Factors that affect accountant's perceptions of alternative work arrangements

Kimberly Frank Charron, David Lowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Advances in technology have impacted accounting careers with resulting changes in where, when and how accountants perform their job duties. In addition, employee attitudes towards, and need for, better work/life balance has led to more firms offering alternate work arrangements (AWA). Research suggests that AWA programs can lead to many benefits for both employers and employees. Despite the prevalence of these programs there are relatively few accountants working under these arrangements and concerns about work/life balance continue. This study examines factors that shape perceptions of the cost and benefits associated with the adoption and/or support of AWAs across work culture, gender and participation experience. Our results suggest that work environment had a significant effect on perceptions of AWAs. Public accountants perceived greater costs related to career advancement but correspondingly less concern about administrative issues than management accountants. We also found that accountants who have participated (or are currently participating in an AWA), perceived greater benefits and less concern for potential negative consequences to their careers than non-participants. Finally, women perceived greater benefits to result from participation in an AWA and men perceived correspondingly more costs. Regardless, both genders perceived that AWAs were not strictly a women's issue. These findings contribute to our understanding of alternate work arrangements and point to factors that must be addressed to increase the acceptance and success of these programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-206
Number of pages16
JournalAccounting Forum
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2005

Keywords

  • Alternate work arrangements (AWA)
  • Flex-time
  • Part-time
  • Telecommuting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance

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