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Appears in:
Pages: 8336-8341
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.1942

Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain

WHAT IS BEST FOR FUTURE ACCOUNTANTS' PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS: AN INTERNSHIP OR A BUSINESS PROJECT?

A. Lucas, D. Dias

Universidade Europeia Laureate International Universities (PORTUGAL)
To be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Portugal it is mandatory to be a member of the Order of Certified Public Accountant (Ordem dos Contabilistas Certificados - OCC – in original language).

The CPA profession is very demanding because it is mandatory to have not only a strong knowledge of accounting and taxation issues but also availability and competence for a lifelong learning. In fact, CPAs take responsibility for taxes submission, as well as for the legal certification of their clients’ accounts. OCC statutes stipulate the criteria for the profession access, namely:
(i) an adequate academic degree;
(ii) a professional internship; and
(iii) a written exam.

According to the OCC Internship Regulation, "professional internship" means the pursuit of practices in the CPA profession, by a candidate under an employer guidance. Internship aims:
(i) to provide those who have documented training enough to be CPA, a specific experience that promotes their insertion in professional activity;
(ii) to complement and improve socio-professional skills and knowledge of deontological rules; and
(iii) to promote close liaison between the educational and training systems and and the world of work.

Also, higher education institutions (HEI) are continually looking for ways to better train their students for professional success after graduation. The triumph on the exam to access the CPA profession is part of this success. Thus, some HEI conceive a course of “business project” to displace the need for a professional internship. Since 2010 that OCC issues a list of internship dismissal protocols to candidates who attend HEI courses on that list.

The influence of internships (Boone, Legoria, Siefert & Stammerjohan, 2006) and business simulations models (Pinheiro, Sarrico & Santiago, 2011; Covas, Pinheiro e Ferreira, 2012) on CPA exam success rates have already been scientifically explored. It seems important, however, to find out the relationship between these two kinds of training options and the success in accessing the CPA profession.

The main question this research study aims to answer is: which of the two hypotheses – professional internship or course of “business project” - is associated with a better success rate in accessing the CPA profession, namely in the first exam?

To answer the question, the methodological approach was, besides a prior literature review about professional internships and the business project curricular unit in the CPA profession, an empirical study.

This empirical study was led with a basis in a survey administrated to current CPAs, in which they fulfilled a questionnaire. The survey took place from November 2016 to November 2017. From the 966 respondents, it was used only 224 answers, because these were CPAs on or after 2010. The survey was provided to about 5,000 CPAs and the answer rate was about 15%.

Shortly, the study compared the answers to two main questions: did the candidate frequented the internship or the business project curricular unit, and was the candidate successful on the first time he accomplishes the exam.

Findings are expected to detect a connection between CPAs who were successful at the first exam and the frequency of the internship or of the business project course.

The main contribution of this study is to better understand if it is more likely to have success in CPA profession access by frequenting an internship or by frequenting the business project course.
@InProceedings{LUCAS2018WHA,
author = {Lucas, A. and Dias, D.},
title = {WHAT IS BEST FOR FUTURE ACCOUNTANTS' PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS: AN INTERNSHIP OR A BUSINESS PROJECT?},
series = {10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN18 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-02709-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2018.1942},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2018.1942},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Palma, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {8336-8341}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Lucas AU - D. Dias
TI - WHAT IS BEST FOR FUTURE ACCOUNTANTS' PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS: AN INTERNSHIP OR A BUSINESS PROJECT?
SN - 978-84-09-02709-5/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2018.1942
PY - 2018
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2018
CI - Palma, Spain
JO - 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN18 Proceedings
SP - 8336
EP - 8341
ER -
A. Lucas, D. Dias (2018) WHAT IS BEST FOR FUTURE ACCOUNTANTS' PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS: AN INTERNSHIP OR A BUSINESS PROJECT?, EDULEARN18 Proceedings, pp. 8336-8341.
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