1.1 BACK GROUND OF THE STUDY
In recent years, many small and large offices including accounting firms are characterized by Technology. Nwokike (2015) opined that virtually every modern office of today is characterized by technology with computer as the major information and communication technology equipment. There is hardly any office in Nigeria one will visit today in public or private sectors that has no computers. In other words, modern offices of today are highlymechanized. Business and Accounting environments are changing very fast at unimaginable rate as a result of technological innovations. Obayi and Okwuanaso (2013) observed that business and offices are changing very fast and with unexpected speed and dimensions. Apart from the technical know-how of one’s profession, there are two set of skills that every employer of labor today’s is looking for in an employee mostly in financial institutions is the technology skills and soft skills.
Accounting Technology includes such technological skills like computer operations, data base, accounting software and spread sheet etc. Turner (2015) opined that as computer and associated technologies continued to change and evolved accountants or accounting graduates must continue to strive for excellence in their work through acquisition of accounting technology skills. Turner identified some basic technology skills that all accountants should have as, word processing skills, spread sheet, database, electronic presentation, web navigation, web site, design, e-mail management skills, digital cameras, computer networking knowledge, file management and windows explorer and downloading software from the web etc. This entails that accountants should devote their time and effort to maintain and improve their technology skills. These skills facilitate practical skills that are needed in many occupationsand not just in the field of accounting. In the same vein, soft skills also known as people’s skill are personal attributes of an individual. Recently, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) vision 2011 project described soft skills as a core competency that all accountants should possess. Low, Samkin and Liu (2013) opine that accountants today are expected to be able to link data knowledge(ICT knowledge), provide quality advice for strategic decision making, give and enhance information with meaningful context as well as influence and motivate others. The American management Co-operation in Kay and Janet (2012) indicate that employers want workers who can think critically, solve problems creatively, innovate, ICT skills, collaborate and communicated effectively in the office, this added skills aids the accounting graduate to be employable among others, thus when these skills are not attained(esp. tech skills in accounting)it constitute a bottle neck to the employment of accounting graduates. Edglossary Organization (2014) describe 21st century skills as a broad set of knowledge, skills which include (Accounting tech skills)which employers needs to be critically important to success in work place. Some of the 21st century skills identified by Edglossary organization includes: critical thinking, problem solving, reasoning, analysis interpretation, creativity team, work information and communication technology, etc. Institute of Museum and Library Services Project Team and Task Force (2014) considered the list of skills commonly referred to soft skills as critical thinking and problem solving, creativity and innovation communication, technological skills and visual literacy etc.Accounting Technology accountants require the soft skills in order to succeed in the information age. Rotherham&Willinghan (2009) remark that a growing number of business leaders, politicians and educators agreed that student need 21st century skills to be successful today. They note that it is exciting to believe that people live in times that are so revolutionary that they demand new and different activities; this gave rise to new technological knowhow especially in the field of accounting.In another development, Fouche (2016) note that lack of ictskills on the part of the accountants is one of the factors affecting Employability of workers in firms. Accounting Technology offers the graduates specialized skills in accounting such as financial accounting, cost accounting, management accounting, taxation, auditing and investigation and public sector accounting through ICT in the modern age (Tumar, 2009). Accounting technology is that aspect of accounting that deals with recording and maintaining of books of account. Accounting based technology has the potential of improving the way people record their different business transactions. It is also helpful for determination of tax. It is impossible for business to thrive without accounting technology and effective use of data for business planning. This is in agreement with Nweze (2015) who noted that accounting is the universal language of business. The main objective of accounting Technology is to provide students with an advanced, clearly and usable level of accounting knowledge and skills through ICT,With the introduction of computer to many business applications, those business areas that involve repeated tasks which are often monotonous and fallible to human errors (cash, inventory control, payroll and etc.) are increasingly being simplified accurately by combining the cost, effectiveness, simplicity of use, efficiency, reliability and accuracy of the computer to obtain, analyze and interpret data information for efficient business decisions. Nigerian business organizations being to grow in size, business operations and processes become increasingly complex; hence computers are being rapidly introduced to cope with the overwhelming demands of business and growth (Dandago and Rufai, 2013). Though the introduction of computer and other accounting based technologies to many facets of business operations is a welcome idea, its use is further implicated on accounting technology and systems and as such organizations need to strike a balance between accounting areas to be manually operated so as to control or limit the menace associated with unemployment.
Employability is defined as the development of set of skills and adaptable workforces in which all those capable of work are encouraged to develop the skills, knowledge, technology and adaptability to enable them to enter and remain in employment throughout their working lives (HM Treasury, 2017).Employability is the possession by an individual of the qualities and competencies required to meet the changing needs of employers and customers and thereby help to realize his or her aspirations and potential in work (CBI, 2010,).Others define the concept have hinted at a more holistic approach, emphasizing the impact of both individual characteristics and labor market conditions—i.e. both labor demand and supply factors. The Canadian government’s Labor Force Development Board offered the following definition Employability is the relative capacity of an individual to achieve meaningful employment given the interaction of personal circumstances and the labor market (Canadian Labor Force Development Board, 1994).Similarly, research for the Northern Ireland Executive has explicitly suggested a wide working definition of employability is the capability to move into and within labor markets and to realize potential through sustainable and accessible employment. For the individual, employability depends on: the knowledge and skills they possess, and their attitudes; the way personal attributes are presented in the labor market; the environmental and social context within which work is sought; and the economic context within which work is sought (DHFETE, 2012).
There have been several researches on discovering the remedy to high unemployment amongst higher institution graduates with particular emphasis on accounting graduates ever since the issue became a national phenomenon especially since the incidence of economic downturn years back in Nigeria (Udepi, 2013). Paramount amongst the solutions proffered is Accounting technology, having recognized its potentials in preparing students for the labor market. Lopez (2013) opined that using Accounting technology provides better opportunities for accounting students in higher institutions for the acquisition of valuable ICT knowledge and skills which are fundamental for gaining employment in the present day job market. This is therefore to say that Accounting technology increases student’s preparation for most future careers and therefore an accounting graduate with no accounting technology knowledge would find it difficult to be gainfully employed in a world of Technology today (Udepi, 2013).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The perceptions of accounting students today in line with generally accountingtechnology in very poor this has become one of the greatest problems in gaining employment .This is as a result of the poor and obsolete accounting technology by some lecturers in the various higher institutionstoday, therefore most Accounting students know little of nothing about accounting technology knowledge, this has lead to or affected the performance of these accounting graduates in the Nigerian labor market negatively.
In addition to this problem the lack of accounting technological equipment’s and teaching aids such as computers in our tertiary institutions has resulted to gap in adequate teaching and learning of accounting technology in Nigerian tertiary institutions today. This study therefore examines the perception of accounting students on the relevance of accounting based technology on Employability in Nigerian labor market.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main purpose of this study is to examine the perception of accounting students on the relevance of accounting based technology on Employability in Nigeria. The specific objectives are to;
1) Examine the importance of accounting based technology on employability in Nigeria.
2) Examine the impact of accounting based technology on employment in Nigeria.
3) Assess the relationship between accounting based technology and employability of accounting graduates in Nigeria
4) Examine the challenges posed by accountingbased technology on employability of accountants.
5) Recommend solution to the problems posed by accountingbased technology in Nigeria
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1) What is the Importance of accounting based technology on employability in Nigeria?
2) What is the impact of accounting technology on employment?
3) What is the relationship between accounting technology and employability of accounting graduates in Nigeria?
4) What are the challenges posed by accounting based technology on employability of accountants?
5) What is the solution to the problems posed by accounting technology in Nigeria?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: Accounting based technology has no significant impact on the employability of accounting graduates in Nigeria
H1: Accounting based technology has a significant impact on the employability of accounting graduates in Nigeria
H0:There is no significant relationship between accounting based technology and employability in Nigeria.
H1: There is a significant relationship between accounting based technology and employability in Nigeria
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study would have contribution to enlighten the society on relevance of accounting based technology on employability in Nigeria.It would also prepare ground for interested researcher who might wish to conduct further research in related areas and could contribute to the existing literature.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to perception of accounting students on the relevance of accounting based technology on employability in Nigeria.
1.8LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Employability:Employability refers to your ability to gain initial employment, maintain employment, and obtain new employment if required. In simple terms, employability is about being capable of getting and keeping fulfilling work. “Employability is having a set of skills, knowledge, understanding and personal attributes.
Accounting Graduate:An accountant or an accounting graduate is a professional who handles the bookkeeping and prepares financial documents like profit-and-loss statements, balance sheets and more. They perform audits of your books, prepare reports for tax purposes, and handle all the financial information that's part of running your business.
Accounting Technology:This enables businesses to develop and use computerized systems to store and record financial transactions. With the advancements in technology and high demand for accountants, Accounting I Technology has become a highly marketable vocation.
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