The framework for competency based standards for professional accountants, an outcome from a study commissioned by the professional accounting bodies in Australia and New Zealand, provides generic skills in accounting with a clear theoretical and conceptual base. A generic skills list was later condensed from the study and issued to universities for inclusion in the curriculum for accreditation. However, neither the framework nor the list has provided any principles or guide for developing the skills. The current study reviews research on generic skills in higher education and identifies the key areas of interest to create a topography of the literature that relates and links the philosophies and critiques, innovations and prescriptions, reports and findings, and shortcomings and limitations of the studies. The topography will therefore be a rich resource of trans-disciplinary research and insights that could be tapped by accounting educators to design curricula that are both based and led by current research. Some of the key features that have emerged from the review are 1) generic skills in higher education have to be developed within the discipline knowledge and context; 2) the focus of programs should be on the learner of skills and not on items of skills; 3) further, it is the development of the learner to cope in a rapidly changing future rather than just the knowledge and suitable application of skills in future situations; and 4) the conceptions and experiences of the learner s are significant factors in their generic skills development.