Summary of some Accounting literature

Cobbin, P. E., & Lee, R. E. N. (2002). A micro-journal approach to internationalising the accounting curriculum. Journal of Studies in International Education, 6(1), 59-77.

  • Describes a curriculum analysis technique applied to all UG accounting subjects at Uni Melb and resulting extension of internationalisation strategies
  • Accounting ideally suited to internationalisation as operates internationally but also has strong local characteristics
  • Many graduates will be employed in international jurisdictions or work for Australia-based branches of international organisation
  • Over 30 years of literature in the area of internationalisation of accounting – but mostly out of US and UK. Little in Australia.
  • This study adopts ‘Burns Integration Model’ (1979)

Detailed audit undertaken to identify curricular elements which:

  • have universal application – is internationally relevant
  • are specific to Australia – not translatable to international context
  • are specific to the Australian context but international alternatives identifiable – transferable to an international context

IoC = decisions re breadth and depth of coverage of issues and applications beyond Australia

Recs made in different subjects are described: e.g. In Managerial Accounting:

  • Implement processes whereby a constant awareness and continual highlighting of the international character of the topic areas is introduced
  • Resources and teaching materials need to formally reflect the international character of the content
  • Use examples with a strong international perspective and illustrations drawn from international sources

Lee, C., & Bisman, J. (2006). Curricula in introductory accounting: An international student focus. Paper presented at the 3rd International Conference on Contemporary Business, Leura, New South Wales.

  • Explores implications of increasing numbers of international students for accounting educators in Australia
  • Based on a survey of 21 unis plus analysis of subject outlines
  • Identifies a number of teaching and learning issues
  • Suggests some strategies to address these issues and improve quality of T&L for all students

Issues identified

  • User’s vs preparer’s approach; conceptual vs technical approach – neither viewed as superior
  • Broad number (2-14) and range of objectives (25% included ‘communicate accounting information’)
  • Poor alignment between objectives, topic coverage and assessment items, especially in area of generic skills, in a number of unis.
  • e.g. no focus on teaching or assessment of group or communication skills despite related objectives

McGowan, S., & Potter, L. (2008). The implications of the Chinese learner for the internationalization of the curriculum: An Australian perspective. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 19(2), 181-198.

  • Identify some of the critical issues around internationalisation of the curriculum facing Accounting academics in Australian universities
  • ‘tertiary students require international skills and competencies in the new global order’ (p.182)
  • ‘Curriculum internationalisation extends beyond international students and staff to a curriculum that is explicitly designed to develop intercultural competencies and international perspectives’ (p.183)
  • ‘the internationalised curriculum is often defined in terms of objectives for students’ (p.186)
  • ‘collegiality has been identified as an important factor that contributes to curriculum change and innovation’ (p.193)
  • ‘presence of international students …should present a catalyst to genuinely internationalise the curriculum’ (p.194) but need to do this in the right way to avoid lowering standards

Evans, E., Jen, T., Cable, D., & Hamil Mead, S. (2009). Collaborative teaching in a linguistically and culturally diverse higher education setting: A case study of a postgraduate accounting program. Higher Education Research & Development, 28(6), 597-613.

  • Report on an action research project around integration of development of professional communication skills into a conversion Masters program at Macquarie University
  • Perception among academics that development of graduate attributes not their responsibility
  • Perception among some students that accountants ‘just work in an office and compute’
  • Variations in conceptions of nature of generic GAs, their relationship to disciplinary learning and appropriate strategies to address their development
  • Particularly problematic in area of communication skills development for accounting professionals
  • Not only international students who have difficulty with professional communication skills when entering accounting profession (Birrell 2006 report cited)
  • Accounting staff work collaboratively with English language specialists to integrate and assess communication skills of all students across the Macc program
  • MAcc students who had been through this program outperformed others in CPA exams – lower failure rate, more HDs and Ds
  • Need to present development of professional communication skills as a key aspect of accounting programs
  • Then align objectives, teaching and assessment
  • Value was in discipline staff and language staff working together to adapt assessment criteria and focus on development of communication skills
  • Communication component worth 30% of some assessment tasks
  • Linguistic and cultural diversity likely to increase not decrease – not only related to IS
  • Need to require, support and assess/assure development of professional communication skills as part of degree
  • Tweaking rather than major addition to content – still possible to cover technical skills
  • Program-level approach with changes at subject level- but not all subjects

People behind the research

Betty Leask

Pro Vice Chancellor Teaching and Learning

La Trobe University

ALTC National Teaching Fellow: ‘Internationalisation of the Curriculum in Action’, awarded by the Australian Government 2010

T: +61 3 94796052

EDITOR IN CHIEF: Journal of Studies in International Education
HONORARY VISITING FELLOW: Centre for Higher Education Internationalisation (CHEI) Università Cattolica del Sacre Cuore, Milan
WINNER: IEAA 2015 Excellence Award for Distinguished Contribution to International Education
WINNER: EAIE 2016 Tony Adams Award for Excellence in Research