Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Medical Science)


Accounting education has been controversial for several decades because of diverse interests among stakeholders regarding content, structure, competencies, and experience needed by entry-level accountants. Elevating debate was the introduction and adoption of a 150-hour requirement among most of the 55 jurisdictions that regulate public accounting. Although the 150-hour requirement stipulates the minimum number of credit hours and a baccalaureate or higher degree, considerable flexibility exists for accounting programs as to coursework and level of education. Additionally, little uniformity exists regarding the amount and type of experience required for certification or licensure. Such diverse conditions, along with widespread implementation of the 150- hour requirement, prompted this study to focus on cu1Ticular components of content, program structure, and experiential requirements that are ongoing academic questions in accounting

Given the prominent influence on accounting education by practitioners and educators, this study surveyed both groups in an eleven state Midwest region of the United States that had adopted the 150-hour requirement. Questions related to curricular issues in accountancy guided the development of survey questionnaires administered to a random sample consisting of 1,000 Managing Partners at CPA firms, and concurrently, to 187 Accounting Chairpersons from baccalaureate and higher institutions

This study found that the 150-hour requirement influences the time commitment and kind of educational structure preferred by practitioners and educators. The study also revealed that neither practitioners nor educators support specialization during the formal educational experience. Majorities from both accounting groups prefer two years of work experience prior to licensure for entry-level accountants with practitioners clearly choosing public accounting over other experience. There were significant differences between practitioners and educators as to appropriate subject/course offerings at both the undergraduate and graduate level. However, while specific differences were identified at the undergraduate level of education, findings are more ambiguous at the graduate level. Finally, both practitioners and educators ranked their own group highest among certain other stakeholder groups regarding the level of authority to prescribe curriculum