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The Adequacy of Accounting Education in the Development of Transversal Skills Needed to Meet Market Demands

Carla Carvalho and Ana Carlos Almeida
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Carla Carvalho: GOVCOPP—Research Unit on Governance, Competitiveness and Public Policies, Higher Institute of Accounting and Administration, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Ana Carlos Almeida: Department of Economics, Management, Industrial Engineering and Tourism, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal

Sustainability, 2022, vol. 14, issue 10, 1-18

Abstract: With the ongoing digital transformation, accountants will need a more technological profile and greater mastery of transversal skills. In this context, higher education institutions (HEIs) assume a fundamental role, as they must adapt the teaching methodologies of accounting courses to meet new market demands. This study aims to identify the transversal skills most needed by accounting professionals to meet market demands and analyze the suitability of higher education in Portugal for the development of those skills. To this end, semi-structured interviews were carried out with people who directly or indirectly deal with accounting professionals and focus groups that included lecturers, students, and recent graduates. Conclusions indicate that communication is the most valuable transversal skill to respond to the new requirements of the profession, followed by being proactive, showing initiative, successful teamwork, and the ability to adapt to new contexts. Accountants are also required to invest more time in information and communication technologies (ICT) training. Evidence indicates that accounting education in Portugal does not seem to adequately prepare students with these skills, continuing to rely on traditional approaches to teaching and assessment.

Keywords: transversal skills; soft skills; ICT; teaching and learning process; higher education; accounting education; accounting profession (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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