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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2009

P.L. Wessels and L.P. Steenkamp

Prior accounting education literature documents that stereotypical images abound of the accountant as introverted, systematic, antisocial and boring. Although these…

Abstract

Prior accounting education literature documents that stereotypical images abound of the accountant as introverted, systematic, antisocial and boring. Although these stereotypes clash with the skills required of modern professional accountants to be problem solvers who regularly interact with people, the question is whether students wishing to become accountants still have these stereotyped perceptions. The purpose of this article is to investigate the preconceived notions of students in South Africa about accountants and whether these perceptions differ because of gender, home language or ethnical differences. A comparison is also made of the perceptions of school‐leavers and final‐year students to determine whether these perceptions change during students’ formal period of study at universities. This research, which is currently highly relevant, given the shortage of students pursuing careers as accountants, could contribute to the debate surrounding the concerns of the future of the accounting profession and the implications for contemporary accounting education. It was found that students perceive accountants as structured, precise and solitary individuals. However, students considered it to be an interesting profession. Significant differences were found between the perceptions of different ethnic groups. No significant differences were found between the perceptions of male and female students, or between Afrikaans‐ and English‐speaking students.

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Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1022-2529

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2007

P.L. Wessels and L.P. Steenkamp

The current syllabus (programme of education) prescribed by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) emphasises that it is important for students to…

Abstract

The current syllabus (programme of education) prescribed by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) emphasises that it is important for students to acquire knowledge and skills in interacting with information technology (IT). One of the basic IT skills identified by SAICA is the ability of students to apply controls to personal systems in order to ensure the processing integrity of IT resources and to ensure that IT resources are secure and properly safeguarded. The research questions investigated in this article are whether and where students acquire the knowledge and skills they need in using passwords as a control mechanism, and whether they actually apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired when they access information systems and networks. On the basis of a survey, the article concludes that there is a definite increase in the level of students’ knowledge of which actions are considered to be good password practices from the time when they have recently matriculated to their third year. However, it is also clear from the results of the survey that these competencies are not yet being fully applied in the real‐world arena of accessing online password‐protected accounts.

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Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1022-2529

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2007

L.P. Steenkamp and R.J. Rudman

The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants and the International Federation of Accountants require Information Technology (IT) to be integrated with the…

Abstract

The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants and the International Federation of Accountants require Information Technology (IT) to be integrated with the professional subjects, including Auditing, qualified chartered accountants need. Internationally, people want changes to Auditing teaching. The Accounting Department of Stellenbosch University developed an audit simulation of the whole audit process from client acceptance to completion. Students must prepare working papers, using substantive procedures focusing on stock and a database large enough for students to use IT. The simulation’s learning objectives are integrating auditing with IT, and exposing students to as authentic an audit as possible. A questionnaire tested students’ perceptions on the simulation. Responses were favourable. Respondents felt that the simulation helped them to understand auditing and showed them the practical application of IT functionalities. However, respondents complained that the simulation took too long. The principles and findings apply to simulations and the use of case studies in any environment.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1022-2529

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2009

L.P. Steenkamp

Black and Coloured chartered accountants (CAs) are under‐represented in Accounting departments at academic institutions in South Africa. It is generally accepted that this…

Abstract

Black and Coloured chartered accountants (CAs) are under‐represented in Accounting departments at academic institutions in South Africa. It is generally accepted that this is because of the poor remuneration offered in academia and a general shortage of Black and Coloured CAs. This study, which is based on a questionnaire to CAs, assesses their perceptions of a career in academia. It contrasts these perceptions of and requirements for a career in academia with current employment conditions and makes recommendations about increasing the number of Black and Coloured CAs in academia. These recommendations include increased remuneration and better promotion of the benefits of an academic career.

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Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1022-2529

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2008

G.F. Nel and L.P. Steenkamp

eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) is an important new technology for the electronic communication of business and financial data and, by implication, relevant…

Abstract

eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) is an important new technology for the electronic communication of business and financial data and, by implication, relevant to, inter alia, chartered accountants. Because research in Australia and the USA showed unacceptably low levels of awareness and understanding of XBRL, research was conducted to determine the levels of awareness and understanding of XBRL in South Africa. The study was limited to chartered accountants. The results showed that the majority of chartered accountants in South Africa are currently unaware of XBRL and few fully understand it. In spite of these findings, the majority of respondents acknowledged the fact that it was necessary for either them or someone in their organisation to investigate the matter of XBRL in the near future.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1022-2529

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Content available
Book part
Publication date: 29 May 2020

Femi Oladele and Timothy G. Oyewole

Abstract

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Social Media, Mobile and Cloud Technology Use in Accounting: Value-Analyses in Developing Economies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-161-5

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Article
Publication date: 15 April 2019

James Lappeman, Caitlin Ferreira, Jeandri Robertson and Tendai Chikweche

The purpose of the paper is to investigate the nature of variations among established and emerging middle class consumers in South Africa in response to the institution…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to investigate the nature of variations among established and emerging middle class consumers in South Africa in response to the institution context factors associated with emerging markets that are established in international business studies.

Design/methodology/approach

An exploratory research approach using semi-structured expert interviews was used to collect data.

Findings

Key findings indicate distinct approaches in dealing with factors such as different fallback positions, asset ownership, education, language, family responsibility, career aspirations and risk protection in the middle class process of attaining and sustaining middle class status.

Research limitations/implications

The focus on one country has the potential to minimize the generalizability of findings from the study, however, South Africa has a significantly high proportion of sub-Saharan middle class consumers. This provides a basis for further a basis for further research into other sub-Saharan African countries.

Practical implications

Findings from the study provide practical insights on risk profiling of middle-class consumers for marketing practitioners.

Social implications

The study provides insights into the distinct variations between emerging and established middle class consumers in areas such as language and education. These insights have potential implications on the implementation of government policies such as the Empowerment Policy and consumer protection.

Originality/value

The paper expands the research agenda in the area of middle class consumer behavior in emerging markets. By concentrating on South Africa, the research expands existing knowledge beyond emerging giants like China and India, which are often a focus in literature.

Details

Society and Business Review, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5680

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Article
Publication date: 29 June 2012

L.P. Steenkamp, R.S. Baard and B.L. Frick

Student success and attrition, especially in the first year, has received increasing attention both in South Africa and internationally. The purpose of this article is to…

Abstract

Purpose

Student success and attrition, especially in the first year, has received increasing attention both in South Africa and internationally. The purpose of this article is to explore peer tutoring as a possible approach to facilitate first‐year student success in Financial Accounting.

Design/methodology/approach

The perspectives of tutors and students attending tutor sessions (tutees) were investigated by means of questionnaires, which were complemented by an analysis of the tutees' performance in the subject compared with their participation in the tutor programme. Two cohorts of students (2008/2009) were included in the study.

Findings

The results suggest that the tutees experienced the tutor programme positively and were in favour of similar initiatives in their second year of study. The tutors thought the programme had beneficial consequences for tutees. Regular attendance of tutor sessions seemed to benefit at least some students, even though it is difficult to determine causality. English‐speaking students benefited from attending the tutor sessions.

Research limitations/implications

The results are not generalisable beyond the scope of the particular institution, but provide guidance for other institutions considering a similar intervention.

Originality/value

The implementation of a tutor programme entails investments in terms of both money and time. This paper considers the benefits derived from these investments, specifically in an Accounting and South African context.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2012

L.P. Steenkamp and G.F. Nel

eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) is an important new information and communication technology for the electronic communication of business and financial data…

Abstract

Purpose

eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) is an important new information and communication technology for the electronic communication of business and financial data. International research shows unacceptably low levels of awareness and adoption of XBRL. This paper aims to investigate the level of awareness of XBRL in South Africa among chartered accountants. Furthermore, it aims to consider the factors influencing adoption of XBRL and the impact of the economic circumstances on the decision to adopt XBRL.

Design/methodology/approach

The research was conducted with data collected through a structured, self‐administered web‐based survey sent to 11,458 chartered accountants. Chartered accountants will be primarily responsible for the implementation of XBRL at organisations.

Findings

The findings are largely in line with international studies, indicating a low level of awareness and slow adoption of the new technology. The major reasons cited for not adopting XBRL are that it is not yet mandatory in South Africa to do so and in the view of the respondents there is not any benefit in adopting XBRL. The results indicated that the economic circumstances did not have any effect on the decision to implement XBRL, be it either to implement or not to implement XBRL.

Originality/value

It is concluded that the business case for XBRL, internationally and in South Africa, should be made stronger for awareness and adoption rates to improve. The adoption of XBRL is, by implication, important and relevant to everyone with an interest in information management.

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Article
Publication date: 17 June 2021

Jonida Carungu and Matteo Molinari

This paper explores the stereotype of the accountant in Florentine medieval popular culture based on literary works and from a historical perspective. It aims to highlight…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper explores the stereotype of the accountant in Florentine medieval popular culture based on literary works and from a historical perspective. It aims to highlight how stereotypes change with time and represent the cultural and historical evolution of a society. This research challenges Miley and Read (2012), who stated that the foundation of the stereotype was in Commedia dell'arte, an Italian form of improvisational theatre commenced in the 15th century.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors applied a qualitative research method to examine the accountant from a medieval popular culture perspective. The analysis consists of two phases: (1) categorisation of the accountant stereotype based on accounting history literature and (2) thematic analysis of The Divine Comedy (1307–1313) and The Decameron (1348–1351). The authors explored a synchronic perspective of historical investigation through a “cross-author” comparison, identifying Dante Alighieri as the first key author of medieval popular culture. During his imaginary journey through The Divine Comedy, Dante describes the social, political and economic context of the Florentine people of the 14th century. Then, with its various folkloristic elements, The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio becomes the “manifesto” of the popular culture in the Florentine medieval times.

Findings

This study shows the change of the accountant stereotype from the medieval age to the Renaissance. The Divine Comedy mainly connotes a negative accountant stereotype. The 14th century's Florentine gentlemen (“i galantuomini”) are apparently positive characters, with an ordered and clean aspect, but they are accused of being usurers. Dante Alighieri pictures the accountant as a “servant of capitalism”, “dishonest person, excessively fixated with money”, “villain and evil” and “excessively rational”. Giovanni Boccaccio mainly portrays a positive accountant stereotype. The accountant is increasingly more reliable, and this “commercial man” takes a more prestigious role in the society. In The Decameron, the accountant is depicted as a “hero”, “gentleman”, “family-oriented person with a high level of work commitment” and “colourful persona, warm, and emotional”. Overall, the authors provided new evidence on the existence of the accountant stereotype in the Florentine medieval popular.

Originality/value

This study engages with accounting history literature accountants' stereotypes in an unexplored context and time period, providing a base for comparative international research on accounting stereotypes and popular culture. Additionally, it addresses the need for further research on the accountant stereotype based on literary works and from a historical perspective. Therefore, this research also expands the New Accounting History (NAH) literature, focussing on the investigation of the accountant stereotype connotations in the 14th century.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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