Skills and Attributes Needed for Success in Accounting Career: Do Employers’ Expectations Fit with Students’ Perceptions? Evidence from Tunisia

Mohamed Faker Klibi, Ahmed Atef Oussii


Purpose – The aim of this article is to examine perceptions and expectations of two major stakeholders: students
and employers of the importance of skills and attributes for securing entry-level employment in accounting.
Design/methodology/approach – The authors conduct an empirical study using a list of 78 items, starting by
comparing employers’ expectations with students’ perceptions concerning the set of technical and non technical
skills required from accounting graduates to pursue a career in the accounting profession This study involving
data collection from 81 accounting students in five business schools in Tunisia and 48 practitioners.
Findings – Findings indicate that employers are seeking graduates who possess a diverse range of non-technical
skills. However, accounting students perceive that it is rather technical skills which determine their abilities to
pursue a career in the accounting profession.
Practical implications – The paper’s findings are of interest to several different parties, primarily the
professional accounting body, universities and students.
Originality/value – The paper describes an empirical study, conducted on a developing country, which provides
a better understanding of new skills expected for future accountants in this changing business environment. The
paper constitutes also a meaningful contribution to the accounting education literature, as it examines an
interesting subject that has not yet been investigated in the Tunisian context.

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