Impact of ambiguity tolerance as a personal trait and impact of tertiary education on professional judgment
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 12:18 authored by Yingying Han
In assessing the merits and challenges of using principles-based standards like International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), limited attention has been given to the notion that accountants may not be equipped with the relevant education and expertise to tolerate the ambiguity in these standards. This thesis investigates the potential role of the personal trait of ambiguity tolerance in the acceptance by tertiary accounting students of the ambiguity found in IFRS, and then examines whether tertiary accounting education assists them to develop the relevant expertise to tolerate this ambiguity and exercise appropriate professional judgment. Ten accounting topics have been selected and extracts from the relevant IFRS and U.S. GAAP on those topics have been included in the survey for tertiary accounting students to indicate their level of preference for using IFRS in exercising their judgment. Examining the link between the personal trait of ambiguity tolerance and its influence on the judgment of future financial report preparers gives an insight into how regulatory bodies such as the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) can further improve IFRS to make them easier to understand and apply. This is especially valuable at a time when principles-based IFRS are increasingly being adopted throughout the world.