The Soft Skills Needed by Accounting Graduates

Work thumb

Views: 84

Open Access

Copyright © 2023, Common Ground Research Networks, Some Rights Reserved, (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

View License


This article seeks to explore the soft skills that are needed to enhance the employability of accounting graduates from the perspective of recruitment partners in medium-sized accounting firms in a New Zealand context. The literature regarding the soft skills needed by these graduates is explored, as are the professional competencies published by professional accounting bodies. Interviews were conducted with recruitment partners in nine accounting firms with a view to gaining a more in-depth understanding of the soft skills they see as being important when employing graduates, with these sitting alongside technical accounting and information technology skills. The findings are consistent with previous research in that interpersonal skills and communication skills are of paramount importance for accounting graduates as the modern-day accountant is no longer a “backroom number cruncher” and highlight the importance for accounting education providers to do their best to ensure that their graduates develop these sought-after skills.