Innovation needed in accounting education, says ACCA


Global analysis by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) found that educators “do not fully meet the needs” of learners or employers within the accountancy profession.

He said more “innovation” is needed in this area, adding that a good learning and development program must “put the characteristics and needs of learners at the heart of its design”.

His research found that while educators recognized their importance, they struggled to reflect them in their curricula, with 39% saying the characteristics of their learners are too diverse for common principles to be included.

ACCA’s latest report, “Developing the Skills of Sustainable Trade and Finance Professionals”, highlighted the role of artificial intelligence (AI) and gamification in learning and development (L&D ).

Learners and educators of all age groups gave low positive response rates to these as a way to develop a wide range of abilities. ACCA said this is partly due to a lack of understanding of what gamification and AI are, and what they can achieve; as well as a fear among tutors that the technology is complex or that it makes the role of tutor redundant.

Sharon Machado, head of trade reporting at ACCA and author of the report, said: “The World Economic Forum estimates that by 2030, 90% of jobs will require digital skills. Educators must therefore put data and digital at the heart of their training and development programs. At the same time, Pearson has estimated that the total vocational training market is expected to reach £7 billion by 2030, again reflecting that demand will increase.

“So opportunities abound, and that’s why we’re offering a six-point learning and development model to help educators thrive and work with professional bodies to create the professionals of tomorrow.”

The six-point model includes the following themes:

  • Relevance: meeting the needs of learners and stakeholders
  • Reliability: providing reliable learning outcomes, regardless of different learning approaches for a given skill or learner
  • Motivation: fostering the achievement of the learning goal and supporting lifelong learning
  • Person and persons: placing learners and their tutors at the heart of learning and the learning process, at the individual, cohort and community level
  • Digital and data: support the development of the L&D strategy and its implementation through content, production, delivery and follow-up
  • Sustainability: business models use an integrated approach to environmental, social and financial issues

Machado added, “Learners should seek these six characteristics and qualities in their training and development, and educators should also apply them in the development, implementation and monitoring of their strategies. If educators do so, they will be well placed to realize the economic opportunities associated with a growing education market and to respond to the vast amounts of regulation that apply to them and the accounting profession.


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