Challenges in Experimental Accounting Research, and the Role of Online Platforms

38 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2019 Last revised: 18 Aug 2020

See all articles by Justin Leiby

Justin Leiby

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Kristina M. Rennekamp

SC Johnson Graduate School of Business; Cornell SC Johnson College of Business

Ken Trotman

UNSW Australia Business School, School of Accounting

Date Written: August 17, 2020

Abstract

In this paper, we survey experienced experimental researchers across audit, financial accounting and managerial accounting to understand their beliefs about the biggest challenges facing experimental accounting research. By far, the biggest challenge identified by respondents is access to participants. We then discuss how the challenges identified by respondents might be either mitigated or exacerbated by the use of online platforms. Further, we offer suggestions to how researchers might increase confidence that they are accessing appropriate participants for a given research question. We conclude with a discussion of opportunities for how online platforms might be used going forward. Our paper provides a framework for understanding how online platforms might be used to address some of the biggest challenges facing experimental accounting research, and may serve as a starting point in reconciling opposing viewpoints on the appropriateness of their use. We argue that careful screening of participants and increased transparency go a long way towards improving the credibility, and therefore the impact, of JDM research.

Keywords: Experimental research, auditing, financial accounting, managerial accounting, online recruiting, Mechanical Turk

Suggested Citation

Leiby, Justin and Rennekamp, Kristina M. and Trotman, Ken, Challenges in Experimental Accounting Research, and the Role of Online Platforms (August 17, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3350692 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3350692

Justin Leiby (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ( email )

1206 S 6th St
Champaign, IL 61822
United States
2173007825 (Phone)

Kristina M. Rennekamp

SC Johnson Graduate School of Business ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States
607-255-0500 (Phone)

Cornell SC Johnson College of Business ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14850
United States

Ken Trotman

UNSW Australia Business School, School of Accounting ( email )

Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

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