Evaluation of an intervention aimed at developing the personal attributes of prospective entrants into the accounting profession

DOI: 10.1080/10291954.2015.1105549
Author(s): Andres MerinoSchool of Accountancy, South Africa, Michele AucockSchool of Accountancy, South Africa


Rapid changes in the business world coupled with increased global competition demand that accountants must have a wide range of skills and attitudes if they are to meet the rising expectations of employers and of society as a whole. This article evaluates an intervention designed to develop personal attributes such as lifelong learning and the analytical decision-making and communication skills of prospective entrants into the accounting profession. The intervention was structured around a management accounting course and involved seven tutorials in which a tutor role modelled self-regulated learning skills, strategies, and behaviours. A mixed methods approach was used to ascertain the effect of the intervention and assess its impact on student performance. The results show that students developed a number of generic or “pervasive” skills associated with lifelong learning and that the intervention facilitated self-motivation, group work, the setting of timetables, and interaction with mentors. The results also indicated that the intervention significantly influenced the performance of students compared to that of their peers.

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