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Graduate readiness for a professional career in accounting – an investigation of employers’ perspectives in Fiji

Sandhiya Roy (Department of Accounting and Finance, The University of Fiji, Lautoka, Fiji)

Pacific Accounting Review

ISSN: 0114-0582

Article publication date: 22 December 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify and gain recent insights into the extent to which skills expectation gap exists from the perspective of employers in a Pacific Island country, including the competencies perceived essential within the work context of accountants and the support provided by employers to accounting graduates to address the skills expectation gap.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the expectation–performance gap framework developed by Bui and Porter (2010), this study collects and analyses data via semi-structured interviews with employers at chartered accounting firms, large- and medium-sized commercial and industrial firms in Fiji.

Findings

Majority of the employers indicated that graduates from the Fijian universities are adequately prepared and have acquired the necessary attributes to perform at the workplace. However, employers expect universities to do a little more in terms of developing confidence and improving ability to apply theoretical knowledge to practice. The findings also outline that the institutional-, social- and student-related constraints directly affect the quality of graduates, which are not in control of academics.

Research limitations/implications

It is noted that graduate capabilities are developed over two different learning environments. This study focused on how universities prepared graduates to perform at the workplace from the perspective of employers. This serves as a basis for future research to investigate effectiveness of trainings provided by employers to graduates to enable them into becoming successful accounting professionals.

Originality/value

This study adds clarifications to the debate on academic–practice gap by providing recent insights into the extent to which graduates demonstrate capabilities to perform in the accounting profession, the prevailing issues with graduate capabilities and the employers’ contribution towards strengthening graduate capabilities.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The author would like to thank the reviewers for their valuable feedback. Their comments allowed the author to improve the paper.

Citation

Roy, S. (2022), "Graduate readiness for a professional career in accounting – an investigation of employers’ perspectives in Fiji", Pacific Accounting Review, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/PAR-06-2021-0087

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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