Like other professionals, accountants are required to have soft skills besides the technical and specialized skills that significantly assist in effectively and successfully performing their job in different contexts. According to Berry & Routon (2020), Soft skills are fundamental for development as an accountant due to playing a significant role in improving workplace communication and subsequent performance. Critical thinking and decision-making, time management, teamwork, and collaboration are essential soft skills for accountants to effectively perform their duties and responsibilities within the organization. Time management is an essential soft skill for the accountant due to long lists of tasks and duties, commitment to the clients, and strict deadlines, which requires the professional to have sufficient time management skills. Besides, time management for accountants involves understanding and being aware of the time standard processes and tasks would take to complete leading to effective planning and meeting deadlines (Tan & Laswad, 2018). Equally, teamwork contributes to collaboration and coordination since accountants must involve management, clients, and colleagues in their duties and responsibilities. Teamwork is essential in enhancing a collaborative working environment with colleagues with increased performance and production due to shared knowledge and identification of errors (Berry & Routon, 2020). Equally, critical thinking contributes to making rights and ethically recognized decisions by the organization’s accountants. Therefore, soft skills are essential in improving the performance and productivity of the accountants in the organization.
Diverse studies and scholars have significantly focused on investigating and evaluating the technical and specialized skills among accountants with a limited concentration on soft skills such as time management, teamwork, and critical thinking, possessing essential roles in improving their performances. Notably, the current research aims to investigate the soft skills among accountants, including time management, critical thinking, and teamwork, and the roles those skills have in improving their workplace performance. Hence, the research would significantly contribute to bridging the gap on the topic and in the field, adding essential information and knowledge that could substantially benefit the accountants while delivering their duties and responsibilities.
Soft Skills among the Accountants
Accountants possess diverse duties and responsibilities within the organization leading to working on a tight schedule that requires effective and successful time management. For instance, engagement and commitments with the clients, strict deadlines, and a long list of tasks in the workplace make accountants being busy employees (Tan & Laswad, 2018). Time management contributes myriad benefits to accountants and the entire organization. For example, Dolce et al. (2020) argued that effective time management leads to improved performance and efficiency by accountants. Managing time appropriately facilitates preventing and mitigating cases of accountants beings overwhelmed and stressed in work settings. Besides, time management is integral in delivering the assigned tasks on time with little delay leading to increased reputation and productivity of the accountants. Tan and Laswad (2018) affirmed that time management by accountants is integral in increasing the chances of individuals effectively meeting the deadlines for specific tasks. Attaining such goals contributes to achieving the client’s and organization’s expectations.
Furthermore, time management significantly prevents and mitigates downtime and procrastination among accountants. For example, time management possesses a significant role in the real-time performance of tasks without postponing duties leading to decreasing downtime and procrastination (Dolce et al., 2020). Equally, time management is an essential skill that facilitates high-quality output from accountant employees (Tan & Laswad, 2018). Managing time effectively and prioritizing particular tasks are integral to producing high-quality work. Furthermore, increasing concentration on specific tasks leads to the delivery of quality work.
Critical thinking refers to the capabilities of accountants to objectively analyze information and situations leading to rational decisions and conclusions. According to Tan & Laswad (2018), critical thinking skills make accountants outstanding because they can interpret and explain the figures’ information to the stakeholders. Furthermore, such skills lead to the early identification of errors and irregularities, devising strategies for correction, and then finding a solution to problems (Dolce et al., 2020). Critical thinking offers various benefits to accountants and organizations. For example, critical thinking is essential in promoting and sustaining teamwork in the workplace, leading to collecting problem-solves. As per Tan & Laswad (2018), teamwork is crucial in personal and organizational development and growth. Besides, the accountants’ critical thinking is fundamental in making informed decisions on various problems. At a personal level, critical thinking facilitates findings multiple solutions to the problem and selecting the most appropriate one. On the same note, such soft skills lead to accountants developing unique qualities and perspectives on various challenges and situations within different working environments (Dolce et al., 2020). At the organizational level, critical thinking skill is essential in effectively planning and implementing short- and long-term strategies and objectives due to understanding the organization’s problems from diverse perspectives (Tan & Laswad, 2018). Similarly, the skill leads to anticipating situations and making required decisions after weighing options, preventing adverse incidences in the organization.
Teamwork is a significant soft skill for accountants, leading to cohesiveness and collaboration among the team members. As per Dolce et al. (2020), with the current working environment with various changes, working collectively is a fundamental factor in improving the accountants’ and the organization’s performance and growth. According to Tan & Laswad (2018), the accountants’ teamwork is integral in increasing learning opportunities due to employees differing in level of expertise, skills, and knowledge. As a result, collaboration leads to interaction and coordination among the employees, acquiring skills, expertise, and knowledge from each other. Besides, teamwork is fundamental in increasing work efficiency and accuracy because completing tasks is faster than when accountants work individually (Dolce et al., 2020). Working collaboratively contributes to minimizing workload as employees share responsibilities and ideas. On the same note, teamwork leads to more accurate data and sound decision-making by accountants (Tan & Laswad, 2018). Furthermore, teamwork contributes to the informed action by the accountants enhanced by the best possible data leading to making the right choices. Therefore, teamwork is an essential soft skill among accountants, increasing performance and collaboration.
The discrepancy in Skills that Employers Expect
Although accountant graduates perceive teamwork, time management, and critical thinking, in most cases, employers embrace and uphold diverse skills such as analytical abilities, trustworthiness, leadership, and technological savvy. Employers in various industries focus on technological savvy and considerable skills for accountants due to technological advancements that have shaped multiple operations within organizations (Dolce et al., 2020). According to Berry & Routon (2020), organization perceives technological expertise as an essential skill that plays an integral role in improving performance and productivity among accountants. Besides, employers concentrate on the accountants’ trustworthiness, leading to high transparency and honesty while performing their duties and responsibilities (Dolce et al., 2020). The organization considers such skills to prevent and mitigate the malpractices in the financial departments that would adversely affect customers, damaging the brand name and image (Berry & Routon, 2020). Equally, Dolce et al. (2020) argued that leadership is considered vital for accountants by employers due to its ability to solve conflicts. Adopting various changes from within and outside the organization and mentoring others. Nevertheless, employers focus on analytical abilities as an essential skill for the accountant that increases accuracy and offers valuable information behind the figures for decision-making.
The research utilized an online survey for data collection. An online survey is an instrument used in data collection that involves sending the survey questions to qualified and identified research participants, leading to feedback on the subject under the study. As a result, the respondents received the questionnaires through their email, leading to getting essential insights and in-depth information on the most valuable soft skills for graduate accountants (Nayak & Narayan, 2019). Furthermore, a personalized link to access the online survey questionnaires was sent to the participants through the email address and given one week for responses. The consent letter was sent to the participants before the online survey, which comprised the overview of the research, including aims, purposes, benefits, and risks. The letter of consent focused on making the respondents understand the project leading to making a sound decision on participation.
The survey included 441 graduate students who work in different industries and organizations across the country. Moreover, 410 completed the research process by fully responding to all questions.
Ethical consideration is essential to a set of principles that guide research practices and design. The research incorporates ethical principles such as privacy, informed consent, confidentiality, anonymity, and voluntary participation, which enhance the protection of the rights of the participants, increasing research validity and reliability and maintaining research integrity. For example, participants were free to participate and withdraw without explaining during the study. Besides, the identities and personal information of the participants were kept anonymous and protected from access by the third party and being identified towards particular participants leading to a high level of confidentiality and privacy.
The obtained data originated from the closed-ended questions, which offered questions in multiple forms such as drop-down, ranking, and various choices. Thematic analysis was effectively and successfully used in data analysis due to the primary aim of the research, including finding out participants’ opinions, experiences, and views. As a result, coding was conducted to generate the themes leading to an organization of the thematic patterns from the survey excerpts indicated in the table below.
|Soft skills for accountants||Valuing critical thinking
“All valued critical thinking as essential soft skills for the accountants.”
|Value time management|
|The discrepancy in Skills that Employers Expect||Analytical Abilities|
Based on the results obtained and analyzed from the research respondents, graduate accountants perceive time management as soft, practical skills in performing their duties and responsibilities, leading to multiple benefits. Participants affirmed that time management significantly improves performance and efficiency while engaging in daily responsibilities. Effective and successful time management relieves the accounts from work pressures that prevent burnout and related mental health issues such as stress and depression due to being overwhelmed. On the same note, the research results confirmed that time management contributes to completing short and long tasks on time. Time management facilitates attaining the client’s and organization’s expectations due to efficiency in completing tasks based on the existing schedule (Berry & Routon, 2020). Equally, participants confirmed that time management offers an essential strategy in dealing with downtime and procrastination among accountants necessary for increased performance.
Similarly, respondents asserted that time management facilitates high-quality output from accountants. Thus, graduate accountants value soft skills in effectively performing their duties and responsibilities. Therefore, the role time management plays in increasing performance and efficiency leads to being valued by graduate accountants.
The findings from the research aligned with previous literature on critical thinking as a valuable and essential soft skill for graduate accountants. For instance, the respondents affirmed that critical thinking is an indispensable soft skill for accountants that enhances finding solutions and making the right decision to arising problems and situations, increasing competence (Berry & Routon, 2020). Besides, critical thinking enhances the role in handling diverse external and internal business environments leading to effectively adjusting to emerging dynamics. On the same note, outstanding accountants are critical thinkers manifested through improved performance and making sound decisions appropriate for particular situations and challenges. Nevertheless, Critical thinking enhances the development of the ability to interpret and explain the figures leading to offering comprehensive information to the target audience for making decisions.
Research findings indicated the benefits of teamwork among accountants leading to graduate accountants valuing such soft skills in their professional duties and responsibilities. Respondents valued collaboration due to offering abilities and opportunities to improve performance organizational environment that encounters constant changes and challenges that requires collective reasoning and a decision-making process. Furthermore, graduate accountants value teamwork as a soft skill that leads to opportunities for learning due to sharing ideas with experienced team members leading to growth and development in career and performance (Tan & Laswad, 2018). Nevertheless, teamwork improved accuracy, work efficiency, and accuracy due to informed decisions resulting from sharing ideas and knowledge on various problems and situations to find short- and long-term solutions leading to being valued by the graduate accountants.
The discrepancy in Skills that Employers Expect
Employers value trustworthiness contrary to the graduate accountant’s expectations for various reasons. For instance, employers argue that trustworthiness contributes to the high level of transparency, integrity, and honesty among accountants essential for personal and organizational reputation and image (Dolce et al., 2020). Besides, trustworthiness facilitates and upholds workplace ethics. Furthermore, employers value leadership among graduate accountants due to contributing to influencing and mentoring to align with organizational goals and values. Equally, employers focus on analytical abilities other than other soft skills valued by the accountants due to increased accuracy and valuable information behind the numbers and calculations for decision-making by the department and organization. Dolce et al. (2020) affirmed that employers value technological savvy based on shifting the business world towards digital systems. Equally, employers perceive the skill as significant in improving performance in the business influenced by the advancement in technology. Nevertheless, the skill in utilizing various technological tools leads to improved performance with high efficiency and accuracy.
Teamwork, time management, and critical thinking are essential soft skills valued by graduate accountants. Each skill possesses a significant role in increasing the efficiency and performance of accountants in various industries and organizations. Time management contributes to improved performance and efficiency, relieving the accounts from work pressures, completing tasks on time, attaining the client’s and organization’s expectations, dealing with downtime and procrastination, and providing high-quality output from accountants. Furthermore, teamwork contributes to employee interaction and coordination, acquiring skills, expertise, and knowledge, increasing work efficiency and accuracy, minimizing workload, gaining accurate data, sound decision-making, and informed action. On the same note, essential in promoting and sustaining teamwork, making informed decisions, findings multiple solutions, effectively planning and implementing strategies and objectives and anticipating situations, and making required decisions. Moreover, employers expect a discrepancy in skills, including analytical abilities, trustworthiness, leadership, and technological savvy.
Berry, R., & Routon, W. (2020). Soft skill change perceptions of accounting majors: Current practitioner views versus reality. Journal of Accounting Education, p. 53, 100691. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaccedu.2020.100691
Dolce, V., Emanuel, F., Cisi, M., & Ghislieri, C. (2020). The soft skills of accounting graduates: Perceptions versus expectations. Accounting Education, 29(1), 57-76. https://doi.org/10.1080/09639284.2019.1697937
Nayak, M. S. D. P., & Narayan, K. A. (2019). Strengths and weaknesses of online surveys. Technology, 6(7), 0837-2405053138.
Tan, L. M., & Laswad, F. (2018). Professional skills required of accountants: What do job advertisements tell us? Accounting Education, 27(4), 403-432. https://doi.org/10.1080/09639284.2018.1490189
Ethical Question: Can Companies Take Social Responsibility In Protecting The Environment? Sample Essay
Companies exist for the sake of profits. However, they are also members of society. Most companies face an ethical dilemma regarding environmental conservation. Their duty to society requires them to preserve the environment, while they can choose to ignore that and save money for investments that will reap profits. Nevertheless, companies can use some ethical philosophies, including Ethical Egoism, Utilitarianism, Mohism, and Benevolence, to decide whether they should conserve the environment or save money.
Ethical egoism states that one should make moral decisions based on their self-interests (Ivlampie, 2017). Henry Sidgwick, the philosopher who introduced ethical egoism, compared it to utilitarianism. Since utilitarianism is focused on the greatest pleasure, Sidgwick claimed that ethical egoism was focused on maximizing individual pleasure. Thus, ethical egoism requires companies to focus on saving money and investing it to reap profits instead of conserving the environment. In this case, the company should focus on profits since they maximize the firm’s pleasure. Also, environmental conservation gradually chips away at the company’s profits and does not have much return on investment. Since ethical egoism requires the company to focus on its self-interests, the firm will focus on the reason for its existence – profits. Thus, ethical egoism makes the company ignore its duty to society and focus on improving its revenue at the expense of the environment.
Jeremy Bentham is the philosopher who introduced utilitarianism – an ethical theory that bases moral actions on the greatest possible outcomes for everyone involved (Scarre, 2020). Thus, utilitarianism requires the company to choose whether environmental conservation or saving money will make the stakeholders happy. Regarding the company’s duty to itself, the involved parties are the stakeholders and employees. The only party involved in the company’s duty to society is the public. Thus, utilitarianism requires the company to make an ethical decision that will make the stakeholders, employees, and the public happy. In this case, the best decision would be to conserve the environment and save profits. Environmental conservation will make the company socially responsible to the public, making them happy. Saving money will also make the stakeholders and employees happy as the profits will improve the company. The company should put some money aside for environmental conservation and save some cash from its revenue to invest and increase profits.
Mohism was introduced by Mozi, who believed that people should judge their morality based on caring for everyone. Thus, Mohism promotes impartial caring principles (Van Norden, 2018), where people should love everyone without distinctions. Consequently, the company should make an ethical decision about whether to conserve the environment or save money based on whether they impartially care for everyone involved. As described before, the parties involved in this ethical dilemma are the stakeholders, employees, and the public. Thus, Mohism requires the company to conserve the environment since it cares for the public. This is also because the company must care for the environment. On the other hand, Mohism requires the company to save money since it cares for its investors and employees. This is also because the company cares for its reason for existence – making money.
Confucius introduced benevolence and humanness. Benevolence requires one to master their moral life regardless of any outside impact (Eno, 2016). On the other hand, humanness requires one to base their moral actions on altruism – the quality of being selfless. Thus, the company should make an ethical choice whether to conserve the environment or save money based on the self-mastery of its moral obligations and selflessness. Consequently, benevolence and humanness require the company to conserve the environment and save money. Due to benevolence, the company should conserve the environment and save money to meet its moral obligations to society and itself. On the other hand, humanness requires the company to conserve the environment and save money since it is selfless and does not put the public’s or its interests first – the company values the public, its stakeholders, and its employees.
In conclusion, ethical egoism is the only ethical philosophy that requires the company to save money and ignore conserving the environment. Thus, Utilitarianism, Mohism, and Confucianism require the company to find a way to conserve the environment and save money. These actions should make the stakeholders, employees, and public happy. Also, they should be an act of impartial care. These decisions should meet the company’s moral obligations and be selfless.
Eno, R. (2016). Mencius, An Online Teaching Translation. Indiana University.retrieved October 30, 2022, from http://www.indiana.edu/~p374/Mengzi.pdf
Ivlampie, V. (2017). Ethical Egoism, a Failure of Moral Theories. LUMEN Proceedings, 1, 375-384.
Scarre, G. (2020). Utilitarianism. Routledge.
Van Norden, B. W. (2018). Fraser, Chris, The Philosophy of the Mòzǐ: The First Consequentialists. Dao: a Journal of Comparative Philosophy, 17(3), 421-427.
Comparative Analyses Of Health System Sample Essay
Providing high-quality healthcare to citizens while also being responsive to the population’s justifiable demands is a worldwide goal shared by health systems. A health system’s performance can be impacted by various variables, including the wealth and cultural makeup of the nation. I will compare the health systems in two different communities for this journal assignment. I will compare and contrast how the systems affect or benefit their residents and assess whether they successfully carry out the essential duties of healthcare systems. I will discuss which system I believe is superior and why.
The American health system will be my first object of analysis. The US has a market-based healthcare system, meaning for-profit businesses deliver medical services. Despite having the highest per capita healthcare spending in the world, the US ranks 37th globally in terms of life expectancy (Papanicolas et al., 2018). The US has a higher infant mortality rate than other developed nations. The US healthcare system’s high cost is one of its biggest issues. This is because there is a lot of administrative waste and expensive medical supplies and procedures. The US healthcare system is also not very effective. For instance, a study found that if the US health system was as effective as the health systems in Canada and Western Europe, it could save $158 billion annually.
The National Health Service of the United Kingdom is the second health system I will examine (NHS). All UK citizens have access to free health care at the point of service through the NHS, a publicly funded healthcare system. According to the World Health Organization, the NHS is the best healthcare system in the world (Miles et al., 2021). The NHS’s high efficiency level is one factor contributing to its effectiveness. For instance, the NHS has a higher life expectancy and spends less per person on healthcare than the US. Additionally, the NHS excels at preventive care, which helps people stay healthy and away from hospitals.
The American healthcare system is designed for financial gain. Private insurance companies are driven by a desire to profit, so they frequently balk at covering medical expenses. People might not be able to get the care they require as a result of this. Since the NHS in the United Kingdom is a public system, taxpayers are responsible for paying for it. As a result, the government is more likely to spend money on public health initiatives and care for all citizens. The US healthcare system is frequently criticized for its high costs, limited access to care, and subpar results. The NHS in the United Kingdom is frequently lauded for its low costs, accessibility to care for all people, and successful outcomes. However, the NHS is dealing with issues like an aging population and a staffing shortage.
The NHS, in my opinion, is a superior healthcare system because it is more effective and efficient at serving its population’s needs. The NHS is also significantly less expensive than the US healthcare system, which is significant because it means that more people can afford to receive the treatment they require.
In conclusion, providing high-quality healthcare to citizens while also being responsive to the population’s justifiable demands is a goal shared by health systems worldwide. A health system’s performance can be impacted by a variety of variables, including the wealth and cultural makeup of the nation. I have compared the health systems in two different communities for this journal assignment. I have compared and contrasted the systems to determine whether they are harming or benefiting their citizens and whether they are successfully carrying out the essential duties of healthcare systems. Because the NHS is more effective and efficient at serving its citizens’ needs, I think it is the superior health system.
Miles, D. K., Stedman, M., & Heald, A. H. (2021). “Stay at Home, Protect the National Health Service, Save Lives”: A cost benefit analysis of the lockdown in the United Kingdom. International Journal of Clinical Practice, 75(3), e13674.
Papanicolas, I., Woskie, L. R., & Jha, A. K. (2018). Health care spending in the United States and other high-income countries. Jama, 319(10), 1024-1039.