first time in Australia, professional accounting bodies, practitioners and
universities come together last week (7 February 2012) to discuss the
challenges ahead for the next generation of accountants, at the third annual
education forum in Adelaide hosted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in
Australia (the Institute) and the Centre for Accounting, Governance and
Sustainability (CAGS) at the University of South Australia.
the forum and the Institute’s head of academic relations, Professor James
Guthrie, says the event tackles the changing role, education pathways and
future needs of professional accountants.
accountants gain their qualification and operate will be vastly different in 20
years from now. Already there is rapid
change in business and government areas, including globalisation, new
technologies and social and environmental issues. The forum examines how educators and those in
practice will be impacted and how they need to change quickly to respond to
these contemporary demands.”
Guthrie explains, “The supply of accounting education is growing at a rapid
rate, with organisations including vocational education and training providers,
private higher education providers, public, private and corporate universities,
and professional associations, and we see this as not only in but internationally and
globally. Meanwhile, the demand for
qualified accountants is being driven by employers in professional service
firms, corporations, not for profits and the government sector.
pathway a student takes, it’s the quality of accounting education that must be
upheld. We need quality ‘work ready’
graduates coming into the profession that can meet the expectations of employers
and society. Possible strategies for how
we do this will be explored during the forum.
key stakeholders assembled from all facets of the accounting profession, the
forum is a critical step in opening dialogue and facilitating ongoing collaboration,
which is important for building a sustainable long term profession both in
and globally,” says Prof. Guthrie.
the forum and UniSA Professor Roger Burritt agrees, “We have to work together
with the accounting community to ensure we keep the profession relevant and
discussions and future strategies from the forum will be captured and developed
into a new thought-leadership publication, Emerging paths for the next
generation of accountants, by the Institute and CAGS, which will be launched at
the Accounting Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand (AFAANZ)
Conference in July 2012.