Making entry-level accountants better communicators: a Singapore-based study of communication tasks, skills, and attributes

Siriwardane, H.P., Low, K-Y., and Blietz, D. (2015) Making entry-level accountants better communicators: a Singapore-based study of communication tasks, skills, and attributes. Journal of Accounting Education, 33 (4). pp. 332-347.

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Abstract

Prior research reports that entry-level accountants (ELAs) lack appropriate levels of communication skills, and to-date, there are still gaps in our understanding of communication tasks frequently performed by ELAs, skills needed to fulfill these tasks, and attributes of written and oral communication that are critical to communicating effectively in the accounting field. This study attempts to fill some of the gaps by first amalgamating extant research to develop more comprehensive inventories of communication tasks, skills, and attributes (TSA) that would be critical for ELAs. Next, 59 practitioners (who have supervised ELAs) of accounting firms (both Big-4 and local firms) and members of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) based in Singapore responded to our pilot survey to rate the frequency of communication tasks performed by ELAs, the importance of the identified communication skills and attributes, and the ELAs' communication skills and performance. Findings on importance ratings and importance–performance gaps provide useful insights to accounting/business/communication educators and researchers, higher education institutions, accounting students, and accounting practitioners in Singapore to better understand the current communication needs and/or deficiencies of the accounting profession. Future research opportunities, including the need to extend this study to other geographical areas using larger sample sizes, are discussed.

Item ID: 43102
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-1996
Keywords: communication tasks; skills; attributes; practitioners' perspectives; importance–performance gap
Funders: James Cook University Singapore (JCUS)
Projects and Grants: JCUS14/2012/HPS
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2016 01:54
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1501 Accounting, Auditing and Accountability > 150101 Accounting Theory and Standards @ 20%
20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2001 Communication and Media Studies > 200105 Organisational, Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication @ 80%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture @ 50%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950201 Communication Across Languages and Culture @ 50%
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