This section of the research paper will discuss the methodology that this research will adopt, such as the methods of data collection, sample collection, type of analysis, types of questions asked and who will be interviewed. The research is intended to find out the major differences between the accounting standards for the profit organizations and non-profit organizations. The area of the research will, therefore, be in accounting, and the research will be carried out by reviewing the existing literature and also by cross-examination of the various international accounting standards for banks and charitable organization.
This experiment will adopt a quantitative experimental design. This experimental design was chosen because my research question tests if the different accounting requirements between profit and non-profit organisations affect their mode of operation, meaning that there is a condition that will be tested for. This is thus the most appropriate experimental design that allows the researcher to test out one effect at a time (Knight 2010, 99)
The research will be conducted through the use of interviews on as a primary means of data collection. The participants of the interviews will come from the finance and accounting departments of the for-profit and non-profit organisations. The suitable sample size of this experiment is 50 staff members from each of these types of firms, with a reasonable mix of genders and professions. This sample type is a non-probability sample known as a purposive sampling, since participants are not chosen at random, and are selected based on the criteria they fit the purposes of the study and are well versed with the accounting practices of the organization (Morgan 2012, 419). Hence, the participants are more often than not, homogenous and will possess specific similar characteristics.
The interview questions will take the form of a Likert-type scale, where participants of the interview are to indicate their thoughts and beliefs based on a scale from 1, representing a negative perception, to 10, representing a positive perception, before explaining or illustrating the accounting practices within their firm (Curtis, Giembycz and MacEwan 2015, 3470). The interview will have five questions on it to assess the accounting standards of both profit and non-profit organisations, before identifying the key differences between their financial statements. One of the questions conceived will ask: “How confident do you feel about the accounting practices of your firm?. Rate from a scale of 1 to 10, with ‘1’ being ‘not confident at all’ and ‘10’ being ‘very confident’.” The participant will then be asked to explain why he or she feels that way, with references to the financial statements of the company. After which, a comparison between the responses of interviewees from both companies will be correlated with their financial statements, before conclusions are made.
The participants of the interviews will be recruited from various for-profit and non-profit firms in the state. To facilitate the conduct of these interviews, I have written to the accounts departments of 10 for-profit organizations and 10 non-profit organisations, and intend to ask 5 members from their accounting department each. Participants will be paid a nominal fee for their time taken to give their responses in the interview. The research will also involve informed consent, wherein participants are fully aware of all aspect of the research that may influence their decision to participate before they proceed.
The strength of this method is that it necessitates open-ended responses from the interviewees, which will mean that the questions do not lead them to a pre-defined answer. Participants are thus able to freely discuss the accounting practices within their firms and make justifications for their methodology (Fry 2014, 469). Another strength of this research is that it could shed light on the current literature review involving accounting practices in both for-profit and non-profit organisations, and could provide a guideline on how to achieve good accounting standards across these firms. The study however, fails to account for possible attrition within the participants who may not feel comfortable revealing the accounting practices of the company (Ellekjaer and Bisgard 1998, 263). Some companies may also not feel comfortable with the interviewing process and resist interview for fear that some of their competitive advantages are leaked through the interview process. I will ensure confidentiality of the research findings.
- Curtis, M.J., Giembycz, M.A., and MacEwan, D.J. 2015. Experimental design and analysis and their reporting: new guidance for publication in BJP. British Journal of Pharmacology, 172(14): 3461-3471.
- Ellekjaer, M.R. and Bisgaard, S. 1998. The use of experimental design in the development of new products. International Journal of Quality Science. 3(3): 254-274.
- Fry, D.K., 2014. Teaching Experimental Design. ILAR Journal, 55(3), 457-471.
- Knight, K. L., 2010. Study/Experimental/Research Design: Much More Than Statistics. Journal of Athletic Training, 45(1), 98–100.
- Morgan, J.P. 2012. On the A Criterion of Experimental Design. Journal of Statistical Theory and Practice, 8(3), 418-422.