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LSCA Business Board member David Trodden, from the London School of Economics, highlights some of the key issues discussed at this year’s BAFA Accounting Education Special Interest Group conference

David Trodden

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July 2018

This year it was the Accounting team at Sussex University’s School of Business, Management & Economics who hosted the annual BAFA Accounting Education Special Interest Group conference at the beginning of May in Brighton. Professor Alan Sangster was the academic lead and Susan Smith was the conference organiser. It welcomed over 100 accounting academics from as far as Indonesia, Australia, South Africa and the US. This was made possible by the sponsorship provided by ACCA, CIMA and ICAEW to whom we are very grateful.

Here are some of the ideas discussed:

  • A paper by Cam and Pehlivanova addressed the need for a seamless integration of accounting topics beyond the technical. They referred to accounting lecturers in the UK as the ‘knowledge gatekeeper’ who were found to be influential in undergraduate accounting education. Otherwise the existing student misconception of accounting as a purely technical tool will be perpetuated.
  • Texeira tackled students’ misconception in regarding accounting as learning techniques to prepare financial statements and revenues based on calculations. Once students adopt this view it is hard to broaden their perspective later.
  • Professor Hans van der Hejiden also addressed the crucial role of students’ ‘first impression’ of accounting. He found a correlation between those who used technology enhanced games and achieving better results.
  • Other presentations addressed accounting as a whole. A lively panel discussion was held in which senior members of ICAEW, CIMA, ACCA, PwC and Kreston Reeves shared their views in a panel discussion on ‘2025: the challenges for the newly qualified accountant’. 
  • Roberts & others drew on the clinical treatment techniques used for phobias, stress and addiction. They recommended that accounting educators should aim to help their students overcome oral and written communication fears by building in both practice and successful performance.
  • Martinoff in his presentation, ‘How do we enable students to flourish in the future?’, raised many questions regarding the aspirations of accounting education, including whether it should be regarded as a science, an art or a craft, as well as what defines us as (accounting) professionals.
  • A paper by Healey & others addressed the gap between learning on-the-job and learning for professional examinations. Based on interviews of recently qualified accountants drawn from a cross section of the professional bodies, Healey found this gap still needs to be addressed if the accounting profession is to attract and retain suitable entrants.


David Trodden from London School of Economics is member of the LSCA Business Board

Read the BAFA Accounting Education SIG newsletter. 

If you would like to know more about these and other papers at the conference please email David Trodden. If you wish to attend next year it will be hosted by Ghent University, Belgium (22-24 May 2019).

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