High School Teachers’ Perceptions of Accounting: An International Study

Australian Journal of Accounting Education, Vol. 2, No. 1, 2006

23 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2010

See all articles by Paul K Wells

Paul K Wells

Auckland University of Technology

Peter Fieger

Massey University

Date Written: August 25, 2010

Abstract

A decline in enrollments in accounting programs in the United States of America has been well documented over the last decade. Some researchers have suggested that this decline is in part due to the misinformation or lack of information about the nature of accounting and the duties performed by accountants. Other studies have found that a significant number of students make their career choice decisions while at high school and that teachers are influential in this decision making process. Hardin, O’Bryan and Quirin (2000) carried out a study to identify the perceptions of US high school teachers of the accounting profession compared to engineering, law and medicine based on 24 attributes of a profession. We have replicated this study in both Australia and New Zealand to ascertain whether the US results could be generalised. Our findings indicate that the results from the NZ and Australian studies are similar to the results from the US study. This is of particular concern given the efforts of the professional accounting bodies in Australia and NZ to improve the image of accountants since the original US study was undertaken. This implies there are significant issues for educators and the profession. These include, repositioning the image of the profession, and a possible mismatch between the requisite skills perceived by the teachers and those sought by the profession.

Keywords: perceptions, accounting, career-choice

JEL Classification: I21, M41

Suggested Citation

Wells, Paul K and Fieger, Peter, High School Teachers’ Perceptions of Accounting: An International Study (August 25, 2010). Australian Journal of Accounting Education, Vol. 2, No. 1, 2006, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1665986

Paul K Wells (Contact Author)

Auckland University of Technology ( email )

AUT City Campus
Private Bag 92006
Auckland, 1142
New Zealand

Peter Fieger

Massey University

Private Bag 11 222
Palmerston North, Manawatu 4442
New Zealand

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