School of Management and Commerce Host the Inaugural Accounting Forum
Spurred by the need to promote integration between academics and industry, the School of Management and Commerce (SMC) organized a forum with renowned industry players recently, under the theme: Breaking the Gap between Theoretical and Practical Accounting.
The event was graced by experts in the field of Accounting, from diversified industries. The opening remarks were made by Dr. David Wangombe, Dean SMC, who is also a seasoned accounting lecturer with over 10 years of experience in the field. Dr. Wangombe proceeded to introduce the industry experts:
- Pius Mwendwa, Chief Accountant at Kenya Pipeline Company
- Sammy Kamanthi, General Manager-Finance at Equity Bank
- Fredrick Odero, Senior Manager-Audit at Deloitte
- Anthony Muthusi, Partner-Transaction Advisory Services (TAS) at Ernst & Young
- Julian Nyongo, Senior Manager-Assurance at Ernst & Young
In the wake of the high efflux of graduates from Kenyan universities every year, a number of employers have been notably seeking graduate employees who have knowledge both in theory (class-based) and in practice. More recently, two accounting giants in the UK PwC and Ernst & Young announced the exclusion of some categories during their automated employment application process, in a bid to eliminate the good-only-on-paper candidates and capture the more hands-on, skilled candidates. Evidently, there is a gap between class-based learning and industry practice.
Also in attendance were renown professionals such as; Dr. James McFie Director Strathmore School of Accountancy (SOA), who has a reputable legacy in accounting and is a member of a number of prominent boards; Dr. Freshia Mugo-Waweru, whose experience in Financial Markets has seen her form part of the Capital Markets Master Plan Steering Committee (CMMSC); as well as Dr. Josephat Mboya, who has over 21 years both as a Financial Management professional and Consultant.
The turnout of accounting students was impressive, ultimately fulfilling a saying by popular British psychologist William McDougall that goes, Will is character in action.
Roundtable discussions consisting of small groups of students each chaired by one of the aforementioned experts, were held. The inquisitive students engaged the experts and even some of the academic staff throughout the discussions. Pertinent issues discussed included how to prepare for job interviews, what the job market requires of students, the experts day-to-day experience and what it takes to work in the renowned firms.
Article by Graduate Assistant SMC, Atlanta Kufwafwa