Professional accountants perspective of skills required to progress to management positions

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Peer-Reviewed Research

Abstract:

In South Africa, not only is the shortage in skills a general predicament, but so also is the shortage of professional accountants. The markets and business environments are changing almost every day and so do the skills sets required by professional accountants. The purpose of the study is to assist professional accountants in defining the skills required for management positions and to enable them to plan their careers better. A cross-sectional survey was used. The majority of participants were registered with SAICA and/or CIMA. From the study the following were identified as the biggest needs: Intellectual skills (decision-making and problem-solving); Technical and functional skills (strategy skills); Personal skills (anticipating and adapting to change, ethical considerations, prioritising, seeing the bigger picture, self-management, striving to add value, taking initiative and time management); Interpersonal and communication skills (interacting with diverse people, leading effective meetings, listening and reading effectively, managing and supervising others, negotiation, verbal communication and presentation, written communication) and Business management skills (aligning own and entity goals, being decisive, collaboration and partnering, delegating, leadership, organising, professional judgement and strategy and project planning/management). The findings of this study will benefit professional accountants in planning their careers and assist them to be better prepared to take on management positions. It can also assist professional bodies to better plan CPD training.???