Original Research

Barriers to the development of integrated thinking skills of prospective chartered accountants

Erica du Toit, Ben Marx, Rozanne J. Smith
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 27, No 1 | a5325 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v27i1.5325 | © 2024 Erica du Toit, Ben Marx, Rozanne J. Smith | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 September 2023 | Published: 23 April 2024

About the author(s)

Erica du Toit, Department of Accounting, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Ben Marx, Department of Accounting, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Rozanne J. Smith, Department of Accounting, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Globally professional accounting bodies expect of higher education institutions to develop integrated thinking skills in prospective chartered accountants. There are, however, many barriers in the way of both lecturers and students to achieve the development of integrated thinking skills.

Aim: This article sought to identify the most significant barriers lecturers and students face when developing integrated thinking skills in prospective chartered accountants during higher education.

Setting: Interviews were conducted and an online questionnaire ministered.

Method: The mixed-method approach and a pragmatist paradigm are utilised. Both questionnaires and interviews were used to collect primary data. A triangulation between the quantitative data, qualitative data, and literature had been performed.

Results: The three most significant barriers that lecturers face in developing integrated thinking skills are the volume of technical content, lack of expertise, and large classroom sizes. The three most significant barriers that students face in developing integrated thinking skills are students being overburdened with the technical content of the syllabus, not having been exposed to integrated thinking prior to higher education, and having to study in a second language.

Conclusion: The most significant barriers for both lecturers and students in the development of integrated thinking skills during the higher education of prospective chartered accountants are identified in this study.

Contribution: While much has been published on the barriers to developing integrated thinking skills, a limited amount of literature addresses the specific barriers that exist in the accounting education field.


Keywords

barriers; higher education; integrated thinking; lecturers; chartered accountant; students

JEL Codes

I20: General; M40: General; M41: Accounting

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 4: Quality education

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