Original Research

The management accounting vocational fallacy

Bienkie Shuttleworth
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 17, No 3 | a611 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v17i3.611 | © 2014 Bienkie Shuttleworth | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 May 2013 | Published: 29 May 2014

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Bienkie Shuttleworth, University of South Africa

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Rapid changes in highly competitive economic environments have created the need for sound financial management in organisations. In order to source sufficient numbers of skilled financial managers, specialised career guidance should be high on the agenda of educational and labour policy makers. While the chartered management accountant (CMA) enjoys international status, not many studies have been conducted to measure South African students’ and accounting teachers’ awareness of the CMA designation. This article reports on the results of first-year accounting students’ perceptions of a career in management accounting as well as on the career guidance they received on how to become a CMA. It also reports on accounting teachers’ awareness of the management accounting designation. This study found that first-year accounting students and accounting teachers do not possess sufficient knowledge of the career opportunities in the management accounting field and of the route to follow on how to become a CMA. Recommendations are made for tertiary institutions and professional bodies to alleviate this information gap by distributing brochures and posters to accounting and career guidance teachers and by providing information sessions to them as well as to first-year accounting students on career opportunities in the management accounting field.


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