Article: Metrejean, Eddie and Noland, Thomas.“An Analysis of CPA Firm Recruiters’ Perceptions of Online Masters of Accounting Degrees.”Journal of Education for Business 86 (2011): 25–30. Print.
Abstracted by: Name
Purpose: The authors were examining the perception of the CPA firm recruiters on the significance of online Master of Accounting in their hiring decision making principles since there is a rise of online education. In the recent past, online education has been common and the system continues to swell at a very high speed due to increased internet accessibility and software that makes the program possible as well as the fact that it is more convenient to students. However, there has been the question of the quality of online education especially considering that there is lack of technical skills involved yet it remains vital in the accounting profession. CPA firms are primarily interested in the ability of the accounting graduates to perform in public accounting and therefore their perception regarding the online program graduates.
Method: A survey instrument was sent via email to individuals with key responsibility for the firm’s university recruiting in107 CPA firms in the Georgia State where the respondents were to respond to a particular link in the email. The Georgia Society of CPAs’ 2008 Guide to Public Accounting Firms was used in identifying firms and only firms with either 10 or more than 10 professionals were selected. Research instrument was further divided into two versions, one that stated that the candidate was enrolled in the traditional MACC program and the one which indicated that the candidate was enrolled in the online program. To ensure desirability of the candidates, all the students were 23 years old and possessed professional appearance and presence and their undergraduate GPA in accounting is 3.25. Additionally, the students were qualified to take CPA exam, qualified for a bachelor’s degree in accounting and had expressed career objectives attuned to the respondents firm.
Description: The authors were interested in knowing the recruiting firms perception concerning the traditional and online MACC while making their decisions. Online MACC graded a bit lower than the traditional one although, the results showed that there was no much difference in the firm’s discernments. Completion and attainment of certificate was the most important thing for employers and only things like errors made in the student’s resume could deter them from being recruited. The recruiting firms also considered the communication skills for recruits to be a vital requirement.
The result obtained may have not been very accurate because there was a very low response rate of almost 26.17%. In addition, the study was only conducted in Georgia where there is no accredited school of accountancy compared with other states, which must have had experience with online programs in MACC. Most firms only higher employees based on their undergraduate performance and do not bother focussing on how they got the education.
Every student, regardless of their mode of study has equal chance of being recruited because recruiting CPA firms are not interested at all at the learning approach the candidates underwent. The firms are only interested in the fact that the student has passed either all or part of the CPA exam. It is evident that the online education will continue spreading and that educational institution should strive to make it much better by strengthening the accounting program and eventually the accounting profession.
Evaluation: Although the study was important in addressing currentconcern amongst many students who are not sure whether to undertake the online or traditional MACC, the way it was carried did not up the task. Conclusion drawn and the result obtained may have changed and probably become accurate if the research was done perfectly or in accordance with the research requirements. The study was not that satisfactory and it had several limitations including picking a small sample and conducting the study at a specific geographical area. The researchers could have visited the recruiting firms themselves and find out about the perception of the recruiting firms. This would have perhaps increased the rate of response thus increasing the accuracy level. Sending survey instruments may not be satisfactory owing to the low number of response because the respondents were just too reluctant to respond. The sample could have been increased and spread in various states especially where there are numerous accredited institutions offering online MACC as well as more other institutions offering traditional MACC. It is also clear that most recruiting firms only consider the recruits undergraduate performance but not the graduate studies and therefore online MACC may not be important.
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