Art of Accounting: Staff review process


As an adjunct professor at the Fairleigh Dickinson University graduate program, I need to be peer reviewed. This is a fairly routine process and I have welcomed such reviewers to my classes. This year I was sent a copy of the criteria that will be used and realized there are many issues that could apply to any review of staff or partners in a supervisory capacity, so I’ve decided to share it here, with some editing for this column:

Knowledge: Demonstrated command of the subject matter;

Communication: Clear and articulate speech that can be understood and able to convey course content clearly and effectively;

Enthusiasm: Excited about teaching, exudes positive attitude, interested in subject area;

Attitude: Showed active interest in students and their learning and treated students and their contributions with respect;

Organization: presented the material in a logical and organized manner that can be followed and used class time effectively;

Preparation: Instructor was well prepared for class and clearly specified purpose of the lesson and summarized major points;

Techniques: Used appropriate instructional techniques and aids for the given class and subject area (illustrations, equipment, chalkboard, Zoom, etc.);

Rigor: Class was conducted in a manner that promoted critical thinking and active learning and participation;

Appropriateness: Presented material worth knowing and relevant;

Captivation: Material presented in a manner that maintained students’ interest and attention;

Pace: Pace of class seemed appropriate for the subject covered;

Interaction: Encouraged involvement and responded effectively to student comments or questions.

While the above refers to students, this can be used as a guide to evaluating anyone in a supervisory capacity. Also have the students or staff being taught use this as an upward evaluation. I think this listing can draw out some great ways to assure better teaching and learning, and have students and staff empowered as participants in the process.

Do not hesitate to contact me at with your practice management questions or about engagements you might not be able to perform.

Edward Mendlowitz, CPA, is partner at WithumSmith+Brown, PC, CPAs. He is on the Accounting Today Top 100 Influential People list. He is the author of 24 books, including “How to Review Tax Returns,” co-written with Andrew D. Mendlowitz, and “Managing Your Tax Season, Third Edition.” He also writes a twice-a-week blog addressing issues that clients have at along with the Pay-Less-Tax Man blog for Bottom Line. He is an adjunct professor in the MBA program at Fairleigh Dickinson University teaching end user applications of financial statements. Art of Accounting is a continuing series where he shares autobiographical experiences with tips that he hopes can be adopted by his colleagues. He welcomes practice management questions and can be reached at (732) 743-4582 or

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