Professional accountant’s perspective of skills required to move into management position
Kgapola, Mmaledimo Prudence
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In South Africa skills shortage is a predicament and so is the shortage of professional accountants. Another issue at hand is how educational institutions do not provide studies to equip students with the necessary skills to obtain entry level employment after they graduate. The markets and business environments changing almost every day and so do the skills set required by professional accountants. The purpose of the study is to assist professional accountants in defining the skills required for management positions and to enable them to plan their careers better. For this purpose the research method was a non-experimental design. A cross-sectional survey was used because the study was aimed to study several groups of individuals at one point in time. The majority of participants were registered at SAICA or CIMA. From the study the following was identified as the biggest shortcomings (gaps) between development during work and what is needed in a management position: • Intellectual skills, especially analytical thinking, decision-making and problem-solving. • Technical skills in other areas especially broader economic and business skills, financial management, governance, mathematical skills, risk management and strategic skills. • Personal skills, especially anticipating and adapting to change, benchmarking, ethics, lifelong learning, marketing, prioritising, seeing the bigger picture, self-management, striving to add value and taking initiative. • Business skills, especially mentoring, interacting with diverse people, leading effective meetings, listing and reading effectively, managing others, motivating others negotiating and communication. This study will benefit professional accountants in planning their careers and such involvements would result in more skilled professional accountants who will be better prepared to take on management positions. It can also assist professional bodies to better plan for CPD training.