University of Bahrain
College of Business Administration
Department of Accounting
Challenges Facing Bahrain Accounting Education
Prepared by: Abdullah Isa Abbas
Instructor: Professor Sayel Saleem Al-Ramadan
This research employed to investigate challenges and obstacles influencing accounting education in Bahrain universities. For this purpose, two pieces of empirical work, a questioner and an interview, were conducted. The questioner was undertaken at university of Bahrain. The interview was held with accounting academic. The main findings of this research indicate that accounting education Bahrain universities are impacted by obstacles and challenges a lack of funding that has fundamentally impacted accounting education from many perspectives and differed it from international accounting education. Also there was obstacle related to the accounting texts books and lack of teaching assistants. The influence of this forced pressure also has led to implanted institutional logic and not conducting research as the dominant logic of Bahrain accounting education. Hence, there is a lack of a systematic development and update of the accounting curriculum, narrowness of curriculum and irrelevant textbooks in Bahrain universities leading to an outdated teaching techniques that is irrelevant to the needs of Bahrain accounting students or to the profession. In addition, the teaching methods adopted to deliver the accounting. This research evaluates the nature and consequences of these challenges and recommends solutions that could guide to better accounting education experience.
Keywords: Challenges Facing Bahrain Accounting Education, Accounting Curriculum, Funding and Kingdom of Bahrain
Table of ContentPage
1.1 Accounting in Practice—————————————————————7
1.2 Purpose of the Study——————————————————————8
1.3 The Scope of the Study—————————————————————8
1.4 Importance of this Study————————————————————8
1.5 Structure of the Thesis—————————————————————8
2. Literate Review—————————————————————————9
2.1 University Teaching Effect on Accounting Education Challenges———-9
2.2 Non-Technical (generic) Skills——————————————————9
2.3 Social and Environmental Education———————————————10
2.4 Educational Technology————————————————————-10
2.5 Funding and Other Issues———————————————————–11
2.6 Stumbling Blocks in the Implementation of accounting Education——–12
2.7 The global Challenges for Accounting Education——————————13
2.8 AECC (Accounting Education Change Commission) Effort—————–13
2.9 Analysis of Literate Review ———————————————————14
3.1 Research Method———————————————————————-15
3.2.1 Questioner Design——————————————————————16
3.3.1 Interview Design——————————————————————–17
3.5 Statistical Tools————————————————————————-19
3.6 Other Methods for Collecting Data————————————————-20
3.6.1 Content Analysis of Secondary Data——————————————–20
3.6.2 Qualitative Method of data——————————————————–20
4. Findings and Analysis———————————————————————-21
4.1 Questioner Findings———————————————————————21
4.2 Interview Summary———————————————————————-31
4.3 Discussion on Findings——————————————————————-32
5. Conclusion and Summary——————————————————————33
5.3 Limitations and Problems Related to the Conducted Research——————35
5.4 Implication of the Study——————————————————————36
5.5 Area for Future Research —————————————————————36
6. References ————————————————————————————-37
List of Tables Page
Table 1 Gender——————————————————————————————-21
Table 2 Age———————————————————————————————–21
Table 3 Education—————————————————————————————22
Table 4 Descriptive Statistics about challenges accounting education———————–22
Table 5 Distribution Respondents about Teaching methods and Learning Facilities—-24
Table 6 Distribution of Accounting Respondents about Institutions and universities—25
Table 7 Distribution of accounting Responses about the Accounting Textbooks———26
Table 8 Distribution of accounting Responses about the Importance of the study——-27
Table 9 Correlation between Age, Education and Textbooks challenges——————28
Table 10 ANOVA Results When the Respondents Are Grouped According to the educational level—————————————————————————————29
Table 11 ANOVA Test When the Respondents Are Grouped According to Gender—-30
Chapter 1: Introduction to Challenges Facing Accounting Education
In recent years Bahrain had growing economy and financial market with introducing tax into their system. With that growth and tax system being introduced the labor market require certain skills and knowledge so there will be dramatically increase in demand of accountant with adequate education and skills. So to keep up with the labor market requirement many will tend to study accounting there will be increase in number of accounting educators. But accounting education in Bahrain faces many challenges and obstacles. According to Martin. E (2016) the definition of accounting education is the experience, practice in learning to learn mix theory with practice including accounting techniques. The current accounting education failed to graduate students with broad set of skills which is one of challenges facing current accounting education its inability to graduate students with set of skills not only accounting knowledge, The accounting graduate nowadays are no longer expected only to be knowledgeable but they also need abroad set of skills, that is one of the challenges facing the accounting education to prepare students to have aboard set of skills (Kavanagh & Drennan, 2008). The labor market require adequate level of education to the accountant to meet it is requirement.
Accounting education has in the previous years faced considerable issues and challenges due to the fast change in the economy, social, regulatory , global environment and technological . Accounting graduates no longer required only to have technical accounting skills but also a wide range of non-technical and generic skills to find meaningful employment. Recent corporate fall and business scandals have also encouraged in calls for universities to produce accounting graduates who engage in ethical conduct and can act in a socially responsible manner. Furthermore, advancements in technology have also impacted on the delivery and assessment of accounting curriculum. In addition, the globalization of education has resulted in an influx of international students into accounting programs at universities with profound impact on levels of resourcing and funding models. The increase in international students and a greater involvement in higher education by local students has significantly affected academic standards with employers questioning the „quality? of accounting graduates, there are key issues and challenges facing accounting education. These include: non-technical (generic) skills; social and environmental (sustainability) education and educational skills.
Accounting education in a university incorporates a package of instructional programs designed to educate “would be” accountants, to make them versatile and adaptable to any of the numerous roles they may be called upon to play after graduation (Anao, 2009). Like this education, between other things, seeks to develop concepts, rules, skills, procedures, theories and general knowledge for solving accounting problems (Andersone, 1985). It assure the ability to differentiate and integrate alternative problem solving perspectives, the ability to identify accounting related information resources, the ability to structure solutions to problems and develop communication skills as well as the ability to analyze, and interpret problem situations and figure out lasting solutions (Baker et, al, 1995).
Accounting education practices vary from country to country as a result of the differences in country-specific factors Therefore, many studies have been conducted to examine these institutional factors effects on accounting education practices (Albrecht and Sack, 2000; Howieson, 2003). Nevertheless, the majority of these studies investigate accounting education challenges in their countries, while there has been little or no attention paid to investigate accounting education challenges in other countries like Bahrain.
In many countries accounting education programs at universities play a major role in educating accountants academic research has not focused on examining the problems affecting accounting education practices in Bahrain universities from any theoretical perspective. In general, there is a shortage of academic research that investigates or evaluates aspects of accounting education in Bahrain universities such funding, current curricula textbooks institutions and many others factors that contributed in reducing accounting education quality.
All the above has motivated the researcher to investigate the current challenges of accounting education in Bahrain universities, in particular, looking at the challenges factors influencing these practices.
A Major review of accounting education is in progress. The activities attempted by the Accounting Education Change Commission (AECC) offer a huge chance to simulate sensational improvement. The time is ready for education educators to make such a reevaluation on the grounds that the idea of education training and the procedure by which it is enhanced are essential themes. Tragically, it is set not surely knew. In any event there is no accord about either the idea education educators or the procedure of change. However, such an understanding is basic for assessment, suggestion and usage. Reasonable assumptions about the present endeavors to change accounting education are vital (Beaver, 1992).
To examine when inspecting the challenges currently facing the accounting education in Bahrain and did this system succeed or failed to provide students with the accounting knowledge and skills they need to become future accountant and what is the challenges that contributed in reducing the quality of accounting education in Bahrain, Accounting educations faced many challenges and problems due to continues change in the International financial reporting standards with introducing new rules every period, rapid economic growth and technological change. Accounting education is accumulated education as hierarchy you need to know the basic to understand in the more advance courses forgetting the basic is one of the main reason of bad performance in accounting. Two out of five accounting students find accounting is difficult and they struggle on this subject (Houk, 2012), that is another challenge why do students struggle on this subject we should examine the accounting education as whole to identify the causes of this struggle.
Accounting in Practice
To examine the many challenges facing modern day accounting education in Bahrain, first thing to understand the purpose of educational program and the accounting itself. In other word why and how the accounting is applied in day to day jobs.
1.2Purpose of the Study
The aim of this paper is to provide a literature review on current issues and challenges facing accounting education. The main part of the paper reviews recent literature on accounting education and give opinion on it and to investigate the challenges and obstacles faced by accounting education in Bahrain and to recommend ways to get over these challenges to enhance the accounting education in Bahrain. The proposed study aims to answer the following questions:
What are the main challenges that face the accounting education?
How can we overcome the challenges of accounting education?
The primary purpose of this study is to identify the main challenges facing accounting education in Bahrain and whether these challenges can be addressed effectively throughout this research.
Gain an understanding of the accounting education challenges by reviewing literature on this challenges.
Suggesting solutions to overcome the challenges in accounting education of Bahrain.
1.3The Scope of this Study
This study will focus in the accounting education in Bahrain and what are the challenges accounting education in Bahrain faces. This study will try to recommends ways to overcome these challenges.
A combination of research methods is used to answer the research questions semi-structured Interview and questioner, first that interview was held with faculty member who had experience and have been head of accounting department for several years and then a questioner evaluate the agrees of participants on the identified challenges whether they implement on Bahrain accounting education.
1.4Importance of this Study
When it comes to accounting education. These outcomes will help students as well the instructors in university of Bahrain to develop the learning activities for instructor and studying behavior for students, also to increase the chance of passing accounting courses without any difficulties by improving the learning experience of the students. If the research supports the above hypotheses it will need a fairly evident could be done with new researches to support this research. This research will help even the new students to decide whether to specialize in accounting or not.
1.5 Structure of the Thesis
The research will be divided into five chapters. Chapter 1 is an introduction. Chapter 2 will be a literature review. It will shed lights on the previous studies which have relation to the proposed study. Chapter 3 the research methodology, and procedures that will be employed to answer the questions of the study. Section 4 will present the findings. Chapter 5 will provide a conclusion. It will also draw conclusions of the study. Furthermore, it will provide recommendations and implication of the research and limitations.
Chapter 2: Literate review
2. Literate Review
Several studies have been conducted to address the challenges and obstacles faced by accounting education.
2.1 University teaching effect on Accounting Education Challenges
According to Tailab (2013) study from the perception of both instructors and students the main barriers of learning and negative thoughts students have toward accounting education are lack of teaching assistants, lack of computer laboratories and computer applications, crowded dormitories, lack of interaction between students and faculty, difference between what is taught and practical application, irrelevant text book and exams and lack of professionality in English.
2.2 Non-technical (generic) skills
Non-technical skills are essential of professional accountants. Research showed that the graduate skills deemed by stakeholders to be most inadequate were communication and problem solving. The role of the traditional accountant as a mere score keeper is no longer viable in the contemporary society due to changes in the economic and technological environment, to be more adequately prepared for employment has motivated various accounting education researchers to investigate the gap in what graduates are taught and the technical and generic skills employers require indicate that students are becoming aware of employers expectations in terms of generic skills required for employment. The study also found that employers are still expecting good understanding of basic accounting skills and strong analytical skills in addition to essential non-technical and professional skills.
In the 1980s, accounting education in the USA was subject to much discussion and criticism but little action. The AAA commissioned the Bedford committee in 1984 to study the future structure, content and scope of accounting education in the USA. In 1986 the committee issued a report entitled “Future Accounting Education: Preparing for the expanding Profession”. The committee noted that the content of most university accounting educational programs had remained relatively unchanged for many years and had not fully adapted to the changing scope of accounting practice. Further, the committee concluded that the current state of accounting education indicated that prospective accountants were not receiving the preparation they needed to cope with the increased demands of an expanding, more complex profession that was emerging.
According to Lee (1986) he used the University of Edinburgh as a case study of accounting education and distinguished that the problems faced by Edinburgh were usual of problems faced by accounting educators in universities and colleges through the UK. Some of the problems he identified included: (1) inadequate staffing within accounting departments which certainly influenced the quality of teaching where time could not be found to study new and significant areas, to update existing courses and to provide sufficient innovative teaching methods for students; (2) substantial teaching loads and low levels of wages that made the academic profession unattractive to qualified accountants, whereby academic turnover in accounting departments in universities was high with a result, the firmness of teaching programs was affected which in turn negatively influenced the quality of teaching provided to the students as new inexperienced academics were recruited and (3) lack of active research output due to lack of time and resources.
2.3 Social and environmental (sustainability) education
Accounting has long been implicated in perpetuating unsustainable practices argue Hazelton & Haigh (2010). They suggest that accounting has been accused of ignoring or even concealing the adverse social and environmental impacts of business organizations. Although attempts have been made to recast accounting as a positive force through mechanisms such as triple bottom line, they argue that the lack of mandatory reporting leaves social and environmental accounting open to promoting corporate interests. Hazelton & Haigh (2010) assert that education is critical for promoting sustainable development by improving the capacity of the people to understand the social and environment impacts of organizations. However, they accept that embedding sustainability in higher education has proved difficult.
Boyce et al. (2011) examine the case of accounting education change in the context of increased interest in social and environmental accountability. They suggest that despite the ongoing calls for educational reform due to issues such as sustainable development there has been little in the way of systematic change. They argue that accounting education is still dominated by traditional approaches with emphasis on the perceived technical needs of the profession and that the desire to produce graduates with a broad range of general skills has been sidelined. Their paper focuses on a localized effort at accounting education change in an Australian university. The paper outlines and analyses a newly offered course designed to examine the socially constructed nature of accounting and to engage students in social and critical perspectives that allows for deep and elaborative learning.
2.4 Educational Technology
Web-based packages such as Blackboard and other innovative internet technologies for teaching and learning such as Web 2.0 have opened up some exciting opportunities for engaging and assessing students. Hence, accounting educators are increasingly using web based material in their teaching. Technology based supplements are also increasingly being included in accounting and other textbooks. It is important, therefore, to find out how to use educational technology in the most effective way to enhance student learning.
Given the desire by employers that accounting graduates core competencies extend beyond the mechanics of accounting, a couple of studies have focused on using technology in accounting education to develop students? generic skills”
Joshi & Chugh (2009) suggest that teaching and learning strategies in accounting should move away from procedural tasks and memorizing of accounting standards towards conceptual and analytical teaching and learning. They discuss the use of educational blogs as a reflective assessment tool in accounting education and how they can improve educational outcomes for accounting students. Factors such as interest, attitude, knowledge, and age profile of academic staff along with type of university and research priority can also affect the level of technology.
The main challenges articulated in these reports that accounting education in Australia is suffering from the combined pressure of a large international student enrolment, high student-to-Teachers ratios, an insufficient funding model, and an ageing academic staff pro?le. By way of commentary, they suggest that, if these circumstances continue to develop unabated, then the future for the sector will play out as a ‘perfect storm’2 with the sector suffering on-going troubled development (de Lange and Watty, 2011).
According to Williams (2000) he have identified certain trends that are affecting accounting educators everywhere, First challenge he has identified is attracting more students in the accounting major, the enrollment in accounting major have declined in the previous years and many of good business students are choosing other majors and the responsibility of attracting the students into the major is not the responsibility of academic. The second challenge maybe is the biggest challenge in accounting education is the integration challenge, the need to integrate accounting with other disciplines more specifically other business discipline but if integration met will pay the riches dividends.
2.5 Funding and Other Issues:
As welsch (1964) said the challenges of accounting education have both short run and long run implications. He also stated that there are two serious problems facing accounting education, the first problem is the attraction to the profession of sufficient young people of ability, the second problem is attraction and training of competent faculty members in sufficient quantity. The solution to these problems as he proposed with respect to faculty problem is that profession and industry must take more direct active interest in accounting education the interest must be beyond mere goodwill, he said there is also need for high financial support for accounting education, more scholarship are needed to attract students to study accounting and encourage qualified graduated students to complete degrees in preparing to teach accountancy.
Traditionally, central governments provide the majority of public higher education financing which means instability of funding, depending on the fluctuation of government resources, adversely influencing teaching and research. As mentioned earlier in this research, UB (University of Benghazi) is totally dependent on the funds allocated to it by the Libyan government, including the payment of the salaries of academics. This dependency has influenced UB teaching and learning activities including the accounting education curriculum especially in three areas: the lack of a well-equipped library and textbooks and reference material; the low salaries paid to lecturers; and the lack of research ( Maatoug, 2014).
Anao, (2009) and Albrecht et.al, (2006) have each implicated failure in accounting practice for corporate failures due to the role of the accountant now is changing, the rule of accountant was to maintain proper accounting process but it have changed to be able to make proper financial decisions. Because of lack of professional skills and proper ethics in the discharge of accounting functions in numerous corporate organizations, have contributed largely to most of the recent global financial crisis.
The current curricula are too narrow and often outdated and irrelevant, not market driven, and with too little attention to globalization, technology and ethics. According to Albrecht and sack (2000) that pedagogy is lecture and textbooks are overloaded with information with too much attention to memorization and preparing for exams. The students are not able to learn them self from any available resource, in addition there is inadequate attention to the technology. He said that accounting faculty is separated from other parts of the business school and from business professionals. There is also a lack of strategic direction in many accounting programs, according to Albrecht and Sack (2000).he says that current accounting education includes a lot of focusing on financial data preparation methods which may be low-value generation, and insufficient content related to information systems, finance and providing information to help in decision-making activities. He also attempt to provide some recommendation to these challenges one of the recommendations is that individual academic and educational institutions need to take in concern the structure of future accounting programs, he believes that there is need to avoid uniform courses and programs and to identify the interests of employers, the demographics of the student body, the strengths and weaknesses of the accounting academics and those of the business school and the available resources (Mathews, 2001).
According to Anoa (2009) the accounting curricula of B.Sc. degree in accounting is narrow in the coverage of essence accounting courses. That curricula is not revised enough to reflect that change in accounting and the need of business enterprises. There is new orientation seems to be emerging whereby the university degree syllabi appear to be driven by the ICAN syllabus (NSTITUTE OF CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS OF NIGERIA). This orientation can endanger the basic role of a university first degree which is better for providing wider based education. . The fall-out of this orientation is that students take more time preparing for ICAN examination while in the university instead of focusing on the B.Sc. curricula. Another aspect of the narrowness of the accounting curricular is insufficient coverage of courses in ethics, financial management and corporate governance. This short coming is the main reason of most global financial crisis and big corporate failures have been attributed to failures in accounting audit and financial management practice that’s clarify the importance of accounting education and why we need to face it challenges.
2.6 Stumbling blocks in the implementation of accounting education
There have been some issues in implementing accounting education which is one of main challenges faced by accounting education first, accounting professors as a group failed to know what is the importance of liberal education and they are most likely to specialize in tiny narrow areas. Secondly, the technical training is simpler to do as teacher for that teachers are more relaxed in lecturing how than to assign the student debate why. The evolve of teaching accounting has suffered from the continues change. Thirdly, Faculty members is not prepared enough to teach in non-technical manner as the majority of accounting PhDs received with little or no training in how to formally teach. The previous concerns is in the U.S may all apply in different locality, for example administration ability to invest in students getting access to technology , the fast change in today technology have profound impact on the integration of technologies into accounting education Mackie (1997).
As spotted that most of accounting programs had an accounting information system course, but with almost no time assigned to the specific applications. The accounting programs must integrate some basic skills with the overall set of skills necessary from the new technology. Throughout the education, thus pointing to the question of (a) the readiness of accounting faculty in developing and implementing such a curriculum and (b) the preparedness of institutions to make the financial investment. There is still another issue related to accounting education coupled with the complication that the number of universities seeking accreditation from Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) by that time it will increase almost to one third.
2.7 The Global Challenge for Accounting Education
Accounting education over the globe needs to please various communities of practice. In the accounting literature there is much situations over harmonization and how global harmonized accounting standards are important and needed, but education is complex to harmonize than say audit methodologies .We already have some form of harmonized accounting education standards in the form of IESs but these have not been adopted over the globe and accountants in Africa may not need the same accounting education as those in Australia (Helliar, 2013).
2.8 AECC (Accounting Education Change Commission) Effort:
In 1989, the Accounting Education Change Commission (AECC) was established to rush transformation in accounting education. The AECC called for fundamental modifications in what was taught and how it was taught. The AECC operated for seven years and gave grants to several universities and graduate schools in the USA to encourage curriculum changes to produce well-rounded accounting graduates.
Despite the efforts of the AECC, Albrecht and Sack (2000)10 reported that:
“Accounting leaders and practicing accountants are telling us that accounting education, as currently structured, is outdated, broken, and needs to be modified significantly.” (p. 1).
Albrecht and Sack (2000) also distinguished that variations to American accounting education had not been universal or fundamental and separately from a few schools, accounting education was taught with the same approach as it had been 20 or 30 years before.
Albrecht and Sack (2000) also recognized a number of problems in accounting education in The USA at the time of their report. The number of students that chose to study accounting had declined intensely and other disciplines were taking chances away that previously had been occupied by accounting students. Other problems acknowledged were that course syllabi were too narrow and often outdated or irrelevant, the interests of lecturers was emphasized rather than market demand, with no inclusion of important topics such as globalization, technology, and ethics. Regarding pedagogy, teaching of content was emphasized through memorization that led to leading to a lack of creativity and skills Development. In addition, there was a lack of strategic direction and development of Academics and reward systems were not connected with business-school peers and business Professionals. Albrecht and Sack concluded that there was an urgent need to substantially invest in accounting educators’ development to drive accounting education.
2.9 Analysis of the Literate Review:
This section will give an opinion on the previous research that was talking about accounting education challenges.
This research will be different from previous researches it is the first research that will identify challenges facing Bahrain accounting education no one has ever pointed these challenges or try to give recommendation in order to overtake these challenges to enhance accounting education quality.
The first research was talking about university teaching effect on accounting education challenges the writer Tablib has mentioned some issues like lack of teaching assistant and computer applications which in my opinion some of them apply in Bahrain accounting education there is clearly lack of teaching assistant and lack of computer applications during three years of studying we had never engage in any sort of computer applications. He also mentioned the irrelevant of text books there are some material which is irrelevant or difficult to understand because it based on foreign countries not the same country we are in.
The second research was talking about non-technical skills the writer have stated that the challenge accounting education facing is its inability to generate graduated students with generic skills (technical skills) because the employer also need these skills beside the accounting skills. This challenge maybe differ from academic plan to another in universities maybe some universities are able to generate graduated students with this ability and maybe some cannot. To know Bahrain is facing this challenge or not there must be an interview conducted with employer to assess this issue.
The educational technology, accounting education has not moved from procedural task and memorization which is true accounting education has not changed over the years, the interest, knowledge and age profile of academic staff in accounting education can be increased dramatically via technology which will attract more trained academic staff.
The lack of attracting student with abilities in Bahrain to accounting education is no challenge because in Bahrain accounting education has offer many jobs and there will be high demand on accountant because of taxes the gulf countries going to apply so the attraction to accounting is no challenge, But the challenge is the attracting of faculty members is the presenting problem because there is no motivation or befits for well skilled faculty members here in Bahrain this challenges need to be resolve.
As Albrecht and Sack said there is problem in accounting education that was and still taught in same way there is little or no change in teaching methods which is absolutely true. There is lack of using technology in present accounting education with no creative ways to attract the attention of the students and the current education face the problem of delay in change accordance to IFRS new standards for example the owner equity has been changed to net worth but still being taught as owner equity.
Chapter 3: Methodology
The previous chapter presents literate review that is used to have general idea and what other researcher thoughts on this concern. This chapter outlines the research methodology and methods employed to carry out the empirical work of this study in order to accomplish its objectives. In addition the chapter discusses the alternative of the methodological frameworks in the literature and justifies the selection of the research paradigm, methodology; and methods used in this study.
Research is a process of investigation to find out the reality of something. Thus, it is a significant component and central to business and academic activities. However, the definition of research is varied in the literature, as Collis and Hussey (2009) note that “Research means different things to different people” (p.1). The Oxford English dictionary
(2013) defined research as:
“The systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions.”
In this thesis, the research objective is to provide a general understanding of the different factors and challenges that effect accounting education and its practice in Bahrain based on the analysis of questioner and the perceptions of academics and their evaluation of this practice with interview. This thesis explores the perceived challenges of accounting education in Bahrain universities and then examines whether there are any external factors that affect the education.
This study is exploratory in its nature, and does not set up detailed hypotheses to be tested. Its main objective is to provide the challenges facing accounting education in Bahrain based on the perspective of accounting academics, questioner analysis and interviews.
This study investigates challenges facing accounting education in Bahrain with a predominantly qualitative interpretive strategy. To meet this aim the current study employs two research methods, to achieve the main objective of this study a questioner have been designed and interview have been conducted, the interview will be conducted with Professor that teaches accounting who were head of accounting department at the university of Bahrain for several years.
Questioner is an observational method, the researcher collect the data by observing the social phenomena, Nevertheless in case of large population, it will be very hard to observe them all, and in lack of simplify the result. In such a case the questioner method is the best method to collect data like in this research which is will implement questioner method.
It is one of the most dominant and frequent used method in social sciences for collecting data for person’s idea, beliefs, thoughts, feeling attitudes and perceptions, for the purpose of this research to investigate the accounting education challenges in Bahrain.
Questioner method for collecting data can be used in exploratory researches to collect primary data about alternatives issue, manufacturer can use questioner method to discover the consumer degree of satisfaction, and there opinion about their new products and sharing idea of consumer in design the next product or serves.
In this method the data is obtained by through report of respondents that reflect what they agree or not .when the researcher collect information by observe the behavior. Like this method it’s depend on the ability as well as the desire of respondent. The respondents may not be able to provide correct information in questioners, even on their own behavior; they may be under lot factors of pressures like social, psychological and physical pressure (Sufian,2009)
The questioner consist of six sections, first is multiple choice question second is yes or no question the other four questions are 5-Likert scale question.
In the first section it will collect demographical data about the participants who is accounting students, faculty member and others who are related to accounting, demographical data are important because the need of these data to breakdown overall survey response data into meaningful group of respondents and find in there is a relationship between demographical data and actual responds.
In the second section will collect information student perception of the major obstacles and challenges that they are facing by Yes or No questions, this section is important to assess the perception of the respondents about what the most challenging obstacle they have faced.
The third section collect information about what does students agree with the challenges related institutions and universities of accounting and how they could reduce the quality of accounting education. These obstacles and challenges by a quantitative question measuring the agreement, this section is important to assess the perception for these obstacles that they are facing.
The fifth section will collect information about what does students agree with the challenges related to textbooks of accounting. These obstacles and challenges by a quantitative question measuring the agreement, this section is important to assess the perception for these obstacles that they are facing.
Sixth section will collect information about their perception of the importance of this study and will it help them or the education to find solutions.
The questioner respondents will be asked to know their perception of the accounting education challenges.
As a part of the research method number of interviews were conducted. Interviewing is a method aimed at collecting data through asking participants a serious of questions that are relevant to the researcher’s topic. They normally involve face-to-face conversations between two people or more, the interviewer (the researcher) and an interviewee (the participant). However, in some cases interviews can be conducted by phone or through online internet services such as Skype. Participants can say anything they wish, and elements of their conversation have a certain value because they refer directly or indirectly to analytical elements of the research questions, which provide in-depth information about the research topic (Saunders et al., 2009). Interviews also allow the researcher to encourage participants to relate, in their own terms, their experiences and attitudes that are relevant to the research questions being investigated. According to Easterby-Smith et al. (2002) interviews are adequate methods when it is essential to: (i) ‘understand’ the underpinning constructs of the interviewees’ ‘opinions and beliefs’ regarding a specific issue or circumstance; and (ii) ‘develop’ an understanding of ‘world’ of interviewees hence the researcher might influence it, either autonomously, or cooperatively as in the case of action research.
The interview has been deemed the most fundamental of all methods used in qualitative research (Easterby-Smith et al., 2002). For research, the interview is considered the most important source of information (Yin, 2009). Interviews also can be combined with other research methods in a multi-methods design which may integrate, for instance, questionnaire or observation. Interviews can be classified into three types, namely; structured interviews, semi-structured interviews and unstructured interviews.
The interview were semi-structured and enabled an opportunity for the interviewee to lead the conversation and not feel constrained by the line of questions. It was expected that more useful information would result from an informal pattern of questions.
In the structured interview, the same closed questions, in the same order, are used for each interviewee. This format resembles the self-completion questionnaire, where it does not allow the researcher to divert from the list and avoids asking extra questions (Smith, 2006). However, the researcher is able to clarify ambiguous statements and comments. The use of structured interviews can facilitate the coding of answers for subsequent analysis; eliminate the chance for error associated with open questions; and the chance of missed questions where order differences are permitted.
3.3.1 Interview design
The first part of the interviews dealt with general questions on the age, length of time each interviewee had spent in teaching and their accounting practice experience. In addition, interviewees were asked about any professional membership and place of study. This was considered important as it enabled a picture to be built up of the academics’ prior experience in teaching, accounting practice and place of study.
The second part of the interviews covered the challenges facing accounting education in Bahrain such as the way of developing, reviewing and updating the of the challenges and the main factors influencing this challenges Moreover, interviewee were asked whether the identifying this challenges will contribute to the accounting education in Bahrain, Bahrain accounting profession and to the students themselves and why this was so. This part of the interviews also asked academics to determine to what extent they perceived their accounting education challnges to to develop professional accounting knowledge.
The third part of the interviews was concerned with the delivery and assessment of the challenges it covered the proposed different solution the challenges method and the reasons behind using these solutions.
The fourth part of the interviews and final set of questions dealt with the larger issues of higher accounting education. It asked the interviewees to determine the most important and powerful influences over the accounting education in Bahrain.
3.4 The Population
The population of this research is individuals who are directly related to accounting wither students of faculty member or employees. The questioner have been distributed to a sample size of 97 participants. The interview have been conducted one student the other with a professor in accounting and the last one is with employer who is in charge of training freshly graduated accounting students.
Approximately the population size is 25000 including all the students who have studied accounting in Bahrain with faculty members, Population size: The total number of people in the group you are trying to study.
Sample size is the number of completed responses your survey receives. It’s called a sample because it only represents part of the group of people (or target population) whose opinions or behavior you care about
Margin of error: A percentage that tells you how much you can expect your survey results to reflect the views of the overall population. The smaller the margin of error, the closer you are to having the exact answer at a given confidence level.
Population Size = N | Margin of error = e | z-score = z
The z-score is the number of standard deviations a given proportion is away from the mean. To find the right z-score with Desired Confidence Level
It have been calculated as 96 sample size by giving the population size=25000, margin of error= 10% and Confidence Level (%): 95% which is in range for 1.96 z-score.
3.5 Statistical Tools
Following statistical tools were used to analyze the data collected:
1. The percentage of each score was computed using the following formula:
% Distribution = F/N x 100 where:
F = frequency of an item or response.
N = total number of items or responses.
2. Weighted Mean – The arithmetical average when all the scores are added and divided by number of items obtained using the following formula:
M = ?X / N
Where: M = mean ?X = sum of the scores / measures in the series
N = number of cases
3. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) test was applied to determine if there are any significant differences in the average means found by the responses of the respondents when grouped according to the gender, level of education.
The 5-point Likert scale has the following scale values:
1.00 – 1.49 Strongly Agree (SA)
1.50 – 2.49 Agree (A)
2.50 – 3.49 Neutral (N)
3.50 – 4.49 Disagree (D)
4.50 – 5.00 Strongly Disagree (SD)
Correlation is a bivariate analysis that measures the strength of association between two variables and the direction of the relationship. In terms of the strength of relationship, the value of the correlation coefficient varies between +1 and -1. A value of ± 1 indicates a perfect degree of association between the two variables.
Kendall rank correlation: Kendall rank correlation is a non-parametric test that measures the strength of dependence between two variables. If we consider two samples, a and b, where each sample size is n, we know that the total number of pairings with a b is n(n-1)/2. The following formula is used to calculate the value of Kendall rank correlation.
3.6 Other methods for collecting data:
3.6.1Content analysis and analysis of secondary data:
Content analysis is a research technique developed for analyzing systematically the content of communication media. Content analysis used to assess the variation in the quality of message over a period of time. This message can be contained in newspaper, personal letter books, and also can be material that institute issued in prior years like, transaction annual reports, record and management report. Modern content analysis is less casual, more explicit about the criteria to be pragmatic and has incorporated the concept of quantitative as necessary.
The same case in using the secondary data, the researcher not always have to produce his own data to answer the research question, like using some statically data like the static of death, divorce, married, birth, unemployment and crimes. Lots of sources to find secondary data, for example, every country has a central statistical office that issues yearbook, witch be the best resource to collect national data about citizens, also the governmental department that keep its record about alternatives kind of information for people. The organizations also considered to be good source of financial data that researcher may look for it to analysis the past performance, predicting the budget for next years and make a decision (Sufian,2009).
3.6.2Qualitative data collection methods
Show an important role in influence evaluation by providing information useful to understand the processes behind observed results and consider changes in people’s perceptions of their well-being. Furthermore qualitative methods can be used to enhance the quality of survey-based quantitative assessments by helping generate evaluation hypothesis; strengthening the design of survey questionnaires and expanding or clarifying quantitative evaluation findings. These methods are categorized by the following features:
They lean towards to be open-ended and have less structured protocols (i.e., researchers may change the data collection strategy by adding, refining, or dropping techniques
They rely more deeply on interactive interviews; respondents may be interviewed several times to follow up on a particular issue, explain concepts or check the reliability of data.
They use triangulation to rise the credibility of their findings.
Generally their findings are not generalizable to any specific population, rather each case study produces a single piece of evidence that can be used to strive for general forms among different studies of the same issue.
Regardless of the classes of data involved, data collection in a qualitative study takes a great deal of time. The researcher needs to record any theoretically useful data accurately, and systematically, using field note, sketches, photographs and other suitable means. The data collection methods must observe the ethical principles of research (Sufian, 2009).
Chapter 4: Findings and Analysis
4.1 Questioner Findings
Table 1 Gender
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Male 58 59.8 59.8 59.8
Female 39 40.2 40.2 100.0
Total 97 100.0 100.0 There are 97 participant in this questioner 58 (59.8%) of them are males while 39 (40.2%) of them are females, it means most of the participants are males.
Table 2 Age
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid 18-24 years old 61 62.9 62.9 62.9
25-34 years old 22 22.7 22.7 85.6
35-44 years old 5 5.2 5.2 90.7
45 years old or older 9 9.3 9.3 100.0
Total 97 100.0 100.0 Most of the participant’s age are between 18-24 years old they make up to 62.9% of the participants 61 out of 97, while the lowest age is 35-44 years old which is 5 out of 97 it makes 9.3% only of overall participants in this questioner. The age range between 25-34 years old was the second highest with 22.7%. That indicates most of participants are currently studying accounting or graduated not long time ago.
According to the questioner data most of participants are single 59 out of 97 which makes (60.8%) of overall participants, after that the second highest is married participants which makes 35.1% of overall participates and 34 out of 97. There are also 2 divorced and 1 widowed participants.
According to questioner data most of the participants are students 54 out of 97 which makes (55.7%), the lowest are retired and Self-Employed which makes 6.2% each of them. The second highest is employed participants they are 31 out of 97 and makes (32%).
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid High school graduate 19 19.6 19.6 19.6
some college credits, no degree 32 33.0 33.0 52.6
Bachelor Degree 37 38.1 38.1 90.7
Master Degree or above 9 9.3 9.3 100.0
Total 97 100.0 100.0 For education the questioner participants 37 out of 97 are bachelor degree holder which makes (38.1%) of overall participants the second is participants who have some credits no degree yet which mean they are still studying they are 32 out of 97 and makes out (33%) of overall participants, the lowest is master degree holder or above which makes (9.3%) only and 9 out of 97. In third place it comes the high school graduates they are 19 out of 97 and makes (19.6%) these are the student who was studying accounting but failed to continue and dropped out of the university.
Table 4: That is true or not regarding accounting education in Bahrain.
Descriptive Statistics N Minimum Maximum Mean Std. Deviation % Yes % No
B.Sc. is narrow in covering core accounting courses 93 1 2 1.30 .461 67% 28.9%
Do you know challenges of Bahrain accounting education 95 1 2 1.43 .498 55.7% 42.3%
There is affect by accounting challenges on education 94 1 2 1.29 .455 69.1% 27.8%
Lack of technology is a challenge 95 1 2 1.39 .490 59.8% 38.1%
Impacted by Accounting education challenges 95 1 2 1.49 .503 49.5% 48.5%
Accounting Institution is low 94 1 2 1.46 .501 51% 43%
Funding of Accounting education is enough 93 1 2 1.46 .501 51.5% 44.3%
Valid N (listwise) 89 According to table 4, the minority (less than 50%) of the participants indicated the following statements regarding to Bahrain accounting education were:
They Impacted by Accounting education challenges
This type of question collected the opinion of the participants whether the statements regarding accounting education is true or not by answering Yes or NO, after analyzing these data it found that the participant who have impacted by accounting education challenges or obstacles have the highest (m=1.49) in another word the participants who closed yes agreed with that statement, 49.5% of the respondents have said that yes the challenges of accounting education have impacted them by one way or another while 48.5% have not impacted them which is very close percentage for the two set on variables.
67% of respondents agreed said B.Sc. is narrow in covering core accounting courses which represent the majority of them while 28.9% think that the B.Sc. is not narrow in covering the core accounting courses with a Std .461 lower the standard deviation means that data are closer to the mean (m=1.30), many of participants think the current B.sc in narrow because it offer unnecessary courses and don’t focus on the core of accounting courses which may help the students after on for example the current B.sc offers courses on Arabic,law,Islamic general electives which consider unnecessary with very low benefit for students after graduation.
Most of participants are aware of challenges facing accounting education in Bahrain 55.7% while 42.3% of them did not know about these challenges. The lowest Mean and Standard deviation represented by the statement There is affect by accounting challenges on education by Std=.455 and (m=1.29), 69.1% said yes the challenges of accounting education affected the education while 27.8% said no it does not have any affect.
For the following challenges which greater portion of participants agreed with and said yes it is a challenge that face accounting education in Bahrain is Lack of technology is a challenge and Accounting Institution is low.
Funding of accounting education is enough greater portion of participants said yes 51.5% while 44.3% disagreed with them they don’t see there is enough funding toward the accounting education.
Note: The percentage when combined does not equal 100% because of some missing responds.
Analyzing the Scale Questions:
The 5-point Likert scale has the following scale values:
1.00 – 1.49 Strongly Agree (SA)
1.50 – 2.49 Agree (A)
2.50 – 3.49 Neutral (N)
3.50 – 4.49 Disagree (D)
4.50 – 5.00 Strongly Disagree (SD)
Table 5: Distribution of Accounting Respondents about Teaching methods and Learning Facilities
Item 1 2 3 4 5 Total Mean Std. Dev Indication
Lack of teaching assistants. 35 37 13 5 5 95 2.03 1.096 Agree
Technology in teaching is not used. 26 28 25 11 5 95 2.38 1.159 Agree
Lack of accounting information system teaching (practical). 33 24 22 10 6 95 2.28 1.226 Agree
Traditional Teaching Techniques held the development of accounting education. 25 38 20 8 3 94 2.21 1.074 Agree
Modern accounting practice must be computer driven. 29 28 22 13 5 97 2.35 1.191 Agree
Need to increase courses offerings in the area of management, entrepreneurship, statistics, and mathematics. 10 14 17 24 30 95 3.53 1.351 Disagree
Weighted Average Mean: 2.46
The weighted average mean of the six statements in this question is (M=2.46) with a verbal interpretation of Agree, it means the overall respondents agree with accounting education challenges that have been mentioned above the first statement which is lack of teaching assistants have the lowest mean (M=2.03) and second lowest Standard deviation (Std.=1.096) which indicates the respondents mostly agree with the lack of teaching assistants is exists followed by Traditional Teaching Techniques held the development of accounting education statements which has the second lowest mean of (M=2.21) and lowest Standard deviation (Std.=1.074) which also indicates there is agreement on this statement as Likert scale show.
In third place with mean of agreement it comes the Lack of accounting information system teaching (practical) with mean of (M=2.28) and fifth place as highest standard deviation of (Std.=1.226) that indicates level of agreement according to Likert scale there is no or little practical in the accounting information system that the universities provide accounting information system is very important topic in accounting education it enable the accountant to record post summarize etc. , its mostly needed in jobs the university does not prepare the students adequate on the practical side giving them no knowledge on how to use it which most of participants agreed.
Fourth and fifth place on agreement with mean of (M=2.35) and (M=2.38) Respectively is Modern accounting practice must be computer driven (Std. =1.191) and Technology in teaching is not used (Std. =1.159). The respondents have agreed on those both statements as challenges facing Bahrain accounting education but with lower overall agreement by the respondents from the previous two statements.
Sixth place which was the highest mean of (M=3.52) which according to Likert scale is Disagreement which was Need to increase courses offerings in the area of management, entrepreneurship, statistics, and mathematics and with standard deviation (Std.=1.351) higher the standard deviation indicates low level of agreement which is mean disagreement, most of participants did not agree on that but they have agreed on the narrowness of current B.Sc. in covering core accounting courses which reflect there is no need for offering more management and mathematics courses rather that offering more accounting courses.
Note that there is some differences in the standard deviation and the mean of these questions because the number of respondents for each question is different.
Table 6: Distribution of Accounting Respondents about Institutions and universities
Item 1 2 3 4 5 Total Mean Std. Dev Indication
Responsibility of universities to build a strong education base 35 26 21 7 5 94 2.16 1.167 Agree
Institutions in general are not prepared to make the ?nancial investment. 18 30 30 13 4 95 2.53 1.080 Neutral
Funding towards accounting education must be increased. 28 35 20 8 4 95 2.21 0.977 Agree
Curricula must revised more often 23 36 27 6 2 94 2.23 0.966 Agree
Staff to student’s ratio should be lowered. 7 35 29 18 6 95 2.80 1.038 Neutral
Overall Weighted Average Mean: 2.38 Table 6 indicates respondent’s degree of agreement about the challenges that effect accounting education created by institutions or universities, Overall Weighted Average: 2.38 which indicates overall Agreement on this challenges and obstacles.
The lowest mean indicates high level of agreement which is Responsibility of universities to build a strong education base statement has the highest level of agreement with mean of (M=2.16) and Standard deviation (Std=1.167) The ability of a university to provide qualitative education depends ultimately on the extent of fund available to it and graduate accountants can stand to benefit maximally from the technical competence training and practice exposure provided by accounting professional trainers. Fund is required to improve the teaching and learning infrastructure, the second highest agreement is Funding towards accounting education must be increased (M=2.21) and standard deviation (Std=0.977) lower the standard deviation indicates greater agrees, so in order for universities to provide strong education base they must be funded adequately to enable them of doing so.
In third place Curricula must revised more often with mean of (M=2.23) and standard deviation (Std.=0.966) which also the respondents agree such curricula are often not revised often enough to reflect the changing accounting needs.
In fourth and fifth place respectively Institutions in general are not prepared to make the ?nancial investment (M=2.53), (Std. = 1.080) and Staff to student’s ratio should be lowered (M=2.80), (Std. = 1.038) they fall on the scale as Neutral neither agreement nor disagreement, The large class sizes as well as the diverse mix of students in such classes create learning gaps particularly in the accounting foundation courses.
Table 7: Accounting Textbooks
Item 1 2 3 4 5 Total Mean Std. Dev Indication
There is a gap between theory and practice. 37 35 13 7 5 97 2.05 1.131 Agree
The material covered during the course is too lengthy. 16 29 30 11 8 94 2.64 1.153 Neutral
Irrelevant textbooks to the Bahraini environment. 27 23 23 13 8 94 2.49 1.276 Agree
Overall Weighted Average: 2.39 Table 7 indicates the effect of accounting textbooks on the accounting education challenges Table 7 above summarizes the respondents’ responses regarding the Agreement of this statement as effect on the accounting education quality.
Table 7 shows that the overall weighted average mean of the three statements was (M=2.39) with verbal interpretation Agree. In other words, overall participants believe these obstacles and challenges associated with text book can reduce the quality of accounting education.
The highest agreement of the three statement was There is a gap between theory and practice with mean of (M=2.05) and (Std.= 1.131), this indicates that the respondents agree with the assumption of the gap between what is taught in theory and then when you come to practice it is not relevant to what was taught in theory there is some differences.
The second highest agreement on accounting text book challenges that reduce the quality of accounting education in Bahrain was Irrelevant textbooks to the Bahraini environment with mean of (M=2.49) and Standard deviation of (Std.= 2.49) participants agree that the text book is not relevant to our environment all of the text books are American based text book which have examples from their environment which could make the understanding difficult for the students to understand these examples because they never had experience of such case.
The highest mean statement was (M=2.64) and (Std.= 1.153) about The material covered during the course is too lengthy the participants did not agree nor disagree it was neutral for them so the length of material covered during the course is on middle not long or short its medium.
Table 8: Distribution of accounting Responses about the Importance of the study
Item 1 2 3 4 5 Total Mean Std. Dev Indication
This study will help to understand Accounting education obstacles and challenges. 24 32 27 9 2 94 2.29 1.023 Agree
This study will help to overtake some of Bahrain accounting education obstacles and challenges. 27 39 21 10 5 97 2.30 1.138 Agree
This study is importance for Bahrain accounting education. 26 37 20 6 7 96 2.28 1.149 Agree
Overall Weighted Average: 2.29 Table 8 indicates the importance of perceived benefits of this study accounting education challenges Table 8 above summarizes the respondents’ responses regarding the importance of this study of challenges facing education of in Bahrain. The findings shows that the overall weighted average of the three statements was (M=2.29) with verbal interpretation Agree lower the mean and the standard deviation indicates agreement. In other words, overall participants believe that having this study is important and will help in understanding and overtakes challenges facing accounting education in Bahrain.
All of the three statements have a verbal interpretation of Agree, the all three statements have very close means. The lowest the mean the highest the agreement degree study is importance for Bahrain accounting education (M=2.28) and(std.= 1.149) has the highest agree level because there were no study have talked ever before about the challenges facing Bahrain accounting education this study is the first to talk about this topic.
Second highest agreement is the study will help to understand Accounting education obstacles and challenges with mean of (M=2.29) and (Std.= 1.023), many have agreed with this statement especially those who did not know about the challenges of accounting education in Bahrain and their effect on the overall education this study will help to give overall idea about these challenges to enable those who are interested in accounting education to obtain understanding of these challenges.
In the last place it comes study will help to overtake some of Bahrain accounting education obstacles and challenges with mean of (M=2.30) and (Std.= 1.138) as agree also respondents think this study could help to overtake some of these challenges by offering some recommendations for the study.
Table 9 Correlations
Age Education Irrelevant textbooks to the Bahraini environment. The material covered during the course is too lengthy. Lack of teaching assistants
Kendall’s tau_b Age Correlation Coefficient 1.000 Sig. (2-tailed) . N 97 Education Correlation Coefficient .517** 1.000 Sig. (2-tailed) .000 . N 97 97 Irrelevant textbooks to the Bahraini environment. Correlation Coefficient .022 -.055 1.000 Sig. (2-tailed) .808 .523 . N 94 94 94 The material covered during the course is too lengthy. Correlation Coefficient -.164 -.098 .219* 1.000 Sig. (2-tailed) .067 .261 .010 . N 94 94 93 94 Lack of teaching assistants Correlation Coefficient .016 -.011 .260** .099 1.000
Sig. (2-tailed) .858 .896 .002 .249 .
N 95 95 94 94 95
**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).
*. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).
Table 9 indicate the correlations between age, education and accounting text book challenges.
There is significant high correlation between Age and education .517
There is significant low correlation between length of material and irrelevant of text books .219
And there is significant low correlation between teaching assistants and irrelevant of text books .260
N F Test
F-ratio F sig.
There is a gap between theory and practice. High school graduate 19 4.496 0.005
Some college credit 32 Bachelor’s degree 37 Master’s degree or above 9 The material covered during the course is too lengthy. High school graduate 19 0.860 0.465
Some college credit 30 Bachelor’s degree 36 Master’s degree or above 9 Irrelevant textbooks to the Bahraini environment. High school graduate 19 1.196 0.316
Some college credit 31 Bachelor’s degree 35 Master’s degree or above 9 Table 10: Summary of ANOVA Results When the
Respondents Are Grouped According to the educational level.
Table 10 shows the results of ANOVA test when the respondents are grouped according to educational level. Using a significance level of 0.05, no significant educational level differences were found for the respondents’ perception Material covered during the course and Irrelevant of textbooks to the environment. The ANOVA test showed that there is no statistically significant between educations and irrelevant of textbooks or the material covered during the course because there F-Sig. were greater than 0.05 level of significance. The gap between theory and practice is the only statistically significant because F-sig. is lower than 0.05 it is 0.005 which indicates there is 0.5% is due to the chance.
Table 11: Summary of ANOVA Test When the Respondents Are Grouped According to Their Gender.
N F Test
F-ratio F sig.
Traditional Teaching Techniques held the development of accounting education. Male 55 0.557 0.457
Female 39 Modern accounting practice must be computer driven. Male 58 1.215 0.273
Female 39 This study will help to understand Accounting education obstacles and challenges. Male 56 0.399 0.529
Female 38 As seen in Table 11 male Participants in the questioner have higher score than female participants in Traditional Teaching Techniques held the development of accounting education. (M = 2.27 Vs M =2.43), male Participants feel Traditional Teaching Techniques held the development of accounting education are more influential on the accounting education of Bahrain female feel the other way around. Because the F-sig. does not show below 0.05 that’s indicate there is no statically difference in all three statements. Modern accounting practice must be computer driven also is not statistically significant between males and females. The ANOVA test reveals that using a significance level of 0.05, there is no significant differences were found for the respondents’ perception in three of the above statements. This means that there are no statistically significant gender differences in the responses regarding the need for modern accounting practice must be computer driven and the Traditional Teaching Techniques held the development of accounting education when they are grouped according to gender. It also means that gender does have an no influence on the level of agrees about need for modern accounting practice must be computer driven according to gender it happened 27.3% by chance and the Traditional Teaching Techniques held the development of accounting education as a challenges facing accounting education according to gender it happened 45.7% by chance.
4.2 Interview Summary
The interview was conducted in Bahrain where is the area of the research. The researcher conducted all interview face to face. The duration of the interview was half hour. The interviewee name was not mentioned to preserve his anonymity. The interviewee was happy to discuss and provide information about the accounting education challenges and share some of his experience in this area.
The first part of the interview dealt with general questions on the age, length of time interviewee had spent in teaching and his accounting practice experience. In addition, interviewee was asked about any professional membership and place of study. This was considered important as it enabled a picture to be built up of the academics’ prior experience in teaching, accounting practice and place of study.
The second part of the interview covered the Challenges facing Bahrain accounting education, what is his opinion in these challenges and can they impact the accounting education, reviewing the staff to student ratio and how we can overtake some of these challenges.
The findings of the interview was as follow in the first part of the interview the interviewee name was not mentioned because he did not want to mention his name he is teaching at the university of Bahrain his age is over 50 years old he involved in teaching for 28 years his area of teaching is Accounting he has membership of professional accounting bodies he also studied abroad in England and he have got his PhD in 2002.
When the interviewee was asked about the current accounting curricula of B.Sc. in accounting he agreed it tend to be narrow in covering of core accounting courses as most courses are related to speculation.
The interviewee have selected the following as challenges facing Bahrain accounting education Low quality accounting institutions , lack of teaching assistants, high staff to students ratio and funding, he said these challenges have impacted the quality of accounting education as most impact came from the funding as most significant accounting challenge for the education he stated if the funding is enough they will be able to introduce teaching assistants and reduce the staff to students ratio.
He said the staff to student ratio in normal range is 1-30, but in the University of Bahrain the staff to student ratio is 1-100 which is very high and reduce the quality of accounting education funding must increase in order to hire more staff to reduce staff to student ratio and make teaching assistant available.
The interviewee recommended the following to overtake some of these challenges, staff to student ratio could be lowered by reducing student intake or rising the funding for more staff, to generate more fund universities should retool their machinery for internally generated fund.
He also stated that he know about these challenges from his working experience in Bahrain, and in his opinion the traditional teaching techniques did not held the development of accounting education, and for successful accounting education it should be partially computer driven.
4.3 Discussion on Findings
One of the most influential obstacle of finding on accounting education was
University education is cost demanding in terms of both capital expenses and operating expenses. The capability of a university to provide quality education in accounting is dependent on the level of funding available to pay salaries to staff and provide sufficient supporting facilities. University of Bahrain is funded by the government. The wage bill of leading universities in the country is very high. In most of the universities, the amount available is inadequate to provide necessary support services. Inadequate funding of universities lead to higher staff ratio and inadequate service for facilities. Under funding always lead to under provision of basic teaching and learning facilities, inability to attract quality academic staff, desertion of academic research, poor work attitude and consequently failure to attain program objectives.
Staff to Students Ratio
According to the interviewee he stated for a maximum staff student ratio of 1:30 for accounting departments. In the University of Bahrain the staff to student ratio is 1:100 which is three times the maximum range. That staffing shortfalls in accounting departments could lead to serious damage to the accounting education quality.
Findings showed that irrelevant accounting textbooks have a major negative influence on accounting education. In this case, respondents felt that there was a wide gap between the theory and practice, the book culture they inherited from the American environment is reflected in their publications with little or no concern to our environment there is need to make text book.
Chapter 5: Summary and Conclusion
5. Conclusion and summary
In conclusion the purpose of this research was to investigates challenges facing Bahrain accounting education to identify these challenges and most significant of these challenges in order to recommend solutions to overtake some of these challenges that reduce the quality of accounting education.
Accounting education is very important to any nation it is the factory of accountant with good skills and knowledge to carry out that nation business or accounting needs of that nation. Accounting education at the university level is very essential because human capacity creating institutes the major challenge of the university system in meeting the accounting needs of the country. The challenges in Bahrain accounting education is mainly the funding to meet the requirement of the education.
The results of this study showed that accounting education in Bahrain is impacted by these challenges lack of teaching assistant, staff to student ratio is high, irrelevant texts books to the environment, gap between theory and practice and most influential challenge is Funding.
This study is important to identify current challenges facing Bahrain accounting education and recommends ways to overtake these challenges most of participants in this study consider it importance to understand and overtake these challenges education.
It is hoped that the findings of this research will provide useful insights for the new Bahrain educational authorities who are currently must get on a process of reviewing the laws and regulations inherited from many years so that universities can lead further research.
Finally, these challenges can easily overtake by only funding further research should be done in this area.
Based on the prior challenges identified throughout the questioner and the interview problems and limitations, a number of logical strategies could be recommended to address these challenges in order to find solution for them.
In relation to the level of staff to students ratio highlighted earlier in this paper; efforts should be made by accounting departments to operate within lower staff to student ratio in accounting. An easy approach to achieve that objective would be to drastically reduce the intake of students. Given the massive pressure for intake into accounting program student intake reduction is certainly a sub-optimal solution. The ideal solution therefore is to expand the tutorial staff through more attractive remuneration packages and research grants for university accountancy teachers.
Accounting education teaching should target the inculcation of three developmental qualities on students to equip them properly for the adaptability of jobs they may be exposed to after graduation. The three developmental traits which are education, skill development and good work attitude are, according to Anao (2009), essentially interlocking. The university should focus on providing sound broad educational basis in accounting upon which technical and professional competence can be built through professional training.
As specified earlier, it is the responsibility of universities to build a strong education base on which professional training in accounting can stand. To discharge that task respectably, the universities should attempt to put in place credible accounting degrees curricula. The B.Sc. degree program should therefore be broad-based to include courses rich in theory and principles to equip students adequately for any of the various roles they may be called upon to play after graduation in the modern economy. In that connection increase core accounting courses rather than unnecessary universities requirement courses and general elective courses.
Funding is and challenge face accounting education as have been mentioned university education is cost intensive in terms of both capital expenditure and operating costs. The capability of a university to deliver quality education in accounting is dependent on the level of funding available to pay commensurate salaries to staff and provide sufficient supporting facilities, therefore universities should find another way for funding to generate more funds, and universities should go internally generated funds (IGF).
Findings showed that irrelevant chosen accounting textbooks have a major negative influence on accounting education. In this case, respondents felt that there was a wide gap between the theory and practice, the book culture they inherited from the American environment is reflected in their publications with little or no concern to our environment there is need to make text book with relevant examples to our environment which hiring professionals on converting American examples of the text books to example cope with our environment.
The study indicated that the obstacles to accounting education are the lack of teaching assistants, and lack of computerized practice sets. A lack of teaching assistants prevented students from receiving extra help outside of class and in small groups, as well as a void in advice to improve their critical thinking skills. Having teaching assistants is very important not only for students, but also for faculty. They can help the instructors by observing the class during daily instruction and noticing students who are struggling, a teaching assistants must be introduced for the universities that does not have it.
This research also pointed out that computerized practice and lack of accounting information system practice sets are not being used could affect the accounting education. This means that the accounting cycle is taught and executed in classrooms manually, which fosters the false perception among students that practice sets require much more time than they actually do when the process is automatic. Thus, results suggest that having computers with relevant software in the classrooms, as well as the aid of teaching assistants, will make a dramatic difference in student performance, and reduce the current effort required.
5.3 Limitation and Problems Related to Conducting the Research
There are some limitations to the findings of this study that should be considered. The first Limitation is related to the small number of respondents on which the study focuses, the sample of students were only from one university that is university of Bahrain future researches should explore the student’s opinion on challenges of accounting education on other universities.
In addition, the researcher faced a research problem of finding a theoretical framework, as there are no prior studies on accounting education challenges in Bahrain and there were conservatism on the level of funding for accounting education on Bahrain and other related information.
5.4 Implication of the study
In light of the findings of this thesis, Bahrain regulatory bodies, the Bahraini government and Bahrain higher education authorities need to get on addressing the challenges and obstacles that delay the development of accounting education practices in Bahrain universities. Bahraini universities should be given more independence to manage their affairs which could lead to a rise in morale and satisfaction among Bahrain academics hence improving the accounting learning process. In addition, the Bahrain government should consider assigning appropriate financial resources to universities to spend on enhancing their infrastructure such as buildings, classes and access to the internet as well as educational recourses such as textbooks, journals, scientific periodicals and electronic databases. Further, Bahrain authorities should consider increasing the salaries of university lecturers as it is important that Bahrain accounting academics are paid decent salaries that save them from working in second jobs and grant them opportunities to attend conferences, seminars and workshops and build up networks to share practice that will help them upgrade their knowledge and skills and thus effectively perform their educational duties, conduct research and write textbooks. Furthermore textbooks should be changed to suits the environment of Middle East and provide more meaningful to the reader rather than foreign environment that he does no know well. There is need to address the gap between the theory and practice between education levels in order to enhance the quality of accounting education.
Moreover, theoretically the differences in finding of this study compared to some previous researches implies that generalization of research findings across countries and research context should be done with caution due the difference in culture and economic situation.
5.5 Area for Future Research
Study about accounting education in Bahrain normally and in Bahraini universities, in particular, are rare. Definitely, there is a huge gap in the literature about accounting education in Bahrain, there is a significant and crucial need for more studies on accounting education in general and, in particular, on characteristics of accounting education such as on obstacles and barriers that held the development of accounting.
One of the suggestions of this study is to investigate strategies that could be adopted to improve accounting education in Bahrain to motivate the process of change in the organizational logic of current practices from second jobs and not conducting research to be based on a professional academic logic that encourages research that could keep Bahrain universities’ accounting curriculum and syllabus constantly relevant. This research could not involve the views of different stakeholders of accounting education such as academics, regulators, students, professional accountants and employers in Bahrain.
Research also could be conducted to investigate how changes in the Bahrain political, economic and business environment shape knowledge and the generic skills needed by practitioners that could help accounting academics design a relevant accounting curriculum and textbooks.
Moreover, researchers could examine the teaching methods that could be used in Bahrain universities to teach accounting and develop generic skills in Bahrain accounting students that can assist them afterward graduation to mark a positive influence to Bahrain society.
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Challenges Facing Accounting Education in Bahrain Questionnaire for Accounting students and staff
1. What is your gender?
2. How old are you?
18-24 years old 25-34 years old 35-44 years old 45years or older
High school graduate Some college credit, no degree Bachelor’s degree Master’s degree or above
4. Marital status
Single Married Divorced Widowed
5. Employment Status
A student Employed Self-employed Retired
For each of the following questions, Tick the response that is true or not regarding accounting education in Bahrain.
The accounting curricula of a B.Sc. degree in accounting tend to be narrow in the coverage of core accounting courses?
Do you know what are the challenges facing Bahrain Accounting Education?
Does these challenges affect the accounting education in your opinion?
Have you ever impacted by accounting education challenges and obstacles?
Lack of technology in accounting education is one of challenges facing Bahraini accounting education?
Number of accounting Institutions is very low in Bahrain?
Funding of accounting education in Bahrain is enough?
For each of the following questions, Tick the response that best characterizes how you agree with these obstacles and challenges facing Bahrain accounting education, where 1=Strongly agree, 2=Agree, 3= Neutral, 4= Disagree,5= Strongly Disagree.
A.Teaching methods and Learning Facilities
1. Lack of teaching assistants. 1. .2. 3. 4. 5.
2. Technology in teaching is not used. 1. .2. 3. 4. 5.
3. There is lack of accounting information system teaching (practical). 1. .2. 3. 4. 5.
4. Traditional Teaching Techniques held the development of accounting education. 1. .2. 3. 4. 5.
5. For Successful Accounting education Modern accounting practice must be computer driven. 1. .2. 3. 4. 5.
6. There is need to increase course offerings in the area of management, entrepreneurship, statistics, mathematics. 1. .2. 3. 4. 5.
B. Institutions and Universities
1. It is the responsibility of universities to build a strong education base on which professional training in accounting can stand. 1. .2. 3. 4. 5.
2. Institutions in general are not prepared to make the ?nancial investment required to assure student access to technology. 1. .2. 3. 4. 5.
3.The funding towards accounting education must be increased 1. .2. 3. 4. 5.
4. Curricula must revised more often to reflect the changing accounting needs of business enterprises. 1. .2. 3. 4. 5.
5. Staff to student’s ratio should be lowered. 1. .2. 3. 4. 5.
C. Accounting Textbooks
1. There is a gap between theory and practice. 1. .2. 3. 4. 5.
2. The material covered during the course is too lengthy. 1. .2. 3. 4. 5.
3. Irrelevant textbooks to the Bahraini environment. 1. .2. 3. 4. 5.
D. Importance of this Study
1. This study will help to understand Accounting education obstacles and challenges. 1. .2. 3. 4. 5.
2. This study will help to overtake some of Bahrain accounting education obstacles and challenges. 1. .2. 3. 4. 5.
3. This study is importance for Bahrain accounting education. 1. .2. 3. 4. 5.
Interview Questions for challenges facing Bahrain Accounting education
Semi-Structured Interview Questions challenges facing Accounting education
1. Participant:……………………… University ……………………………………. 2. Age: ? 20-30, ? 30-40, ? 40-50, ? over 50 3. Number of years in teaching:………………………….. 4. Area of teaching……………………………………….. 5. Number of years in practice:……………………………. 6. Membership of professional bodies:……………………………………………. 7. Study abroad:…………………. If yes in which country:………………………… 8. Year of graduation:……………………..
The accounting curricula of a B.Sc. degree in accounting tend to be narrow in the coverage of core accounting courses?
2. Do you agree with these challenges that they are facing Bahrain Accounting education? Select the challenges that you see it is facing Bahrain accounting education.
Accounting Institutions is very low in Bahrain. Funding. Lack of technology in accounting education. Lack of teaching assistants. There is a gap between theory and practice. The material covered during the course is too lengthy. Irrelevant textbooks to the Bahraini environment. Courses offered in the area of management, entrepreneurship, statistics, and mathematics is inadequate.
3. Do you think these challenges impacted the accounting education?
3. Staff to student ratio in Bahrain accounting education is high?
8. In your opinion as a member of faculty what challenges has the most significant influence on the accounting education?
4. What of the following could help to overtake these challenges?
The B.Sc. degree programs should be broad-based to include courses rich in theory and principles to equip students adequately.
Staff to student ratio should be lowered by to achieve that objective would be to drastically reduce the intake of student.
To generate more funds, universities should retool their machinery for internally generated funds.
There is need to increase course offerings in the area of management, entrepreneurship, statistics, mathematics, ethics, financial management, corporate governance, and applied economics. Such courses will prepare students for general management and basic academic research responsibilities.
7. How did you become aware of challenges facing Accounting education in Bahrain?
9. Traditional Teaching Techniques held the development of accounting education?
10. This study will help to understand Accounting education obstacles and challenges?
11. For Successful accounting education Modern accounting practice must be computer driven?