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Analysis of accounting student perceptions towards the desire for a career as qualified accountants: case study on higher education in medan

Analysis of accounting student perceptions towards the desire for a career as qualified accountants: case study on higher education in medan
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The purpose of this research is to identify and analyze what factors influence accounting students to have a career as qualified accountants. The short term goal of this research is that the identification results of this study can be used as a basis for the preparation of learning and non-learning programs and strategies that can increase the interest of accounting students to pursue a career as qualified accountants.

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Analysis of accounting student perceptions towards the desire for a career as qualified accountants: case study on higher education in medan

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Nội dung Text: Analysis of accounting student perceptions towards the desire for a career as qualified accountants: case study on higher education in medan

Research Journal of Finance and Accounting www.iiste.org<br />
ISSN 2222-1697 (Paper) ISSN 2222-2847 (Online)<br />
Vol.11, No.2, 2020<br />
<br />
<br />
Analysis of Accounting Student Perceptions towards the Desire for<br />
a Career as Qualified Accountants: Case Study on Higher<br />
Education in Medan<br />
Asriyati<br />
Politeknik Negeri Medan<br />
<br />
Amran Harun<br />
Politeknik Negeri Medan<br />
Abstract<br />
The purpose of this research is to identify and analyze what factors influence accounting students to have a career<br />
as qualified accountants. The short term goal of this research is that the identification results of this study can be<br />
used as a basis for the preparation of learning and non-learning programs and strategies that can increase the<br />
interest of accounting students to pursue a career as qualified accountants. While the long-term goal is to increase<br />
the interest of accounting students to have a career as a qualified accountant, so that Indonesian accountants can<br />
catch up. Data were collected by distributing questionnaires to 374 accounting students in four randomly selected<br />
tertiary institutions. The tertiary institution which is the place of research consists of two state universities and two<br />
private universities with the largest number of accounting students in the city of Medan. The data collected will be<br />
tested using multiple linear regression models, to see salaries, opportunities to progress and students’ perceptions<br />
about the accountant profession about the desire of students to have a career as a qualified accountant.<br />
Keywords: Perception, Accountant, Qualified, Career<br />
DOI: 10.7176/RJFA/11-2-10<br />
Publication date: January 31st 2020<br />
<br />
1. Introduction<br />
Accounting is a system of recording, classifying, and summarizing financial information in such a way that users<br />
of information can make economic decisions based on it. An accountant is a professional who performs accounting<br />
functions such as auditing or financial statement analysis. Accountants can be employed with accounting firms or<br />
large companies with internal accounting departments, or they can regulate individual practices. Accountants are<br />
certified by national professional associations after meeting country-specific requirements, although people who<br />
do not qualify can still work under other accountants or independently (Kindig, 2019. https://bizfluent.com/about-<br />
4731157-historical-development- accounting.html)<br />
With the advent of the Industrial Revolution at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century,<br />
accounting developed even further and stood alone as a profession. Cost accounting practices become prevalent<br />
when business owners and managers try to understand the best ways to make their business as efficient as possible.<br />
Josiah Wedgwood, owner of the famous British pottery factory, was the first to use cost accounting to understand<br />
what his company was spending and to eliminate unnecessary expenses. With the new complexity of accounting<br />
and the increasing demand for accurate bookkeeping, people began to specialize in accounting, thus becoming the<br />
first professional public accountant. Some accounting companies that are still operating today were founded in the<br />
mid-nineteenth century. William Deloitte opened his company in 1845, and Samuel Price and Edwin Waterhouse<br />
opened a business with them in 1849.<br />
Today accountants are a stand-alone profession with thousands of practitioners around the world and a large<br />
number of professional organizations and official guidelines for developing practices and regulations. Especially<br />
in the United States during the ‘great depression’, demands were made to better standardize accounting practices<br />
and set professional guidelines. At present, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, or GAAP, set standards<br />
that must be used by a public accountant. Each country has a similar set of accounting guidelines.<br />
Because of the complex nature of the current economic system, specialized accounting branches have developed.<br />
In addition to traditional financial accounting, there are now subdivisions, such as tax accounting, management<br />
accounting, lean accounting, fund accounting and project accounting. Professional accountants are needed for<br />
these fields, because they involve the need for a thorough and specific understanding of business needs and<br />
accounting practices.<br />
To practice the accounting profession in Indonesia, individuals must become members of the Indonesian Institute<br />
of Accountants (IAI) (for accountants) or the Indonesian Institute of Certified Public Accountants (IAPI) (for<br />
<br />
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Vol.11, No.2, 2020<br />
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public accountants)). Under Minister of Higher Education Decree No. 153 of 2014 concerning the Professional<br />
Accounting Education Program, the successful completion of Professional Accountant Education / Professional<br />
Accounting Education Program (PPAk) is a prerequisite for membership in one of the accounting bodies. People<br />
who pass the PPAk are issued with a registered State Accountant / State Accreditation (Ak) by the Financial<br />
Professional Development Center / Financial Services Professional Supervision Center (PPPK). Both IAI and IAPI<br />
set requirements for each membership, including qualification exams, practical experience, and ongoing<br />
professional development (IFAC, 2016).<br />
In its development, the accountant profession is still far behind compared to its neighbors in ASEAN. Indonesia is<br />
the most populous population in ASEAN, and produces the most accounting graduates in ASEAN each year, an<br />
average of around 35,000 graduates. However, for the number of professional accountants based on population<br />
ratios, Indonesia ranks only 6th, far below Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Phiphina and slightly below Brunei.<br />
Tables 1 and 2 show data on the number of accounting graduates per year, the number of professional accountants,<br />
and the number of accountants per one million population in ten ASEAN countries.<br />
Table 1. Number of Accounting Graduates per Year and Number of Accountants Join the Professional<br />
Accountants Association in the Ten ASEAN Countries<br />
Number of Accounting Graduates Number of Accountants in the Professional<br />
No Country<br />
Every Year Accountants Association (2015)<br />
<br />
1 Brunei 250 56<br />
<br />
2 Cambodia – 291<br />
<br />
3 Indonesia 35.000 24.587<br />
<br />
4 Lao PDR 1.080 176<br />
<br />
5 Malaysia 5.000 31.815<br />
<br />
6 Myanmar – 1.948<br />
<br />
7 Philiphines 15.000 18.214<br />
<br />
8 Singapore 1.000 28.891<br />
<br />
9 Thailand 20.000 62.739<br />
<br />
10 Vietnam 2.000 9.800<br />
<br />
AMOUNT 178.517<br />
<br />
Source: Avianti (2015)<br />
Table 2. Number of Population in Thousands and Number of Accountants by One Million Population in<br />
Ten ASEAN Countries<br />
Number of Population in Number of Accountants Every One Million<br />
No Country<br />
Thousands (Dec’2014) Population<br />
<br />
1 Brunei 406,2 138<br />
<br />
2 Cambodia 14.962,6 19<br />
<br />
3 Indonesia 248.818,1 99<br />
<br />
4 Lao PDR 6.644 26<br />
<br />
5 Malaysia 29.948 1.062<br />
<br />
6 Myanmar 61.568 32<br />
<br />
7 Philiphines 99.384,5 183<br />
<br />
8 Singapore 5.399,2 5.351<br />
<br />
9 Thailand 68.251 919<br />
<br />
10 Vietnam 89.708,9 109<br />
<br />
AMOUNT<br />
<br />
Source: Avianti (2015)<br />
<br />
<br />
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From the table above it is clear that Indonesia is still far behind in the provision of professional accountants<br />
compared to neighboring countries. Whereas on the one hand the Department of Accounting is one of the most<br />
favored majors and in fact the development and growth of business and government in Indonesia still very much<br />
requires professional accountants (Avianti, 2015).<br />
Many studies have been conducted with the aim of identifying what factors motivate or influence the desires of a<br />
(graduate) accounting graduate to pursue a career as a qualified professional accountant or not. Among these are<br />
research conducted by Abdullah and Zakaria (2006), Mustapha and Abu Hasan (2012), and Abdul Aziz, et al (2017).<br />
All three studies were conducted in Malaysia.<br />
Mustapha and Abu Hasan (2012) sought to explore perceptions of accounting students on professional<br />
examinations and the factors influencing their decision to take the exam. The results show that about 70% of<br />
respondents plan to work immediately after graduation, and only about 28% of respondents actually have the<br />
intention to pursue professional qualifications. Research reveals that job security and stability, and opportunities<br />
for progress and students’ perceptions of the profession are the three main variables found to be significant in<br />
influencing the decision of accounting students to pursue professional examinations.<br />
Abdul Aziz et al (2017) conducted a study whose results showed that when studying independent variables<br />
individually, only three independent variables had a significant relationship with students’ intentions to pursue<br />
professional qualifications. This is job security or stability, financial assistance and grit. This finding has<br />
implications for accounting educators as well as other professional bodies and related organizations in their efforts<br />
to increase the number of professionally qualified accountants in Malaysia. Whereas Abdullah and Zakaria (2006)<br />
found that students rated opportunities and progress as the most important attributes followed by office atmosphere<br />
/ staff friendliness and company training programs. The findings from this study can help public accounting firms<br />
in developingpolicies that might attract more quality recruitment. They can also be used by higher education<br />
institutions to provide more appropriate career advice to students who are looking for their first accounting job.<br />
Based on the phenomenons and previous research above, the authors are interested in conducting research on what<br />
factors influence the desires (candidates) of accounting graduates in Medan to pursue a career as a qualified<br />
professional accountant. This study will examine the factors of salary (salary), opportunities for advancement and<br />
student perceptions of the accounting profession.<br />
<br />
<br />
2. Literature Review<br />
2.1 Theory Description<br />
2.1.1 Qualified Professional Accountants<br />
An accountant is someone who has the skills and experience needed to build and maintain accurate financial<br />
records for individuals or businesses. The duties of an accountant can include designing and controlling the records<br />
system, audit books, and preparing financial reports. An accountant can provide tax advice and prepare a tax report<br />
(West’s Encyclopedia of American Law edition 2, 2008. https://legal-<br />
dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Qualified+Accountant.)<br />
Because accounting is a practical profession, having the right mix of qualifications and experience makes a sizeable<br />
part of the accounting syllabus/curriculum. The quality of accountants and critical quality for business success is<br />
obtained through the practical segment of the entire training that accountants go through. Some professional<br />
accounting bodies such as ACCA have accredited training / recruitment partners who place student accountants in<br />
the right position to enable them to obtain what is needed in job training. This training usually cuts four main<br />
aspects of accounting-financial accounting, managerial accounting, auditing and taxation. Consultation experience<br />
was also gained by accountant training participants (Hybrid Accountant, 2012)<br />
https://accountantnextdoor.com/qualified-accountant-who-is-aqualifiedaccountan t/).<br />
To practice the accounting profession in Indonesia, individuals must become members of the Indonesian Institute<br />
of Accountants (IAI) (for accountants) or the Indonesian Institute of Certified Public Accountants (IAPI) (for<br />
public accountants)). Under Minister of Higher Education Decree No. 153 of 2014 concerning the Professional<br />
Accounting Education Program, the successful completion of Professional Accountant Education / Professional<br />
Accounting Education Program (PPAk) is a prerequisite for membership in one of the accounting bodies. People<br />
who pass the PPAk are issued with a registered State Accountant / State Accreditation (Ak) by the Financial<br />
Professional Development Center / Financial Services Professional Supervision Center (PPPK). Both IAI and IAPI<br />
set requirements for their respective membership respectively, including qualification exams, practical experience,<br />
and ongoing professional development (IFAC, 2016).<br />
<br />
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Vol.11, No.2, 2020<br />
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2.1.2 Factors Influencing the Decision to Become a Qualified Professional Accountant<br />
2.1.2.1 Salary<br />
McLean et al (1996) and Said et al (2004) state that starting salary is an important criterion for choosing accounting<br />
as a career, in addition to being a ‘hygiene factor’ that motivates an individual. Abdullah and Zakaria (2006)<br />
conducted research at two state universities in Malaysia and found the expected salary in the future was an<br />
important attribute for students who wanted to join a public accounting firm. A study conducted by Ghani et al<br />
(2008) shows that first-year accounting students view salary as a major factor in making an accountant happy.<br />
Horowitz and Riley (1990) who claim that one of the top criteria that influence students’ career decisions is the<br />
salary offered to them. Another study by Trump and Hendrickson (1970) found that starting salary was one of the<br />
main job characteristic preferences by undergraduate accounting majors. However, this result is not supported in<br />
studies by Mustapha and Abu Hassan (2012) and Law (2010) who did not find salary to be a significant factor in<br />
motivating students to pursue CPA careers. Likewise, Abdul Aziz et al (2017) found no significant effect of salary<br />
on the desire to become a qualified professional accountant.<br />
<br />
<br />
2.1.2.2 Opportunities for Forward<br />
Another variable that is claimed to influence students’ career choice decisions as professional accountants is the<br />
opportunity to advance in the profession. Carpenter and Strawser (1970) found that opportunities for progress were<br />
better in the accounting field compared to other fields. This opportunity gives them a challenge to prove they can<br />
do the job. Abdullah and Zakaria (2006) found evidence that opportunities to advance as the most important<br />
attribute for accounting students to join with public accounting firm especially among male students. This finding<br />
was reinforced by Mustapha and Abu Hassan (2012) who also found that opportunities for advancement were<br />
positively correlated with students’ career choices as professional accountants, while Abdul Aziz et al (2017) did<br />
not find a significant influence on opportunities to progress towards the desire to become professional accountants<br />
qualified.<br />
A study conducted by Said et al. (2004) found that this factor ranks high in influencing career choices in accounting<br />
among Malaysian students. Another study by Ahmadi et al. (1995) found that career advancement was also a major<br />
factor for female accounting students in their job selection decisions. This is supported by other research by Trump<br />
and Hendrickson (1970) who found that this factor is one of the most important considerations in career decisions<br />
of accounting students and is listed as the first or second most important criterion in their career choice criteria .<br />
<br />
<br />
2.1.2.3 Students’ Perceptions of the Accountant Profession<br />
One factor that is usually considered by accounting students in their decisions is their perception of the profession<br />
(Omar, 2009). Some accounting students think that it is difficult and difficult to pass a professional accounting<br />
program and only a few finalists graduate with just one effort. Malthus and Fowler (2009) come to conclusions<br />
that are consistent with research conducted in New Zealand which has concluded that tertiary students and<br />
secondary school teachers consider accounting to be boring. Students see accounting as a boring subject and<br />
accountants who are closed and not too pleasant to be around, when they sit at a desk all day and count numbers,<br />
they have poor social skills and don’t do much outside, not outsiders and they don’t have a sense of humor (Malthus<br />
et al, 2009). Mustapha and Abu Hasan (2012) found a significant influence on students’ perceptions of the<br />
accountant profession on the variable desire to become a qualified professional accounting.<br />
<br />
<br />
2.2 Thinking Framework and Hypothesis Development<br />
2.2.1 Salary and the desire for a career as a qualified accountant<br />
Many studies have succeeded in proving that the salary factor is one of the most important factors for a graduate<br />
to decide on a career in accounting (McLean et al, 1996; Said et al, 2004; Abdullah and Zakaria, 2006; Ghani et<br />
al, 2008; Horowitz and Riley, 1990; Trump and Hendrickson, 1970). The salary factor is a factor that motivates an<br />
accountant, and is considered as something that makes an accountant happy. The initial salary is also considered<br />
as the starting point that determines the amount of the next step.<br />
<br />
<br />
Based on the framework of thought and previous studies, the research hypothesis was formulated:<br />
H1: There is an effect of salary on students’ desire to have a career as a qualified accountant.<br />
<br />
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Vol.11, No.2, 2020<br />
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2.2.2 Opportunities to progress and the desire to have a career as a qualified accountant<br />
Research conducted by Carpenter and Strawser (1970), Abdullah and Zakaria (2006), Mustapha and Abu Hassan<br />
(2012), Said et al. (2004), Ahmadi et al. (1995) managed to prove that the opportunity to advance is a factor that<br />
influences the desire to have a career as an accountant. The opportunity to advance is a challenge to prove that<br />
they can do their work.<br />
<br />
<br />
Based on the framework of thought and previous studies, the research hypothesis was formulated:<br />
H2: There is an influence of the opportunity to advance on the desire of students to pursue a career as a qualified<br />
accountant<br />
<br />
<br />
2.2.3 Students’ perception of the accountant profession to progress and the desire to have a career as a<br />
qualified accountant<br />
Omar (2009), Malthus and Fowler (2009), Malthus et al, (2009) and Mustapha and Abu Hasan (2012) found that<br />
students’ perceptions of the accounting profession affected the desire to have a career as a professional accountant.<br />
An accountant’s job tends to be considered as a boring job, as well as an accountant is considered as someone who<br />
has no sense of humor. There is also a perception that obtaining recognition of qualifications is very, very difficult.<br />
<br />
<br />
Based on the framework of thought and previous studies, the research hypothesis was formulated:<br />
H3: There is an influence of perception on the accountant profession on the desire of students to have a career as<br />
a qualified accountant.<br />
<br />
<br />
3. Purpose and Benefits of Research<br />
3.1 Research Purposes<br />
Based on the problem formulation, the objective of the research is to test:<br />
1. Does the salary factor influence the desire of accounting students to have a career as a qualified accountant.<br />
2. Does the opportunity to progress affect the desire of accounting students to have a career as a qualified<br />
accountant.<br />
3. Does the student’s perception of the accounting profession affect the desire of accounting students to have<br />
a career as a qualified accountant.<br />
<br />
3.2 Benefits of Research<br />
The expected benefits of this research are:<br />
1. Targeted findings: the results of this study are expected to identify what factors influence accounting<br />
students to pursue a career as qualified accountants. From the results of this identification can be used as<br />
the basis for the preparation of programs and learning strategies and non-learning that can increase the<br />
interest of accounting students to have a career as a qualified accountant<br />
2. Fundamental contribution to a field of science: contributions that can be given through the results of this<br />
study are contributions to the field of accounting as a whole, because with appropriate learning or non-<br />
learning strategies, will increase student interest in mastering skills in accounting for the future able<br />
become a qualified accountant.<br />
<br />
4. Methodology Research<br />
The model of this research is quantitative descriptive research. Descriptive research is research that explains the<br />
phenomena that occur at this time. The phenomenon that wants to be investigated is about the desire of students<br />
to have a career as a qualified accountant. It is suspected that there are various factors that influence, including<br />
salary, opportunities to advance, and student perceptions of the accounting profession. The research model can be<br />
described as follows:<br />
<br />
<br />
Y = a + b1X1 + b2X2 + b3X3 + e<br />
<br />
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Y = desire of students to pursue a career as a qualified accountant<br />
X1 = salary<br />
X2 = opportunity to advance<br />
X3 = student perception<br />
<br />
<br />
The parameters used in this study are salary indicators, opportunities for advancement, perceptions of the<br />
accountant profession and a desire to have a career as a qualified accountant using a research instrument in the<br />
form of a questionnaire adapted from research conducted by Mustapha and Abu Hasan (2012) and Aziz et al (2017).<br />
Indicators will be measured using a linkert scale.<br />
Data was collected by distributing questionnaires to accounting students in the city of Medan. In this case two<br />
private tertiary institutions and two state tertiary institutions will be chosen, to represent public and private<br />
campuses. The questionnaire will be distributed to 374 accounting students in four selected tertiary institutions,<br />
namely USU, Polmed, UNPAB and UMI. These four colleges were chosen because they are the state and private<br />
universities with the largest number of accounting students in Medan. Criteria for students who are sampled are<br />
students who must be accounting students of S-1, D-3 or D-4 Study Programs who have received auditing courses.<br />
This criterion is established with the thought that students who have received auditing courses have been get<br />
enough picture about the accountant profession. A sample size of 374 was determined using the Slovin formula,<br />
with an error rate of 5%. The research subjects were tertiary institutions in the city of Medan, both public and<br />
private.<br />
<br />
<br />
5. Results and Discussion<br />
5.1 Research Results<br />
5.1.1 Test Validity<br />
Validity test is done on the basis of decision making Product Moment Validity Test, namely by comparing the value<br />
of sig. (2-tailed) with a probability of 0.05:<br />
1. If the value of sig. (2-tailed)

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