1 Department of Business Management, University of Vigo (SPAIN)
2 CIICESI, ESTG, Polytechnic Institute of Porto (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN23 Proceedings
Publication year: 2023
Pages: 4438-4449
ISBN: 978-84-09-52151-7
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2023.1166
Conference name: 15th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2023
Location: Palma, Spain
The accountant profession is facing significant challenges due to three major changes:
1) the constant evolution of smart and digital technology;
2) the continuous globalization of reporting and disclosure standards;
3) the emergence of new forms of regulation.

To follow these changes occurred in the profession, it is necessary that changes occur in academic and professional training, which allowed current and future accountants to acquire and develop new skills necessary to assume management and consulting functions in organizations. The involvement of professional organizations, and their members, is also crucial in this change process.

These new skills that should be developed by accountants are identified both by the literature and by international regulatory bodies, which have been gradually making changes to international standards, particularly the International Education Standards (IES) developed by the International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB). However, the reaction of the countries and their national entities in adopting and applying the changes proposed by the literature and international regulatory bodies has proven to be slower, making the process of change at the local level more inefficient.

Through a bibliometric analysis, this study aims to identify which new competencies are recognized by literature and international regulatory bodies as being fundamental for the accountants of the future, as well as the changes that have occurred in IES in order to respond to the new needs of the profession.
Interdisciplinarity, relational skills, mastery of technology, and the ability to solve unstructured problems are some of the new skills that should be part of the accountant's profile. Additionally, according to IAESB, intermediate is the proficiency level at which generic skills should be developed. Since this is also the proficiency level of technical skills, there is an increased weighting of generic skills compared to technical ones in accountants’ profile.

Through the Social Identity Theory and the Institutional Theory, is also intended to explain the role of national entities that regulate the profession, of those who have attended a higher education course in the management area, in the process of changing skills and normative, as well as the challenges why this process of change at the country level is slower compared to the paradigm seen in the literature and internationally.

According to Social Identity Theory, professional associations will only be interested in adopting new skills if they feel it will benefit their members. If an association is made up of traditional accountants, they may not want to implement new and innovative accounting practices. However, if the association represents progressive accountants, they will be more open to new skills. Some of the obstacles in this process are related to resistance to change, limited resources, lack of buy-in from members, inadequate infrastructure, and difficulty in keeping up with rapid changes.

The Institutional Theory proposes that professional associations comply with societal norms for accounting practices, influencing their decision to adopt new skills that align with those norms. The main barriers are the institutional pressure, resource constraints, competing interests, limited influence, and resistance to change.
Accountant Profile, International Education Standards, Generic Skills.