Not practicing what you preach: How is accounting higher education preparing the future of accounting

Tiago Cunha, Helena Martins, Amélia Carvalho, Cecília Carmo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The accounting profession is undergoing significant changes due to revolutions in technology and markets. It is ever more important for higher education institutions (HEIs) to understand how to prepare professionals and students for the not-so-distant future. A review of the literature was conducted using VOS Viewer, focusing on the accountant’s profile in the context of the fourth industrial revolution and digital transformation. Then, the literature review’s findings were compared with the curricula of all Portuguese HEI accounting courses. The results show that transversal skills will be crucial in maintaining the relevance of the accounting profession, but HEIs seem to focus their curricula almost entirely on technical competencies/hard skills. There are, therefore, substantial divergences between what literature preaches and what education practices, not unlike what is being reported the world over. The origins and solutions to this apparent paradox are explored so as to contribute to good practices in other contexts and as a cautionary tale for other countries’ professional systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number432
JournalEducation Sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • Accounting education
  • Curricula
  • Digital transformation
  • Portugal
  • Soft skills
  • Systematic literature review


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