System diagrams (SD) are an integral component of system documentation and have become increasingly important in response to heightened awareness surrounding process improvement and documentation as well as compliance concerns with legislation such as the Sarbanes‐Oxley Act. SD is also an important concept in accounting information systems and auditing education. This study examines SD commonly included in accounting curricula and compares the methods with those used by accounting practitioners. The SDs included in the study are system flowcharts, entityrelationship diagrams, data flow diagrams, resource‐event agent models, process maps, and Unified Modeling Language. The results include analyses of frequency of use, purpose of use, and strengths and weaknesses based on several dimensions. Using a survey of accounting practitioners, we find that SD use in practice is not entirely consistent with what is included in accounting curricula. This study can be useful to accounting educators by providing insight into SD use in practice and comparing that to methods emphasized in accounting education. Educators can use the results to plan and modify their curricula, particularly in accounting information systems and auditing courses. Additionally, the practice community may find the results useful as they suggest differences in how, when, and why an SD method may be useful. Practitioners can also benefit from the descriptive analysis of current techniques employed across industries and accounting job functions.

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