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Journal cover: Meditari Accountancy Research

Meditari Accountancy Research

ISSN: 2049-372X

Online from: 2000

Subject Area: Accounting and Finance

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The readability of Managerial Accounting and Financial Management textbooks

Document Information:
Title:The readability of Managerial Accounting and Financial Management textbooks
Author(s):Karen Bargate, (School of Accounting, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville Campus, South Africa)
Citation:Karen Bargate, (2012) "The readability of Managerial Accounting and Financial Management textbooks", Meditari Accountancy Research, Vol. 20 Iss: 1, pp.4 - 20
Keywords:Cloze procedure, Financial management, Financial Management textbooks, Flesch Reading Ease, Gunning Fog Index, Management accounting, Managerial Accounting textbooks, Readability evaluation methods, Republic of South Africa, Selection of textbooks
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/10222521211234192 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:The author thanks the two anonymous referees and Professor A. Halabi for the helpful comments and discussions. The author is indebted to everyone who assisted, in some way, for their valuable contribution towards this article.

Purpose – University Accountancy faculty need criteria to assist with the selection of textbooks, to ensure that the subject matter is congruent with the level at which students are taught. Readability is one such criterion. The purpose of this study is to assess the readability of two Managerial Accounting and two Financial Management textbooks, using three different readability evaluation methods.

Design/methodology/approach – The sample for the study included 281 Accounting students from an Eastern seaboard university. Each student was requested to complete two passages – one from a Management Accounting textbook and one from a Financial Management textbook. The Gunning Fog Index, Flesch Reading Ease and Cloze Procedure readability evaluation methods were used to measure readability.

Findings – The findings suggest varying levels of readability among the textbooks. Results from the Cloze Procedure reveal that three of the four textbooks were being read at the Frustration Level and the fourth marginally above the Frustration Level. The readability formulae returned varying results demonstrating that some of the textbooks were at a level that the students ought to be able to read.

Research limitations/implications – Only two Managerial Accounting and two Financial Management textbooks of many published were assessed, and only three readability evaluation methods were used.

Social implications – The findings have implications for university faculty, authors, publishers, editors and students.

Originality/value – The readability of Managerial Accounting and Financial Management textbooks used at South African universities, has received scant attention in the literature. The analysis of the readability of the accounting textbooks, presents a synthesis that adds important knowledge in this under-researched topic.

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