Using Transaction Cost Economics to explain outsourcing of accounting

Using Transaction Cost Economics to explain outsourcing of accounting This study explores whether SMEs involved in the outsourcing of accounting tasks differ, in terms of transactional and personal (CEO) characteristics, from others that perform the same tasks within the company. We rely on the transaction cost economics (TCE) model, while controlling for age, educational background, and trust of the SME executive in the external accountant. A survey was developed to investigate the outsourcing by Belgian SMEs both of routine (entry of invoices, interim reporting) and non-routine (period-end accounting, preparation of financial statements) accounting tasks. For the routine accounting tasks, frequency was significantly associated with outsourcing. Meanwhile, for non-routine accounting tasks, asset specificity and frequency were significantly associated. High-frequency tasks were associated with lower levels of outsourcing. Similarly, higher asset specificity was associated with lower levels of outsourcing. Furthermore, the educational background of the CEO, as well as the CEO’s level of trust in the external accountant, was significantly associated with outsourcing, confirming the upper echelon theory. Having a more educated CEO was associated with lower levels of outsourcing, both for routine and non-routine accounting tasks. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Small Business Economics Springer Journals

Using Transaction Cost Economics to explain outsourcing of accounting

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
Subject
Business and Management; Management; Microeconomics; Entrepreneurship; Industrial Organization
ISSN
0921-898X
eISSN
1573-0913
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11187-008-9149-3
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study explores whether SMEs involved in the outsourcing of accounting tasks differ, in terms of transactional and personal (CEO) characteristics, from others that perform the same tasks within the company. We rely on the transaction cost economics (TCE) model, while controlling for age, educational background, and trust of the SME executive in the external accountant. A survey was developed to investigate the outsourcing by Belgian SMEs both of routine (entry of invoices, interim reporting) and non-routine (period-end accounting, preparation of financial statements) accounting tasks. For the routine accounting tasks, frequency was significantly associated with outsourcing. Meanwhile, for non-routine accounting tasks, asset specificity and frequency were significantly associated. High-frequency tasks were associated with lower levels of outsourcing. Similarly, higher asset specificity was associated with lower levels of outsourcing. Furthermore, the educational background of the CEO, as well as the CEO’s level of trust in the external accountant, was significantly associated with outsourcing, confirming the upper echelon theory. Having a more educated CEO was associated with lower levels of outsourcing, both for routine and non-routine accounting tasks.

Journal

Small Business EconomicsSpringer Journals

Published: Nov 4, 2008

References

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