A mail survey was conducted of all Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand accredited Tertiary Education Institutions and 300 randomly selected New Zealand companies to ascertain the views of management accounting academics and practitioners on the contents of management accounting courses and the skills and competencies of recent graduates.
The results show that practitioners placed an emphasis on traditional management accounting techniques, while academics placed an emphasis on contemporary techniques. Both groups were in agreement on the skills and characteristics required of recent graduates. An interesting finding was the emergence of negative comments on the arrogance of new graduates and an increased need for graduates to be work ready. These two aspects were not a feature of previous studies.
The implications of the results are that academics cannot ignore the teaching of traditional management accounting techniques and may need to increase the coverage of the issues involved in implementing contemporary management accounting techniques.