For nearly two decades Asia has emerged as the focus of global economic development, this has resulted in sudden growth of business and economic operations in the Asian countries. Accounting has a crucial role to play in aiding this current economic transition and progress in the countries across this continent. The IES (International Education Standards) provides the guidelines for the prerequisites and the post-qualification training and education of accountants. The competency structure as designed by IAESB (International Accountancy Education Standards Board) comprises three vital areas: general characteristics of the country, standards related to accountancy education and the competency support for the auditors and accountants (Liu, Green and Pensiero 2016). IES has been playing the role of yardstick for accounting education at the country level. For developing the standards of accounting education at the professional level IES has proposed some basic requirements for: admission to education programs related to professional accounting; IPD (Initial Professional Development) of aspiring accountants; CPD (Continuing Professional Development) of the accountants
The dissimilarities in qualifications can be identified through the features of accounting education. The eligibility criteria are varying for different countries but are generally dependent on IES. Various researches related to accounting education in the Asian countries have revealed the inadequacy of the accountancy students as regards the specialized and technical skills (Davies et al. 2016). Though the professional accountants in Asian countries have gained legal status, accountancy has not yet been recognized as an independent discipline in the university curriculum. As business complexities increase with the expansion of international trading, the professional accountants are in demand but accountancy education lacks quality and pragmatic policies; the new accountants lack exposure to practical conditions. The development in international trading and commerce has increased dealings related to foreign currencies which have raised the need for dynamic professionals who can handle crucial situations efficiently. The profession and accounting standards are required to progress uniformly to the current social and economic necessities. Developing the technical aspects of accountants through education has helped them to undertake bigger responsibilities and deal with complex problems independently (Christiaens et al. 2015).
Accounting education is primarily based on the culture of the continent; in EU countries the system of accountancy education is based on abstract theoretical researches while practical materials form the base of accountancy education in Asian countries. Accountancy education remains independent of other factors in EU countries while it is based on economics and social structure in the Asian countries. Again, in the Asian countries, the accountancy educators are poorly paid which compels them to practice professionally along with active tutoring in the university; this type of joint venturing is however found in European countries also. Accounting education fails to rely to certain standards on the international level but the FEA (Federation of European Accountants) have strengthened their foothold and developed international standards for assessment of accounting eligibilities. The educational requirements of accountants in the EU countries include evaluation at the university entry level, programs which are relevant to accountants, gaining practical experiences in an auditing institute, evaluation at the final examination of the university (Chou and Ravinet 2015). In the context of Asian countries, the interactions related to accounting education between the universities and the professional accountant bodies are very restricted; they have restricted discussions in matters related to the development of curriculum and the associated professional training. University faculties are involved in areas requiring support of man power- for conducting verbal coaching sessions, examinations and assessment of answer scripts. Forming an all conducive policy for aiding accounting education with the involvement of resources and targeting common goals is the demand of the current scenario in the Asian countries. The accounting tutors of the Asian countries can adapt features from developing countries like providing specialized degrees related to accounting at the post graduate and undergraduate level. The institutes and universities should unite in structuring the curriculum and conduct teaching with professional outlook, emphasizing on practical and theoretical aspects, this will enable the future accountants to act in a sound, professional manner.
Chou, M.H. and Ravinet, P., 2015. The rise of ‘higher education regionalism’: An agenda for higher education research. In The Palgrave International Handbook of Higher Education Policy and Governance (pp. 361-378). Palgrave Macmillan, London.
Christiaens, J., Vanhee, C., Manes-Rossi, F., Aversano, N. and Van Cauwenberge, P., 2015. The effect of IPSAS on reforming governmental financial reporting: An international comparison. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 81(1), pp.158-177.
Davies, M.A., Tikoo, S., Ding, J.L. and Salama, M., 2016. Motives underlying the choice of business majors: A multi-country comparison. The International Journal of Management Education, 14(1), pp.50-61.
Liu, Y., Green, A. and Pensiero, N., 2016. Expansion of higher education and inequality of opportunities: a cross-national analysis. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 38(3), pp.242-263.