Human capital and industry 4.0: embracing technology and skills of accountants in the business organizations

Tey, Yii Pyin (2020) Human capital and industry 4.0: embracing technology and skills of accountants in the business organizations. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]

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Industry 4.0 and its rising technologies have been gaining tremendous popularity in recent years with the impacts and challenges that spark many interests in different aspects of the business environment. This revolution has brought about advanced development, innovation, transformation and variation to how production and manufacturing works, how employees play their roles and how decision makers made strategic decisions. One of the many affected roles is the accountant’s role. The accountant is an important person in the business where he or she keep tracks of the transaction and reports it accurately and reliably. However, with the rapid changes of technologies, many accountants and future accountants are concern about their relevance in their contribution to the business environment.

The purpose of this research is twofold. The first section explores and examines the perceptions, opinions and thoughts from professional accounting bodies (i.e. MIA, CGMA, ACCA and ICAEW), industry specialists (i.e. Technology industry practice leader and owner of accounting firm) and journals on the transformation of future accountant’s roles and skills needed towards Industry 4.0 to stay sustainable and pertinent. Hence, a collection of viewpoints and insights from 15 articles and reports by professional accounting bodies relating to future accountant’s role and skills needed for Industry 4.0, 5 recent online podcasts with reference to technology and accountants were collected to analyse and determine the future role anticipated for accountants and the skills needed to be germane to the era of Industry 4.0.

As for the second section, online questionnaires were distributed to accounting students in Malaysia to determine their awareness, perception and attitude on the significance of embracing technology on the future accounting role and the sufficiency of skills and knowledge towards Industry 4.0 with only 121 relevant responses. It is crucial to determine the readiness of the private and foreign universities’ accounting students in Malaysia to gauge the preparations necessary for them to be relevant in the workforce towards Industry 4.0.

From the findings, it shows that the accounting students in Malaysia are aware or heard about Industry 4.0 but most of them have neutral opinion about the current situation in terms of their perception and readiness towards this new revolution that will affect their future role as an accountant. There are differences in the opinion between genders, education levels and university types about Industry 4.0 awareness, outlook on the impact of Industry 4.0 on the future role of accountants and the readiness of accounting students in their perception. Most of the results are in line with previous studies done in Malaysia.

Finally, the findings are consistent with the theories - Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) and Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) model, where the target group of a similar demographic factors (young, students, education background) were tested. While professional bodies and industry specialists urge the rising need for future accountants to gain new skills such as analytical skills and communication skills besides accounting technical skills, the respondents are also in favour to equip themselves with skills necessary for playing their role as future accountants towards Industry 4.0.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Keywords: Malaysia, accounting students, industry 4.0, artificial intelligence, big data, cloud application, accountant, role, technology, skills, knowledge, awareness, impact, readiness
Depositing User: Tey, Yii
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2020 05:51
Last Modified: 06 May 2020 10:31

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