A critical analysis of skills development within the ICAEW qualification

Donnelly, Stephen (2024) A critical analysis of skills development within the ICAEW qualification. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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This study explores the initial training scheme of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW) and considers if the scheme provides the skills required of a newly qualified accountant. Societal expectations, technology, complexity of business, globalisation and changes to regulation have created the need for accountants to possess a different mix of skills (International Accounting Standards Education Board, 2019). Accountants who do not possess the appropriate skills risk being less effective in relation to their employment and clients. This could result in poor decisions being made and this could adversely impact on their employer or client. A sequential explanatory approach to this research was taken, beginning with the use of focus groups made up of employers, educators and professional body representative which determined a consensus regarding the skills requirements of the profession, the employer and the client. The results of the focus groups informed the development of an online survey which assessed the ability of 259 ICAEW students to determine their current skills level. These results were analysed using SPSS with the emerging issues and themes then being discussed in 10 semi structured interviews, which were then analysed using thematic analysis. Results showed that students were unable to determine their own skills level and ranked them with reference to their perception of the importance of those skills. Professional skills were the most valued skills and business skills the least valued. The semi structured interviews found that new recruits are subject to information overload at the start of their training and don’t perceive their training to be a tri-party approach, meaning the students feel commitment to their employer, but their professional body. They do not believe that they have any responsibility for their skills development and do not believe that they are part of accountancy training. This research makes a contribution to practice as it identifies that students entering the profession want the social status of a professional but are unaware of the role or responsibilities of a professional. They see the role of their institute as an examining body, with no link to their career.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Experiential Learning, Skills versus Knowledge, the Socialisation Process, History of Accounting in the UK
Subjects: N100 Business studies
N900 Others in Business and Administrative studies
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Business Administration
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2024 10:09
Last Modified: 01 May 2024 11:51
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/51718

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