The profile of the accounting academic has changed in recent years. The earliest academics were often recruited from the accountancy profession. Now the typical accounting academic recruit has a profile similar to the rest of the university, with the PhD being the qualification of choice. The reasons for this trend are examined using a cultural and institutional logics framework. The recruitment context and the institutional changes impacting on recruitment in accounting in academia are explored through the views of heads of department who have knowledge of both their institution’s recruitment policies and of the requirements of their discipline. As the research assessment process appears to be a driver of changing recruitment patterns, recruitment is considered in contrasting contexts: Scotland, where periodic research assessment takes place in both old and new universities, and the Republic of Ireland which does not have such a process. Despite differences in the views expressed by heads in these different contexts and differences in their research environments, the trend in all sectors is towards the recruitment (Scotland) or development (Republic of Ireland) of PhD holders rather than professionally qualified staff. The consequences for the nature of the discipline are discussed.