Faculty Scholarship 1994 - Present

Globalization in the Business World and Accounting Education: A Review of Accounting Curricula Across the World

Increasingly business transactions are becoming globalized with each passing year and companies have expanded worldwide to take advantage of the global market place. The needs to establish a foothold in various parts of the world and also derive capital from the same place have resulted in a corresponding increase in the need for internationally focused accounting firms and personnel. This is one reason frequently mentioned for the merger of the large international accounting firms from the the Big Eight to the Big Five, in that the accounting firms needed to have a presence in almost every market that their clients had a business interest. Globalization trends in the companies and accounting firms have thus resulted in a need for the accountants who have an international focus, rather than a narrow national focus as in the past. The purpose of this paper is to examine the educational requirements for graduates from the baccalaureate accounting programs throughout the world to identify commonalities in the preparation of entry-level accountants and perhaps more importantly, the differences in this preparation. Accounting curricula for selected universities from countries in all continents of the world are examined in this paper. Differences in the non-accounting and non-business part of the curricula ("General Education Requirements") are summarized by country and region. Similarities and differences in the business and accounting courses are also summarized. Influences of technology and sociological forces ("Accounting Information Systems, Ethics") are seen in some of the regions of the world. Differences in the curricula are then summarized in terms of the deveolping stage of the country's economy and the extent to which the country has opened its economy to the world market.