• Education of accountants;
  • Key attributes and skills;
  • Student perceptions;
  • Employer expectations;
  • Gaps
  • 121;
  • J24;
  • M41


For some years there has been much debate between various stakeholders about the need for accounting graduates to develop a broader set of skills to be able to pursue a career in the accounting profession. 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’. Both students and employers report that many of the ‘essential’ non-technical and professional skills and attributes are not being developed sufficiently in university accounting programmes.