In January 1988, the membership of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) approved all six proposals that constitute the Plan to Restructure Professional Standards. Proposal VI of that plan proposed the adoption of a requirement that, after the year 2000, applicants for AICPA membership have at least 150 college-level semester hours, including a bachelor's degree or its equivalent. The additional educational requirement has widespread public policy implications as accounting educators provide or plan to provide an additional year of education for students preparing to enter the profession. Self-regulated professions, like accounting, have a major influence in deciding what good they serve and how they serve it. Moral responsibility requires accounting professionals and educators to question whether the requirement truly serves the public interest.
This paper reports on a study that examined the impact of type of curriculum on CPA exam candidates' satisfaction with their college preparation in four areas: general skills, accounting skills, general business skills, and information technology skills. CPA candidate respondents were classified into one of four groups depending on the curriculum choice they made in order to meet the 150-hour requirement: (1) those who completed a master's level accountancy degree program, (2) those who completed an MBA with an accounting concentration, (3) those who completed other graduate degrees (e.g. a general business MBA), and (4) those who completed additional undergraduate credits. Respondents who completed a master's level accountancy degree program were consistently more satisfied than the other three groups with respect to general, accounting, and information technology skills. Respondents who met the 150-hour requirement by taking additional undergraduate credits were consistently less satisfied than the other three groups with respect to general, accounting, and information technology skills. For business skills, there was little evidence of any significant difference in satisfaction between the four groups. Implications for accounting education and the accounting profession are discussed.
This paper updates the work of Rebele, Stout, and Hassell (A review of empirical research in accounting education: 1985–1991. Journal of Accounting Education, I, 167–231, 1991) and Rebele and Tiller (Empirical research in accounting education: A review and evaluation. In A. C. Bishop, E. K. St. Pierre and R. L. Benke (Eds), Research in Accounting Education, 1–54. Harrisonburg, VA: Center for Research in Accounting Education, James Madison University, 1996) by reviewing a subset of the accounting education literature published during the period 1991–1997. Specifically, we review articles (both empirical and nonempirical) related to the accounting curriculum and instructional approaches in accounting that were published in the following journals: Journal of Accounting Education, Issues in Accounting Education, The Accounting Educators' Journal, and Accounting Education: A Journal of Theory, Practice and Research. A second paper, Part II, will review articles published in these same journals during the period 1991–1997 on the topics of assessment, use of technology, students, faculty concerns, cases, and instructional resources.
This article updates the results of an ongoing, longitudinal study on characteristics of accounting students, conducted by the Federation of Schools of Accountancy (FSA). The annual survey measures many attributes of accounting seniors and masters students, including student quality, provenance, future educational plans, career plans, plans for professional certification, extra-curricular involvement, attitude toward the accounting profession, attitude toward learning, attitude toward the 150-hour requirement, and various demographic dimensions. Subjects included 2,512 and 1,507 seniors, and 969 and 670 masters students, at 39 and 27 FSA schools, in the years 1993 and 1994, respectively. Results of these surveys, which appear in a comparative format below, have implications for many currently debated topics in accounting education. Results of the 1991 and 1992 surveys appearing in the spring 1992 and fall 1993 issues of the Journal of Accounting Education (Vol. 10, pp, 25–37 and Vol. 11, pp. 211–225), respectively.
By reviewing a subset ot the accounting education literature published during the period 1997–1999, this paper updates literature reviews by Rebele, Apostolou, Buckless, Hassell, Paquette, and Stout [Rebele, J.E., Apostolou, B.A., Buckless, F.A., Hassell, J.M., Paquette, L.R., & Stout, D.E. (1998a). Accounting education literature review (1991–1997), part I: curriculum and instructional approaches. Journal of Accounting Education, 16(1), 1–51.] [Rebele, J.E., Apostolou, B.A., Buckless, F.A., Hassell, J.M., Paquette, L.R., & Stout, D.E. (1998b). Accounting education literature review (1991–1997), part II: students, educational technology, assessment, and faculty issues. Journal of Accounting Education, 16(2), 179–245.]; Rebele, Stout, and Hassell [Rebele, J.E., Stout, D.E., & Hassell, J.M. (1991). A review of empirical research in accounting education: 1985–1991. Journal of Accounting Education, 9(2), 167–231.]; and Rebele and Tiller [Rebele, J.E., & Tiller, M.G. (1986). Empirical research in accounting education: a review and evaluation. In A. C. Bishop, E. K. St. Pierre & R. L. Benke (Eds.), Research in accounting education (pp. 1–54). Harrisonburg, VA: Center for Research in Accounting Education, James Madison University]. We review published articles related to the topics of assessment, curriculum and instructional approaches, educational technology, faculty issues, and students from the following five journals: Journal of Accounting Education, Issues in Accounting Education, Accounting Education, The Accounting Educators’ Journal, and Advances in Accounting Education. A large number of accounting educators have contributed to the literature between 1997 and 1999, with over 390 different authors cited in the body of the text (30 authors published two articles, 11 published three, and one author published four articles). More than 120 individuals are cited as authors of cases and instructional resources (seven authors published two cases and one published three). Recommendations for research are offered at the end of each major section. An appendix identifies instructional cases and educational resources published during the 1997–1999 period by journal and topic.
Accountants are often confronted with ethical decisions. Yet, some prior research indicates that both public accountants and accounting students in the U.S. may not have as high a level of moral reasoning as other professionals. One measure of moral reasoning ability is the Principled score, or P score, as determined by the Defining Issues Test. Prior research on accounting professionals and students using this measure has largely been confined to the U.S. This study compares the ethical reasoning abilities of American and Irish accounting students. We find that the mean P scores of American and Irish students are similar. However, gender and liberal/conservative attitudes are significant explanatory variables for moral reasoning ability across countries. In addition, our results show that students do correctly self-assess their moral reasoning abilities. We also find that those students with the lowest levels of moral reasoning abilities are the least likely to favor required ethics training in accounting programs. This may imply that students most in need of ethical training are less likely to seek this training.
Accountancy, in both its professional and academic domains, is experiencing an internal character crisis and an external credibility crisis in the community. Within the profession, allegations between academics and practitioners have generally failed to identify specific problems or provide beneficial solutions. This article focuses predominately on problems evident within accounting academia. Emphasis is given to detrimental philosophical underpinnings, particularly with regards to research methodology and the philosophical perceptions and resulting leadership attitudes which sustain this orientation. Educational leadership principles and practices are examined, and changes in leadership philosophy and focus are suggested.
Using publicly available information, mainly the Hasselback directory, promotions of doctorally qualified U.S. academic accountants are examined for the 1980 to 1985 time period. The dependent variables considered are time to promotion from date of terminal degree and the likelihood that a move from one institution to another occurs at the time of promotion. The independent variables include personal characteristics such as degree concentration and interest area as well as characteristics of the school where the promotion occurs such as size and maximum degree offered. One finding of the study is that research-oriented institutions take longer to promote their faculty and are less likely to hire and promote simultaneously than are less research-oriented institutions
This study reports the results of a survey of accounting academicians and accounting practitioners in public and private accounting. The purpose of the study was to examine the content and importance of the advanced financial accounting course. The results indicate that most schools require the course for accounting majors and the topics most often covered are consolidations and business combinations, partnership accounting, governmental/nonprofit accounting, and foreign currency accounting. Regarding the respondents' perceptions of what should be covered in this course, academicians indicated that significantly more time should be devoted to consolidations and business combinations while accounting practitioners indicated that a broader range of topics should be covered in the course. Also, academicians are more in agreement with the statement that the advanced financial accounting course is a good indicator of students' analytical skills. The results of this study should be of interest to accounting departments that are reviewing their curricula and individuals teaching advanced financial accounting.
The sovereignty of Hong Kong (HK) was returned to China on 1 July l997 and HK has become a Special Administrative Region of China under the principle of “one country, two systems”. In order to evaluate the impact of the “l997” issue on accountancy education in HK, the Department of Accountancy of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University was chosen as a case study. This paper discusses the accounting reforms taking place in China, the political factor of “1997”, and their corresponding impacts on accountancy education in HK. This discussion is followed by assessing the challenges faced and the responses made by the Department of Accountancy of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University in order adapt to the challenges.
This paper tests a Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) model of the business student's choice of a career in Chartered Accountancy (CA). The CA designation is the Canadian equivalent of the American Certified Public Accountant (CPA). The TRA model predicts that a student's choice of a CA career is a function of the student's attitudes towards becoming a CA. In testing the TRA model, we defined attitudes in two ways: first, as the sum of the interactions between beliefs that becoming a CA will lead to certain outcomes and the evaluation of the importance of these outcomes in choosing a career; and second, as a ratio where the numerator is beliefs in the benefits and the denominator is beliefs in the costs of becoming a CA. Based on a survey of 897 graduating business students, we found support for the TRA model. We suggest that accounting recruiters should concentrate on students studying finance and economics and should promote specific outcomes of a CA career such as good long-term earnings, advancement opportunities, variety in the work, chance to make a contribution, and flexibility of career options.
This case is designed to be used in a junior/senior level cost/managerial course or an MBA level managerial course. It provides instructors with the ability to address a wide variety of issues while demonstrating the interrelationships in the various sub-areas of financial, managerial and tax accounting. The entertainment industry is used as a backdrop where the instructor may cover any or all of the following topics: cost terminology, cost behavior, C-V-P analysis, compensation, control, overhead allocation, ethics, revenue recognition, tax recognition, matching, and valuation issues. The case can be used for individual assignments, but it is particularly well suited for a group assignment.
This paper presents the results of an empirical research study designed to determine the place of writing education in the accounting curriculum. A survey instrument containing 18 substantive questions was utilized.The questions were directed to three areas: (1) What are the writing requirements encountered by those who become CPAs? (2) How do CPAs feel about their formal preparation for writing tasks and how should writing be integrated into the accounting curriculum? and (3) Should there be continuing education in writing and, if so, who should provide this education?A number of interesting results were obtained that may have implications for accounting education. (1) While this technical writing is important, more time is spent in non-technical writing activities, (2) Editing is a skill that should be developed by aspiring CPAs, (3) Those with more experience in higher positions do more technical writing, (4) Those with bachelors degrees and those who have been CPAs for ten years or longer feel unprepared by their writing education, and 95) CPAs desire that professional associations offer writing education.
Computer packages are playing an increasingly dominant role in the life of most business organisations, which in turn is reflected in a greater role for packages in education. These packages both presuppose knowledge on the part of the user, and also “contain” knowledge of accounting as well as mathematical and other concepts. This paper suggests that packages function not just as information processing tools, but as “paradigms” which structure the approaches taken to cognitive tasks—although there may be an important distinction between expected and actual paradigms. The change to package-based paradigms represents a substantial shift in cognitive framework. The paper discusses the implications of this for package users and for the educational process. Three important themes are emphasised: first the importance of students learning about packages on a “meta” level rather than simply learning to use them; second the suggestion that treating packages as “black boxes” may sometimes be inevitable and desirable; and third the possibility that computer packages may, to some extent, serve as a substitute for education.
This study documents perceptions of African-American accountants (210 males and 215 females), across a wide variety of organizations, with respect to discrimination, career advancement curtailment and mentoring support, as well as provides their input regarding what undergraduate educational institutions might do to help minority students overcome career advancement barriers. Results indicate that 49 and 26% of this study’s respondents perceive racial bias and curtailment of career advancement, respectively in their current position, and 32% of them have mentors. Respondents suggested providing co-ops or internships, mentoring programs, and emphasizing the importance of oral and written communication skills to help minority students prior to their entry into the profession. Respondents further indicated that educational institutions should conduct seminars on various topics including diversity issues, handling discrimination, the transition from college to work, and corporate politics and culture.
This exploratory study presents and discusses differences found in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) types (personality preferences) of undergraduate and graduate accounting students, as well as accounting faculty members as they apply to two concerns. The first is the ability of today's accounting education programs to attract the types of students demanded by the profession. The second is the propensity of accounting faculty to expand traditional teaching modalities beyond those aimed at disseminating technical accounting knowledge. The results (using chi square tests) indicate significant differences in certain MBTI types among the groups, which have implications for accounting programs as they attempt to implement fundamental changes advocated by the profession and the Accounting Education Change Commission. The implications are discussed as they relate to accounting students who are predominantly extraverts, sensors, thinkers, and judgers, as well as to attracting and retaining a more diverse group of students. The implications of expected changes in teaching modalities are also discussed as they relate to accounting faculty who are predominantly introverts, sensors, thinkers, and judgers.
Admission and retention standards for students in undergraduate programs of education are a widely-used tool for enhancing the quality of the students who complete these programs. The authors present a technique for evaluating the effectiveness of existing admission/retention standards and a discussion of the results of the application of the technique at a major midwestern university. The evaluation technique was found to provide a useful means of verifying the effectiveness of admission/retention standards in undergraduate accounting programs.
Many studies have assessed the research productivity of accounting faculty members, often using tools taken from such other fields of business such as economics and marketing. Many decision-makers including departmental administrators, Deans, Salary-Review and Promotion and Tenure Committees, and alumni use these results to make critical decisions. These studies often use three methods to assess faculty research productivity: ‘counting’ articles written, surveying faculty members or administrators, and using citation analysis. After analyzing how other studies assess the quantity and quality of journals and publications, the researchers present some characteristics that should be included in future studies of this important topic. The results of this literature review should help decision-makers make more informed conclusions when relying on studies that assess their colleagues' research productivity.
This study reports on the implementation of computerized testing in an introductory managerial accounting course. Students were surveyed about their perceptions of computerized testing after taking two major computerized exams. Results show that students perceived both negative and positive aspects about computerized testing, and overall perceptions tended to be more negative than positive. Clear differences in student perceptions existed when analyzing results by instructor, indicating that individual instructors can manage student perceptions about computerized testing. Suggestions for addressing negative student perceptions are provided for accounting educators who are considering the use of computerized testing in introductory courses.
This paper provides educators with a classroom example or a self-study tutorial to teach Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 133 (FAS 133), Accounting for Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities. The example can be used in courses such as intermediate or advanced accounting that discuss derivative instruments or investments topics or in a training program that focuses on implementing FAS 133. This teaching material can help students gain technical knowledge of FAS 133. It can also help develop critical thinking skills in analyzing the impact of an accounting standard on a firm's operation. A scenario based on a futures contract used by a natural gas company to hedge price fluctuations of its gas inventory is applied across four cases to show the impact of derivative designation on the accounting treatment and to provide a comparative analysis of the economic results from using different accounting treatments for the derivative. Case 1 and Case 2 demonstrate hedge accounting under FAS 133 by designating the derivative as a fair value hedge and a cash flow hedge, respectively. Case 3 illustrates accounting for a derivative that is not designated as a hedge. Case 4 demonstrates the impact of not entering or using a derivative to mitigate market risk. A downloadable spreadsheet on the author's website can be customized for use in the classroom.
This article, intended as a collateral reading assignment for a principles or intermediate accounting course, explores the current state and future issues of environmental accounting and reporting. The primer is divided into two parts: (1) a brief rationale directed to accounting professors for allocating precious class time to environmental reporting, and (2) a much fuller exposition for students of the associated issues past, present, and future that will serve to generate classroom discussion. Accounting faculty can use the student portion of the primer to incorporate environmental accounting and reporting into their courses without the need for extensive advance preparation.
Good communication skills continue to be viewed as critical for success in accounting. This paper demonstrates a writing-skills “intervention” that deals with faulty modifiers, a grammatical problem that can inhibit accounting students and professionals from achieving the clarity and conciseness widely regarded as essential in the accounting profession. The intervention consists of a handout distributed to students – fashioned to sensitize them to the pervasiveness of faulty modifiers and help them avoid the problem – and an in-class discussion of the handout. By design, this intervention is both inexpensive and unobtrusive. For the accounting instructor, we provide in the body of the paper a technical, but unpedantic and informal, analysis of faulty modifiers, including numerous examples of the problem, accompanied by alternative corrections. To date, few papers in the accounting education literature that deal with writing problems present direct assessment evidence. To assess the efficacy and perceived value of our learning intervention, we collected assessment data – both direct (i.e., a set of three diagnostic tests) and indirect (i.e., feedback from a student questionnaire) from two institutions at which our learning intervention was tested. These data suggest than an intervention of the sort described here can be valuable in remedying discrete weaknesses of student writing. In a larger sense, we believe our paper can be used as a model for the development of similar “interventions” that cover other grammatical problems, and that can serve either as stand-alone entities (similar to the method proposed by Reinstein and Houston (2004) [Using the Securities and Exchange Commission’s “plain English” guidelines to improve accounting students’ writing skills. Journal of Accounting Education, 22, 53–67]) or as complementary resources to more comprehensive and formal writing programs.
This paper provides a listing of commercial computer-aided learning materials available to accounting educators from vendors. It also provides a sampling of computer-aided learning materials authored by accounting educators around the world. The purposes of the paper are to reveal trends in such authoring activities by both business firms and accounting educators and researchers.
Little empirical evidence exists regarding students’ perceptions of the first course in accounting and the effect of these perceptions on deciding whether or not to major in accounting. The purpose of this study is to begin examining student perceptions regarding the first accounting course and how those perceptions relate to selection of accounting as a major. The study separately examines initial perceptions and changes in perceptions over the semester for intended accounting and non-accounting majors, and assesses the association of individual accounting instructors with changed student perceptions. We then examine the relationship between perceptual changes, final grades, and individual instructors on decisions to major in accounting. Responses from 331 introductory financial accounting students from two universities indicate that while intended accounting majors perceived the course more favorably than non-accounting majors at the beginning and end of the semester, both groups exhibited relatively positive attitudes toward the course. However, these attitudes were similarly less favorable by the end of the course for both groups. We also found evidence of the important role individual instructors play regarding changing student perceptions and selection of accounting as a major. The analyses for selection of accounting as a major indicate that the decision depended on initially intending to major in accounting, performance in the first course, and individual instructors, but not on changes in perception regarding the first course.
This paper traces the development of schools of accounting in the United States and examines the arguments for and against the establishment of separate schools of accounting. In tracing the development of schools of accounting, it becomes evident that the call for this concept is as old as the profession itself in the United States, and the underlying rationale still remains the same. From the very beginning, the concept of separate professional schools was supported for two fundamental reasons: (1) to improve the educational background and competency of accountants to better serve society, and (2) to provide visibility and a sense of identity to the profession. Proponents of separate schools of accounting contend that students would develop a better sense of professional identity and, in turn, achieve a greater degree of familiarity with professional ethics and morality. The primary opponents of the idea of establishing separate schools of accounting include university administrators, deans, and some faculty in business schools. From the viewpoint of university officials, establishment of separate schools of accounting may imply additional budgetary demands, the problem of allocating limited resources and the burden of creating an additional administrative unit. Opposition to the establishment of separate schools of accounting also comes from those who believe that attempting to segregate accounting from other business areas is artificial, and could result in an expensive redundancy in courses.
This paper examines whether multiple types of information are used in assessing faculty teaching performance and provides insight into the characteristics of departments where administrators use this assessment approach. The results show that student ratings are used by 95% of accounting departments administrators. Although 82% of administrators use multiple types of information to assess teaching performance, they employ, on average, less than three types of information and show a preference for non-systematic, subjective types of information. While the AACSB, the AECC and others have encouraged the use of multiple types of information in assessing teaching performance, the overall number of information types used by accounting administrators is significantly less than the broad set of items suggested for inclusion in a teaching portfolio. Administrators from accounting departments with Ph.D. programs and from departments accredited at both the college and department levels are most likely to use multiple types of information in assessing faculty teaching performance.
This paper presents a framework for integrating critical thinking into the accounting curriculum. This framework defines the basic elements of critical thinking. By breaking critical thinking into identifiable components one can then evaluate what aspects of the critical thinking process are being adequately addressed by the current curriculum, and which will need additional emphasis. Suggestions for implementation of this framework are made, with consideration given to the implications of the stages of college student intellectual development. This paper is intended to serve as a vehicle to organize discussions for accounting programs considering a comprehensive approach to incorporating critical thinking as an objective of their program.
Accounting standards are constantly evolving to meet the needs of a rapidly changing business environment and changes in accounting theory. Accounting students need to be familiar with the content of Exposure Drafts, since these documents reflect the Financial Accounting Standards Board's (FASB) position on current financial reporting issues. Students are generally not well versed on the standard setting process and how contextual factors affect this process. The purpose of this instructional assignment is to enhance students' understanding of how contextual factors affect the standard setting process within the context of the Exposure Draft on “Business Combinations and Intangible Assets.” The assignment requires that students examine the Exposure Draft and answer questions designed to elicit responses as to why the FASB is considering a new standard and the impact the standard would have on current accounting procedures and financial statements.
This study examines the current practices of AIS faculty in designing and teaching of the AIS course and then relates these practices to the systems skills expectations of accounting graduate employers (CPA firms, corporations, and government). Results indicate that only about 23% () of respondents perceive their graduates/entry-level hires at an above average level in systems skills preparedness. Differences exist in emphasis given to systems auditing (EDP), and database management systems. Differences in practical applications are in database management, word processing, accounting applications, and operating systems. Faculty show preference for use of computer hands-on projects, lecture, and case studies as instructional techniques and little use of manual practice sets and theoretical writing techniques. With many variations of what constitutes an ideal AIS course, the challenge remains for academics to design the AIS curricula to meet the diversity of career path goals while considering both their educational mission and employer expectations.
Much attention has been focused recently on the future direction, scope and structure of accounting education. One of the pervasive recommendations from professional bodies, accounting educators, and practitioner groups is that greater use of case studies should be made in the formal education of future accountants. At the same time, experiential evidence regarding the use of cases in accounting education is sparse. This paper reports implementation results of a revised cost accounting course format that included a significant case analysis component, attention to written and oral communications skills development, and task assignments in a small workgroup environment. Focus is made first on the affective dimension of the students' experience in the course. A special survey instrument to obtain information in this regard was administered to students both at the completion of the course and then a second time during the beginning of the following semester. Principal findings from the survey are as follows: (1) students rated the course highly with respect to its perceived impact on the attractiveness of accounting as a field of study and its positive impact on future business (including accounting) courses; (2) the course teaching methods had a beneficial impact on important aspects of the learning process (in particular, time-organization and interpersonal skills development); (3) the case analysis component of the course was viewed by students as the most interesting and valuable, albeit difficult, aspect of the course; (4) the course experience had a salutary impact on career specialization intentions; and (5) student perceptions were relatively constant between the two administrations of the survey. The paper concludes with a number of recommendations, gleaned from the five faculty who have taught the course the past 5 years, regarding the use of the case method in accounting. Together, the empirical results and recommendations are designed to facilitate more informed decision-making regarding case usage by other accounting educators.
Practitioners have consistently noted that entry-level accountants exhibit inadequate communication skills (Andrews & Sigband, 1984). Academics and practitioners agree that accounting students' writing and oral communication skills are the two major areas needing more attention in the curriculum (Simons & Higgins, 1993). Daly (1978) and McCroskey (1984) have found that poor communication is a result of either poor skills, apprehension, or both. This suggests a need to determine the level of apprehension in accounting majors prior to making curriculum/classroom changes. This study examines the level of communication apprehension in accounting majors. The results show that accounting majors have higher apprehension toward both written and oral communications than other business majors. Gender differences were found only for oral communication apprehension, with female accounting majors reporting the highest apprehension. The implications of these findings are discussed.
On 5 June 1993, a group of educators met to discuss the future of educational technology in accounting education. The roundtable was conducted by the new Center for Educational Technology in Accounting (CETA) at the University of North Texas and was funded by the National Center for Automated Information Research, which supports research in the use of computers in accounting and law. Roundtable participants included individuals knowledgeable in accounting education, educational technology, or both.The procedure was very informal. The discussion was allowed to continue with little guidance from the moderator. The proceedings were recorded, and from that recording a plan document was compiled. This paper attempts to define the important elements of that meeting and to describe the initial efforts of CETA to respond to those findings. The document contains discussions of (1) the problems, importance, and potential applications of educational technology (ET) in accounting, (2) dissemination of ET, and (3) possible means of furthering ET.
Concern over the declining quality of accounting students has led to widespread changes in accounting education. Yet, surprisingly little evidence exists to indicate that we can draw better students by changing curricula and teaching methodologies. This study adds to the rather small sampling of work on the relative quality of accounting majors. It focuses on the retention and attraction of high quality students with both analytical and verbal skills. The results show that the accounting major attracted and retained top students from the University. Students who chose an accounting major, however, tended to be stronger in analytical than verbal skills and this gap widened with attrition. Analytical skills related more strongly than verbal to performance in the introductory accounting course, although verbal skills became more important in more advanced coursework.
This study reports the results of an investigation into the learning approaches of undergraduate accounting and business students from three universities in Ireland who were exposed to a learning environment, namely the case study method, which aimed to encourage a deep approach to learning. In order to assess the effectiveness of the intervention, the ASSIST research instrument was used to investigate changes in students’ approaches to learning over time. Consistent with previous research, this study considers whether gender is related to students’ approaches to learning over time and if there are differences between students majoring in accounting or business in their approaches to learning. The results of the study indicate that the case study intervention was successful in some respects. However, contrary to expectations, an overall statistically significant increase in students’ surface approach to learning was found. Additionally, it is reported that changes in students’ approaches to learning over time are not associated with gender or degree program. The results of this study offer insights to accounting educators developing educational interventions to encourage deep approaches to learning.
This case requires that students use their understanding of cost estimation, cost-volume-profit analysis, and the time value of money to estimate damages in a lawsuit. New automobiles representing potential sales were diverted from Mooresville Honda, a dealer who did not participate in a bribery scheme that occurred within American Honda Motor Co. The assignment is to estimate the profit lost by Mooresville Honda because of the bribery Scheme. The case is based on an actual lawsuit and incorporates real-world relationships in the financial information.
Major changes are underway in accounting education, in part because of the encouragement of the Accounting Education Change Commission (AECC). To extend learning beyond the formal curriculum, the AECC advocates that accounting educators help students develop the ability to ‘learn how to learn.’ A learning technique called concept mapping, widely accepted in science education, is described in this paper. Concept mapping allows students to understand how they learn and how new knowledge is constructed. Students can then use this technique to ‘learn how to learn’ and carry knowledge absorption beyond their college experience.
Recently, many major public accounting firms have implemented flexible scheduling programs in order to improve their retention and promotion of female professionals. This case, which is based on interviews with Human Resources and Auditing personnel at a major firm, provides students with the opportunity to examine the costs and benefits of such a program. It highlights the importance of judgment, ethics and decision-making skills in situations where the financial impact is difficult to measure, and complements more traditional cases in the “special decisions” sections of the cost and managerial accounting courses.
This paper demonstrates the use of the basic accounting equation to provide the logic behind the steps commonly described in current accounting textbooks to reconcile net income to cash flow from operating activities. Such a framework provides students a better understanding of the indirect method of calculating cash flow from operating activities. A step-by-step analysis is provided to demonstrate how cash flow can be obtained using the basic accounting equation. The analysis provided in this paper also highlights the articulation of financial statements.
Twenty-five years of teaching accounting in the USSR and five years of analogous experience in the United States qualify me, I feel, to compare the educational methods of training accountants in these two countries. Since most of my potential readers are already familiar with the methods of instructing students of accounting in the United States, I will concentrate my discussion on the Soviet style of teaching accountants. In this article I refrain from making political judgments, since any criticism of Soviet policy and economics would only detract from the focus. My personal attitude toward the Soviet Union, its politics and economics is evidenced by my choice to emigrate to the United States.
We examine the association between student use of a unique, interactive, on-line learning system known as MarlinaLS™ and the learning outcomes achieved by students in a major second year undergraduate accounting subject over the period 2002–2003. Primarily, we explore the relationship between students’ use of MarlinaLS™, an on-line system developed specifically to enhance reciprocal learning, and the examination performance of those students. Our results show that students’ use of MarlinaLS™ is positively associated with their examination performance and also with the internal assessment result achieved. We also find that the extent of usage of the MarlinaLS™ system by students varies systematically based on a number of defined characteristics. The study enhances our understanding of the role of teaching strategies generally, and, more specifically, the role of interactive on-line learning systems in improving student learning outcomes.
This paper examines whether an ethics intervention administered during a graduate course in accounting is effective, and if effective, whether the observed moral development gains are transitory or persistent. An instrument that identifies the subjects' stages of ethical reasoning was used to assess the effectiveness of the intervention. An experiment and control group completed the test instrument at the beginning of the term prior to the intervention. At the end of the term, and 6 months after completing the term, students repeated this task.The results of this study indicate that the ethics intervention fosters the students' abilities to consistently consider ethical issues in their decision-making processes. However, gains in moral development appear to be transitory. These findings suggest that accountants may attain their highest state of ethical awareness if ethics issues are made a part of their continuing education programs.
This paper compares the job-related need fulfillment of academic accountants in 1994 with that reported nearly a quarter of a century earlier by Carpenter and Strawser (1971. A study of the job satisfaction of academic accountants. The Accounting Review (July), 46, 509-518). We also investigate whether job dissonance (dissatisfaction resulting from unmet needs) foreshadowed turnover of faculty respondents during the 2-year period following our survey. Results suggest that fulfillment for most job-related needs was lower for 1994 accounting educators than for their 1970 counterparts. Within the 1994 sample, certain perceptual differences were attributed to both race (black versus non-black) and gender. Regardless of demographics, however, reported job dissonance in 1994 was strongly associated with subsequent job turnover, particularly among assistant professors. Taking steps to reduce or eliminate job dissonance is arguably more important in today's environment than in 1994. Accounting faculty members today enjoy a greater number of opportunities and thus can more readily remove themselves from situations that create perceived job dissonance.
This paper describes a tutorial financial accounting instructional case study entitled FACT. The case is designed for use in the introductory financial accounting course or as a review resource in the intermediate accounting course. It is a comprehensive practice set that demonstrates the integrative nature of the accounting cycle in the microcomputer environment. The case focuses on the conceptual analysis of the accounting transactions from the inception of a company to preparation of the classified financial statements. The main features of this computerized case distinguish it from the other manual and computerized accounting practice sets. These features include: user-friendliness, advanced graphical user interface, automatic grading system, statistical analytical report of students' performance, automatic errors detection routine, and on-line textbook and tutorial assistance. The software has proved its versatility in reinforcing students' comprehension of the accounting cycle through its experimental use by over 36 universities in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and England. The flexibility of the software program provides the instructor with a number of options for use as a classroom instructional tool, test materials, short assignments, or a comprehensive course review. The average completion time for the case is four hours. No additional materials or previous knowledge of microcomputer applications are needed to complete the case study. (A free copy of the software can be obtained directly from the author.)
This paper suggests guidelines for writing accounting research papers that may be useful to accounting researchers who want to improve the chances that their work will be accepted by top journals and, if accepted, will have a significant impact on their field. The advice is illustrated mainly in the context of experimental research in audit judgment, but it is also applicable to other types of accounting research. Several guidelines for communicating the results of accounting research are offered, and these are broken down by the typical sections and subsections that are (or should be) included in well-written accounting research papers. While guidelines such as these cannot guarantee success (either in publication or impact), they nevertheless may provide a valuable framework for communicating and evaluating accounting research.
The potential for cognitive learning style (CLS) to develop students' learning competencies is limited by the variety of conceptualizations, constructs and instruments. This paper contrasts two models for operationalizing CLS: Furnham's [Furnham, A. (1995). The relationship between personality and intelligence to cognitive style and achievement. In D. H. Saklofske, M. Zeidner (Eds.), International handbook of personality and intelligence (pp. 397–413). New York: Plenum Press.] conceptualization of the roles of CLS, and Ramsden's [Ramsden, P. (1992). Learning to teach in higher education. London: Routledge.] contextual model of student learning. The origins of CLS, its fundamental dimensions, and methods of assessment are also reviewed. Five propositions suggesting ways accounting educators can make use of CLS and associated measures to help students ‘learn how to learn' are developed and recommendations for future research are offered.
In the current accounting academic environment, success in research and publications is an increasingly important precondition to professional success and advancement. The objective of this study is to help accounting faculty members to better understand how they might increase their success in the research and publication arena. A survey was conducted of 119 influential accounting researchers, defined as those with annual citation counts of 4.0 or more to their bodies of work in five top accounting journals. These authors were asked to identify and rate the most important factors contributing to their success in research and publications. Over half (62) responded and listed a total of 391 items. These are organized under several major headings as an aid to readers understanding of their commonalities and areas of emphasis.
The Accounting Education Change Commission is leading an effort to change accounting education. Whether or not accounting faculty will support such change largely depends on whether or not they agree with the nature and extent of the needed change. This paper reports the results of a survey of 984 accounting faculty undertaken to determine views of accounting faculty concerning the issues involved in the accounting education change effort. Results indicate that although overall there is wide agreement that change is needed, there is significant disagreement over both the extent and form of that change. Evidence suggests that differences in the demographics of the teaching environment and differences in faculty background are associated with differences in perceptions of the extent and form of needed change.
This study develops two models related to predicting students' grades in the first Intermediate Accounting course. The first model predicts variations in student scores on the initial exam in Intermediate Accounting I. Cumulative grade point averages, a students' major, whether or not the course was being repeated, exposure to introductory accounting principles at a junior college, and the grade obtained in the accounting principles course are used to predict the first test grade. Application of the model to students in a subsequent semester results in the correct prediction of approximately 41% of the specific grades obtained on the initial exam. A second regression model predicts variations in the final grades achieved in Intermediate Accounting I. The results of this model indicate that the student's initial Intermediate I test score, his or her grade point average, major, and where the introductory accounting course was taken, are significantly associated with the final grade achieved in Intermediate Accounting I. Application of the second model to a subsequent semester results in the correct prediction of approximately 66% of the specific final grades achieved in the course. Only 2% of the predicted grades are incorrect by more than one letter grade.
Recent accounting research (Bahnson, P., Miller, P., & Budge, B. (1996). Nonarticulation in cash flow statements and implications for education, research and practice. Accounting Horizons, 10, 1–15 has shown that firms implementing the indirect method for reporting cash flows under SFAS 95 rarely produce financial statements that articulate cleanly. The purposes of this paper are (1) to provide financial accounting educators with a list of companies for which articulation does exist, (2) to describe the process by which educators can update the list in the future, or modify it to suit their own preferences, and (3) to present an analysis of firms’ reporting practices on the cash flow statement, which may be of interest to more advanced students studying the complexities of the statement of cash flows. This analysis of reporting practices involves an assessment of the articulation of individual COMPUSTAT line items (e.g. inventory) and subsets of line items (e.g. inventory, receivables, deferred taxes, and depreciation) for the 1998 data year. The findings indicate that relatively few firms report consistent values for single line items and that very few firms report consistent values across subsets of line items. Although the rate of articulation decreases as firm size, and hence reporting complexity, increases, 74 large, publicly-traded firms for which clean articulation does exist were identified. This list of firms should prove useful to introductory accounting educators who use real-world examples for classroom purposes.
The purpose of this study was to examine the competencies demanded and supplied by the introductory accounting sequence. A random sample of Accounting faculty was surveyed to determine the topic coverage believed to be important to students majoring in accounting and the extent of conceptual knowledge and technical ability that accounting majors should achieve for each topic. To provide greater insight, the results of this survey were compared to the results of a survey of Finance, Management and Marketing faculty that used the same research instrument. Among the findings is that the most important competencies demanded by Accounting faculty are those related to financial accounting topics. The competencies demanded by Finance faculty are most closely aligned with those demanded by Accounting faculty, while Management and Marketing faculty demand more competencies related to managerial accounting topics. These and other findings should prove useful in the design and development of the introductory accounting sequence.