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Liberal Education ‐ Is it of Value to Practicing Accountants in New Zealand?

Liberal Education ‐ Is it of Value to Practicing Accountants in New Zealand? During the 1990s the value to an intending professional accountant of undertaking a period of liberal (general) studies was promoted internationally by a number of individuals and organisations, including the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (the “Institute”). The Institute significantly changed its admissions policy for Chartered Accountants in 1996 and one change was to require four years of degree level study with a compulsory liberal studies component. This study surveys the perceptions of New Zealand accounting practitioners on the impact of this compulsory liberal component. The results of this study demonstrate that there is little support from accounting practitioners for IFAC’s claim that liberal education “can contribute significantly to the acquisition of professional skills”, including intellectual, personal and communication skills. In addition, the majority of respondents did not perceive any improvements in the professional skills of the staff that had qualified under the Institute’s current admissions policy. However, any perceived improvements were mainly attributed to the Institute’s admissions policy change. Notwithstanding the lack of support for the assertion that liberal education develops professional skills, there is a strong belief by respondents in the value of liberal education for intending professional accountants. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Pacific Accounting Review Emerald Publishing

Liberal Education ‐ Is it of Value to Practicing Accountants in New Zealand?

Pacific Accounting Review , Volume 17 (2): 31 – Jul 1, 2005

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0114-0582
DOI
10.1108/01140580510818567
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

During the 1990s the value to an intending professional accountant of undertaking a period of liberal (general) studies was promoted internationally by a number of individuals and organisations, including the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (the “Institute”). The Institute significantly changed its admissions policy for Chartered Accountants in 1996 and one change was to require four years of degree level study with a compulsory liberal studies component. This study surveys the perceptions of New Zealand accounting practitioners on the impact of this compulsory liberal component. The results of this study demonstrate that there is little support from accounting practitioners for IFAC’s claim that liberal education “can contribute significantly to the acquisition of professional skills”, including intellectual, personal and communication skills. In addition, the majority of respondents did not perceive any improvements in the professional skills of the staff that had qualified under the Institute’s current admissions policy. However, any perceived improvements were mainly attributed to the Institute’s admissions policy change. Notwithstanding the lack of support for the assertion that liberal education develops professional skills, there is a strong belief by respondents in the value of liberal education for intending professional accountants.

Journal

Pacific Accounting ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 1, 2005

Keywords: Accounting education; New Zealand; Chartered accountants

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