BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN EDUCATION AND PRACTICE – THE CASE OF ACCOUNTING EDUCATION IN ROMANIA
There is a recent debate about the relationship between education and practice, especially in terms of adapting the academic curricula and teaching strategies to the current and predicted practices in the business environment. While this topic is of interest worldwide, there are some particularities in the emerging economies, especially in terms of reforms and challenges faced by academia. Our aim is to critically examine the changes in accounting educational processes in Romania, in relation to the business practice expectations. This paper contributes to the understanding of the changes in the accounting education in an emerging economy. In developing countries, the accounting education has to make more profound changes and has to take a more leading role towards shaping the role of accountants in organizations (Gallhofer, S., Haslam, J. and Kamla, R. 2009) “Educating and training accountants in Syria in a transition context: perceptions of accounting academics and professional accountants”, Accounting Education: an international journal, Volume 18, Number 4-5: 345-368). In this context, the paper illustrates the need for “a movement mentality” (Howieson, B. (2003) “Accounting practice in the new millennium: is accounting education ready to meet the challenge?”, The British Accounting Review, Volume 35: 69-103) in academia as a means of educating accountants balancing current and the long term needs of the business environment. The case of Romania may be of interest for an international audience by providing examples of good practices which could prove useful for other developing countries and by informing on the different roles academics should play in these countries, in comparison with the more developed ones.