Increasing capital influx from foreign direct investment and international financing assistance requires Indonesian accountants to follow international standards of practices. Therefore, the Indonesian Institute of Accountants have been converging Indonesian Accounting Standards with IFRS. International standards of accounting practice also require Indonesian universities to harmonise competencies of their accounting graduates with international education competencies. This harmonisation equips accounting graduates with competencies to compete in a global market, to support multi-national investors, and to implement new accounting standards.
Building International Competency of Accounting Graduates (ICAG) needs a comprehensive approach. Input-Process-Output approach from System Theory and Input-Environment-Output model are employed as underpinning theories. The study identifies relationships among educational constructs (Inputs, Processes/Environment, and Outputs). Inputs are students’ and lecturers’ characteristics (Psychological, Academic, and Demographic), Comfort of Class Size, and Learning Facilities. Student Engagement, ICAG-Teaching Contents, and Student-Faculty Engagement are employed to measure Processes/Environment, while ICAG and Grade Point Average (GPA) are used for educational outputs. Moreover, the study measures ICAG based on American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) core competencies.
The population of the study is final-year accounting students and accounting lecturers at state universities in Indonesia. The study also recruits alumni of accounting programs working in various sectors. Eight state universities were randomly selected based on accounting program accreditation levels and locations. Questionnaires were employed to collect quantitative data from students and lecturers, whilst focus group discussion collected qualitative data from accounting graduates alumni. Four hundred and eleven students and 188 lecturers completed surveys and 20 alumni participated in focus group discussion. Descriptive, Correlation, Regression, Structural Equation Modelling, Path, Non-parametric, and Qualitative analyses were employed to analyse data.
Students reported that Student Motivation, Previous Academic Achievements, Comfort of Class Size, and Learning Facilities affect Student Engagement. In turn, Student Engagement also influences ICAG and GPA. Lecturers reported that Learning Facilities affect Lecturer Job Satisfaction and Lecturer Job Satisfaction, in turn; influences ICAG-Teaching Contents and Student-Faculty Engagement. ICAG-Teaching Contents correlates with ICAG and Student Engagement. Alumni perceived AICPA core competencies are in line with competencies required by the Indonesian business context. They contended that most competencies are developed in the work places. Input-Process-Output and Input-Environment-Output frameworks are applicable for developing ICAG and GPA in Higher Education. Supporting theories (Expectancy Theory, Herzberg’s Motivation Theory, and Involvement Theory) are supported by the study. To improve ICAG and GPA, a university should pay more attention to Lecturer Job Satisfaction, Student Motivation, Student Previous Achievements, Learning Facilities, Comfort of Class Size, ICAG-Teaching Contents, and Student Engagement. Alumni suggested that Lecturers should bring more real-world accounting to classrooms.
Collecting competency data using questionnaire, the exclusion of Working-Integrated Learning from Student Engagement questionnaire, the exclusion of private universities and other types of higher education institutions, and the use of non-parametric analysis to correlate lecturers’ and students’ data are some main limitations of the study.
Government should use the Student Engagement Survey for improvement and benchmarking purposes. Further research is required to identify the impact of Working-Integrated Learning on ICAG, to design specific Student Engagement for accounting students, to measure students’ competencies using other assessment techniques, to correlate lecturers’ characteristics with ICAG and GPA using Hierarchal Linear Modelling analysis, and to find the impact of Comfort of Class Size, Entrance Tests, and Lecturers’ Academic Characteristics on ICAG and GPA. Future studies should also include more alumni from various industries and universities.