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New technology and desired skills of early career accountants

New technology and desired skills of early career accountants Technological advances have led to accounting roles shifting from transaction focussed tasks to using data generated by technology to inform stakeholder strategies, resulting in changing skill requirements. This study aims to investigate how early career accountants (ECAs) and organisations value different skills among ECAs, how technology is impacting on these skills and the preparedness of ECAs for future technological work in different organisational settings.Design/methodology/approachThe research adopted a multi-stakeholder, mixed-method approach, surveying 315 ECAs and 175 managers/recruiters and interviewing 10 from each group. The sample drew from different industry sectors and organisation types in Australia, with all states represented.FindingsThere was broad agreement among ECAs and managers on requisite skills for technology. Most ECAs and managers believed new technology is influencing the skills required in accounting, yet the impact was considered greater among ECAs and effects varied by organisational setting. Overall, the research did not support ECAs as “digital natives” and illuminated the importance of exposure to technology, a change mindset and lifelong learning to better prepare them for new technology.Originality/valueThis study makes an important contribution to understanding how and why skills for success in accounting are evolving in the context of new technology and how prepared ECAs are for technology from both their own and managers/recruiters’ perspectives. It highlights the need for greater dialogue, benchmarking and evaluation of performance in technology-related skills among new accountants and their managers. Further, it identifies areas where ECAs would most benefit from targeted support, aiding personal career success and organisational competitiveness. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Pacific Accounting Review Emerald Publishing

New technology and desired skills of early career accountants

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0114-0582
eISSN
0114-0582
DOI
10.1108/par-04-2021-0045
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Technological advances have led to accounting roles shifting from transaction focussed tasks to using data generated by technology to inform stakeholder strategies, resulting in changing skill requirements. This study aims to investigate how early career accountants (ECAs) and organisations value different skills among ECAs, how technology is impacting on these skills and the preparedness of ECAs for future technological work in different organisational settings.Design/methodology/approachThe research adopted a multi-stakeholder, mixed-method approach, surveying 315 ECAs and 175 managers/recruiters and interviewing 10 from each group. The sample drew from different industry sectors and organisation types in Australia, with all states represented.FindingsThere was broad agreement among ECAs and managers on requisite skills for technology. Most ECAs and managers believed new technology is influencing the skills required in accounting, yet the impact was considered greater among ECAs and effects varied by organisational setting. Overall, the research did not support ECAs as “digital natives” and illuminated the importance of exposure to technology, a change mindset and lifelong learning to better prepare them for new technology.Originality/valueThis study makes an important contribution to understanding how and why skills for success in accounting are evolving in the context of new technology and how prepared ECAs are for technology from both their own and managers/recruiters’ perspectives. It highlights the need for greater dialogue, benchmarking and evaluation of performance in technology-related skills among new accountants and their managers. Further, it identifies areas where ECAs would most benefit from targeted support, aiding personal career success and organisational competitiveness.

Journal

Pacific Accounting ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 2, 2022

Keywords: Skills; Technology; Employability; Work readiness; Early career accountant

References