The relationship between professional skepticism and critical thinking of accounting managers: A quantitative study

by Holley, Sandra C., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2016, 86 pages; 10131548


Accounting managers are tasked with the responsibility of analyzing financial reports, investigating anomalies, compiling data for strategic budgeting, and communicating data results to upper management. Accounting managers equipped with professional skepticism or critical thinking could prove to be a valuable asset to the manufacturing industry, as professional skepticism is characterized by an objective approach to information, while critical thinking is based on judgement. If accounting managers applied professional skepticism and critical thinking simultaneously, then a company could benefit from stronger financial stability and operational efficiency. As such, this research study used the theory of cognitive development to study the frameworks of professional skepticism and critical thinking. This quantitative study examined the relationship between professional skepticism and critical thinking of accounting managers in small manufacturing companies. To achieve this objective, a non-experimental research methodology was used to determine if a relationship existed. Data was collected from 37 small business accounting managers using a random sample process. The Professional Skepticism Survey (Hurtt, 2010) and the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal Form S (Watson & Glaser, 1994) were used to collect data. Spearman Rho Correlation was used to analyze the data from the sample. The findings of this research study found that there was a relationship between professional skepticism and critical thinking for accounting manages in small business. Results from this study found that accounting managers can strengthen the control systems in small business by simultaneously applying professional skepticism and critical thinking to the accounting systems to ensure financial stability and minimize operational risk.

AdviserPatricia A. Parham
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsAccounting; Management
Publication Number10131548

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