How can an academic accounting education remain relevant given that the use of technology is transforming the role of the accountant?

Maddison, Andrew (2024) How can an academic accounting education remain relevant given that the use of technology is transforming the role of the accountant? Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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Technology use has led to entry level roles within professional firms and commercial finance departments disappearing while creating career opportunities which require different skills. Traditional accounting education curriculum appears ill equipped to instil such skills into graduates, decreasing their employment opportunities, and threatening the relevance of accounting education to the professional bodies (PABs). The objective of this study is to provide accounting faculty with a curriculum framework which enhances accounting education relevance and increase the employability of accounting graduates.

Understanding multiple perspectives (‘realities’) of the obstacles to creating a more relevant accounting education curriculum is required. By adopting a qualitative interpretivist approach, a clearer awareness of the issues surrounding accounting education curriculum change emerges as the interactions and relationships between stakeholders are investigated. Using Qualitative Content Analysis (QCA) to analyse semi structured interviews, several themes emerged.

This study makes several important contributions to the existing body of knowledge. Firstly, it argues that the expectation gap between the PABs and accounting educators cannot be closed and that collaboration between the parties is difficult to achieve. Secondly, it found that the complex web of institutional logics at play in HEIs obstructs those intent on curriculum change. Further it emerged that accounting faculty were complicit in pushing exaggerated employability claims for their courses and were complacent to the consequences of discovery, Methodologically, this study was the first to explore accounting education relevance from the perspectives of all interested parties, the PABs, accounting faculty, and students, gaining a holistic view of the issue.

The above poses significant threats to accounting education viability. Short-term, the cash generated by accounting degrees gives accounting faculty some security. Longer-term the PABs will create more innovative curriculum and without change, the relevance of accounting education will diminish further negatively impacting the employability of accounting graduates. The future viability of accountancy as a degree is, potentially, in question. In creating this curriculum framework, the study makes a practical contribution to the benefit of all interested stakeholders.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: employability, professional skills, institutional logics, curriculum development, obstacles
Subjects: N400 Accounting
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2024 08:51
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2024 09:00

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