Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Jones, GE and Abraham, A, Preparing accountants for today’s global business environment: the role of emotional intelligence in accounting education, Proceedings of the 11th Annual International Conference of the American Society of Business and Behavioral Sciences, Honolulu, Hawaii, 25-27 September 2008.


The tasks and skills that are required of accounting practitioners in today’s global business environment have changed significantly since the early 1990s. Accounting practitioners are no longer merely required to undertake the tasks necessary for information provision, such as bookkeeping, data analysis and tax preparation. Instead, their roles are now extended to encompass information facilitation, thus repositioning them as knowledge professionals rather than accounting technicians. This includes a greater emphasis on the components of emotional intelligence. However, accounting students are generally not aware of this expanded role. Thus students who are attracted into accounting courses may not possess the appropriate aptitude that would provide a good foundation for developing the skills currently required in today’s global accounting environment. Therefore, it is important that the teaching of accounting should enable students to develop these necessary, but often missing, competencies. This paper reports on two independent studies conducted at an Australian university which have suggested that promoting emotional intelligence by providing a variety of learning environments and tasks may be beneficial to accounting graduates.