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Appears in:
Pages: 6331-6335
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-6957-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2017.1640

Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain

ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS ON THE CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT PROFESSION

A. Lucas, D. Dias

Universidade Europeia Laureate International Universities (PORTUGAL)
The access to the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) profession in Portugal has been very dependent on the recognition of the profession in legal terms and, especially, in what concerns to the responsibilities for taxes submission. Currently, to enter the profession, one must be a member of the Order of Certified Public Accountant, or Ordem dos Contabilistas Certificados (OCC), in the original name, which is the organization that rules the profession. The registration criteria are specific academic degrees, the frequency of a professional internship and a professional written exam (Estatuto da Ordem dos Contabilistas Certificados, 2015). Candidates must have an academic degree in an area related to accounting, management, economics, business sciences or taxation. However, candidates may also have a master or PhD degree.

Some literature relates CPAs and academic qualifications. Charron & Lowe (2009) concluded that to the new graduates with accounting degrees it is very important passing the CPA exam, but it is only of moderate importance to their employers. Marshall, Dombrowski, Garner, & Smith (2010) studied how the accounting educators can teach more focused on the practical aspects, or on textbook knowledge and research. It seems important, however, to find out the relationship between academic qualifications and the success in the profession.

The questions this study aims to respond are:
(1) Are graduation degrees, such as a master or PhD degree, directly related to earnings in the profession of CPAs?;
(2) Are those graduation degrees related to the kind of practice of the profession of CPAs?

This study aims to conclude about relationships between success in the profession and academic habilitations above the minimum required. The study analyses the relationship between CPA with a master or PhD degree, and their earnings, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, with the kind of practice of the profession, meaning, if on their own or through an individual employment contract.
The methodological approach is a prior literature review about CPAs academic qualifications followed by the empirical study that aims to answer the research questions.

To accomplish the research objectives, we conducted an empirical study with the participation of CPAs, in which they were asked to fulfil a questionnaire. The survey took place from November 2016 to July 2017. From the 709 respondents, we used only 516 answers, because these were CPAs and the questionnaires were completely answered. The survey was applied in a training program to about 3,000 CPAs and through direct contact to about 2,000 CPAs in LinkedIn. The answer rate was about 14%.

We expect the findings to confirm two hypotheses. First, we expect to find a connection between the percentage of CPAs who have a master or PhD degree and the percentage of CPAs who earn more than three times the minimum wage. Second, we expect to find a connection between the percentage of CPA who have a master or PhD degree and the percentage of CPAs who are independent workers.
The main contribution of this study is to better understand the relationship between academic qualifications and two success variables: earning level and working conditions. As a possible contribution, it helps current CPAs or current candidates to decide about having a master or PhD degree.
@InProceedings{LUCAS2017ACA,
author = {Lucas, A. and Dias, D.},
title = {ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS ON THE CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT PROFESSION},
series = {10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2017 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-6957-7},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2017.1640},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2017.1640},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {6331-6335}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Lucas AU - D. Dias
TI - ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS ON THE CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT PROFESSION
SN - 978-84-697-6957-7/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2017.1640
PY - 2017
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2017
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2017 Proceedings
SP - 6331
EP - 6335
ER -
A. Lucas, D. Dias (2017) ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS ON THE CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT PROFESSION, ICERI2017 Proceedings, pp. 6331-6335.
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