James Zeigler is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Accounting and MIS Department and an Ohio Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Prior career highlights include public accounting experience with Peat Marwick (KPMG) in Toledo, Ohio and Orlando, Florida, owner of an accounting services firm and Treasurer of a specialty contracting corporation. Business interests include real estate investments and the securities markets.
Mr. Zeigler’s area of expertise resides primarily within the managerial accounting area. One project he has been working on with the college is the development and implementation of a comprehensive international business simulation called Capsim “Foundation” for the Accounting 2220 classroom. This eight-week simulation supplements managerial decision-making concepts explored in the first half of the semester. Student groups compete against one another, making all research and development, marketing, production, accounting, and finance decisions related to the management of their company in a growing technology sensor industry. Outcomes are dynamic because student decisions drive the process. Interesting results, and many teaching opportunities, occur as a result.
Many managerial accounting students subsequently choose to participate in an international, no-cost simulation competition called the "Capsim Challenge". They have been quite successful. BGSU has recently earned the distinction of having the most Challenge finalists of any university worldwide! Due to the success of our students, I was honored to receive a BGSU CBA "Faculty Excellence Award" in recognition of their accomplishments. I plan to continue promoting the competition and encouraging our students to showcase their knowledge on an international scale.
A research goal is to confirm student understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of business and the need to apply and clearly communicate accounting information to multiple areas of management decision-making. Further, behavioral aspects relating to group dynamics is being explored. Learning-assessment examination results to date have generally been positive compared to international norms. Mr. Zeigler recently published an article, related to simulation use, in Advances in Accounting Education.
Mr. Zeigler explains why he became a college instructor. “While in public accounting with KPMG (a big-four accounting firm), I was told I explained topics well to clients and colleagues. Those comments planted a seed. A few years later, I was advised of a university opening and the rest is history. I have found the intrinsic rewards and challenges to be many and I attempt to have a positive impact on students as they confirm their interest in the study of business."
In identifying a proud professional achievement, it is the “positive student feedback and acceptance of the above simulation which has exceeded expectations. I believe involving and engaging students with their day-to-day learning has been a very rewarding experience for both the student and the instructor. I believe the addition of real-world aspects to the classroom environment enhances student learning.”
The book Mr. Zeigler recommends to all college students, not just business students, is “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey. “This classic, quick read explores personal change and leadership potential for all. My favorite ‘habits’ are the first two: Be proactive and begin with the end in mind.”
On a personal note, the accounting instructor’s most interesting place to visit is Oman in the Middle East. He comments, “Muscat, the capital, is clean, was safe and has a cosmopolitan atmosphere. It appears to be a popular vacation destination for Europeans, similar to what Acapulco seems to be for North Americans. Once you leave the city however, I found poverty and a simple life among the citizenry. Regardless of economic status, all were a very friendly people. I have also traveled to Europe, the UK, Singapore and Bangkok, Thailand.”