Investigating accountants’ resistance to move beyond excel and adopt new data analytics technology


SYNOPSIS: A call to action has been sounded in accounting: Become a profession utilizing data analytics or become a profession bound for the history books. Accounting firms and corporations are investing in data analytics capabilities, but it is not clear whether accounting professionals are following their lead. Practitioner press indicates accountants resist the move beyond Excel even as organizations hire data scientists rather than accountants. This empirical study uses Status Quo Bias Theory to examine the resistance to data analytics technology by accounting and finance professionals. Surprisingly results indicate the perceived value does not mediate the effect of switching benefits and costs on resistance. Rather, switching benefits and perceived value are aligned as a single factor to reduce resistance while switching costs directly increase resistance. Researchers have focused substantial efforts toward data analytics in education and business. The troubling findings here suggest some accounting professionals resist adopting new analytics technology.

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Accounting professionals, Data analytics, Resistance to IS, Status Quo Bias Theory, Switching costs and benefits

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Journal Title

Accounting Horizons