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Research Design

This research is conducted to study the perception of non-accounting

students towards accounting and the accounting profession. The approach

taken is qualitative in nature and is in line with the Theory of Planned

Behavior. The theory states that attitude toward behavior, subjective norms,

and perceived behavioral control, together shape an individual's behavioural

intentions and behaviors (Wikipedia).

The qualitative method was decided to be the most appropriate

approach for this study in order to achieve the intended objectives. An article

written by Shuttleworth & Wilson (2008) states that the design of qualitative

research is probably the most flexible of the various experimental techniques,

encompassing a variety of accepted methods and structures. According to

them, though there is no standardized structure, this type of study still needs

to be carefully constructed and designed. The nature of qualitative research

design means that some useful data is always generated, whereas an

unproved hypothesis in a quantitative experiment can mean that a lot of time

has been wasted. They believe that in qualitative research, it is not a problem

if the research develops in an unexpected direction. Shuttleworth and Wilson

know for a fact that the researchers are usually pleased with whatever they

discover, and deliberately try to avoid going in with any expectations.

Qualitative research methods are not as dependent upon sample sizes as

quantitative methods.
The design of the questionnaire was based on the aforementioned

topics in the theoretical framework adopted from the works of different

researchers cited in the theoretical framework. The survey is comprised two

parts. First part is getting the respondents info: name (optional), program and

if they had considered taking accounting as a career path, to help the

researchers to categorize them by program and see the differences of

perception accordingly. The second part contains questions about their

perceptions about accounting and the profession. Respondents will be asked

of what they think are the qualities essential for an accountant, fresher’s

salary, work place and characteristics of accounting and accountants.

The paper looks at the way in which a group of accounting students

perceives the image of accountant and the accounting profession. Data will be

gathered by means of a questionnaire distributed to non-accounting students

at the Panpacific University. The questionnaires will be distributed and

completed by students during classes with the assistance of the instructors (if

permitted so). Another method is to distribute questionnaires around the

campus to non-accounting students during their break time. Researchers are

expected to make clear instructions as to how to complete the questionnaires.

Locale and Population

A set of questionnaire was developed to collect data on students’

perceptions towards the accounting profession. The respondents of the study

constitutes of sample population from all undergraduate students currently

enrolled at Panpacific University except those students enrolled with the

program of Bachelor of Science in Accountancy. Non-accounting students of

Panpacific University will serve as the respondents due to the reason that most

of them are not familiar with the profession or has only limited knowledge

when it comes to the profession. The year level of students won’t be a

necessary factor to be chosen as a respondent, as long as he/she belongs to

the programs offered at Panpacific University where the study will be

conducted. The Raosoft Sample Size Calculator will be used to obtain the

sample size needed.

Questionnaires will be floated to non-accounting students of Panpacific

University to gather answers to the questions being asked. Information about

the respondents as well as their answers will be kept confidential to reassure

respondents who are participating in the survey, that the information they are

giving will remain confidential and won’t be used for any other purposes.

After collecting questionnaires, answers will be calculated in a

percentage method. Qualitative researches often use the percentage method

in order to analyze the results. A percentage frequency distribution is a

display of data that specifies the percentage of observations that exist for each

data point or grouping of data points. It is a particularly useful method of

expressing the relative frequency of survey responses and other data (Sage

Research Method, 2008).

Data Gathering Instrument

The present study was undertaken by employing the questionnaire

survey method. According to Babbie, as cited by Aziz (2017), the main

advantage of survey research is the reduced time and costs of carrying out the

survey as compared to personal interviews. This in turn allows a wide range of

standardized information to be obtained from a large sample. Another study

by Loo, as cited by Aziz states that survey research method enables

respondents to complete the questionnaire in their own time and in a more

convenient way compared to the face-to-face interview. Moreover, it is found

to be the most reasonable method to cover a wide geographical area, to

represent a given population (Loo, 2006). This method is also popular in social

science studies and therefore it is also a method of empirical verification

(Babbie, 2013) which can produce reliable measures.

A survey is a data collection tool used to gather information about

individuals. Surveys are commonly used in psychology research to collect

self-report data from study participants. A survey may focus on factual

information about individuals, or it might aim to obtain the opinions of

the survey takers. A survey can be used to investigate the characteristics,

behaviors, or opinions of a group of people. These research tools can also

collect information on experiences, opinions, and even hypothetical

scenarios. Surveys allow researchers to collect a large amount of data in a

relatively short period. Surveys can be used to collect information on a broad

range of things, including personal facts, attitudes, past behaviors, and

opinions (Cherry, 2018).