Date of Conferral

2017

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Management

Advisor

STEVEN TIPPINS

Abstract

Global changes to business exchanges of goods, services, capital, technology, and knowledge requires accountants to have more diverse skill sets than in the past. Practitioners' documented concerns about accounting graduates' inability to function globally. The purpose of this exploratory qualitative study was twofold: (a) to explore accounting practitioners' and educators' perceptions of the Certified Public Accountant and other accounting certifications and accreditations, and (b) to explore possible communication divides between accounting academia and professionals that may be creating a gap between what employers expect and what they receive from graduates. Phone interviews were conducted with 5 practicing accounting educators and 5 practicing accounting professionals. Using NVIVO, a thematic analysis was conducted to examine and analyze the data for patterns and opposing views. Half of the participants believe that the curriculum should be modified; they were not convinced that existing accounting curricula prepare students for the workplace, even if they passed the CPA exam. Despite being aware of other certifications and the relevancy of specific certifications for various job trajectories, educators and practitioners view the CPA certification as most valuable and most recognized. Six participants perceived a communication gap and a need for conversation, due to educators' detachment from accounting profession. This research serves to unify educators and practitioners to foster a learning environment conducive to preparing graduates to communicate and work in a global business because a highly skilled workforce will contribute to trust and sustainable value creation; ultimately improving the economy by building enduring businesses and communities.