Clinging to excel as a security blanket: Investigating accountants’ resistance to emerging data analytics technology


While many business publications stress the importance of data analytics skills and technology, The Wall Street Journal reports strong reactions of accountants faced with a move away from Excel. Accountants are traditionally the reliable source for business information, but that position may be eroded by the emerging profession of data analysts. Looking to the future, Big Four accounting firms stress the need for data analysis skills, and universities are launching degree programs. But what is the reaction of current working professionals? Are they heeding the call for data analytics? Evidence indicates there is some resistance to adoption of data analytics practices. This research proposes the use of Status Quo Bias Theory to investigate the reactions of accounting professionals across the spectrum of accounting sub-disciplines. The study seeks to understand factors that may influence practicing accountants’ resistance to adopting new data analysis technologies.

Document Type





Accounting adoption of data analysis, Accounting profession, Big Data, Resistance to information systems, Status quo bias

Publication Date


Journal Title

Journal of Emerging Technologies in Accounting