The current study explores first, second and third-year UK accounting students' perceptions of authorial identity and their implications for unintentional plagiarism. The findings suggest that, whilst all students have reasonably positive perceptions of their authorial identity, there is room for improvement. Significant differences in second-year students' perceptions were reported for some positive aspects of authorial identity. However, results for negative aspects show that second-year students find it significantly more difficult to express accounting in their own words than first and third-years. Furthermore, second-years are significantly more afraid than first-years that what they write will look unimpressive. Finally, the results for approaches to writing, which also have implications for unintentional plagiarism, revealed that students across all years appear to adopt aspects of top-down, bottom-up and pragmatic approaches to writing. Emerging from these findings, the study offers suggestions to accounting educators regarding authorial identity instruction.