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Vocational skills in the accounting professional profile: the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) employers' opinion

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The increasingly dynamic environment in which accountants work has necessitated a reorientation of accounting education. In some countries this issue has raised great interest amongst accounting educators and practitioners. The ongoing debate has already resulted in the publication of several statements and research papers that have raised the question of the relevance of the role of vocational skills in accounting education. Examples of these vocational skills are communication skills, interpersonal skills, and problem-solving skills. This paper reports on the importance that the employers of management accountants gave to a specified set of vocational skills and capabilities and the level of ability of these skills exhibited by students. In order to prioritize future developments an integrated analysis of the two attributes, importance and exhibited level, is enabled by the use of strategic mapping. The results of this study suggest that the employers perceive deficiencies in several capabilities that they have identified as being quite important. These deficiencies exist, in the employers' opinion, both prior to recruitment and on professional qualification. The research also indicates that, in the opinion of these employers, the development of these skills should be a central concern for universities and professional bodies. The employers also indicated that vocational skills should be attained in an integrated way.
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Keywords: CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT; EDUCATION PROFILE; EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES; STRATEGIC MAPS; VOCATIONAL SKILLS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-09-01

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