Globalization’s Impact on Accounting Education

Globalization is the process of integrating economies, societies and cultures through communication, transportation and trade. Large businesses and corporations now have to be mindful of not only the environment and cultures within their region but throughout the nation and ultimately across the world. Some people do not support globalization because they are afraid that it will result in sweat shops and environmental degradation amongst many other negative outcomes; however, since globalization is inevitably becoming the societal norm, it is important that future business leaders are taught with this objective in mind. While globalization is nearly impossible to prevent, with the correct education and practice, future business leaders should be able to reduce the preconceived destructive results of globalization from occurring. With that being said, Globalization has a huge impact on accounting education.

Education policies and practices is one factor that has been affected by globalization. More specifically, many concepts are being reevaluated and taught differently. These terms include but are not limited to the following; culture, in port/export, international trade, foreign market entry, ethics, market exchange rates, restrictions on trade, free trade laws, IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards), and GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles). These words are now being taught with the ideology that students will grow to work in multinational corporations in which they are encouraged to understand how countries around the world conduct business. In the near future, if not contemporary, young scholars will also be required to be knowledgeable and able to differentiate the political, economic, and market systems of every country; however, with globalization growing so rapidly, it would not be a surprise if every country complied with one set of laws and standards in the future. In fact, according to USA Today, Sir David Tweedie (chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board) stated that “we must eventually end up with a common system of regulation, auditing and accounting.” With that being said, there may be many issues and conflicts with the many requirements in obtaining a career in the accounting field.

Since classes are constantly being added to accounting education the requirements may create a hinder on the development of pre-existing accounting professionals. In fact textbooks are revised annually and it will soon be mandatory for students to take one or more foreign language class. While accounting analyzes the history of financial decisions and documents, in order to keep current accountants up to date on the contemporary and future business aspect, companies are demanding that their employees attend seminars, workshops, and classes relating to globalization. This may create a burden on people that have been with a company for years readjusting to the ever changing business standards. It is in the best interest of accountants to submit to the wishes of their employer because those that do not comply with these requirements, may ultimately suffer with outsourcing of accounting careers to foreign countries that are familiar with international standards. While there are a few discrepancies relating to the educational requirements in obtaining a degree and maintaining a career in the accounting field, there are both positive and negative effects of a globalize education system.

Globalization creates many opportunities for both US born as well as international students. American students will be capable of traveling to large developing business corporations in countries such as Asia and Europe for work. International students whom attempt to obtain degrees in the US will be preferred (in the US and other countries) than native born citizens. With that being said many international students will establish a career in the U.S. which will ultimately create an “unbalance in the supply and demand in the US accounting job market” (Articles base, Globalization’s Impact on Accounting Career). It is unbalanced because foreign countries are not able to employ the best candidates to operate their businesses in order for them to compete in the globalize market. It is quite obvious that globalization is affecting accounting careers; however it will continue to influence the way future accountants obtain positions in the field.

In the end Globalization plays a huge role on accounting education. Not only are the effects both positive and negative, they are ultimately inevitable. It is important to educate accountants on the standards of other countries so that they are thoroughly knowledgeable in their field because many businesses operate with countries across the world. Textbooks and classes are being updated annually in order to remain consistent and up-to-date with business standards. While the requirements of obtaining a degree in accounting are complex, the journey towards achieving is well worth the time in effort.

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