What skills and attributes does an accounting graduate need? Evidence from student perceptions and employer expectations

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A REPORT ON

WHAT SKILLS AND ATTRIBUTES DOES AN ACCOUNTING GRADUATE NEED? EVIDENCE FROM STUDENT PERCEPTIONS AND EMPLOYER EXPECTATIONS

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PATUAKHALI SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY UNIVERSITYWhat skills and attributes does an accounting graduate need? Evidence from student perceptions and employer expectations

PREPARED FORPage 2

MD. ZAKIR HOSEN Lecturer, Department of Accounting and Information System Faculty of Business Administration and Management

SUBMITTED BY Group: 01(Warrior) Level-4, Semester-I Faculty of Business Administration and Management

Name of the students Md. Kamruzzaman (L) Shuvradeb Barai Abu Zafour Sahana Parveen Nazmul Alam Siddiqui

Reg. No. 00660 00668 00680 00666 00565

Roll No. 01 09 21 07 24

Course Title: Auditing Course Code: AIS 416 Date of Submission: May 28, 2009

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PATUAKHALI SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY UNIVERSITY

Letter of Transmittal

Date: May 28, 2009

To

MD. ZAKIR HOSEN Lecturer, Department of Accounting and Information System Faculty of Business Administration and Management

Subject: Letter of Transmittal

Dear Sir,

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Here is the report on What skills and attributes does an accounting graduate need? Evidence form student perceptions and employer expectations You asked us to prepare this report as a course requirement of Auditing.

This report focuses on the accounting graduates skill and attributes. We are proud of making this report. We have tried our level best to make the report informative and fruitful. For any classification we will be available and looking for such term paper in coming days. We will be happy to get such type of report further.

Sincerely Yours

Group: 01(Warrior) Level-4, Semester-1 Faculty of Business Administration and Management Patuakhali Science and Technology University

Letter of Authorization

Date: May 28, 2009

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To

MD. ZAKIR HOSEN Lecturer, Department of Accounting and Information System Faculty of Business Administration and Management

Subject: Declaration regarding the validity of the report

Dear Sir,

This is our truthful declaration that the What skills and attributes does an accounting graduate need? Evidence form student perceptions and employer expectations we have been prepared is not a copy of any report previously made by any other students.

We also express my honest confirmation in support of the fact that the said Report has neither been used before to fulfill any other course related purpose nor it will be submitted to any other person or authority in future.Page 6

Yours truly,

Group: 01(Warrior) Level-4, Semester-I Faculty of Business Administration and Management Patuakhali Science and Technology University

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

At first we desire to express our deepest sense of gratitude of almighty Allah. With profound regard we gratefully acknowledge our respected course teacher Md. Zakir Hosen, Lecturer, Department of Accounting and Information System, Faculty of Business Administration and Management for his generous help and support for preparing this report.

We like to give thanks especially to our Elder brother of 1 st Batch students, friends, the employers of two CA Firm- M.M.HOSSAIN & CO. and K.M. ALAM, KHALEQUE & CO. & many individuals, for their enthusiastic encouragements and helps during the preparation of this report and for their assistance in typing and proofreading this manuscript.

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This report is an assigned job as a partial fulfillment of course requirement by honorable Course teacher Md. Zakir Hosen Lecturer, Department of Accounting & Information System, Faculty of Business Administration and Management, Patuakhali Science and Technology University. It is the optimum aggregated outcome of 5 pupils about What skills and attributes does an accounting graduate need? Evidence form student perceptions and employer expectations The view of this report is to find out what skills and attributes are basically needed for an accounting graduate to make his duty profissionaly in the practical job field. As well as we try to find out both personal and professional skills of the accountant through our report. We hope those focus point will help the person who want to become a successful accountant in his future life.

ABSTRACTIn the last decade the development of appropriate skills and attributes in students set to enter the accounting profession has been the subject of many debates. It has been much debate between various stakeholders about the need for accounting graduates toPage 8

develop a broader set of skills to be able to pursue a career in the accounting profession. Accounting academics have a leading role to play in this process. This study investigates what attributes and skills are needed for a graduate accountant in respect of student perceptions and employer expectations. This study uses mixed methods to examine perceptions and expectations of two major stakeholders: students and employers. Findings indicate that students are becoming aware of employers expectations in terms of communication, analytical, professional and teamwork skills. Although employers are still expecting a good understanding of basic accounting skills and strong analytical skills, they are also requiring business awareness and knowledge in terms of the real world. Accounting academics perceive should be developed during an undergraduate course, and compares this to skills and attributes that they believe are being developed. Results reveal that there is a large discrepancy between the two. Reasons why this might be are discussed and insight into issues accounting educators must address if they are to deliver graduates with the skills and attributes required for a career in the accountancy profession now and in the future are highlighted.

INTRODUCTIONAn accountant is one who is responsible for reviewing, evaluating, analyzing, and verifying particular data or information. Accountants are most often employed in the Accounting or Financial fields, though other fields might also utilize Auditors. An Accountant might be responsible for examining a wide variety of data, facts and figures, and other information, toward providing verification and integrity of the business at hand. Some examples of accountants duties include: Verification of Payroll records, insurance claims and resolutions, Bank transactions, bookkeeping practices and figures, and other similar responsibilities. Accountant must be honest, trustworthy, organized, not afraid of details, statistics or numbers, and must be keenly involved in the business at hand, to ensure accuracy and integrity of the auditing process. Accountant must also be comfortable withPage 9

mathematics, statistical analysis, problem solving, and other similar disciplines and for acquiring those skill and attributes he directly need academic degree with relative experience. Some people who are into this profession have the tendency of not updating their skills. As the result they lack the skills required and are unable to match the competency of skilled workers. Hence, for an Accountant of any country of the world, it is important to hone up their skills regularly. So become a professional we need regularly update yourself.

LITERATURE REVIEWAccounting graduates require professional skills, they need to develop them while studying at university and that educators of future professional accountants should be committed to developing the relevant attributes identified as desirable for the professional practice of accounting suggested that the strongest message that I can bring before you is to plead for stronger and more effective co-operation between academics and educators on the one hand and accountancy practitioners on the other. We use the term accounting practitioners in the widest possible way to indicate all of those outside academia who are working in the field whether this be public practice, industry, commerce or the public sector. To this end the role of the profession is to specify and communicate the skills and knowledge needed to be an accomplished practitioner and the responsibility for curriculum development and appropriate teaching methods rest primarily with the academic community. Quite simply the professionals need the intellectual and research abilities which the academics can bring to the table. Equally, the educators need the guidance of the profession in identifying the skills need the guidance of the profession in identifying the skills and knowledge needed to be an accomplished practitioner.

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Bricker (1993) traces the role of research in business education suggests that by the 1980s practical research was frowned upon in many accounting faculties. Most of the research was highly mathematical, used sophisticated statistics, and employed theories that were at times exotic and addressed issue of little concern to practitioners.

Many writers have reinforced the view that oral and written communication skills are considered to be the two most important skills. However, Mangum (1996) indicated that poor communication skills were among the top two greatest shortcomings of job candidates reported by employers. This was supported by Borzi and Mills 2001 who discovered a significant level of communication apprehension in upper level accounting students suggesting that changes to the manner in which this skill in particular is developed within the curriculum need to be addressed. In a study involving accounting academics Watty et al (2005) found evidence of recognition by academics of the growing importance of developing skills in addition to those of a strictly technical nature. Other studies have argued that accounting and business students must develop more than technical skills to succeed. Albrecht and Sack (2006), Herring and Williams (2007), Needles and Powers and Zeff all recommended abandoning a wholly procedural (technical) approach to financial accounting. Hunton argues that, since many traditional accounting tasks dealing with recording and processing of accounting transactions can be reliably automated, an accountants worth is now reflected in higherorder critical-thinking skills. Elliott and Jacobson suggest that accountants need education in complementary bodies of knowledge such as organizational behavior, issues in strategic management and measurement and analytical skills. Johnson & Johnson suggest that successful accountants in todays business environment must possess a different skill set including interpersonal and communication skills, intellectual and creative problem- solving skills.

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METHODOLOGY

Sample We conducted a study involving data collection from accounting academics in our university. In our survey we selected academics forPage 12

students as well as the Charter Accountants Firm for employee as a sample. We carefully select 15 students of Patuakhali Science and Technology University of BBA as our Sample. We also select tow Charter Accountant Firm through convenience method form our country named- M.M.HOSSAIN & CO. and K.M. ALAM, KHALEQUE & CO.

We collect carefully 5 employers of those organizations and collect necessary data from them by using a common interview schedule. We carefully analysis their primary data through tabulation, chart, graph etc. Our analysis data are given in the main body of the report through different table, chart, graph and their proper analysis.

Data Collection Data collection involved administration of a survey which was adapted both over students and employee. We collect data by using two way, firstly- primaray data and secondly the secondary data. We collect primary data by developing a interview schedule and secondary data are collected from CA Firms websites and other paper documents. In our survey we consider scale point for

Students perceptions about the value and relevance of accounting degree at their own universities is 1 for strongly disagree, 2 for disagree, 3 for partially agree, 4 for agree and 5 for strongly agree.

Students and employers mean emphasis rating for skills: considered importance to career verses extend deliver is 1 for no priority, 2 for priority, 3 for top priority.

Processing and Tabulation of Data

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For achieving the objectives of the study processing and tabulation are necessary. All collected primary data for the present data for the present study were coded, tabulated, summarized and processed for analysis after collection of data form field level. The first step was taken to scrutinize the data of each and every schedule to find out any inconsistency or omission in the data collection and to avoid irrelevant information. After completing the pre-tabulating task, actual tabulation was stared. Processed data were transferred to a master sheet and compiled with a view of facilitating tabulation. Analysis of Data

The data were analyzed on the basis of the objectives of the study. In the present study tabular and descriptive techniques were mainly used for analysis of data. Tabulation techniques were applied with the help of average, percentage, standard deviation etc. to find out the meaningful results.

Limitations of the reports Since our study is based on both primary and secondary data, there is a possibility of getting fake information. If the surveyed personnel provide us with any fabricated information about their own opinion, then the report findings may be erroneous. Above all, this study is weak in some points. The notable ones are as under-

The survey was conducted in a very short time so we were not able to collect more information. Informations are their own opinion, so there stay the chance of biasness. All employees of the Farm and students are not considered in this report.Page 14

The questionnaire contains some questions that, if answered properly, might damage the companys image. In this type of questions, the respondents might provide generally acceptable answers. This risk was unavoidable. Another limitation of this study is the persons private information were not disclosing some, data and information for obvious reasons, which could be very much useful. Lack of experience in this field. Lack of proper authority to conduct the interview program.

Development of Survey Questions This study addresses the following survey questions:

SQ1: Why study accountancy?

Importance of accountancy We live in an information agea time of communication and immediate access to data, news, facts, and commentary. Information affects how we live, whom we associate with, and the opportunities wePage 15

have. To fully benefit from the available information, we need knowledge of the information system. An information system consists of the collecting, processing, and reporting of information to decision makers. Providing information about what businesses own, what they owe, and ho...

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