Date of Award:
Doctor of Education (EdD)
The purpose of this study was to compare the bookkeeping and/or accounting tasks being performed by entry-level workers with bookkeeping and/or accounting tasks being taught in Utah secondary schools.
The study was limited to entry- level employees in 24 randomly selected Utah firms in three size classifications. Standard Industrial Classifications were used to provide a diversity in type of business surveyed. Bookkeeping and/or accounting supervisors were contacted and interviewed in each of the selected businesses. Entry-level employees performing bookkeeping and/or accounting tasks were identified and questionnaires were distributed to them. Usable questionnaires were secured from all businesses.
From a list of teachers provided by the Utah State Board for Vocational Education, questionnaires were mailed to 100 teachers who were or had been teaching bookkeeping and/or accounting classes. Of the 100 questionnaire s mailed, 77 were returned. Of these, 48 were usable, 7 were partially completed and 22 indicated they were not teaching bookkeeping and/ or accounting.
The questionnaire contained a list of bookkeeping and/ or accounting tasks. Respondents were asked to rate the tasks in three categories: frequency, performance and importance. Frequency related to how often the task was performed. Performance related to the degree of supervision required of a person performing the task. Importance related to the importance of the task for securing and maintaining an entry-level bookkeeping and/or accounting position.
Analysis of variance tests were used to determine significance between the responses of the entry-level employees and teachers on each task. Means and standard deviation s were calculated for teachers, all businesses combined, small businesses, medium businesses and large businesses. Tasks were ranked from high to low in each of the categories.
The following conclusions were made:
1. When considering frequency, teachers and entry-level employees of all businesses combined and small, medium and large businesses separately did not agree on most categories of tasks. They did not disagree on most tasks involving payroll and performing data processing activities. In most cases teachers rated tasks higher than did entry-level employees.
2. When considering performance, teachers and all entry-level employees combined did not agree on most categories of tasks. However, when responses of employees of small, medium and large businesses were compared separately, they did not disagree on many categories of tasks. In most cases, teachers rated tasks higher than entry-level employees.
3. When considering importance, teachers and all entry-level employees combined did not agree on many categories of tasks. However, when responses of employees of small, medium and large businesses were compared separately, they did not disagree on many categories of tasks. In most cases, teachers rated tasks higher than entry-level employees.
4. When ranking tasks for frequency teachers and entry-level employees ranked operating telephone equipment, calculators and ten-key adding machines, checking accounts, payroll preparation, cash receipts journals and accounts receivable ledgers high. Both groups rated tasks involved with financial statement analysis low.
5. When ranking tasks for performance, teachers and entry-level employees of all businesses ranked operating telephone equipment, calculators, adding machines, checking accounts and ledgers high. Both groups rated tasks involved with financial statement analysis low.
6. When ranking tasks for importance, teachers and entry-level employees of all businesses ranked operating adding machines, calculators, telephone and working with checking accounts high. Both groups rated tasks involved with financial statement analysis low.
7. When ranking tasks for frequency, performance and importance there did not seem to be many differences between the tasks performed by small, medium or large businesses.
The following recommendations were made:
l. Objectives of bookkeeping and/or accounting programs should be reviewed considering the results of this study.
2. The following general areas should be taught in the high school bookkeeping and/or accounting class:
Operation of office equipment
Handling cash, checking accounts and deposits
Analyzing, journalizing and posting transactions
Payroll calculations and reporting
Preparation of input for automated processing
3. Emphasis should not be placed on the following areas in high school bookkeeping and/or accounting classes:
Financial statement analysis
Ratios and percentages
Calculation of inventories
Calculation of depreciation
4. Curriculum content should be reviewed periodically in light of rapidly changing business environments as well as be coordinated and articulated with bookkeeping and/or accounting programs in post-secondary institutions.
5. Follow-up studies of graduates of secondary programs should be undertaken yearly to see what tasks are currently being performed by those workers.
6. Additional research could be performed related to all bookkeeping and/or accounting tasks performed by all workers, tasks performed in other geographic areas, differences between types of companies and comparisons with other research.
Jenkins, Robert B., "A Comparison of Bookkeeping and/or Accounting Tasks Performed by Entry-level Employees In Selected Utah Businesses and Bookkeeping and/or Accounting Tasks Taught in Utah Public Secondary Schools" (1980). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 3372.
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