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Professional Skills and Capabilities of Accounting Graduates: The New Zealand Expectation Gap?


  • Paul Wells
  • Philippa Gerbic
  • Ineke Kranenburg
  • Jenny Bygrave


Much has been written about teaching and learning deficiencies in accounting education. Universities have grappled with the challenge and developed a number of strategies to address the concerns raised. Many of the recommended strategies for addressing these deficiencies have included a focus on the development of professional capabilities and skills. This paper reports on a study which has identified the capabilities which are considered to be the most important for successful practice in accountancy during the first years after graduation and identified the extent to which New Zealand universities have focused on these in the delivery of their study programmes. Most attempts to measure the nature and extent of change to accountancy degree programmes have collected data from current or graduating students or from the university itself. This study instead collected feedback from accountancy graduates employed in public practice with three to five years post graduation professional experience and from their workplace supervisors. This paper reports on the results of the graduate feedback, provides a useful insight into where progress has been made and identifies where further improvement is necessary.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Wells & Philippa Gerbic & Ineke Kranenburg & Jenny Bygrave, 2009. "Professional Skills and Capabilities of Accounting Graduates: The New Zealand Expectation Gap?," Accounting Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(4-5), pages 403-420.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:accted:v:18:y:2009:i:4-5:p:403-420
    DOI: 10.1080/09639280902719390

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    1. repec:eee:spacre:v:20:y:2017:i:1:p:13-24 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:joaced:v:28:y:2010:i:3:p:145-197 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:bec:imsber:v:9:y:2017:i:4:p:83-110 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Dixon, Keith, 2011. "Assessment at the centre of strategies of [accountant] learning in groups, substantiated with qualitative reflections in student assessments," MPRA Paper 29861, University Library of Munich, Germany.


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