM
WED: 08:00 AM-11:00 AM
THU: 11:30 AM-12:30 PM,01:00 PM-02:00 PM

My current research:

Principal interest is centered within contemporary applications of Accounting and Auditing history and regulation as it pertains to the first true model of financial reporting – the railroads – to help contribute in explaining the existing model requirements as outlined in Regulation SX and SK of the Securities Act of 1933 and Securities and Exchange Act of 1934. This relevant research, will assist in providing guidance in theory and practice to the current global debate of proposed changes to financial reporting, auditing and regulation as it pertains to meeting the conceptual objectives (as outlined in the IASB/FASB Standards) of decision usefulness and stewardship, while remaining faithful to the qualitative characteristics of faithful representation and relevance – through improved informational reporting for decision-making in the capital markets for capital allocation; while requiring the Audit profession to improve their responsibility for accountability to benefit the public good.

In the early 1900’s C.W. Haskins, co-founder of Haskins & Sells and the first Dean of the School of Commerce, Accounts and Finance at New York University noted that accounting history allows us to ‘better …understand our present and to forecast or control our future’ Stephen Zeff (1982) wrote: “historical research presents a substantial opportunity for challenging and worthwhile study from which we can hope to increase our ability to make judgments on a broader, more informed basis.”

From a definitional view of history, my research preference is interpretational, by assisting in ‘explaining’ a phenomenon as opposed to only describing it. However as a scholar with a sense of historical consciousness, I appreciate that both narrative and interpretational histories add to the knowledge of complex matters. Each type of history has advantages and limitations.

As to its relevance - history supports contemporary research in policy-making and practice and in standard setting. It acquaints accountants with the individuals, ideas, experiments, and lessons that constitute our heritage. It informs us about how we have reached a particular present-day convention. Accounting history also encourages the interdisciplinary view of accounting and its environmental context.

From the standpoint of pedagogy, accounting history has provided assistance, if only by way of anecdotes, to nearly everyone who teaches the subject. Such anecdotal value is incidental to the capacity of historical materials to be useful in the classroom when instructors are more familiar with the attributes of historical inquiry.

From the aspect of policy perspective, in accounting as in other fields, knowledge of the past provides a prologue to understanding contemporary matters. As attorneys cite precedents in arguing cases and physicians study a patient’s medical history for diagnostic purposes, accountants should consider the tradition of an issue when they formulate research or revise standards.

As Skinner explained in Accounting Standards in Evolution (1982), accounting in some form can be traced back in various civilizations for over six thousand years. Yet it is only in the last fifty to one hundred years that accountants have felt a need to work out a theory of accounting. The explanation of this paradox is simple – where the task is clear, interest is restricted to techniques - when financial reporting objectives – an information communication goal – was added to the record-keeping function, the task of accounting became more difficult, and a theory to guide its methods became necessary, and the need to trace back to various civilizations to better understand this paradox.

Practitioners, including those charged with the responsibility of developing technical procedures and managing multiple lines of professional service, can gain insights into accounting methods and practices employed in the past as a basis for assessing the procedures’ success or lack of it.

As outlined in my opening statement, the focus of my research activities involves the efforts of Charles Francis Adams Jr., and his leadership within the annual reports of board of railroad commissioners (1870 – 1890) - being exemplars of the earliest forms of accounting report regulation. i.e., existing literature on financial reporting practices and public policy within the first wave of federal regulation – the Interstate Commerce Commission may have its historical roots in the work of Charles Francis Adams Jr. - contained within the financial reporting requirements established through state regulation in the Annual Reports of the Board of Railroad Commissioners in The Commonwealth of Massachusetts 1870 – 1879; in Adam’s restatement of his experience and thought in Railroads: Their Origin and Problems – an aggressive summation of his commission years; his leadership within Conventions of Railroad Commissioners: Springfield (1875), Boston (1876), Columbus (1878) and Saratoga (1979); and as president of the Union Pacific.

That the regulatory environment and the scope of railway activities found within the afore-mentioned material throws light on the question of what forces converted the simply recording technology of the Italian merchants of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries into the highly-developed sophisticated field of financial reporting in the twentieth-first century and why the natural laws of competition were of no reliance because competition between railroads were impossible being “…natural monopolies who gravitated into agreements and combinations.”

My teaching philosophy:

“As the School of Business in a Franciscan, Catholic, and liberal arts college, we place paramount importance on teaching. We prepare our students with the analytic, communication, leadership, teamwork and learning skills necessary to help their organizations solve complex problems while thoughtfully considering the impact on all stakeholders and the natural world.” -School of Business Mission Statement

From this statement comes my conviction and enthusiastic acceptance to the Siena commitment that an educator’s first priority is teaching. Though my belief is that most of the learning experience comes outside of the classroom, as a lecturer, we must first clarify and make understandable complex concepts for our students; that while it is important in being an effective speaker, it may be more critical to be a good listener; while it is important to hold students to high standards, it is noteworthy to make education learner-centered; though direct experience shape individual understanding, active student engagement is necessary for elevated learning to exist.

My belief is that prior notable auditing, accounting and business practice experience and some preliminary college related teaching involvement enables [me] to bring invaluable knowledge to the classroom through enhancement to lectures that incorporate theory and practice applicable to situations that arise on most days in the world of accountancy. My Epistemology, with regards to its method, validity and scope is rooted in John Dewey’s Statement on Pragmatism – a philosophical tradition centered on the linking of theory and practice, a process where theory is extracted from practice and applied back to practice to form what is called intelligent practice; as well as an existential approach – with lived human experience being more important than abstract reasoning as a guide to truth.

Furthermore, among the essential characteristics of advanced education, that prepares graduates for life in the twenty-first century, engaged learning is as important as any other – balanced breadth and scope, complexity in reasoning, analytics, critical though, analytics, skepticism, speculation, judgment are essential characteristics - based on an exchange, not of facts, but of ideas.

To often, it seems, teaching is assumed to be a one-way flow from instructor to students. I have found that the most effective way to promote learning is to involve students, to make them, in a sense ‘responsible for their own learning’. To facilitate this process it is extremely beneficial to have students assigned ‘case problems’, research projects, and group problems which allows them to present their findings in groups, empowering them to guide the discussion – I have found that a number of normally reluctant participants begin to become more ‘vocal’ after this type of student engagement! – I continue to strive in seeking other student centered methods to further engage students as much as possible, while keeping the discussion focused; after all, just because a debate is lively does not mean that anyone is learning anything.

As a final and indispensable point are my views on self-improvement. I firmly believe that any effective teacher remains a good student throughout life. Self-evaluations (assessments) occur every time a class is held – this self-reflection includes assessing how well the material was presented; what students’ reactions to the material were; developing ideas on how to improve on presentations to maintain student interest. I believe that taking the time to rewrite lectures, add/delete material, revising lesson plans, improve on slides, and adjustments to testing is something completed on a regular basis. Knowing that self-reflection has its limits; other steps taken in continuing to improve my skills as a teacher include; talking with experienced professors and other instructors for advice, keeping up on current issues, refreshing my knowledge of the subject being taught, and using student evaluations to inform me of areas for improvement.

"Bucket Shops and Regulatory Change: An Accounting Perspective"
International Journal of Accounting and Financial Reporting
Listening to Accounting Users: the Impact of Complexity, Transparency and Stewardship on Decision-Usefulness
Journal Of Contemporary Business Issues, vol. 21
Winter, 2016
AAA Ohio Regional Meeting
A Study of the Impact of Informational Complexity, Transparency and Stewardship on Decision Usefulness: The Users Perspective
International Journal of Accounting and Financial Reporting, vol. 3
June, 2013

An Interdisciplinary Study of the Influence of early Nineteenth Century Railway Regulation within the United Kingdom on Modern U.S. Railroad Regulation and Accounting Policies Dealing with the Problem of Public Reporting


The central thesis of this project is to extend my prior research about sources of conceptual influence on uniformity of accounting practices, public policy, and modern accounting theory that began within the first wave of U.S. federal regulation, [Interstate Commerce Commission (1887)] with the commencement of the industrial revolution, when the requirements for reporting on the custodianship of corporate management to absentee owners first became acknowledged.


This prior research, sabbatical supported in the spring of 2016, was primarily developed through materials at Houghton Library, the Massachusetts Historical Society, and the National Archives in Boston alongside critical interviews that provided ideas of thoughts and guidance to produce the paper Charles Francis Adams Jr. and The National Railway Conventions of the 1870’s – A Precedent to Regulation which linked the framework of federal regulation within the Interstate Commerce Commission to the work of C.F. Adams Jr., and his efforts as Chairman of the Massachusetts Railway Commission (1870 – 1879).


This field work wishes to further trace the infrastructure of the first steam driven locomotive which operated in England during the year 1830 and railroad accounting practices that were primarily dictated by regulatory agencies created by the British “Regulation of Railways Act” (1840) and “Railway Regulation Act” (1842 and 1844). http://www.railwaysarchive.co.uk/doclisting.php?showSearch=true&text=&startYear=all&endYear=all&development=all&event=all&category=6&author=all&publisher=all&published=all&submit=Go

category: Research
Siena College, 2017
 Joanne Barry, who as you know heads the NYSSCPA and Bob Colson were kind enough to recommend you as a panelist. I would be honored if you would  join us in Anaheim on August 4th at the annual conference of the American Accounting Association as a panelist on a highly controversial topic. 

As Founding Director of the 
Center for Socially Responsible Accounting, Protecting the Public Interest, I believe as educators we have a responsibility to improve our track record. In fact, I believe that only thru education comes improvement.

Thank you for your consideration, 


Rick Kravitz

category: Teaching
American Accounting Association, 2013
 Selected by the MSA Graduating class to be 2013 Faculty Commencement speaker 
category: Teaching
MS in Accounting Program, 2013
 The Symposium is designed to provide you and fellow faculty members with the opportunity to connect with PwC subject matter experts on a variety of accounting issues. The curriculum is specifically developed for financial accounting and auditing faculty and focuses on current technical updates and issues facing the profession. At the conclusion of the program, participants will be able to identify current topics that impact their curriculum and incorporate these topics into their courses. In addition, they will be able to describe these topics to their students in the classroom and provide illustrations to facilitate the students' understanding.
category: Teaching
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, 2013
 Selected by the MSA Graduating class to be 2012 Faculty Commencement speaker 
category: Teaching
MS in Accounting Program, 2012
Selected by the MSA Graduating class to be 2011 Faculty Commencement speaker
category: Teaching
MS in Accounting Program, 2011
Named outstanding School of Business Faculty Member
category: Teaching
Beta Gamma Sigma, 2011
The grant is funded by the PricewaterhouseCoopers Charitable Foundation, Inc., a section 501(c)(3) public charity, as part of the 2009 IFRS Ready Grant Program.

It was awarded to study how International Financial Reporting standards may affect accounting education.

For those charged with educating the next generation of accountants, the expected shift from U.S. GAAP to IFRS stirs up a host of potentially thorny issues. Professors and college administrators are dealing with questions about the timing of the curriculum expansion and the resources needed to handle IFRS. They are examining how to reconfigure course work to make room for international standards.

For now, students' awareness of IFRS is generally low. For the most part, this (awareness) is being driven not by students, but more by faculty and, of course, the firms.

[I] Expect that that dynamic may change quickly, this research allows us to provide a conceptual, practical, template that will/can/may be considered/used by colleges and universities in adjusting to what some have called an academic revolution in accounting education.
category: Research
PricewaterhouseCoopers Charitable Foundation, Inc., a section 501(c)(3) public charity., 2010
I was selected to attend the 2010 New Faculty Consortium sponsored by the American Accounting Association (AAA) and Ernst & Young LLP, that was held in Leesburg, Virginia February 4 - 7th - The purpose of the Consortium was to stimulate thinking about an academic career, to share ideas regarding effective teaching and research, and to provide opportunities to meet members of the academic accounting community.
category: Research
American Accounting Association and Ernst & Young LLP, 2010
A Global Accounting History: Accounting, Financial Reporting and Public Policy: Americas
Emerald Group Publishing of the United Kingdom
Ohio, 1976
August, 2017
American Accounting Association National Meeting, San Diego, California
Charles Francis Adams Jr. and the National Railway Conventions of the 1870's – A Precendent to Regulation
April, 2016
AAA Ohio Regional Meeting, Cleveland, Ohio
Listening to Accounting Users: the Impact of Complexity, Transparency and Stewardship on Decision-Usefulness
March, 2015
MBAA International Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois
Accounting Ethics and Audit Failure
August, 2013
American Accounting Association National Meeting, Anaheim, California
The Impact of Informational Complexity, Transparency and Stewardship on Decision Usefulness
August, 2012
American Accounting Association, Washington, District of Columbia
Charles H. Keating Jr - A Graphic Example of How the Savings and Loan Crisis is Repeating itself Today
August, 2012
American Accounting Association, Washington, District of Columbia
Enron's Leaking Bucket or the Unintended Consequence of a Regulatory Change
September, 2011
Accounting, Business & Financial History Annual Conference, Cardiff, Great Britain
Charles Francis Adams Jr.: America's First Accounting Regulator
June, 2011
Academy of Accounting Historians Research Conference, College Park, Maryland
Charles Francis Adams Jr.: America's First Accounting Regulator
August, 2011
American Accounting Association National Meeting, Denver, Colorado
Bucket Shops, Enron's Leaking 'Bucket' and Consequences of Regulatory Change
August, 2011
American Accounting Association National Meeting, Denver, Colorado
Enron's Leaking Bucket, or the Unintended Consequence of a Regulatory Change
March, 2010
Business History Conference, Athens, Georgia
Thinking Beyond the Black Box: Sterling as an Economist Shows Accountants the Way Toward Relevance
May, 2006
American Accounting Association Ohio Regional Meeting, Cleveland, Ohio