This study investigates the impact that software utilization may have on students' knowledge acquisition of the accounting cycle. Differences in knowledge acquisition are examined between three groups of students: those who completed an accounting case manually using the traditional pencil and paper approach, using software, and first manually and then using software. The main research question is: “To what extent does using computers to study the accounting cycle lead to better knowledge acquisition?” This paper aims to inform changes in accounting education.
The survey method was employed to collect information from accounting students in a Canadian business school. A total of 1,053 usable questionnaires were returned. Declarative knowledge and procedural knowledge are the theoretical underpinnings.
The results indicate that students who first completed the case manually and then completed the same case using accounting software experienced the best knowledge acquisition. This suggests that the best manner for students to acquire concrete knowledge of the accounting cycle is by completing cases using both methods. The results also indicate that students who completed the case using only the software experienced better knowledge acquisition than did students who completed the case only manually. This suggests that software can be effectively utilized and integrated in class to improve knowledge acquisition of accounting information systems.
Little investigation has been performed on the usefulness and impact accounting software utilization may have on students' level of learning. The findings may benefit students and faculty members by helping in curriculum design changes, course design, and computer implementation decisions. The findings of this study have the potential to make a difference in the way that educators teach and business students learn. Business education may be improved by the judicious use of software in the classroom.
The author is grateful to participants at the ISAIS 2011 (International Symposium on AIS) in Rome, Italy, the INTED 2010 (International Technology, Education and Development Conference) in Valencia, Spain, the 2012 CAAA (Canadian Academic Accounting Association) Conference, Charlottetown PEI, and to Fred Phillips for the useful comments provided. This research was financially supported by grants from FQRSC, the CAAA program, the Bell Research Center, and the CGA Research Center at the John Molson School of Business. The author would like to thank Yvonne Morkos, Emma Nardi, Isabelle Goulet, and Felix Lavictoire-Boulianne for data assistance.
Boulianne, E. (2014), "Impact of accounting software utilization on students' knowledge acquisition: An important change in accounting education", Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 22-48. https://doi.org/10.1108/JAOC-12-2011-0064Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited