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ACCEPTABILITY OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN ACCOUNTING TECHNOLOGY (BSAT) AS AN ALTERNATIVE COURSE IN ACCOUNTANCY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF EASTERN PHILIPPINES

CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY College life is a challenging stage of a students formal education. The challenge begins from choosing a course and a school. The choice of a college course is often influenced by a lot of factors, including the number of courses offered in a university that one wishes to enroll in, ones interest and aptitude, and the expectations and preference of ones parents. The University of Eastern Philippines offers numerous degrees across its nine colleges, namely: Law, Education, Arts and Communication, Engineering, Agriculture, Sciences, and Nursing. The College of Business Administration offers the Bachelors Degree in Accountancy, a board-course. To be admitted to the BSA Degree, one has to fulfill the requirements prescribed by the University and the Department. To be able to continue with the BSA course, a student has to meet the requirements prescribed by the retention policy which is not having a grade lower than 2.5 (82%) in all business related subjects. Those who do not meet the selective retention criteria shift to other courses. The demand for accounting graduates, especially passers of the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) board examination, however, attracts students. Even accountancy graduates who are not CPAs are highly employable in industrial and business firms all over the country and even abroad. Another reason is that accounting is a highly paying job.

Generally, an accounting program, does not produce a completely-educated professional accountant. Rather, it provides the foundation upon which the student can build further competence. Accordingly accounting education should emphasize the development of qualities that will enhance accounting students competence, particularly the ability to work effectively, think critically and objectively, plan strategically, and the ability to communicate ideas orally and in writing (Briones, 2003). Because many students could not meet Universitys selective retention requirements, there has been a pattern of increase in the number of students shifting to other non-accounting courses. Aside from business related courses, is there a possibility for another accounting course acceptable to the actual and prospective students of the University? The Bachelor of Science in Accounting Technology (BSAT) degree is a four-year program that follows a global accounting curriculum which is heavily computer-based. It has been recommended to help students become responsive to the rapid changes brought about by the developments in information and communication technology and globalization. Bookkeepers and financial clerks are no longer focused on relatively simple tasks of data entry. The growing use of barcode readers, point-of-sale terminals, automated teller machines, optical scanners that record transactions and use of local area data transfer network has dramatically changed their work responsibilities. Instead of just entering data, they are now required to perform a broader range of tasks including keeping track of financial records and transactions, as well as payroll handling and billing functions. The graduate of this course is called Accounting Technician, a professional who keeps financial accounts for all types of busienss. Most accounting technicians also help qualified accountants by preparing financial information. This designation is employed in many countries

and could be used by technicians having a formal level of qualification ranging from secondary education to vocational education to an academic degree in an accountancy- related field. BSAT has been recommended by the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants as an alternative accountancy course. It may cover the four-year preparatory phase of BSA. Completing the fifth year of BSA will qualify the BSAT students to graduate under the BSA curriculum, thus have a double degree. The advantages of this new alternative course are: (1) it provides oppurtunities for the students to choose other accounting courses; (2) there are minor and major subjects subjects that will be credited towards BSA and thus involves lesser time to complete the BSA course; (3) opportunities to part time and full time accounting technicians to would be unexpectedly plentiful in several areas; (4) the program will serve as an acceptable ladder to the BSA program, should the student, later in their life, decide and qualify for the program for CPA professionals. Opening up an alternative course for students would enhance and increase more independent choice from them and would increase the number of different manpower our industrial and business society will need in the future.

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM 1. What is the profile of the respondents in terms of: a. Gender b. Age c. Course d. Size of the Family e. Parents highest educational attainment, occupation and monthly income

2. What is the level of acceptability of BSAT as an alternative to BSA from the point of view of prospective college freshmen and possible course shifters in terms of: a. Attractiveness and affordability of the course b. Employability c. Benefits from the course d. Relevance to societal needs e. Capability of the University to Offer the alternative course 3. Is there a significant relationship between the acceptability of BSAT and the profile variables of the respondents namely: gender, age, course, size of the family, parents highest educational attainment, occupation and monthly income?

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY This study aimed to determine the level of acceptability of BSAT as an alternative course to BSA from the viewpoint of prospective freshmen college students and possible course shifters. Specifically the study aims to determine the 1. Profile of the respondents in terms of a. Gender b. Age c. Course d. Size of the Family e. Parents highest educational attainment, occupation and monthly income 2. Perception of the respondents on the acceptability of BSAT in terms of a. Attractiveness and affordability of the course

b. Employability c. Benefits from the course d. Relevance to societal needs e. Capability of the University to Offer the alternative course 3. The relationship significant relationship between the acceptability of BSAT and the profile variables of the respondents namely: gender, age, course, size of the family, parents highest educational attainment, occupation and monthly income.

IMPORTANCE OF THE STUDY The findings of this study would be beneficial to the following: Respondents (Incoming Freshmen Students and Possible Course Shifters). This study would give them an idea on the alternative course that they may take if they decided to take up accountancy and later on be advised to shift.

SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY This study would focus on determining the level of acceptability of Bachelor of Science in Accounting Technology as an alternative course to Bachelor of Science in Accountancy. The respondents will assess their level of acceptability of the BSAT in terms of attractiveness and affordability of the course, employability, benefits from the course, relevance to societal needs and capability of the University to Offer the alternative course using a researcher-developed and expert-validated questionnaire.

The respondents will be from the different high schools in Catarman Northern Samar, private and public, and the first, second, and third year students of the Accountancy Department of the College of Business Administration of the University of Eastern Philippines.

THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK DEFINITION OF TERMS