University of Gdansk (POLAND)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2018 Proceedings
Publication year: 2018
Pages: 10155-10165
ISBN: 978-84-09-05948-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2018.0908
Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain
Since the end of the 20th century, changes in the perception of the role of accounting specialists in enterprises have been observed in Poland. This state of affairs has been influenced, among others, by the progressive globalization, rapid changes in the digital and communication technologies, development of new knowledge-based management models, as well as by the increase in the importance of intellectual capital in an organization. Consequently, a sole accounting expertise of accountants is not sufficient enough.

The article analyses the second part of the outcomes of a survey research titled ‘The Competencies required for accounting specialists, in the opinion of the ‘Finance and Accounting’ students’. The results were derived from a survey carried out among the students realizing expanded university programs in accounting, at the Management Faculty of the Gdansk University in Poland. The survey was aimed at answering the following questions:
1) what, in the opinion of the students of ‘Finance and Accounting’, are the organisational and the communicative competencies required by the employers recruiting specialists in accounting;
2) what personality traits should a person employed as an accounting specialist exhibit.

A scientific observation was conducted by the means of a questionnaire, which was distributed among the full-time and the part-time undergraduate students as well as among the part-time postgraduate students of ‘Accounting’ and ‘Statutory Auditor’ specialties. We received 138 correctly filled in questionnaires, 53 from the full-time students and 85 from the part-timers, which yielded a response rate of 80.2%. To assess the usefulness of the organisational and the communicative competencies required at the positions of accounting specialists, statistical measures of location and dispersion, based on the Likert scale, were applied. This allowed us to ascertain the degree of importance the respondents have attached to these competencies, as far as job searching is concerned.

We found that, in the students’ opinion, accounting specialist work requires, first and foremost, such organisational and communicative competencies as: the ability to work independently and the ability to manage one’s own time (135 respondents, i.e. 97.8%), the ability to work under the pressure of time (97.1%) and the ability to make decisions (91.3%). The most important personal qualities envisaged as those required by employers in the recruitment process primarily were: conscientiousness (138 respondents, the entire population under consideration), meticulousness (99.3%), keeping agreements (98.6%) and resistance to stress (97.1%).

The conclusions drawn apply to the researched group of young people only. In the future, research should also be carried out among the students of ACCA-accredited specialties, which are offered at the Faculty of Management. In addition, future research should be aimed at determination of the traits and skills required by employers from the candidates applying for positions of finance and accounting specialists.

The research conducted provides information on what features and skills should be characteristic of the students, who want to work as specialists in accounting. Knowledge on this subject should facilitate adjustment of the University’s educational offer to the expectations of the persons, who link their future professional careers with the discipline of finance and accounting.
Students, professional accountants, communication and organizational competencies, soft skills, University of Gdansk, Poland.