G. Bucior, E. Spigarska

University of Gdansk (POLAND)
The purpose of the paper:
The aim of the paper is to present the scope and the results of the cooperation between the Faculty of Management at UG (the University of Gdansk) and two professional institutions awarding the qualifications and the certificates used by accountants: (1) ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and (2) NCSA (National Chamber of Statutory Auditors), i.e. a professional self-government associating statutory auditors in Poland, authorized to award qualifications for auditing financial statements. This work verifies the validity of adjusting the educational programs, in the context of possible facilitation of the Finance and Accounting graduates in acquisition of: a professional qualification awarded by ACCA and a certificate authorizing to audit financial reports.

In this context, the work is meant to answer the following questions:
- Does the learning content at specialized majors meet the requirements of ACCA and NCSA?
- Did collaboration with ACCA and NCSA have any significant impact on the students’ choice of the study major?
- How do the students finishing the didactic cycle benefit from the University’s collaboration with ACCA and NSCA?

Design / methodology / approach:
The methods used to achieve the aim of the article involved:
(a) studying the source materials on the functioning of the “Statutory Auditor” and the “ACCA Accounting” specializations, as part of the Finance and Accounting major at the UG Faculty of Management,
(b) a group interview with the preparers of these studies, focused on the issues involving the activities related to launching the studies,
(c) questionnaire surveys distributed to the students completing the “Statutory Auditor” and the “ACCA Accounting” specializations.

Additionally, a review of the literature on the subject was carried out.
The questionnaire consisted of 20 questions, 8 of which were related to the topic of the paper. The survey covered 476 students and 455 correctly filled-out questionnaires were obtained.

Main findings:
Results of research show that:
1.the majority of students see the benefits of cooperation with ACCA and NCSA,
2.the collaboration was important for most students during their choice of study,
3.the learning content at specialized majors meet the requirements of ACCA and NCSA.

The study indicates the need for:
(1) collaboration between universities and the units certifying or awarding professional qualifications,
(2) placing the content being taught in an international dimension and creating an international network of contacts with partner institutions.

Research limitations / implications:
The questionnaire study was carried out among part-time and full-time students of the “Statutory Auditor” and the “ACCA Accounting” specializations. In consequence, the conclusions formulated concerned only this group of students. Further studies should be aimed towards verification of the conclusions, based on a wider population.

Originality / the value of the research:
The research conclusions allow assessment of the validity of the University’s collaboration with the organizations associating accounting professionals. In this context, they provide an indication for the activities undertaken by the educational staff creating and conducting programs at the universities that are involved in adjusting the educational offer to the employers’ requirements and expectations.