The role of prior accounting education and work experience

Byrne, M. and Willis, P. (2014) The role of prior accounting education and work experience. In: Routledge Companion to Accounting Education. UNSPECIFIED, pp. 145-162.


This chapter adopts a constructivist stance which identifies prior knowledge as being a significant factor which influences students' achievements. For many incoming tertiary accounting students, their initial knowledge of accounting is acquired through studying the subject in school and/or by gaining experience in the accounting workplace. The chapter documents and evaluates previous research which has focussed on prior accounting education and work experience, and the influence of these factors on performance, career choice, and perceptions of accounting. The absence of significant research exploring the content and style of school accounting courses is highlighted. Additionally, the inconsistent findings regarding the impact of prior study on subsequent performance are also discussed. Finally, the chapter concludes by outlining several avenues for further research which would provide educators and the accounting profession with enhanced insights into their students' first experiences of accounting.

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