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An accounting syllabus for marketing students as determined by SME needs and specifications
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In South Africa, SME development has been identified by government as a priority in creating jobs to solve high unemployment. SMEs also often battle to survive in a tough and ever changing business world. There is a high failure rate among many SMEs. Some of the reasons for the high rate of failure are that the owner or manager is unfamiliar with established business practices, lack of managerial expertise in business management and lack of finance to fund the business. It is essential that the individuals responsible for the management of the business have the necessary training and expertise to equip them for the successful running of the business. It is therefore crucial that all employees in the SME sector irrespective of the department they work in obtain some degree of training and expertise. These employees also need some knowledge of the financial position of the business. This can only be made possible if all employees have a fair amount of financial knowledge so that decision~making is made easier. The curriculum of the CPUT subject 'Accounting for Marketers' may not meet the requirements of SMEs. It is an advisable that SMEs requirements should be continually measured against the course offering to ensure that the course equips the students with the financial knowledge needed by SMEs. This can be done as CPUT has close ties with these SMEs through co-operative education and intemships. An attempt was made to identify the skills and techniques required by the marketing students pertaining to the SUbject 'Accounting for Marketers' in practice and to comparing the syllabi used in education. This comparison would hopefully lead to a clear understanding of the gaps between education and practice, if any, which will enable the researcher to make recommendations regarding the 'Accounting for Marketers' syllabi. The main purpose of the study was to measure the gap, if any, between the subjects 'Accounting for Marketers' offered at CPUT and the requirements of the SMEs. If indeed a gap exists, the institution can broaden certain aspects of the syllabi, by incorporating case studies on legitimate companies, which will aid the students to stay informed about Accounting in their field of expertise. There will be better integration of theory and practice. A descriptive research method was followed using a census survey research design to present a structured comprehensive questionnaire to the total population of SMEs affiliated with the Department of Cooperative Education and that have participated in the experiential training program. The number of SMEs who completed and returned the questionnaires was 15. This resulted in a response rate of 50 percent which was a fair representation of the entire census. In support of the findings recommendations were made regarding each component that formed part of an accounting syllabus. The results indicated that certain components in the accounting syllabus were rated as very important and others not. Components that were referred to as important but which were not a part of the syllabus will be under scrutiny by the researcher to come to a resolution, where these components will be accommodated in the accounting syllabus for marketing students for 2008.