This paper examines whether it is possible to shape trait professional skepticism of accounting students through undergraduate and graduate university programs. Using Hurtt’s Professional Skepticism Scale (HPSS), we surveyed 432 students of the Poznań University of Economics, who follow either one of the accounting programs or the management program. Comparing the mean scores of first-year undergraduates from each program, who have been studying only for two weeks (initial level of skepticism), with the mean scores of the final-year students as proxies for the entry-level auditors (audit assistants), we calculated the change in the mean scores of students’ trait skepticism over four years of study. The results show that only the ACCA-accredited (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) accounting program significantly increased the level of trait skepticism of the accounting students in comparison to the control group and students who followed the standard accounting program. The robustness analysis shows that independent variables, such as age, the future job that subjects wish to occupy, and the length of professional experience, have no significant impact on the results obtained. However, that both gender and professional experience have a significant impact on the mean scores may be considered as variables supporting the change of professional skepticism within the four years of study.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited