Does Graduate Education Contribute to Professional Accounting Success?

Posted: 11 Jul 2005

See all articles by Benson Wier

Benson Wier

Virginia Commonwealth University

Dan N. Stone

University of Kentucky - Von Allmen School of Accountancy

James E. Hunton

Bentley University - Department of Accountancy; Erasmus University

Abstract

We investigate the value of graduate business education in learning tacit knowledge and achieving professional accounting success. Archival (n = 5,932) and survey (n = 2,941) data from managerial accountants employed at 2,525 North American companies in three industries (publishing, paper, and chemical) indicate that job performance evaluations (JPEs) of those who hold either a Masters of Accountancy (MAcc) or MBA degree are generally higher than non-master's (NM) degree accountants. We find some evidence that professionals with master's degrees, as compared to NM professionals, have higher levels of two forms of tacit managerial knowledge (TMK): self and others. The results also suggest that MAcc and MBA degrees contribute to success differentially throughout the professionals' careers. Specifically, a MAcc degree provides greater benefit than a MBA degree in the early and middle career years, while an MBA degree provides greater benefit than a MAcc degree in later career years. The results indicate that MAcc and MBA degrees contribute to success by increasing specific types of knowledge and enhancing ones' ability to learn.

Keywords: Tacit knowledge, education, professional success, job performance

JEL Classification: M40, M46

Suggested Citation

Wier, Benson and Stone, Dan N. and Hunton, James E., Does Graduate Education Contribute to Professional Accounting Success?. Accounting Horizons Accounting Horizons, Vol. 19, No. 2, pp. 99-114, June 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=397620

Benson Wier (Contact Author)

Virginia Commonwealth University ( email )

School of Business 301 W. Main St.
Richmond, VA 23284
United States
804-828-7162 (Phone)
804-828-8884 (Fax)

Dan N. Stone

University of Kentucky - Von Allmen School of Accountancy ( email )

Lexington, KY 40506
United States
859-257-3043 (Phone)
859-257-3654 (Fax)

James E. Hunton

Bentley University - Department of Accountancy ( email )

175 Forest Street
Waltham, MA 02452
United States

Erasmus University

Rotterdam
Netherlands

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