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Administrative Issues Journal

Abstract

Objectives: Prior studies have noted that the number of PhDs in accounting are far below the number needed to meet program hiring needs. This paper reviews how the JD-CPA alternative credential is viewed by three academic accreditation bodies (SACS, ACBSP, and AACSB), the American Bar Association (ABA), and current accounting faculty at SACS-accredited institutions of higher education. Methods: An online survey was distributed to accounting educators at 439 institutions accredited by SACS, with 248 complete responses received. Individual demographics and institutional information were summarized statistically. Responses to two questions assessing inclination to hire an otherwise-qualified JD-CPA candidate using a 5-point Likert scale were analyzed by multiple regression with individual and institutional variables as predictors. Results: The study found that JD-CPA accounting educators are widely present in accounting faculties. Responses to the opinion questions indicated a substantial willingness to hire JD-CPAs, albeit with significant differences based on institution type, faculty rank, and possession of a Ph.D. Conclusion: This study demonstrates general willingness among current accounting faculty to consider JD-CPAs for tenure-track accounting faculty positions while still expressing a preference for candidates with a Ph.D. and with notable reservations from certain demographic segments of the accounting academe.

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