Accounting education at doctoral level : a Canadian perspective with special reference to the demand and supply of academic accountants
This study is a critical analysis of doctoral accounting education. Its mandate is to examine the extent to which existing university programmes in accounting meet the needs of those concerned with the education of academic accountants; to consider ways in which universities could improve options for the education of accountants; to explore the continuing major shortage of accounting faculty; and to analyze the resource requirements, especially human resource requirements and their impact on university based accounting education in Canada. What do we expect from accounting schools? What do we want them to do besides helping to educate accountants? What kind of accounting education do we want them to dispense? Who is the better judge of student needs, the accounting professoriate or the accounting practitioners? Is the relationship between the professoriate and the accounting practitioner symbiotic or a superior-subordinate situation? What can be done to: 1) increase the number of applications for admission to accounting Ph.D. programmes? 2) shorten the duration of the Ph.D. programme? 3) increase non-government financial support to universities? 4) improve financial rewards for Ph.D.s? 5) market academic accounting as an exciting career? These are typical questions that evolved and were dealt with in this research effort. It is evident that the present state of accounting education in Canada is a cause of deep concern for many who are directly involved with it. The severe shortage of academic accountants coupled with the market demand for better trained, professionally qualified accountants has put a great strain on universities. The demand for a larger commitment to accounting education is occurring at a time when programmes are under severe financial constraints. Given the circumstances, it should not be surprising that there is much discontent with the status of accounting education.This paper researches the educational issues involved and suggests respective educational policies in resolving them. It also explores the accounting labour market and evaluates the ramifications that various policies have upon it. Concentration on particular segments of accounting education is highlighted and justified by the asymmetry that characterizes the contribution of these elements to doctoral education in accounting.