The Changing Landscape Dr. Fodio

Report
By
Dr. Musa Inuwa Fodio,CNA
presented at the 2ND African Congress of Accountants
(ACOA), May 14 -16, 2013 held at Accra International
Conference Centre, Accra, Ghana.
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Background
Drivers of change in global educational
standards for accounting profession
Implications of changes in educational
standards for the accountancy profession
The Role of IAESB in setting Standards for global
accounting education
The Role of professional bodies in promoting IES
IES and the academics
Recommendations and Conclusion
The accounting profession has never in
its history been confronted with the
kinds of challenges that it faces today.
 Unending
sensational
accounting
scandals
 Loss of public confidence
 Loss of authority as self-regulating
profession
The profession’s reactions to the
challenges led to radical innovations
in the principles, standards and
practice of accounting
 This challenges and responses have
widened the gap in accounting
education – What accountants do and
what accounting educators do.
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Public accounting firms recognised the problem over 20 years
ago. Consistent with Bedford Report, a white paper issued by
the big 8 audit firms in 1989 described the profession as
 Expanding
 Changing
 Becoming increasingly complex.
Accountant are no longer mere information providers/financial
advisers but executive partners.
Suggested the critical need for the profession to re-examine
its educational process
Concluded that the “current environment” makes real
curriculum change essential and necessitates a dynamic
partnership between practitioners and academics
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In late 1980s and early 1990s, IMA received
complaints
from
financial
executives
indicating that entry-level accountants were
inadequately prepared and lack skills
necessary for success as entry corporate
accountants.
The IAESB has since its coming into being,
been building on the work of IASCF. The
foundation in 2002 identified some areas of
change which included education standards
and regulations.
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The overall mission of IAESB is to serve
the public interest by the world wide
advancement
of
education
and
development
for
professional
accountants leading to harmonised
standards.
Current trend is towards globalisation of
educational standards for accounting
profession.
Unrelenting competitive pressure
Impact of information and communication technologies
Demand for improvements in corporate governance and ethics
Globalisation of business
Focus on fair value accounting
Demand for new knowledge and skills
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Unrelenting competitive pressure
Rapid change has been the characteristic
of the environment in which professional
accountants work
Pressures for change are coming from
expanded
stakeholders
including
regulators and oversight bodies
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Impact of information and communication
technologies
 ICT
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continues to advance at a rapid pace
 Internet has revolutionised global
communications
 XBRL is an off-shoot of ICT development
Demand for improvements in corporate
governance and ethics; and growing concern
for the environment and sustainable
development
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Globalisation of Business
 Business and organisations are engaging in
ever more complex arrangements and
transactions
Risk management has become more important
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Focus on fair value accounting
Fair value becomes the conceptual foundation of
financial reporting and valuation techniques are
basic tools of accountants (which involves
modelling)
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Demand for new knowledge and skills
 Accountant to be a “Jack of all trade and
a mini-master of all”; ICT, Managerial,
Actuarial valuation etc as part of the
challenges associated with IFRS.
 Judgement is now more important as
well
as
reliance
on
conceptual
framework
 Less reliance on memorization of rules
and more focus on application of
principles and use of best judgement.
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Recognition of changes in educational
standards for the Accounting profession
Recognition by the profession that its only
Real Capital is its Human Capital
◦ Need for investment in human capital
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The need to change nationally-based
accounting education systems to reflect
global dimension.
◦ Through collaborative efforts with academics,
practitioners, government and regulatory agencies,
industries, etc.
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Future accounting practitioners must have
broad and specialized knowledge and skills
Accounting practitioners must continually
acquire new knowledge and skills (life long
learning) because of the rapidly changing
environment in which the professional
accountant works
◦ IFRSs, IPSASs, ISAs, XBRL, IES, etc
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Future professional accountants need training
in corporate governance, environment and
sustainable reporting and ethics
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Need for continuous monitoring of the
environment in which professional
accountants operate to ensure that the
educational process remains relevant
Need for educators delivering professional
accounting education program to respond to
the changing needs of international
accounting profession as well as individual
professional accountants
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The increased role of IAESB in developing and
issuing high quality standards and other
guidance to strengthen accounting education
worldwide
IAESB focuses on:
Prequalification accounting education
Practical experience and training as well as
assessment of professional accountants
Continuing (post-qualification) professional
education needed by accountants
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All IFAC members were required to comply
with IES 1-6 by January 2005, IES 7 by
January 2006 and IES 8 by July 2008.
Compliance (with black letter requirements) is
self-enforced by professional bodies in
collaboration with and involvement of
national oversight as well as third partiesuniversities, employers (government and
private).
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IFAC member bodies are expected to
comply with IES. IES are targeted at the
member bodies and not individual
members
Member bodies are to determine detailed
requirements of the pre-qualification,
post-qualification and development
programs considering the diversity of
culture, language and educational, legal
and social systems in their countries
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Where member bodies are subject to legal or
regulatory authorities in their countries, they
must consider IES and must advise legislative and
regulatory authorities on same and seek for
harmonization
Member bodies should assist the growing
movement toward international reciprocity and
comparability of qualifications through IES
Member bodies are to work with other educators
and academics to ensure that programs are
relevant and logically sequential
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IAAER is championing the course for design
and implementation of accounting education
program that achieves the IES objectives of
prequalification education
IAAER is also creating awareness of the need
for improvement in accounting education and
research
IAAER proposes a Project Athena on IES
targeted at faculty development program in
developed and emerging economies.
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At various national levels academy and
profession have perennially failed to settle on
agreed core of accounting Knowledge and skills
(what exactly is a “work ready” accounting
graduate?)
Accounting academics generally feel that they are
the arm of academia that studies accounting
rather than the academic arm of the accounting
profession
Dilemma on what student of accounting in the
university or college should learn (emphasis)
 Knowledge
vocationalisation
(commercialisation) which lend itself to
demands of the work place
 Knowledge commodification- which arises
out of the marketisation of courses (revenue
drive)
 Knowledge corporatisation- which focuses on
performance measurement and learning
outcomes
 Knowledge professionalization- which
focuses on professional practice
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Model 1
Model 2
Post
qualification
Post
qualification
Professionalism
Professional
qualification
Pre
qualification
Informal
Process
Professionalism
Academy
Professional
qualification
Prequalification
Formal
Process
Work Place
IAESB
IFAC member bodies
Accounting educators and academics
Conclusion
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Increase awareness and understanding
of IES across professional bodies and
accounting academics
Resolve the dilemma on what accounting
education should emphasise. The model
proposed may be useful
Reduce/harmonise areas of conflict
between IES and national accounting
education standards- using the IFRS
model
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Increase IES awareness among individual
members
Seek additional collaboration with academics
through the regulatory and government
agencies in different jurisdictions
Need to develop more interest in IES
 Need to assist in the implementation of IES at
prequalification level through improvement in
accounting curricula
 Should build stronger bodies at national and
regional level to promote the course of IAESB
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AAFA (African Accounting and Finance Association)
 Should
work with other stakeholders such as
professional bodies and employers to make
accounting curricula richer and more relevant
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In conclusion, it is important to note that
accounting profession has today changed from its
traditional role of financial information provider
with emphasis on technical practice to a profession
which stresses moral practice with emphasis on
professional judgement
Its role will continue to be relevant to all spheres of
human endeavour.
Educational standards for training future
professional accountants must necessarily
encapsulate an appropriate mixture of intellectual,
vocational and professional viewpoints
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AAA, (1986), Future Accounting Education:
Preparing for the Expanding Profession,
American Accounting Association, Bedford
Committee Report
AECC, (1990), Objectives of Education for
Accountants, Accounting Education Change
Commission, Position Statement N° 1, September
1990
Albrecht W.S., Sack R.J., (2000), Accounting
Education: Charting the Course through a
Perilous Future, Accounting Education Series, Vol.
16
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Big 8, (1989), Perspectives on Education: Capabilities
for Success in the Accounting Profession, Arthur
Andersen & Co, Arthur Young, Coopers & Lybrand,
Deloitte Haskings & Sells, Ernst & Whinney, Peat
Marwick Main & Co, Price Waterhouse, Touche Ross
Evans, C., Buritt, R. and Guthrie, J. (2010), Accounting
Education at a Crossroad, University of South
Australia and Institute of Chartered Accountants in
Australia
Karreman, G.H., (2002), The Impact of Globalisation
on Accountancy Education, International Accounting
Standards Committee Foundation, London
Karreman, G.H., (2002) The Impact of Globalisation
on Accountancy Education, International Accounting
Standards Committee Foundation, London
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IAESB, (2012), Developing a Global Model of Accounting
Education and Examining IES Compliance in Australia,
Japan and Sri Lanka
ICAA, (1998), Vision 2020, Institute of Chartered
Accountants in Australia
IFAC, (2006), SMO 2, International Education Standards for
Professional Accountants and Other Guidance
IFAC, (2007), International Accounting Education
Standards Board, Strategic and Operational Plan 2007 –
2009
IFAC, (2007), Developing Nations Committee, Strategic and
Operational Plan 2007 – 2010
IFAC, (2007), Member Body Compliance Program, Strategic
and Operational Plan 2007 – 2010
IFAC, (2003), IES 1, Entry Requirements to a Program of
Professional Accounting Education
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IFAC, (2003), IES 2, Content of Professional
Accounting Education Programs
IFAC, (2003), IES 3, Professional Skills
IFAC, (2003), IES 4, Professional Values, Ethics and
Attitudes
IFAC, (2003), IES 5, Practical Experience Requirements
IFAC, (2003), IES 6, Assessment of Professional
Capabilities and Competence
IFAC, (2004), IES 7, Continuing Professional
Development: A Program of Lifelong Learning and
Continuing Development of Professional Competence
IFAC, (2006), IES 8, Competence Requirements for
Audit Professionals (Implementation 2008)
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Needles, B.E. Jr., (2005), Implementing
International Education Standards: The Global
Challenge, Accounting Education: An
International Journal, 14, March, 2005, 123129
The 103rd American Assembly (2003), The
Future of the Accounting Profession, the
American Assembly, Columbia University

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