Challenges in Experimental Accounting Research, and the Role of Online Platforms
38 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2019 Last revised: 18 Aug 2020
Date Written: August 17, 2020
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
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