STUDENTS’ PERCEPTIONS OF THE USEFULNESS OF AN AUDIT SIMULATION: AN SOUTH AFRICAN PERSPECTIVE ON THE IMPORTANCE OF STUDENT WORK ETHIC
Stellenbosch University (SOUTH AFRICA)
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, there have been many calls to change the manner in which auditing is lectured.
Against this background, the Accounting Department of Stellenbosch University developed an audit simulation of the whole audit process from client acceptance to completion. Students are required to prepare working papers, using substantive procedures focusing on inventory.
The simulation’s learning objectives are integrating Auditing with IT, as well as exposing students to a real audit situation. Thus creating a simulation which contains a realistic business problem, uncertainty, a large volume of information et cetera.
A questionnaire was developed to test students’ perceptions on the simulation. Responses were overall favourable. Respondents felt that the simulation helped them to better understand auditing and showed them the practical application of IT functionalities. However, respondents complained that the simulation took too long. The results were also analysed to determine the impact that students work ethic has on the findings.
RELEVANCE OF THE STUDY
The principles and findings of this research apply to simulations and the use of case studies in any environment. Auditing, historically, was a paper based subject and was taught and assessed very theoretically. Students were passive participants in the learning process. This is the first South African study to show that auditing can be made practical and encourage student participation.