Management Accounting Education at the University level in Sweden and in Estonia
Background This paper is a study of Management Accounting education in Estonia today, fourteen years after the market system change. It examines what is being taught to Estonian students, who study business and have chosen management accounting (or similar) as their speciality during the last years of their education. A comparison is made to the business curriculum offered by a Swedish university, this one also with a specialisation in the subject of Management Accounting. Sweden was chosen because it is known as a country with excellent education system, study conditions, and also Management Accounting education. So it is a good country to look up to for Estonia. Purpose This study compares the Management Accounting education of Sweden and Estonia. The curriculum of business administration students, topics of the management accounting courses as well as the level of knowledge in different topics is compared. The literature used and the design of the studies of the current countries are exemplified as well. This study identifies the differences and similarities in the Management Accounting education in a transitional country like Estonia is from the well developed country Sweden. Those countries are neighbour countries, and there are and will be a lot of labour movements and also student exchanges. It is hard to know for a Swedish university or the employer company, how similar is the education of these two countries and what an Estonian Management Accounting student can or cannot. This study will give some guidance in this matter. Method The theory, empirical data and logical reasoning are used in order to conduct this work. This survey is intended to be descriptive. After reviewing the literature of accounting education in Eastern Europe a list of questions were made to ask Estonian management accounting educators. The main focus during the interviews was on the character of the Management Accounting education in the particular country and university. The second part of the empirical data was the questionnaire with ISAR topics about Management Accounting education and curricula. Conclusion Estonia has come a long way since the time Estonia regained its independency. There are persons graduating from the university with an education more in tune with the market economy already since 1997. The lack of educators in the new areas is not that large anymore either. The Business programs at the studied universities are in some ways similar when it comes to the structure of the studies, but in some ways not. Management Accounting education in Estonia will improve as more high quality materials become available to the educators and students.
Göteborg University. School of Business, Economics and Law