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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/64922
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- Entrepreneur or accountant? an exploratory study of accounting public practitioners and their accounting practices in Victoria and Tasmania
- Dunkley, Mary E.
- The role of accountants in public practice has significantly changed from one of bookkeeper and preparer of tax returns to a broader business analyst role. Accounting professional bodies throughout the world have encouraged and promoted their members as being business experts, and entrepreneurial and innovative business leaders. The skills and personal attributes encouraged and nurtured by the profession have changed significantly but there has been limited research in the last two decades about the profile of accountants. This thesis is a study of the psychological types of accounting public practitioners and a study of the characteristics of small public practice accounting firms in order to determine correlations between the personality characteristics of accountants and success in an accounting practice. This research presents a profile of the 21 st century public practitioner and how the profile of the individual reflects in the success of hislher practice. A survey approach combining qualitative and quantitative methods is used to create a psychological type profile of the public practitioner and a profile oftheir corresponding practice. The concept that accountants can be entrepreneurial and innovative business leaders as distinct from providing a business advisory or taxation service to entrepreneurs is an intriguing notion. U sing prior research studies on entrepreneurs' personality characteristics, a profile of an entrepreneur has been formed. A comparison of the psychological type of the entrepreneur and the psychological type of the accountant will determine if accountants have personality characteristics associated with entrepreneurs. The survey results indicate that the majority of public practitioners are innovative. More than half of these innovative accountants can be described as enthusiastic and insightful types who are focussed on personal warmth whilst the remainder are identified as logical and ingenious types who prefer non personal analysis in making judgements. This research further identified successful practices measured by revenue growth, employment growth, diversification of practice activities and self measured success, and identified minimal correlations between psychological type of the accounting public practitioner and the success of the practice. Research studies on entrepreneurs reflect a mix of 60 percent innovative types compared to 40 percent conservative types and the result of this study of accountants reflect a similar ratio to the entrepreneurial ratio. There are professional implications arising from the results of this research for the accounting profession, public practitioner individuals and accounting educators who are involved in curriculum development. The profession is attracting extroverted types who are favourably predisposed towards change, which provides a challenge for accounting practices to provide professional staff with interesting and challenging work in order to retain staff. Public practitioner individuals need to be aware that the typical accounting practice relies heavily on revenue earned from taxation compliance and planning services, which is compliance driven as compared to business advisory services which can provide more opportunities for 'creative' solutions. Accounting educators need to be aware that the 'new' accountant is dynamic and extroverted and teaching syllabuses should reflect compliance and ethically creative alternatives to problem solving. Accounting students are more than likely to be innovative and entrepreneurial and the teaching curriculum should recognise and build upon these personality traits.
- Publication type
- Thesis (DBA)
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. Faculty of Business and Enterprise
- Publication year
- Accountants; Accounting; Entrepreneurship; Pyschology; Tasmania; Victoria
- Australasian Digital Theses collection
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 2009 Mary Elizabeth Dunkley.
- Thesis Supervisor
- [Louise Kloot]
- Thesis Note
- [Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of Doctor of Business Administration, Swinburne University of Technology, 2009.]
- Full text