Student Perceptions Of The First Course In Accounting: Majors Versus Non-Majors

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Geoffrey Tickell
Tiong Kiong Lim
Balasinghan Balachandran


First Course in Accounting, Curriculum, Student Perceptions


This paper contributes to the continuing debate regarding the curriculum for the first undergraduate course in accounting by examining student perceptions from studying such a course. Participants are divided into two cohorts - Accounting & Finance Majors (AFM) and Other Business Majors (OBM). Results reported in this paper indicate that teaching the introductory accounting course from a users perspective is likely to engender a more favorable impression from students than teaching from a preparers perspective. Findings indicate that the AFM cohort holds significantly more positive attitudes to the first course in accounting than does its OBM counterpart. Furthermore, AFM student perceptions do not change between the beginning and the end of the course. In contrast, the OBM students respond less favorably at the end of the course than at the beginning. Findings underscore the difficulty of developing a first course in accounting that is interesting, useful and challenging to accounting and non-accounting majors.


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