AN ANALYSIS OF THE FACTORS RELATED TO WHETHER PRACTICING CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS PURSUE FORMAL PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION

ROBERT LOREN GRAY, Pace University

Abstract

Formal continuous professional education (CPE) is recognized as the most efficient means of updating skills and maintaining professional competence. To ensure participation, many states require it as a condition of continued practice. Recognizing that mandatory CPE may not be the most effective method to ensure competence, behavorial scientists are exploring factors that encourage and discourage CPE activity.^ This study was undertaken to identify factors that encourage accountants to continue professional development. The subjects of this study were practicing CPAs who were also members of the New York State Society of CPAs. A random sample of 1400 CPAs was selected and the final population of 333 provided the data from which the findings and conclusions of this study were drawn.^ The instrument included questions that asked those surveyed to cite reasons not only for taking courses but also for not taking courses. Upon a scale weighted from one to five, respondents were asked to rate the validity of each reason. The instrument also included items to determine CPE participation in previous years. Respondents were asked to identify themselves by (1) professional position, (2) age, (3) area of special interest and (4) size of firm.^ Respondents were classified as participants or moderate participants. Non-participants were included with the latter group. An examination of the four professional characteristics revealed noteworthy facts about participation in CPE. Firm size was one reason that directly related to individual involvement in CPE. CPAs from larger firms participated at a greater rate than those from smaller firms. A respondent's age also was found to have important implications in determining CPE participation. Participants tended to increase CPE over the years while moderate participants tended to decrease participation.^ Reinforcement from the work place is a primary factor that encouraged participation. Since no clear differences were found between the two groups for reasons not to participate, it was concluded that CPAs in New York State perhaps are not receiving the necessary external encouragement.^ Based upon this study it was suggested that future research might identify factors that encourage voluntary participation. Another study could seek to determine the educational expectations of participants in order to improve the quality of CPE offerings. ^

Subject Area

Business Administration, Management

Recommended Citation

ROBERT LOREN GRAY, "AN ANALYSIS OF THE FACTORS RELATED TO WHETHER PRACTICING CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS PURSUE FORMAL PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION" (January 1, 1983). ETD Collection for Pace University. Paper AAI8321424.
http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/dissertations/AAI8321424

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