Personal computer usage in community college accounting courses


Since the advent of the IBM personal computer in August 1981, business usage of personal computers (PCs) has dramatically increased. Annual shipments of PCs costing less than $10,000 increased from 1,000,000 units in 1981 to an estimated 7,000,000 by the end of 1986 [Business Week]. This rapidly increasing use of PCs by business organizations is providing academia with a stimulus to incorporate micro applications into accounting classes. In fact, a recent survey of microcomputer usage in accounting curriculums of 4-year academic institutions projected a significant increase in PC usage by 1986. On average, the responding accounting departments were planning to increase their hardware by more than 55% and their libraries of software packages by more than 64% by 1986. While the greatest use of PCs presently is in accounting systems courses, a significant increase in micro usage by 1986 was indicated for the principles, cost, auditing, and tax areas. The purpose of this paper is to parallel the study mentioned above for 2-year community colleges. In Fall 1985, questionnaires were sent to a statistical sample of 294 of the members listed in the Two-year College Accounting Faculty Directory 1985-1986. One hundred and seventy-five (175) questionnaires were returned (a response rate of 59%). Of the returns, 60 (34%) offered an accounting systems course and the remaining 115 (66%) did not. The 115 not offering a systems course returned the questionnaires unanswered. However, many of these respondents, in addition to indicating that no accounting systems course was offered, had no microcomputers for use by their accounting students. Others did not indicate whether PCs were available for use by accounting students. Since these questionnaires were returned unanswered, perhaps we can infer that all 115 (or most) have no school, departmental, or other access to PCs. Thus, only the 60 respondents completing the questionnaires were included in the results to be examined in this paper. The remainder of this paper first discusses the current and projected availability of PCs in accounting courses, based on our survey results. Then our survey results are compared with those of an earlier one in order to obtain a sense of the rate with which 2-year institutions are adapting to using microcomputers in their accounting courses. © 1989.


School of Accountancy

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Computers and Education