کسب و کار الکترونیکی در آموزش حسابداری در انگلستان و ایرلند: تأثیرات ورود به برنامه درسی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|10382||2013||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||9400 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : The International Journal of Management Education, Volume 11, Issue 3, November 2013, Pages 150–162
With the increasing impact of e-business within economies worldwide there are implications for accountants, the accounting profession and the providers of accounting education. This study uses a postal questionnaire to seek perceptions of accounting academics on the factors influencing them to include or exclude e-business related topics in UK and Irish undergraduate accounting degree programmes and to explore the likely future direction of e-business coverage in such degrees. Findings indicate that respondents generally felt that e-business is important and should be included in accounting degrees: both to reflect changes in the business environment and to increase the employability of graduates. However, the majority of respondents did not themselves teach any e-business topics to accounting students. While this could be attributed to a combination of factors, the most significant impediment to further emphasis on e-business was reported to be the lack of space in already crowded syllabi. Interestingly, lack of staff expertise or teaching materials were not considered to be major impediments. Although the focus of this study is the UK and Ireland, the empirical results have potential implications for the wider community of accounting educators by widening the international perspective on the issues addressed.
Electronic business (hereafter, e-business) has enabled businesses to evolve from physical, or linked computer-based, organisations to organisations where different business parties (customers, suppliers, and other counterparties) at different locations interact only, or mainly, using the Internet and the Web. This has in turn significantly changed both the way business is conducted and the accounting and auditing of those businesses (Auditing Practices Board (APB), 2001; Australian Accounting Research Foundation (AARF), 2002; Gale & Abraham, 2005; Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), 2003; Kotb & Roberts, 2011a; Kotb, Roberts, & Sian, 2012; Phillips & Kirby, 2002). As Arnold and Sutton (2007) argue, this means that accounting graduates should now have a very different education from that of earlier generations, who had entered the job market in a world characterised by simple computerised systems and manual processes. There has been much interest over the years on the impact of technological innovations on accounting curricula, ranging from the simplest, such as word-processing software or electronic spreadsheets, to the complex, such as information systems security or control technologies (Albrecht & Sack, 2000; Ahmed, 2003; Armitage & Boritz, 1986; Chang & Hwang, 2003; Coe, 2005; Crawford, Helliar, Monk, & Stevenson, 2011; David, MacCracken, & Reckers, 2003; Edmonds, 1988; Fink, 1998; Harrast, Strong, & Bromley, 2010; Heagy & Gallun, 1994; Helliar, Monk, Stevenson, & Allison, 2007; Marriott, 2004; Waller & Gallun, 1985). However, little research interest has been shown in the place of e-business in the accounting curriculum. Exceptionally, Rezaee, Elam, and Cassidy (2005) and Rezaee, Lambert, and Harmon (2006) found that e-business is seen as being an important component of North American business and accounting education, with accounting educators expecting both the demand for, and the provision of, e-business education to continue to increase. Fusilier and Durlabhji (2010) investigate e-business masters degrees offered internationally, finding an increase in programmes offered outside North America and greater focussing towards non-technical content in North American programmes. However, the position of e-business in undergraduate accounting programmes outside North America is less clear. The noticeable exceptions are Kotb and Roberts (2011b) who found that very few UK and Irish universities offer an e-business module within undergraduate accounting degree programmes and, when the subject is thought to warrant a standalone module, it is optional.1 This study attempts to illuminate the position in the UK and Ireland, where the position appears to be quite different to the US, by investigating the reasons behind decisions to include or not include e-business in the accounting curriculum. To gain a greater understanding of the state of e-business coverage in accounting degrees in the UK and Ireland, it is important not only to examine what is being taught and how it is being taught (Kotb & Roberts, 2011b; Rezaee et al., 2006), but, perhaps more importantly, to explore why it is, or is not, being taught. Given the findings of the only UK and Ireland based study (Kotb & Roberts, 2011b) that e-business is, at best, only lightly covered in the typical accounting degree, the present study aims to, (i) identify factors influencing the decision to include or exclude e-business content in these degrees and to (ii) explore the likely future direction of e-business education within them. These two objectives were achieved by conducting a postal survey of accounting academics in UK and Irish universities. The next section discusses motivations and rationales for university accounting curricula change, in order to provide a background for the study. The third section outlines the data collection process. The penultimate section presents and discusses the survey findings, which are discussed further in the concluding section which addresses the implications of the results for undergraduate university accounting education.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The focus of this study is the UK and Ireland, where published research on e-business education within undergraduate accounting education remains very limited. Although this study is geographically limited, in this increasingly technological and globalised world the findings of the study are likely to be relevant internationally. E-business is a global activity and accounting students worldwide are likely to be exposed to it, after graduation if not before. The principal aim of this study was to establish factors influencing the teaching of e-business within undergraduate accounting degrees. This was achieved by utilising a postal survey of accounting academics at British and Irish Universities. Respondents generally felt that e-business was important and should be taught in order to reflect changes in the business environment. However, it was found that the e-business education provided to accounting students is still very limited, which is in contrast to the situation in the US (Rezaee et al., 2006). While the UK & Irish academics surveyed indicated that the emphasis placed on e-business is expected to increase, the evidence suggests that far fewer actually had any plans to themselves place more emphasis on e-business related topics. Whilst this may be a perception of different time scales implied by the survey questions, it is equally possible that this is an indication that though seen as desirable, these developments will be slow to materialise. However, the penetration of e-business in the UK, and global, economies means it is important that accounting students are exposed to how the e-business environment differs from the traditional business world and are made aware of the impact it is having upon accounting practice and the role of the accountant. Universities not addressing this issue risk reducing the employability of their accounting graduates and widening the already evident gap between university accounting education and the business environment. The limited coverage of e-business identified in this survey is in contrast to the finding that there is a fairly widespread view that e-business is important and relevant. The reasons for this apparent anomaly were complex and indicated the nature of the different perceptions and attitudes of those who had and had not adopted some e-business topics into their teaching. The academics adopting e-business indicated that the most influential reasons for this were the growing implementation of e-business models by organisations and the resultant need to keep students abreast of IT developments, the need to make graduates more desirable in the marketplace, and the importance of meeting the profession's needs by filling a skills gap in accounting education. For these e-business adopting academics the lack of specific accreditation requirements in the area, e-business research interests, and (un)availability of IT competent academic staff were reported as not being very important factors in their decisions on curricula content. For this group of accounting educators the main motivating factor, taking the reasons together, appeared to be the student and professional market related influences. The accounting educators who had not implemented e-business related material, on the other hand, indicated the most important negative influences were not having sufficient time in an already crowded syllabus and the lack of accreditation requirements. Lack of relevant teaching materials and a perception that e-business is outside of the scope of accounting education were considered moderately important and the lack of IT competent staff, of research interest in the e-business area and, of student interest were not seen as being very important reasons for excluding e-business content from degrees. However, when looked at together the most important group of issues explaining non-adoption of e-business materials seems to be those related to institutional factors: lack of relevant materials, qualified staff and research interest. To conclude, in order to maintain the social and legitimising roles of universities in society, accounting educators need to find a suitable balance between traditional accounting topics and emerging issues relevant to accounting. One such emerging issue is e-business. As knowledge and skills of e-business are becoming increasingly important in business, so integration of these into the accounting curriculum becomes an increasing priority. This study found that although e-business is considered of to be an important trend and that it was thought that e-business aspects ought to be included in accounting programmes, related materials and topics are not being widely included in accounting programmes. In order to serve the needs of students and the accounting profession, accounting academics need to take proactive steps to integrate e-business materials into undergraduate accounting modules and to attempt to overcome the barriers and negative influences to moves in this direction. There appears to be a latent recognition of this need in at least some sectors of the accounting academy, but significantly less evidence of plans to change in that direction. Is it time for a change in attitude and a linked need for action? The present study has a number of limitations, each of which is indicative of possible future research. First, this study was conducted within the UK and Ireland, and whilst the similar structures and culture in other parts of the world are likely to lead to similar issues, they are unlikely to be identical. Further research of similar factors in other different contexts could therefore be insightful. Second, due to the nature and extent of the survey and despite the acceptable response rate the number of responses is relatively small. Thirdly, although responses were tested for non-response bias possible bias could not be fully assessed. In particular, the sample might be biased towards universities with higher levels of e-business coverage and the sample was more directed to academics with interests in this area, possibly biasing the results and not allowing specific comparison between academics with research or teaching interests in other subject areas such as financial accounting, management accounting or taxation. Together these three limitations suggest that future surveys could usefully add to our understanding by widening the scope of the survey. In addition to broadening the range of accounting academics surveyed, surveying the views of the accounting profession and employers of accounting graduates would provide insights to external (and vocational) demands and pressures on the accounting curriculum. Finally, the questionnaire did not include specific suggested e-business topics or model curriculum that could be taught within accounting programs, limiting the depth and comprehensiveness of the collected views. Whilst this strategy was adopted to lessen potential bias in the data collection, other approaches could lead to more insight into the types of material taught or perceived to be important in this arena of knowledge and teaching strategy. A further route to additional research insights would be to employ alternative research techniques (such as interviews or curriculum content analysis) to gain insights that are not possible from questionnaires.