Many accounting students are selecting accounting audit firms without exhausting a thorough research about the firms or getting an idea of the firms’ expectation. Moreover, accounting firms are hiring students without getting a clear understanding of the students’ job selection preference. As a result, both the students and employers are finding a cultural mismatch. Often employers and students have different perspectives about the nature of the professional skills that are required for a successful accounting career. Once hired, many students soon leave because they become disillusioned with job-related realities. The value of this research adds to the body of research about accountings students preferences. In addition, it provides a detailed examination of accounting males and females preference that does not currently exist. The purpose of the study is to provide the accounting students, administrators and practitioners a better understanding of accounting students’ job selection preferences and determine whether job selection preferences are intrinsically or extrinsically motivated. This quantitative study used 25 job selection preferences statements and surveyed 182 accounting participants from four Midwestern Universities and three private employers. Surveys were distributed fall 2016. The results indicated that female accounting students, when selecting a public accounting employer, significantly preferred a company that valued work-life balance. Also, from a gender perspective female accountants were significantly more inclined to prefer job security than their male counterparts. Literature suggests research should be aimed toward work-life balance and public accounting culture. In addition, more research is needed to learn more about students’ and practitioners’ expectations.

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