Quality of Accounting Graduates: Evidence from Cambodian Employers’ Perceptions

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Ediri O. Anderson CamEd Business School 2019

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Increasingly, accountants are graduating from Cambodian universities, business schools, and financial institutions. They are gaining employments in record numbers with business organizations in both public and private sector in Cambodia due to its recent robust economic growth experienced by many different sectors: tourism and hospitality; consultancy services; manufacturing/industry; transport and logistics; consumer goods and retail; and of course, banking and finance. Our study examines the qualities and skills of currently employed accounting and finance graduates, exploring the perceptions and viewpoints of numerous private-sector employers. A hundred and fifteen (115) local companies (both small and large scale companies depending on the number of accountants employed), some with international ownership across more than 15 sectors; one-third of them SMEs who have been present in Cambodia for at least the past 4 years, and all in the private sector were investigated using a comprehensive self-reported questionnaire “Khmer accounting graduate quality questionnaire”. The research was prompted by a perceived gap between the qualities and skills possessed by the graduate employees under small scale private organizations and the graduate employees under a large scale private organizations. Data collected were analyzed using the Mann-Whitney U test and the Kruskal-Wallis test followed by multiple comparisons of the perceptions of large and small scale private business enterprises with IBM SPSS 21. The result shows that of the three researched questions, there is no significant difference in perception between large and small scale businesses in all the criteria in the first and third research questions, but there is a significant difference in perception in two of the criteria (Oral and written communications in Chinese) under the second research questions. It is worth noting though that out of all the criteria in the first question “Awareness of global accounting and economics” ranked the least quality by both small and large scale organizations’ perception of their employees. These research findings are expected to benefit all stakeholders, including policymakers on matters that enhance the employability and productivity of accountants in Cambodia.


Keywords: Accounting graduates, employability, employers, employees, generic skills, technical skills, and perceptions

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