CHAPTER 1

Introduction to Professional Research

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

After completing this chapter, you should understand:

  • The importance of research in the daily activities of the professional accountant.
  • The definition and nature of professional accounting research.
  • The navigation steps to narrow one's research.
  • The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's view on the importance of research.
  • The role of research within a public accounting firm or within an accounting department of a business or governmental entity.
  • The basic steps of the research process.
  • The importance of critical thinking and effective communication skills.
  • The importance of research on the U.S. CPA exam.

The accounting profession, like other professions, is witnessing major changes due to changes in the law, new services, technologies, and an ever-increasing number of professional standards. In addition to accounting, auditing, and tax compliance services, accountants are involved in such services as attestation reviews, forensic accounting, fraud examinations, and tax planning. Today's professional accountant must possess the knowledge to remain current and the skills to critically analyze various problems. Listening effectively and understanding opposing points of view are also critical skills for accountants. Often, one must present and defend his or her own views through formal and informal communications. Professional research and communication skills are essential in this environment.

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