Accounting and information systems in Irish family SME: professionalisation effects

Martin Quinn, Peter Cleary, Catherine Batt, Páll Ríkharðsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Research Question: Does the use of IS in family businesses differ significantly from non-family businesses? Does professionalisation of accountants positively impact the use of IS, and is there a difference between family and non-family businesses?
Motivation: Research indicates family businesses have more limited implementation and use of information systems (IS) coupled with less accounting and control. As accounting is a primary user of IS, this paper explores if professionalisation of accounting may explain such reported differences in IS use.
Idea: This study tests two hypotheses around IS use and professionalisation of accounting. Using a more refined measure of professionalisation of accounting than previous.
Data: Data was collected from a survey of CFOs in a country with a strong family business tradition and strong professional accounting bodies. A response rate of 30% was achieved.
Tools: A Mann-Witney test coupled with binary and multi-nominal regressions were used to test the hypotheses.
Findings: Although professional accountants’ presence is a significant explanatory variable, the results show no significant difference in IS use between family and non-family-owned firms. However, contrary to similar studies in countries without strong professional accounting bodies, the analysis suggests that professionalisation is a significant explanatory factor in the similarities found.
Contribution: By applying a more refined measure of professionalisation of accounting, this study provides a useful basis for further exploration of the professionalisation of the accounting function in family firms and links to IS use.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)454-476
Journal Journal of Accounting and Management Information Systems
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 07 Oct 2021


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