Oral communication skills are important for success in the accounting profession. However, recent studies found that accounting majors have higher than average oral communication apprehension. Few studies have tested students’ perceptions of the oral communications required in the accounting profession. A survey was administered to students enrolled in the foundation accounting course at four U.S. universities in 1998 and 2006. The instrument asked students to indicate the level of oral communications required in twenty-four occupations including “accountant” and “tax return preparer”. The perceived oral communications requirement for accountant was ranked 19th in the 1998 survey and 20th in 2006. Tax return preparer was ranked 21st in 1998 and 19th in 2006. This study indicates students entering the first accounting class perceive accounting as a profession that requires little oral communication. Unless this attitude changes during their academic careers, accounting graduates may be unprepared for an important part of the job.


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