The Persistent Accounting Stereotype: Why Is It so Resistant to Change?
Research suggests that not only are perceptions of accounting and accountants very negative, but that they may also be inaccurate and difficult to change. There is growing concern that these perceptions are discouraging individuals with the required skills and capabilities from entering the accounting profession and that these perceptions may lead to reduced levels of engagement with the public. Stereotype theory suggests that strategies for changing perceptions are dependent on how and why the perceptions are formed. This study through interviews and focus groups, identifies participant perceptions of accounting and discoveres how and why they were formed. The application of stereotype theory to these findings has assisted, in explaining why the perceptions people have of accounting and accountants have been so resistant to change and in identifying suitable intervention strategies.