Future-proofing accounting professionals: Ensuring graduate employability and future readiness
Keywords:capabilities, employability, graduate attributes, soft skills, professional capability standards
Key global and Australasian bodies have reported research suggesting the accounting profession is one of the most vulnerable to disruption through automation and changed business models. For universities seeking to improve the employability of graduates and professional bodies seeking to support professional members on a successful lifelong career, the research presented in this paper reconfirmed the need to reappraise the capabilities that would enhance professional practice and lead to sustained careers. This report presents the findings from a validation process across Australia and New Zealand that includes 2,074 responses to a survey conducted by Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. The report confirms 24 capabilities, including six considered essential requirements for every professional seeking to work in accounting, finance, and related work roles. The findings provide evidence that these capabilities, in contrast to recent reports suggesting employment opportunities for accounting graduates are in decline, can create opportunities for sustainable careers. The validation project and survey results provide unexpected insight into the capabilities of different age groups and professionals at different career stages that are considered important. The paper outlines how this research will not only inform continuing professional education for members but also help refine the design of post-graduate curriculum and continuing professional development.
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