Research Skills: A Fundamental Asset for Accountants

By Burke, Jacqueline A.; Katz, Robert et al. | The CPA Journal, January 2008 | Go to article overview

Research Skills: A Fundamental Asset for Accountants


Burke, Jacqueline A., Katz, Robert, Handy, Sheila A., Polimeni, Ralph S., The CPA Journal


The 21st century accountant is more of a consultant than in the past, and needs to be able to locate both financial and nonfinancial information. Accountants need to know what databases and other resources to access, how to extract the relevant data, and how to organize and analyze the data and develop recommendations. Accounting educators are responsible for teaching students the skills that are essential to this research.

Importance of Research Skills for Accountants

In "Position Statement Number One, Objectives of Education for Accountants" (Issues in Accounting Education, 1990), the Accounting Education Change Commission (AECC), appointed by the American Accounting Association (AAA), stressed the importance of research skills to accounting students. According to the AECC, as part of having the appropriate skills, accounting graduates should possess the "ability to locate, obtain and organize information." Accounting graduates must have a strong:

[A]bility to identify, gather, measure, summarize, verify, analyze, and interpret financial and nonfinancial data that are useful for addressing the goals, problems, and opportunities ... the focus should be on developing analytical and conceptual thinking, not on memorizing professional standards.

As the result of a more recent study, "Accounting Education: Chartering the Course Through a Perilous Future" (W-S. Albrecht and R.J. Sack, American Accounting Association, 2000), the profession urged educators to focus on teaching more critical-thinking skills rather than more content. In order to prepare students for the complex business environment, instructors were encouraged to help tiiem acquire research skills.

Research Skills and the CPA Exam

The AICPA acknowledges that accounting graduates need to be proficient in conducting research. The CPA examination now tests the research skills of accounting candidates. According to the AICPA'S "Skills for the Uniform CPA examination" (available at www.cpa-exam.org/download/CBT_skills_weights_fi nal.pdf, 2003), which details the most important skills-based competencies that accounting students need for the profession, candidates must demonstrate their ability to conduct research: to search the professional literature, identify relevant information, and form conclusions. According to the AICPA, candidates are expected to demonstrate the "ability to review current rules, regulations and interpretations in a particular context" for accounting, auditing and attestation, and tax literature. The following is a specific example provided by the AICPA on a question that would assess this skill:

Use the Financial Accounting Research System (FARS) research materials available under the RESOURCES tab to find the answer to the following question in either the Current Text or the Original Pronouncements. Copy the appropriate citation in its entirety from the source you have chosen and paste it into the space provided below. Use only one source. (AICPA Skills 2003, p. 2)

According to the AICPA's "Core Competency Framework to the Skills Tested on the CPA Exam" (available at: ceae.aicpa.org/Resources/Education+and+C urriculum+Development/Core+Competenc y+Framework+and+Educational+Compete ncy+Assessment+Web+Site), the specific question might concern an issue involving the revenue-recognition or matching principle. The candidate could be required to come to a conclusion about the appropriate accounting treatment based on the research material chosen. As stated by die AICPA:

Many accounting profession functions depend on obtaining information from within and outside of an entity. Accordingly, the individual preparing to enter the accounting profession needs to have strong research skills to access relevant guidance or other information, understand it, and apply it. (AICPA Core Competency, p. 4)

Computers and Research Skills

Being computer literate is not the equivalent to being research literate. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Research Skills: A Fundamental Asset for Accountants
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.