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Business Law in the Accounting Curriculum: An Exploratory Study

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Document pages: 18 pages

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether the need for business law as a distinct subject matter within the accounting discipline should be taught in a more rigorous manner. This study involved semi structured interviews with eleven business law academics from two New Zealand Universities. The interviews were conducted to assess the perspectives of business law academics and how business law is taught. Perceptions were also sought on whether business law material coverage meets the needs of accounting students and if not what changes were considered necessary for the subject matter to remain relevant. Not surprisingly, all the interviewees considered business law was vital to accounting students as most of the interviewees had business and legal backgrounds. The interviews drew a variety of responses on what accounting students needed to know about the intricacies of business law. Responses were also varied over what business law topics needed to be incorporated into the curricula and the depth of detail they should be taught but it was found that almost half of the interviewees wanted business law to be taught using a problem-based learning approach. This study is a reflection of the current debate regarding the level of knowledge accounting students require of the law to be effective chartered accountants and financial managers.

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