Factors influencing the decision to provide ElderCare Plus assurance services


The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has recently added ElderCare Plus assurance services as a possible avenue for certified public accountants (public accounting professionals) to supplement their traditional accounting, audit, and tax services. The purpose of this study is to provide insight into the public accounting professionals' perceptions of this non-traditional service. Specifically, this study analyzes public accounting professionals' attitudes regarding how economic, liability, community involvement, suitability, and domain specific knowledge factors are associated with public accounting professionals' willingness to offer or consider offering ElderCare services. After studying the definitions of ElderCare, the types of problems faced by potential ElderCare clients, and the characteristics of the market for ElderCare services, I concluded that five specific factors were most likely to influence a public accounting professional's decision or likelihood to offer ElderCare services. The factors I determined to be most important are economic, liability, community involvement, suitability of service, and specific knowledge or training. This specific set of factors was chosen for two primary reasons. First, based on my study of ElderCare issues, I concluded that this service contains performance issues that may vary significantly from traditional public accounting services. Second, public accounting professionals must be concerned with the financial viability of an ElderCare assurance practice. This financial viability is a function of client base, revenue streams and potential liability. When developing the questionnaire, I applied prior research when possible. However, because ElderCare services is a relatively new concept for public accounting professionals I _developed questions utilizing publications by the AI CPA and professional journals. In order to gather survey data, I purchased a random mailing list of 2000 public accounting professionals from the AI CPA. The list consisted of members living in the United States or U.S. possessions. Of the 2000 questionnaires mailed, I received 324 responses or had a 16.2% response rate. After studying the statistical analysis, I conclude that providers in general differ from non-providers in the following: • Providers perceive the financial risk involved in offering ElderCare direct, assurance, and consulting services is not greater than traditional services. • Providers have a higher level of community involvement. • Providers have a client base amicable to providing ElderCare services. • Providers perceive ElderCare services as an extension of traditional public accounting services. • Non-providers perceive that additional training and certifications are needed to provide ElderCare services due to lack of knowledge concerning ElderCare issues. After studying the statistical analysis, I concluded that providers and non-providers generally agree to the following: • Profitability is a factor in providing ElderCare services. • Liability is not a primary issue; however, the AI CPA seems to be concerned with liability exposure. • Additional professional education is needed to provide ElderCare direct and consulting services.


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Thesis Completion





Roberts, Robin


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Business Administration

Degree Program



Business Administration -- Dissertations, Academic;Dissertations, Academic -- Business Administration;American Institute of Certified Public Accountants;Older people -- Care -- Planning;Older people -- Services for







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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