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Accountants' IT responsibilities and competencies from a student perspective

Raphael Junger da Silva (Department of Internal Control, Brazilian Federal Justice, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Roberto Tommasetti (Department of Accounting, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Monica Zaidan Gomes (Department of Accounting, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Marcelo Alvaro da Silva Macedo (Department of Accounting, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning

ISSN: 2042-3896

Article publication date: 3 July 2020

Issue publication date: 27 April 2021




Research question is about the perception of stricto sensu undergraduate and graduate accounting students, from the Metropolitan Region of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) of the accountants' responsibilities and competencies required to them in assisting IT/IS strategy definition and implementation.


This is a descriptive research, using a qualitative paper-and-pencil approach. Designed based on United Nations Accounting Model Curriculum, a questionnaire was self-applied to 361 accounting students of eight higher education institutions (HEIs) in Rio de Janeiro, whose responses are quantitatively analysed.


Accounting students strongly agree on the need to acquire strategic skills that enable them to assist organizations in IT/IS issues but are quite divided about the related accountants' responsibilities, underestimating their future role in this respect.

Research limitations/implications

Although quantitatively adequate, the sample is non-probabilistic and, thus, results cannot be generalized. The authors expect that this paper can encourage HEIs to engage the path of multidisciplinary education and rethink their silo-based pedagogical models which have to prepare students for their forthcoming professional challenges, by introducing interdisciplinary courses, soft skills disciplines and work-integrated learning activities.

Practical implications

Findings can be useful for teachers and coordinators of the IT/IS area in accounting courses, stimulating brainstorming on the accountant's role in assisting organizations in IT/IS strategies and practices implementation. The study has relevant implications for educators through the identification and analysis of difficulties faced by students.


This study contributes to the research base of accountants' strategic role since the responsibility awareness identified gap can be elaborated for stimulating the discussion about the centrality of the accountant in IT processes within organizations.



Junger da Silva, R., Tommasetti, R., Zaidan Gomes, M. and da Silva Macedo, M.A. (2021), "Accountants' IT responsibilities and competencies from a student perspective", Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 471-486.



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