Bridging the Gap between the Perceptions of Accounting Students and Accounting Practitioners: Evidence from Ahlia University of Bahrain

Adel Mohammed Sarea, Fatema Ebrahim Alrawahi

Abstract


Over the past two decades, professional accounting bodies, accounting practitioners and educators have criticized accounting education programs for failing to meet the demands of the changing business environment. This failure by universities has created a gap between accounting practice and accounting education.With the aim of increasing transparency, minimizing the gap between students, job seekers and practitioners this study sought the views of accounting practitioners and accounting students in Bahrain, regarding important competencies required for a career in accounting. Data were obtained from 39 students attending the same university and 39 practitioners from various organizations using a survey. The findings indicate that although there is an agreement between the perceptions of both groups, some significant gap still exists. Basic accounting skill is rated as the most important professional skill by both groups. While students felt that leadership is the least important skill; practitioners on the other hand felt that general knowledge is the least important. The findings and conclusions of the paper have implications for accounting education in Bahrain. Accounting graduates are not well-equipped to take an immediate part within many Bahraini employers’ business and must be trained extensively before becoming fully functional.

Keywords


Accounting; Accounting Education; Student Perceptions; Practitioner Perceptions.

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