How to Write a Research Essay in Accounting

Writing guide
Posted on August 13, 2019

The most important aspect of writing a research essay in Accounting is that the paper must be factually accurate and informative. Besides, the author of the research essay should ensure that each opinion is supported by figures and facts according to the latest financial standards. The presentation and layout are also significant when it comes to writing a good Accounting project. The inclusion of the intro to launch the research essay is crucial for two reasons. First, it’s important to address the topic. Second, it’s important to identify the intended readers before embarking on the writing process. The point is that you need to have it clear in your mind who you’re writing for. Besides, the research essay in Accounting needs to provide an objective conclusion in ensuring that the paper has addressed the question you have posed in the field of study.

Pick and Develop an Idea

To write a focused research essay in Accounting, you need to choose the topic first. There are many interesting topics in Accounting, which means you won’t have any difficulties trying to choose one. If you still have trouble, make sure to watch the news or get a newspaper and use it as your inspo. It is important to determine how what you find it relevant to both you and the intended readers of your project. Debt management, forensic accounting, or earnings managements are some basic topics you could start your research with. If you’re given an opportunity to pick the research essay topic on your own, we’ve collected some up-to-date issues for your Accounting project:

  • Main Issues and Differences in Positive and Normative Theories of Accounting;
  • Emerging Economies and Audit Firms: The Key Consultancy Patterns;
  • Finance’s Role in Fostering Innovation;
  • The Challenges in American Health Insurance Taxation Policies;
  • Significant Perspectives of Earnings Management;
  • Potential Changes in Health Insurance Taxation in the US;
  • The Development of Accounting Theory during the Last 20 Years;
  • The Challenges, Prospects, and Issues of Environmental Accounting Measurements;
  • Common Accounting Challenges of Cryptocurrencies;
  • The Main Drawbacks of Advanced Technology for the Field of Accounting;
  • The Most Effective Ways to Reduce Taxes in Corporations;
  • Accounting Challenges in Second-Generation Family-Owned Businesses;
  • Nontraditional Approaches to Finance Management;
  • The Main Problems of Accounting Ethics in the Developing Countries;
  • Environmental Influence on Accounting Development;
  • The Role of the Double Entry Bookkeeping Model in Modern Accounting;
  • The Benefits of Sensible Investing and How It Affects Business Growth;
  • The Issues of Accounting Ethics in Radioactive and Nuclear Industries;
  • The Importance of Audit for Big Corporations;
  • Limitations of Accounting for E-Commerce Sectors;
  • Main Challenges of Asset Liability Management in the US Banking Sector;
  • Myopic Management and Its Relationship with American Companies’ Valuation;
  • The Challenges to Conduct a Forensic Accounting Investigation;
  • History of Accounting in the United States of America;
  • Assessment of the Effectiveness of Accounting Information as a Tool for Management Decision.

As you can see, there are loads of aspects to uncover. The reality is that you have a rich choice in the field of Accounting, and we have provided you with only a small part of it.


Before you seek to answer the specific Accounting question, make sure to establish a solid understanding of it, consider your target audience, and underline the key objectives of your paper. What is it that you’re trying to reach a logical conclusion for? The opening paragraph is an important part of any research essay, as it will outline the end goal of your project.

You want your intended audience to have a good idea of what the research essay is about and how it is constructed by reading your intro. If you’ve already drawn some research conclusions, save any opinions for the rest of the project.

Make sure to keep your introductory section relatively short. For most research essay, a couple of short paragraphs will suffice. If it’s a really long essay that you’re going to produce, feel free to expand this segment.

Never assume that your target readers know the field of Accounting from A to Z (unless you know it is really so). Without a doubt, your readers already know some of the common terms of the area that you don’t have to explain. For instance, you probably don’t need to explain what ‘cash flow,’ ‘capital,’ ‘debit,’ ‘credit,’ or ‘profit’ is, but you should definitely define less general words like ‘present value,’ ‘trial balance,’ ‘liabilities,’ or ‘enrolled agent.’

Structure Your Paper and Do Resource Planning

Once you have a clear understanding of the research question that you have to address in the essay, the next step is to make sure that a structured approach is undertaken in the process of Accounting essay writing. A concise and clear plan will guarantee that all related subject areas, including proper Accounting concepts, Financial Reporting Standards, as well as International Accounting Standards are referred and referenced to in answering the question posed in the introduction.

At this stage, you have to also decide what resources should be used in term of technical accountancy publications, academic journals, library databases, and the internet (Accounting research websites and e-books). The aim of your research is to collect a list of referencing materials from Accounting researchers and pros to support opinions and viewpoints expressed within the text. The number of references will depend on the nature of the research essay and its length. When it comes to Accounting essays, you will have to use research performed by others quite often since it’s not feasible to do primary research. Thus, references to the works done by the Accounting experts is a must within the research essay, but you have to make sure that you use the material so that it adds value to the text, i.e., challenges or supports this or that concept.

Brainstorming can also provide you with some valuable ideas and information for the production of the finest quality research essay.

Inclusion of Analysis/Calculations

This part can be especially crucial for writing a good research essay in Accounting, as the nature of the field of study will more likely require you to perform certain calculations. The latter will enable you to analyze various different Accounting issues in your discussion. You’re welcome to include chats, calculations, graphs, and figures throughout your research essay is you find it appropriate for the chosen topic. However, keep in mind that not all sub-fields of Accounting will require you to use numbers, and for many topics, a simple discussion will be enough to research the key concepts.

Write the Body of Your Research Essay

When it comes to the body of your research essay in Accounting, this is the core of your project, where most of your focus should be placed. The nature of your essay will determine the form of the body; however, at a minimum, this section includes all the key arguments, the methods of research, as well as the results you obtained in the process of work. Besides, it is important to mention your main findings in the body of the essay. If, for instance, you worked on the topic ‘The Value of Budgeting,’ mention that the result of your research has shown that ‘more than 90% of the 120 companies in the US highlighted that most managers still agree that budgeting is one of the highest-rated and most widely used cost management tools for cost control and reduction.’
You may need to provide a special section at the beginning of your research essay’s body to give some background information on the chosen topic. As an alternative, you can place it in the introduction section, but only if your project is short and only slight background discussion is required.

The body of the research essay is the part where both proper structure and organization are a must. Make sure to arrange your sections within the body to make them flow logically. Thus, your intended readers won’t get confused when reading the text. Let’s say, the topic of your research essay is ‘Cultural Influences on Accounting Practices in China and Japan.’ The consistent organization of the research essay may include the following sections:

  • The introduction;
  • The Hofstede-Gray framework;
  • The development of accounting systems in Japan and China in the 19th century;
  • The influence of Hofstede-Gray model on the development of accounting systems in China and Japan;
  • The conclusion.

Depending upon the length and the topic of your research essay, the end of the body section might include a short discussion of your findings. This is where you wrap up your findings but don’t explicitly provide your conclusions. What is more, it is important to avoid any sort of repetition in the body of your paper. Keep your writing clear and concise, yet address your questions and objectives sufficiently.

Conclusion and Recommendations

The final segment of your research essay in Accounting is significant when it comes to answering the research question you posed at the beginning. In this section, your task is to ensure that your conclusion sums up all the discussions you’ve undertaken in the main body. Plus, you have to highlight all the key results of your research, analysis, and calculations. For instance, if you do your research on ‘non-traditional approaches to finance management,’ your concluding section might include the following, ‘Many finance leaders do not believe that staff engagement is their business, but it is. The prosperous companies are the ones that get employees excited about work. Thus, the company owners should focus more on the human element, not the numbers.’ In other words, you may use your conclusion not only to outline the results of your research but also to express your own recommendations and opinions, both in terms of the topic being researched and suggestions for future research in the field.

Often, Accounting research essay can be an evaluation. This means you can’t provide a correct or incorrect answer or conclusion. Therefore, different research ideas will exist, which means when having to round up your essay, you have to be mindful of the fact, and take into account all viewpoints.

The Source List and Appendix

At the end of your research essay, there must be a source list, where you have to give all the details on every page or book that you have for the research. What is more, it is important to consider the requirements of the referencing style that your college professor has chosen. For instance, the reference of the MLA style will look like this: Jans, Nick. The Rapid Development of Accounting: The History of Finances in the USA. Alaska Northwest Books, 2000.

As for the appendix, the research essay authors use one to place the charts, figures, and formula that should be used within the research. Feel free to use an appendix throughout the body of the research essay.

The Revision Stage

The revision is the final step that you have to take on your work on the research essay in Accounting. It is your chance to check the grammar and spelling of the text, as well as ensure you’ve used all the field terms properly. It will be best if you ask your intelligent friend or family member to read your essay aloud and provide you with some good advice on how to enhance your piece. Use Accounting Terminology Guide or to check if you’ve used each key term appropriately.

When you learn how to write a research essay in Accounting, it’s important to know what writing style to use since the language should suit the field of study. You’re not allowed to use informal language elements or jargon.

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