With all the changes and renovation in South Africa’s tax legislation, taxation is emerging as a profession in its own right. While the role and demand for tax practitioners in the market are increasing, it is uncertain what the “current” views and preferences of employers of small accounting firms are. A questionnaire was used to determine employers’ “current” views and preferences in terms of qualifications obtained by newly qualified graduates, as well as the theoretical knowledge, practical skills and personal characteristics of these newly qualified graduates. The participants were from small accounting firms that provided tax services at the time of this study. The results indicated that there was no major difference between the qualifications of the “current” employees and those the employers preferred the employees to have. However, employers demanded more newly qualified graduates who possessed the necessary qualifications. There were, however, sufficient differences between the “current” views and preferences of employers in respect of theoretical knowledge of most topics listed in the dissertation, as well as in almost all the types of practical skills listed in the study. Even in respect of personal characteristics, employers preferred newly qualified graduates to strive for a higher level of personal characteristics. The conclusion drawn in this research was that different stakeholders had different preferences. In order to provide newly qualified graduates that would satisfy the needs of future employers, all stakeholders should be taken into consideration when determining the level of theoretical knowledge, practical skills and personal characteristics that these newly qualified graduates should develop. Results indicated that there was room for improvement in order to provide better newly qualified graduates to the market who were ‘all-rounders’ in taxation.
Dissertation (MCom)--University of Pretoria, 2014.