PurposeBuilt upon three components (attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control) of the theory of planned behavior (TPB), the purpose of this paper is to analyze the factors that influenced accounting students’ intention to pursue public accounting instead of private accounting as their career choice in China.Design/methodology/approachThe TPB is used to predict the rational intention of accounting students in this study. A binary logistic regression analysis was applied to test all hypotheses because of its suitability.FindingsThe authors find that the variety and marketability of public accounting experiences, high turnover plus, low firm cohesion in the workplace, and perceived difficulties in traveling extensively affected students’ intentions to pursue the public accounting profession significantly. By highlighting these factors that affect students’ intention to pursue public accounting, this paper has important implications for the accounting educators and other stakeholders in China and other emerging economies.Originality/valueBy understanding the factors influencing the accounting students’ interests in pursuing public accounting, accounting educators and accounting firms could make some changes, redesign accounting curriculum, and enhance internship experience and recruiting process in order to increase more interests in public accounting. Professional organizations and policy makers might learn some lessons to take some actions to encourage young accounting professionals to work for public accounting firms. Moreover, this study has provided a valuable perspective to accounting educators, practitioners, and policy makers in other emerging economies with the same shortage of qualified public accountants.
Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 5, 2018