The purpose of this study is to identify the specific skills and abilities within the broad category of data analytics that current business professionals believe are most important for accounting graduates. Data analytics knowledge is clearly important, but this category is broad. Therefore, this study identifies the specific skills and abilities that are most important for accounting graduates so that faculty can create classroom materials most beneficial for the future accounting graduates. In 2013, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business developed new standards for accounting programs, including standard A7, related to information technology and analytics. The intent of the standard clearly focuses on increasing the level of technology and analytics studied within the accounting curriculum. However, the specific details and methods for achieving the intent of A7 remain an open question. This chapter uses prior research focused on business analytics education to identify potential analytic skills, tools, techniques, and management issues of concern within the accounting profession. A survey of 342 accounting professionals identifies suggested areas of analytic competencies for accounting graduates. Specifically, the authors find preferences for skills related to data interpretation and communication over any individual technical skills or statistical knowledge. These skills suggest a role for accountants as intermediaries who may need to translate analytic activities into business language. Post hoc, the authors examine the survey results for differences based on respondent characteristics. Interestingly, female respondents report lower beliefs about the importance of analytic skills. The authors also find some differences when examining different demographics within the respondents.
We greatly appreciate the comments of three anonymous reviewers for improving this chapter. We thank Miami University for financial support to perform this study. We also would like to thank Alex Flexer and Jacob Mayles for their assistance in this project.
Brink, W.D. and Stoel, M.D. (2019), "Analytics Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities for Accounting Graduates", Calderon, T.G. (Ed.) Advances in Accounting Education: Teaching and Curriculum Innovations (Advances in Accounting Education, Vol. 22), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 23-43. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1085-462220190000022002
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