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Title: The pre-qualification work experience of the university student accountant : a study
Authors: Sulaiman, Noela
Keywords: Accountants -- Malta
Auditing -- Malta
Internship programs -- Malta
Students -- Education (Higher) -- Malta
Issue Date: 2015
Abstract: Purpose: Accounting internships are a valuable step into the professional world and act as the perfect platform for students to gain practical work experience and develop their accounting skills. Nowadays, internships are becoming more widespread and this growth and popularity merits the need to dedicate an in-depth study on this topic, especially since no prior studies have examined internships in Malta. The main objective is to explore the overall work experience of the university student accountant from both the students' and firms' perspectives. Design: Interviewing representatives from big-four and mid-tier audit firms captured the employers’ point of view. Students' attitudes and perceptions were captured through the collection of primary data by administering questionnaires to accountancy students, prior, midway and post their internship. All collected data was analysed qualitatively and quantitatively through SPSS by conducting the appropriate descriptive statistics and statistical tests. Findings: All firms strongly agreed with the internships' importance as they benefit from enhanced training, better socialization, recruitment cost reductions and growth contribution. The contrasts between the two types of firms were the number of recruits and the interns' assigned work. Students' attitudes and perceptions were found to be positively optimistic. Even though students were overall satisfied as they gained insight into the working professional environment of their career-field, the majority criticized not being assigned meaningful tasks, lack of department choice and lack of client-contact opportunities. Conclusions: Internships are extremely important in today's constantly changing environment. In practice, internships were found to be not as 'perfect' as portrayed in the literature, with many negative issues. Numerous recommendations were outlined in order to ameliorate and maximize the students' experience and benefit all parties involved. Implications: The results of this study are mutually significant to all participants. Students will prepare better for their internships and maximize their experience, whilst firms would adjust their internship program, improve training preparation and maximize their recruitment benefits, leading to a future generation of accountants that are fit for the market.
Description: M.ACCTY.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacEma - 2015
Dissertations - FacEMAAcc - 2015

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