The main purpose of this study was to determine the influence of accounting software skills of business education students for employment in commercial banks in Akwa Ibom State.Four research questions were answered and four hypotheses were tested at .05 level of significance. The researcher used descriptive survey research design in this study.  The population was600male and female bank managers (Administrative managers and human resource managers).The sample size of the research is 240bank managers.The study used a Simple Random Sampling Technique which is a probability sampling method which draws a portion of a population so that each member of the population has an equal chance of being selected. The researcher developed a questionnaire title “Accounting Software Skills of Business Education Students and Employment Prospect in Commercial Banks Questionnaire.” The instrument was faced validated by two a research experts from Business Education Unit, Department of Vocational Education.   In order to determine the reliability of the instrument, reliability coefficient of 0.81 was established for the instrument using the Pearson Co-efficient of Correlation through a test re-test method.  The data collected were analysed using a descriptive mean (x) to answer all the research questions while the independent t-test was used to analyse all hypothesis at a co-efficient index of 0.05 level of significance. The findings of this study showed that there was a significant influence of Sage 50 skills, QuickBooks skills,Advanced Excel skills and Accountedge skills on the employment prospect of business education students in commercial banks in Akwa Ibom state. The findings also revealed that there was no significance difference in the mean responses of male and female bank workers on the influence of Sage 50 skills, QuickBooks skills and Accountedge skills on the employment prospect of Business Education Students in Commercial Banks in Akwa Ibom State. However, the findings showed that there was a significant difference in the mean responses of male and female bank workers on the influence of Advanced Excel skillson the employment prospect of Business Education Students in Commercial Banks in Akwa Ibom State.Based on the findings of this study, it was concluded that there is a significant influence of Sage 50 skills, QuickBooks skills,Advanced Excel skills and Accountedge skills on the employment prospect of business education students in commercial banks in Akwa Ibom state.In the light of the findings and conclusion drawn in this study, it was recommended among others thatBusiness Education programmes should incorporate accounting software training for students in all levels of education.



1.1       Background of the Study

Accounting jobs often require knowledge of a variety of computer software skills.  For instance, an accountant needs to use finance related accounting software like QuickBooks, Advance Excel, Sage 50, Accountedge,etc; an auditor might need to know certain data modelling programs.  In the recent competitive job market, not only the job seekers are struggling for getting a suitable job but also organizations are striving for conducting effective recruitment and selection activities to place and retain highly qualified employees in the suitable position. An effective recruitment and selection program ensures a right number of qualified employees for achieving organizational strategic goals in a cost-effective way (Gamage, 2014).  As a crucial contributor to the economy, banks are rigorously concerning about wealth maximization through providing prominent customer services. Providing better customer services depends on the available qualified employee within the bank.

There is a large technological foundation in the real world and accountants work in an information technology-enabled environment irrespective of the role, nature of the organization and size.  In spite of such widely held views that accountants need skills in the selection, implementation, management and use of information technologies at their work place, university appear to be approaching the accounting education from a theoretical perspective without embedding current and emerging information technologies in the teaching and learning of accounting and without incorporating various accounting applications and technologies that are IT-based in the curriculum, university business schools are not able to produce graduates with skills that are in demand (ALTC 2009; Kavanagh &Drennan, 2008) and graduates that are ‘work ready’.  Though there is a significant change in the nature of accountant’s work and their role in organizations (Thomson, 2009; Howleson, 2003), the university accounting education has not been.

Accounting software describes a type of application software that records and processes accounting transactions with functional modules such as accounts payable, accounts receivables, general ledger, payroll and trial balance.  It functions as an accounting information system.  It may be developed in-house by the organization using it, may be purchased from a third party, or may be a combination of a third party application software package with local modifications.  Accounting software may be online based, accessed anywhere at any time with any device which is internet enabled or may be desktop based.

In today’s technological driven economy, having accounting software skills influence hiring and employment opportunities in commercial banks as well as other sectors of the economy.  However, business education student who have a grasp of these software skills will have advantage in the job competition.

Business Education is designed with the primary purpose of upgrading skills or providing individuals with the necessary skills required to obtain gainful employment.  It programmes are thus geared toward entry into particular jobs and the administration of the programme towards the achievement of the goals.  Business Education is a programme in education that prepares students for entry into and advancement of jobs within the business.  It is an educational programmes which involve acquisition of skills, knowledge and competences which make the recipient/beneficiary proficient.  It is an umbrella under which all business programmes take a shield such as marketing, business administration, secretarial studies and accounting.  The programme of Business Education equips students as well as every individual with Accounting skills, management skills, secretarial/computing skills, marketing skills among others (Usoro, 2016).

Commercial banking normally refers to a bank or division of a bank that deals mostly with deposits and loans from corporations or large businesses.  Commercial banks also known as corporate banks provide a wide range of financial services.  These include lending, clearing, investing deposits and organizing specialist products for clients with high turnover, such as financial institutions, major companies and small and medium scale enterprises.  Banking requires a high level of finance and industry knowledge.  Successful banking professional will need to be intimately familiar with regulations and technologies as well as skills available in the sector.  Banking professionals even in Akwa Ibom State are expected not only to have a sound knowledge based but being constantly aware of new changes with the industry including relevant software skills.

The commercial bank as a financial  institution which carries out retail banking services, set up for keeping and lending money to people, owned by individuals, organizations or governments for the main purpose of making profits, examples of commercial banks include, Union Bank, Eco bank, First Bank, etc.  Commercial banks provide a variety of services to their customers.  These include safeguarding of deposits, providing checking and bill pay services, offering investment products, funds collection from other banks via checks or wire transfers, loaning money to customers, processing credit card transactions, foreign currency exchange and the storing of valuable items in safe deposit boxes.  With recent developments in the banking sectors such as the mobile banking, there are numerous applications and software that has ease banking process.  However, a business education student with relevant accounting software skills may have an edge in today’s highly competitive world.

Sage 50 is an integrated, modular accounting package suitable for most small to medium-sized businesses needing such accounting modules as the General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Payroll, Inventory, Time and Billing and Project (Job) Costing. Sage 50 Accounting is a popular program as it includes a variety of important and “user-friendly” features.  When using the program, windows and data entry screens resemble their actual paper counterparts; for example, the Sales Journal screen resembles a paper invoice.  The package is easy to learn, providing you with icons, menus and toolbars, as well as keyboard-activated commands.  You can customize the package to your needs with such options as interest on overdue receivable accounts, using non-accounting terminology, varying the aging periods for Receivables and Payables.   Payroll entry is quick and straightforward, eliminating the need for manual tax table searching with current payroll tables. You can track profitability by job or project to determine the most profitable areas of your business.   You can keep accurate track of your inventory, including inventory turnover and minimum inventory levels.   You can customize and print invoices, cheques and statements.   You can print professional reports and graphs without wasting time designing and formatting.   In one easy report, you can track Goods and Services Tax and/or Harmonized Sales Tax paid on transactions processed using the Payables and Receivables modules.   The program offers extensive help and on-line accounting advice, as well as assistance available from local certified consultants or Solution Providers.   You have the ability to use Purchase Orders, To Do Lists, Check Lists, Business Advice, Sage 50 Wizards and toolbar buttons.  This version enables you to export data to Microsoft Excel, Access or other programs, provides automatic advice, a credit card section, lets you update budget amounts, provides the ability to create quotes to customers or  quotes from vendors, and keeps track of shipping information and management reports.   It also provides automatic import of emailed invoices, orders and quotes. You can send emails to vendors and customers directly from the vendor and customer ledgers, and email invoices to customers.   The software also provides for maintenance of accounts in foreign currency.

AccountEdge Network Edition is designed to run on a simple network made up of a few computers. AccountEdge Network Edition is recommended for use on a peer-to-peer network. On a peer-to-peer network running AccountEdge, the company file (the file which contains your business’s financial data) is stored on one of the computers in the network. This computer is referred to as the host computer, and it must be accessible by the other computers on the network, known as workstations. The host computer does not need to be a dedicated computer (like a server), it can be any computer in the network. Note that all computers in an AccountEdge network must be using Mac OS X 10.10 or higher.AccountEdge Network Edition assumes that your network will be protected by an Internet Firewall, if your network is connected to the Internet. You do not need to make changes to your Internet firewall to use AccountEdge. If you use a personal firewall on your host computer, however, you will need to ensure that the firewall is configured to allow AccountEdge data to pass from workstations to the host. AccountEdge does not use a preassigned port number for the transmission of data from workstations to your company file on the host computer. Therefore, any port between 49152 and 65535 can be used to transmit data to your company file. You can choose to specify a particular port number in that range for your AccountEdge activity (but the port must not be closed by a personal firewall), or you can simply allow AccountEdge’s FileConnect system preference to dynamically assign a port for you.

There are three versions of QuickBooks Online. A plan can be chosen to suit the requirements of the business. Each offering provides features relevant to the selected plan. Further details on the features available under each product version can be found at au/pricing/ The number of business users allowed varies per plan. Simple Start 1 user; Essentials 3 users; Plus, 5 users.

Advanced Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet developed with of features calculation, graphing tools, pivot tables, and a macro programming language called Visual Basic for Applications. It has been a very widely applied spreadsheet for these platforms, especially since version 5 in 1993, and it has replaced Lotus 1-2-3 as the industry standard for spreadsheets. Excel forms part of Microsoft Office.  Microsoft Excel has the basic features of all spreadsheets, using a grid of cells arranged in numbered rows and letter-named columns to organize data manipulations like arithmetic operations. Excel was not designed to be used as a database.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

Employers have been complaining that the universities are producing graduates with ‘theoretical knowledge rather than ‘practical’ skills that will help them perform their task effectively.  This observation is not limited just to accounting, but to many other professions such as engineering and nursing.  Limited resources and inadequate interactions between academics and practitioners are cited as the main reasons why the current university accounting education is not able to meet future needs of students and employers.Recent observations by the Business Industry and Higher Education Collaboration Council (BIHECC) confirm those employers’ concerns and point out the inadequate development of these skills to graduates.

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), a major professional accounting body, has been stressing the importance of information technology skills to accountants since 1995 and released guidelines to university business schools.  The International Accounting Education Standards Board (IESB) emphasize the acquisition of competence – the ability to perform a work role to a defined standard with reference to working environment.

Several reports by the Accreditation bodies and employer bodies have identified the need for sound information technology skills to business education students.  Employers want accountants who have the capability to understand and negotiate their way around contemporary information systems used for accounting.  Widespread diffusion of information technologies intothe workplace means that students who have high level up to date IT skills which will be likely to integrate more rapidly into an organization and become productive sooner rather than those who do not. The reported lack of skills among accountants in Nigeria in IT security management and accounting applications despite them rated as the top five important skills.  In  a recent survey of accountants and auditors, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) have identified IT security, reporting from business intelligence software solutions, leveraging efficiencies from accounting software, IT risks and IT-enabled internal control among the top priority initiatives for their organization.