Purpose – This paper aims to examine undergraduate students’ attitudes towards the accounting profession, including accounting as a career, as a discipline, as a profession and perceptions of the work activities of accountants.
Design/methodology/approach – The data set used in this paper was collected via questionnaires. The present study compares several aspects of a prior study of Marriott and Marriott using the Accounting Attitude Scale developed by Nelson.
Findings – Overall, the paper supports the view that exposure to accounting at university does not enhance positive attitudes about accounting as a discipline, but reinforces rule-memorisation, and lack of involvement with conceptual skills or judgement.
Research limitations/implications – The paper only examines students’ attitudes at one point in time and does not attempt to identify whether students’ attitudes change over the period of their study. The paper can only speculate as to why there is a difference between local and international students’ attitude towards the accounting profession. Third, the questionnaire is only administered at one institution. There is a scope to extend this study across institutions as well as conduct a longitudinal study. In order to validate the findings, further research via in-depth interviews with students may help determine the factors that influence students’ attitudes.
Originality/value – The results from this paper are expected to contribute to the body of research by providing accounting educators with insights into how the curriculum may influence students’ attitudes towards the profession, together with implications as to how the profession should be promoted to undergraduate students.
Field of Research
150199 Accounting, Auditing and Accountability not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective
970115 Expanding Knowledge in Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services