Employers Perspective of Accounting Graduate IT Skills Required

Employers Perspective of Accounting Graduate IT Skills Required


In the current accounting world, accounting graduates are expected to be highly skilled and having a wide range of competences and knowledge in order to meet the requirements of the job market. Employers Perspective of Accounting Graduate IT Skills.  Most accounting employers find that the most demanded skills in accounting are absent in accounting graduates and hence there is a need to influence their learning programs to include these skills. The main purpose of the study was to examine and establish the degree of expectation gap between the skills possessed by accounting graduates and skills required by accounting employers in the job market. This study was based on focal theory of accounting. Exploratory research design was used in the study and positivism research philosophy was employed. Survey research strategy was used to gather data from a large sample size in order to answer the research questions and achieve research objectives. Survey method was used to gather data from accounting employers drawn from across various organizations and sectors in Australia. The study findings indicated that there is an expectation gap whereby accounting graduates possess generic skills while accounting employers require information technology skills from the graduates.

Table of Contents


1.1      Introduction. 5

1.2      Rationale for the Study. 6

1.3      Research Aim, Objectives, and Questions. 6


2.1      Introduction. 8

2.2      Employment and Employability Skills. 8

2.3      Theoretical Approach. 9

2.4      Expectation Gap in Accounting. 10


4.1      Demographic Profiles of Respondents. 14

4.2      Employers’ Assessment of Skills Gained. 15

4.3      Performance Gap. 16


5.1      Conclusions. 17

5.2      Recommendations. 17



List of Tables

Table 4.1: Demographic profiles of respondents………………………………………………..14

Table 4.2 Mean for skills ratings of graduate employees……………………………………….15

Table 4.3: Mean ratings for skills sought by employers…………………………………………16



    • Introduction

In the current business environment, managers and employers seek to improve their human resources in order to improve the performance levels of their organizations. As a result, employees and managers recruit employees with the required skills, experience and knowledge. Basically, employees play a very important role in determining organizational performance and their performance is determined by the quality of skills and knowledge they possess (Rosa and Hakim 2016). Employers Perspective of Accounting Graduate IT Skills

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  • Recommendations

The findings in this study indicated that information technology skills have higher importance level as compared to generic skills in accounting profession. Therefore, the research findings in this study coupled with previous findings suggest the accounting curricula to be restructured to accommodate information technology. It is therefore recommended that education institutions offering accounting courses in Australia should offer information technology courses to impart students with the required skills which would increase their employability in the job market. Employers Perspective of Accounting Graduate IT Skills

Additionally, the future studies should employ mixed research methods whereby both qualitative and quantitative data is gathered and analysed. In this study only quantitative data was collected and analysed and hence some relevant qualitative data may have been left out which would influence the research findings and hence conclusions made.

















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Questionnaire Sample

Section 1: Demographic Information

  1. What is your gender? Male              Female
  2. What is your age bracket?

Below 20 years

20-30 years

31-40 years

41-50 years

Over 51 years

  1. What is your marital status?






  1. What is the highest educational level you have attained?

Under Form 5



Bachelor Degree

Master Degree or Higher

  1. How many years of accounting practitioner experience do you have?

Below 12 months

1-3 Years

4-6 Years

Over 7 Years

  1. Do you have certified accounting education at any level (such as CPA, CA, CIMA, ICMAP etc)?



Section 2: Skills Required

Rate the following skills that you expect of students to acquire in accounting education for their career development.


Kindly tick appropriately (1= Strongly Disagree, 2= Disagree, 3= Neutral, 4= Agree, 5= Strongly Agree)

No. Skills that must be acquired in education by students for accounting career development 1 2 3 4 5
1. Risk analysis          
2. Critical thinking          
3. Problem solving and decision making          
4. Thinking and behaving ethically          
5. Information technology          
6. Information systems planning and strategy          
7. Communications software          


Section C: Performance Gap

State the skills competence level that is expected from a student to possess for employment at the time of certification


Kindly tick appropriately (1= Strongly Disagree, 2= Disagree, 3= Neutral, 4= Agree, 5= Strongly Agree)

No. Skills competence level required to get employment at entry level 1 2 3 4 5
1. Risk analysis          
2. Critical thinking          
3. Problem solving and decision making          
4. Thinking and behaving ethically          
5. Information technology          
6. Information systems planning and strategy          
7. Communications software