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Depreciation: A Threshold Concept in Accounting Education

Casson, Ashley (2018) Depreciation: A Threshold Concept in Accounting Education. Master of Arts (MA) thesis, University of Kent. (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:82164)

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This dissertation sets out to discover what makes depreciation such a troublesome concept for accounting students. Depreciation has been identified as a threshold concept (Land, et al., 2005; Meyer & Land, 2005) because of its troublesome nature. It requires students to view business activity in an unfamiliar way by matching costs to the revenue they generate. Its integrative nature connects depreciation to other key accounting concepts such as prudence, accruals and going concern, truly demonstrating accounting’s subjectivity which when grasped should prove transformational to students.

The main issue of troublesomeness is that depreciation is a term used in everyday parlance as assets fall in value as an effect of wear and tear, obsolescence, etc. This definition will be referred to as the naïve view. The accounting discipline’s definition, or the expert view, is much different as depreciation is the ‘systematic allocation of the depreciable amount of an asset over its useful life ’, thereby apportioning the cost of the asset over multiple accounting periods.

This dissertation adds to the existing literature by examining a large cohort of accounting majors (not non-specialists) and using Perkins’ framework, thus examining depreciation in greater detail than seen to date. This has led to a reflection of how teaching can be improved in this area.

Item Type: Thesis (Master of Arts (MA))
Uncontrolled keywords: Threshold concepts, troublesome knowledge, accounting
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
L Education
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Business School
Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Business School > Accounting and Finance
Depositing User: Ashley Casson
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2020 13:13 UTC
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2020 13:13 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Casson, Ashley:
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