Information Technology (IT) Knowledge and Skills of Accounting Graduates: Does an Expectation Gap Exist?

Rosmila Senik, Martin Broad, Norazila Mat, Suhaida Abdul Kadir

Abstract


ABSTRACT

The present research explores the expectation gap in information technology (IT) skills development in an accounting degree course using grounded theory methodology. Data were collected using multiple qualitative approaches, including interviews; focus groups; observations; and document reviews, focusing on respondents at one traditional university in the UK and involving respondents from one of the big four accounting firms operating in the UK. The findings indicate that some of the required understanding and skills relating to accounting, tax and auditing software is lacking, suggesting an expectation gap. Different opinions concerning who should assume the responsibility for the development of the IT skills of the graduates; the understanding concerning the nature of IT skills; unclear expectations; and a lack of communication among stakeholders in accounting education are the factors perceived to cause the existence of such a gap. The findings also reveal that educators, as major players in the education process, should initiate a platform to promote communication among all stakeholders in educations, including potential employers and students, so that skills needs and expectations can be clearly identified and communicated, thus bridging the gap.

Keywords: Expectation gaps; Accounting education; Information technology skills, Innovation and change in higher education

ABSTRAK

Kajian ini meneroka jurang jangkaan pembangunan kemahiran IT dalam kursus ijazah perakaunan menggunakan kaedah teori beralasan. Data telah dikumpulkan menggunakan pelbagai pendekatan kualitatif, termasuk temubual, kumpulan fokus, pemerhatian dan ulasan dokumen, dengan memberi tumpuan kepada responden di sebuah universiti tradisional di UK dan melibatkan sebuah daripada empat firma perakaunan terbesar yang beroperasi di UK. Penemuan mencadangkan bahawa terdapat kekurangan dalam beberapa pemahaman dan kemahiran yang diperlukan berkaitan dengan perisian perakaunan, cukai dan pengauditan, yang menunjukkan wujudnya jurang jangkaan tersebut. Pendapat yang berbeza mengenai siapa yang patut bertanggungjawab terhadap pembangunan kemahiran graduan IT, pemahaman mengenai ciri kemahiran IT, jangkaan tidak jelas dan kekurangan komunikasi dalam kalangan pihak berkepentingan dalam pendidikan perakaunan adalah merupakan antara faktor-faktor yang dilihat menyebabkan kewujudan jurang tersebut. Penemuan juga menunjukkan bahawa pendidik sebagai pemain utama dalam proses pendidikan sepatutnya mengambil initiatif sebagai landasan untuk menggalakkan komunikasi dalam kalangan semua pemegang taruh pendidikan termasuk majikan dan pelajar supaya keperluan kemahiran dan jangkaan boleh dikenalpasti dengan jelas dan disampaikan, yang akhirnya merapatkan jurang tersebut

Kata kunci: Jurang jangkaan; Pendidikan perakaunan; Kemahiran teknologi maklumat; Inovasi dan perubahan dalam pendidikan tinggi


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