Leaving Certificate accountancy syllabus letting down accountancy profession


The Leaving cert is failing at preparing students in the field of accountancy according to CPA Ireland. Following a review of this year’s leaving cert exam paper, CPA Ireland has sent a letter to Minister of State Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, requesting an urgent review of the current syllabus, as it is not fit for purpose.

Speaking about the examination paper, CPA President, Cormac Mohan said “the syllabus at present lacks diversity and in terms of content, it is years behind the profession. This has been further highlighted in the Accounting paper today.”

Key problems identified with this year’s leaving cert accounting exam were:

Terminology and language does not reflect current accounting terminology. For example, students are taught about creditors, debtors, stock, in 2018 industry these are referred to as payables, receivables and inventory.

The exam is too focussed on Irish legislation and there is a lack of international accounting language.

Technology is not adequately covered. Accountancy is in a technology driven environment and this is not reflected for today’s digital student or generation. Question 4C was the only technology-based question and this only had a limited number of points attached.

The paper and overall assessment do not encourage entrepreneurial or innovative thinking.

“The overall teaching and learning experience must be a more interesting, project-based teaching model,” according to Mr. Mohan. “This will enable students to understand the general economics of business and application to enable understanding of business rather than text book and formal examination”.

“At its heart the paper rewards completion of arduous but basic arithmetic, it does not give students the opportunity to show their critical thinking abilities. The syllabus needs to be updated and rationalised to enliven the subject.”