Who should teach what? Perceptions of the roles of universities and practice in the education of professional accountants

Kavanagh, Marie and Hancock, Philip and Segal, Naomi and Howieson, Bryan and Kent, Jenny (2010) Who should teach what? Perceptions of the roles of universities and practice in the education of professional accountants. In: Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand Conference (AFAANZ 2010), 3-6 Jul 2010, Christchurch, New Zealand.

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Universities have traditionally been criticised for not producing 'work ready' accountants and the role and responsibilities of universities in educating professional accountants continues to be debated. This paper reviews the literature in accounting and other professions regarding the respective roles of universities and employers in the development of both technical and non-technical skills of accounting practitioners.
The literature review suggests that critics of university based education fail to recognise (a) the changes that have occurred in the roles and responsibilities of accounting practitioners and (b) the opportunity costs necessarily associated with providing generalist accounting degrees. The literature also suggests that universities and employers have comparative advantages for the development of different types of professional skills and knowledge. The paper reports the insights provided from a series of interviews with accounting practitioners and students about their perceptions of the respective responsibilities and roles of universities and employers. In general, although some interviewees recognised that universities cannot be 'all things to all people', there was a tendency to expect universities to have the major responsibility for the development in accounting graduates of both technical and non-technical knowledge and skills. Such perceptions tended to understate the responsibilities and comparative advantage of employers and result in unrealistic expectations about the outcomes of a university education. Employers need to be made more aware of the resource and other limitations associated with university programs and more attention should be provided to developing meaningful opportunities for learning and reflection within work place contexts.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Paper no: 310. No evidence of copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business - School of Accounting, Economics and Finance
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2011 02:12
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2015 05:11
Uncontrolled Keywords: work ready; practitioners; accounting academics; graduate attributes and skills
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1501 Accounting, Auditing and Accountability > 150101 Accounting Theory and Standards
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130203 Economics, Business and Management Curriculum and Pedagogy
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970115 Expanding Knowledge in Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/18774

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