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

Howieson, Bryan and Hancock, Phil and Segal, Naomi and Kavanagh, Marie and Tempone, Irene and Kent, Jenny (2014) Who should teach what? Australian perceptions of the roles of universities and practice in the education of professional accountants. Journal of Accounting Education, 32 (3). pp. 259-275. ISSN 0748-5751

Abstract

This paper addresses the respective roles and responsibilities of universities and practitioners in educating professional accountants. The issues are explored by a review of the literature in accounting and other professions regarding the respective roles of universities and employers in the development of both technical
and non-technical knowledge and skills of professionals, particularly 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. Universities
and employers have comparative advantages for the development of different types of professional skills and knowledge. These insights are extended by way of a series of interviews with Australian accounting practitioners, representatives from professional accounting bodies, recent accounting graduates, and accounting students about their perceptions of the respective responsibilities and roles of universities and employers. 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 should develop meaningful opportunities for learning and reflection within workplace
contexts.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Commerce
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2017 23:48
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2018 04:34
Uncontrolled Keywords: educational responsibilities; universities; practitioners; skill development
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130213 Vocational Education and Training Curriculum and Pedagogy
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1501 Accounting, Auditing and Accountability > 150199 Accounting, Auditing and Accountability not elsewhere classified
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1501 Accounting, Auditing and Accountability > 150101 Accounting Theory and Standards
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970115 Expanding Knowledge in Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.jaccedu.2014.05.001
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/30919

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