Revisiting Financial (Accounting) Literacy: A Comparison Of Audit Committee Members And Business Students

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Don E. Giacomino
Joseph Wall
Michael D. Akers

Keywords

financial literacy, audit committee, corporate governance, financial expert, literacy testing

Abstract

While financial literacy is important for an audit committee in discharging its duties there is no authoritative guidance or definition and limited empirical research as to what constitutes financial literacy of audit committees and business students. Coates et al. conducted a study that examined the financial literacy of corporate board members and MBA students at the University of Chicago using an instrument developed by Schipper and Weil. Their findings suggest that both groups lack the appropriate level of financial literacy. This paper extends that research by using the same instrument to examine the financial literacy of undergraduate accounting finance students at a private Midwestern university. Our findings indicate the undergraduate students also lack financial literacy. Caution should be used in interpreting these results since there is no consensus definition of financial literacy within the accounting profession.

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