Job tasks of the beginning accounting and bookkeeping worker compared with the content of the high school accounting and bookkeeping curriculum

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1976

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Abstract

The problem. The present accounting and bookkeeping curriculum does not adequately prepare the student for employment as a beginning accounting and bookkeeping worker. The problem in this study was to identify the discrepancy between work and training programs in this area. To solve the problem three questions were asked: 1. What identified job tasks are being performed by the beginning accounting and bookkeeping worker? 2. What job tasks are included in the conventional high school accounting and bookkeeping curriculum? 3. To what extent does the conventional high school accounting and bookkeeping curriculum include and prioritize these identified job tasks? An assumption was made that the conventional high school accounting and bookkeeping curriculum is determined by the textbooks used in class. The definition used for the conventional high school accounting and bookkeeping curriculum included courses in accounting, bookkeeping, recordkeeping, data processing and/or computers. The purpose of the study was to provide either verification of the current curriculum or needed direction for change. The study was also intended to provide a review of the research done in the content area of high school accounting and bookkeeping from 1968-1975. Research procedures. The procedures were divided into three areas to coincide with the three questions asked in the problem. To determine the job tasks performed by the beginning accounting and bookkeeping worker, a comprehensive search of the literature was made for eight years, 1968-1975. A total of 64 studies pertaining to the content area of high school accounting and bookkeeping were identified; of these, 16 studies contained specific information about the job tasks of the beginning accounting and bookkeeping worker. After a series of unsuccessful attempts to combine the 16 studies into a composite ranked list of the job tasks performed by the beginning accounting and bookkeeping worker, one study, the NOBELS study, was selected as containing representative information about the job tasks of the national population of the beginning accounting and bookkeeping worker. A list of 150 job tasks was drawn from NOBELS data and ranked by frequency of representation. To determine the job tasks included in the conventional high school accounting and bookkeeping curriculum, the textbooks most commonly used in the curriculum were identified and analyzed. Berelson's and Holsti's methods of content analysis were used to compile a list of job tasks included in each text. The job task lists from the two South-Western textbooks selected as representative of the curriculum were synthesized into one list and ranked by the total volume of space occupied by each job task in the textbooks. To determine the extent to which the high school curriculum includes and prioritizes the job tasks of the beginning accounting and bookkeeping worker, rank correlation statistics and comparisons were applied to the two lists, one list representing the job tasks performed by the worker, the other list representing the curriculum. Curvilinear relationships were also examined through the use of a scatter diagram. [...]

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