Accounting Education a World Wide Benchmark Prof. J.P.J. (Hans) Verkruijsse PhD RE RA

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1 Accounting Education a World Wide Benchmark Prof. J.P.J. (Hans) Verkruijsse PhD RE RA

2 Objective of accounting education Building a sound financial future and restoring the trust The qualification, education, training and experience of professional accountants are of crucial importance for the developing and functioning of the local and global financial infrastructure. A wide range of stakeholders, including regulators and standard setters, professional accountancy organizations and accountancy firms as well as issuers of financial reports and users of accounting services depend on their professional expertise and skills. Over the last couple of decades stakeholders lost their trust in the accountants.

3 Objective of accounting education Building a sound financial future and restoring the trust A sound financial future is build on trust Trust is based on reliable information Information is reliable when produced by people with the right intellectual and professional skills Proper accounting education supports the development of intellectual and professional skills

4 Core Model of Accountancy Education Country Characteristics Cultural background Legal system Economic position er education International Requirement Standards Guidelines Directives Core Elements of Accountancy Education Professional qualification Final examination Professional education Practical experience University level education Country systems of education and training subject to international codification

5 Accountancy Education Research Research area s: specifications of appropriate assessment methods, competencies, professional attitudes and ethics, variations in nationally-imposed requirements, supply and demand for accountants and auditors who can produce and audit transnational accounts.

6 Background and skills Cultural background Law abiding Political stability Social structure

7 Background and skills Cultural background Law abiding Political stability Social structure Communication and social Skills Reading Listening Writing Speaking Leadership Group work Ethics Summarizing

8 Background and skills Cultural background Law abiding Political stability Social structure Communication and social Skills Reading Listening Writing Speaking Leadership Group work Ethics Summarizing Knowledge Skills General and business Organizational and IT Auditing and Finance Accounting Economics

9 Background and skills Intellectual Skills Problem solving Decision making Judgemental Analytic thinking Critical analysis Reasoning Cultural background Law abiding Political stability Social structure Communication and social Skills Reading Listening Writing Speaking Leadership Group work Ethics Summarizing Knowledge Skills General and business Organizational and IT Auditing and Finance Accounting Economics

10 Global Accountability Development Institute Global Accountability Development Institute (GADI), research project: Global Accountability Transparancy Information(GATI): Research question: To what extend can you rely on the work performed by an auditor in another jurisdiction?

11 40 countries reviewed Asia & Pacific: Australia, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Singapore and Sri Lanka. Middle East, North Africa, Central Europe and Eurasia: Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Moldova, Saudi Arabia, Serbia and Turkey. European Union: Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Sweden and United Kingdom. Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela. North America: Canada and USA. Sub Saharan Africa: Ghana, Lesotho, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe.

12 More to come Countries under review on this moment: China Russia Germany Panama Cameroon Kenia Senegal

13 Structure of Accountancy Education Countries differ with regard to Certification Requirements Providers: professional accountancy organizations, universities, others Responsibility: government, government with the profession, profession, universities Licensing Requirements These structural elements are important to developing and applying a benchmarking framework

14 Global Accountability Transparancy Information GATI s information blocks: Pillar 1, Legal, Regulatory and Institutional Framework Pillar 2, Audit, Assurance and Quality Control Pillar 3, Global Accountancy Education Pillar 4, International Public Sector Accounting Standards Pillar 5, International Financial Reporting Standards Pillar 6, Ethics & Discipline Pillar 7, Corporate Governance Transparency & Disclosure Pillar 8, Professional Accountancy Association Institutional Capacity

15 GATI-Pillar 3, Global Accountancy Education The Global Accountancy Education pillar: Developed a competency framework that includes: qualification requirements, general and professional education, practical training and experience, Continuing Professional Development. Makes available information about: the qualification, education and training of accountants

16 GATI is based on earlier research 2002 Impact of Globalization on Accountancy Education ; global classification study 2005 Global Accounting Education Benchmarking ; regional benchmarking study of accountancy education 2007 Trends in Global Accounting Education ; global analysis of trends in development of accountancy education 2009 Accountancy Development Index ; global benchmarking pilot study of the accountancy environment 2011 Measuring country-level accountancy performance and achievement ; accountancy development index, a pilot study funded by USAID 2012 Dynamics of Global Accountancy Education

17 GATI research methodology The benchmarking methodology: country experts with up-to-date knowledge of the present situation conduct the self assessment; external and independent assessors validate the results of the self assessment to achieve internal relevance and external credibility; and, multiple indicators.

18 GATI research references References used: IES s issued by the IAESB Common Content Initiative12 devised by a group of professional bodies in the EU and the EU 8th Directive on Statutory Auditors Standards issued by Certified Management Accountant (CMA) Standards issued by American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Model curriculum of the Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting

19 IAESB / IFAC IAESB: developed high quality standards and other guidance to strengthen accountancy education worldwide; focuses on: prequalification practical experience and training, assessment, continuing professional education needed by accountants.

20 IFAC International Education Standards IES as basis for a competency and benchmarking framework IES 1 Entry Requirements IES 2 Content Professional Accountancy Education IES 3 Professional Skills & General Education IES 4 Professional Values, Ethics & Attitudes IES 5 Practical Experience Requirements IES 6 Assessment of Professional Capabilities IES 7 Continuing Professional Development IES 8 Competence Requirements for Audit Professionals

21 GATI reseach versus IES s General Characteristics Country Characteristics Professional Characteristics Qualification Characteristics Legal system, economic position, region Professional regulation and recognition Practice rights of accountants and auditors International recognition of qualifications

22 GATI reseach versus IES s General Characteristics Country Characteristics Legal system, economic position, region Professional Characteristics Qualification Characteristics Personal Development Professional Accountancy Education Professional Development Competencies for Audit Professionals Professional regulation and recognition Practice rights of accountants and auditors International recognition of qualifications Competency sub-pillars University Entrance Level (IES 1) Professional Skills & General Education (IES 3) Professional Values, Ethics & Attitudes (IES 4) Accountancy, Finance, Organizational, Business Information Technology Knowledge (IES 2) Practical Experience Requirements (IES 5) Professional Capabilities & Competence (IES 6) Continuing Professional Development (IES 7) Advanced Professional Knowledge, Skills, Values, Ethics, Attitudes, Advanced Practical Experience, Assessment & CPD (IES 8)

23 GATI research Competency Pillars Personal development, combines elements that are achieved through education; entry level should be at least equivalent to that for admission into a recognized university degree program or its equivalent; Professional accountancy education, the theoretical education normally provided by universities and/or professional accountancy organizations; Professional development, combines practical experience, assessment of professional competence, and CPD. Competencies for audit professionals, includes higher level requirements for licensed auditors.

24 GATI research scores by region Region Personal Development (IES 1,3,4) Professional Accountancy Education (IES 2) Professional Development (IES 5,6,7) Competence for Audit Professionals (IES 8) Adopt Impl Adopt Impl Adopt Impl Adopt Impl Asia & Pacific Central Europe & Eurasia, Middle East & North Africa European Union Latin America North America Sub Saharan Africa

25 Comparison of Qualifications Sequential steps for comparison of qualifications: Step 1: Country Information Step 2: Accountancy Profession Step 3: Characteristics of Accountancy Education Step 4: Compliance with International Education Standards Step 5: Specific Requirements

26 The website

27 Compliance with IES possible outcomes Personal Development Professional Accountancy Education Professional Development Competence for Audit Professional Adoption Medium Low Not available Implementation Medium Low Not available

28 Compliance with IES USA Personal Development Professional Accountancy Education Professional Development Competence for Audit Professional Adoption Medium Implementation

29 Compliance with IES USA Sub-Pillar Scores - USA Personal Development Competence for Audit Professionals 0.00 Professional Accountancy Education Professional Development Adoption Implementation

30 Compliance with IES El Salvador Personal Development Professional Accountancy Education Professional Development Competence for Audit Professional Adoption Low Low Implementation Medium Low Medium

31 Compliance with IES El Salvador Sub-Pillar Scores - El Salvador Personal Development Competence for Audit Professionals 0.00 Professional Accountancy Education Professional Development Adoption Implementation

32 Compliance with IES Saudi Arabia Personal Development Professional Accountancy Education Professional Development Competence for Audit Professional Adoption Implementation Low Medium Low Medium

33 Compliance with IES Saudi Arabia Sub-Pillar Scores - Saudi Arabia Personal Development Competence for Audit Professionals 0.00 Professional Accountancy Education Professional Development Adoption Implementation

34 Compliance with IES Netherlands Personal Development Professional Accountancy Education Professional Development Competence for Audit Professional Adoption Implementation

35 Compliance with IES Netherlands Sub-Pillar Scores - Netherlands Personal Development Competence for Audit Professionals 0.00 Professional Accountancy Education Professional Development Adoption Implementation

36 Accountancy Education Weaknesses Prof. Bel Needles (2005) identified the following weaknesses: quality of academic education for pre-qualification needs improvement; too much emphasis on bookkeeping instructors lack knowledge of international standards and practices; lack of adequate resources for higher education; professional ethics is not taught as a separate subject; examinations do not always represent good practice; continuing education requirements do not always exist.

37 How we managed to improve In the Netherlands: Post master education 2 3 years, one day a week; 3 year practical education with a accounting firm; Emphasis on reliability of financial accountability reports; Professors and instructors with in-depth knowledge of international standards; Professors and instructors with practical experience; Making the curricula more flexible without flexibility in the intended learning outcomes; Accounting firms involved in the accountancy education; Professional ethics taught integrated in all courses; Examinations represent good practice;

38 How we managed to improve In the Netherlands: Continuing education is mandated Professors and instructors are educated continuously; All professors are mandated to have a PhD; Less formal lectures in large groups (instructor based), more practical tutorials is small groups (student based); New formats like: E-learning modules, reversing the classroom, problem oriented education Weekly practical cases to be send in. More integration of the theoretical and practical training;

39 How we managed to improve In the Netherlands: 2007, the IASs gained force of law Independent committee responsible for the final attainment level; Independent oversight board challenging the quality of the audits; Naming and shaming; Discussions about the quality of the work of accountants in public and within the political arena; In case of blameworthy mistakes: hugh claims disqualified as an accountant by the authorities

40 New challenges for professors / instructors We have to focus on new challenges as the society moves on, like: Continuous monitoring; Continuous auditing Continuous assurance Data level assurance Assurance by default Cloud computing Big data Tagged data like XML / XBRL

41 New challenges for professors / instructors So we cann t sit still!!! We as academic educators have to move on and do pioneering work, but first we have to educate ourselves.

42 Questions? Don t hesitate! Prof. J.P.J. (Hans) Verkruijsse PhD RE RA Tilburg University mobil:

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