Do Accounting Researchers Investigate Topics of Interest to Accounting Practitioners? Preliminary Evidence

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Lou Orchard
Andrew Sbaraglia
Khamis Bilbeisi
D Micah Grant
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Journal Article, Academic Journal
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Research Projects
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Besides teaching and service, a large portion of an academic’s job is research. At many universities, research quality is the most important factor in promotion and tenure decisions. In accounting and business in general, the measurement of research quality is usually the journal of publication. Journals are ranked according to perceived quality with more weight placed on higher quality journals. Some universities have started considering citation counts as a measurement of impact. However, what is missing from these measures is the impact the academic research has on the profession. While some argue that academic accounting research has made a positive impact on the accounting profession mainly through standard-setting (Moehrle et al., 2009), others argue that academic accounting research fails to address topics of concern to practitioners (Kaplan, 2011; Tucker and Lowe, 2014). Thus, there is a potential “gap” between accounting research and practice. The purpose of this paper is to investigate this gap.<br>Specifically, we provide preliminary evidence of the extent to which topics recently covered in the academic accounting literature also appear to be of interest to accounting practitioners.<br>We selected two pure academic journals (The Accounting Review and Accounting Horizons) and three practitioner journals (The Journal of Accountancy, Strategic Finance, and The Tax Advisor). The practitioner journals are our proxy for what is interesting to accounting professionals. Using a key word search methodology, we find significant overlap between the topics covered in the practitioner and academic journals. We conclude that some reports of a research-practice gap appear to overstate the magnitude of such a gap.
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