About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 4899 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.0217

Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain

THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE ACCOUNTING PROFESSION IN SOUTH AFRICA: REFLECTIONS ON THIRTY YEARS OF WORKING WITHIN AN OPEN DISTANCE LEARNING INSTITUTION

E. Sadler, J. Wessels

University of South Africa (SOUTH AFRICA)
The transformation of the accounting profession in South Africa is not only the object of several well-funded interventions (SAICA 2014: online), but also the topic of continued scholarly research (Sadler 2002; Sadler 2003; Wiese 2006; Venter & De Villiers 2013). The focus of these contributions are predominantly on gender and especially race (population group) as indicators for transformation. This contributes to this ongoing discourse by reporting on the lived experiences and reflections on the South African accounting profession’s transformation, of a female Chartered Accountant who has been simultaneously an academic and academic manager. Her experiences and reflections within an open, distance and e-learning institution, stretching over more than three decades, are narrated to and analysed with a co-researcher. This contribution aims at a deepened understanding of the role of higher education, and more specifically an open, distance and e-learning higher education institution, in the country specific transformation of a profession such as the Accounting profession.

In order to obtain a deepened understanding of the role of an open, distance and e-learning higher education institution in the transformation of the accounting profession in South Africa, it was necessary to carefully consider the selection of the most appropriate research approach and methods. After considering various methodological approaches, the autoethnographic, ethnographic, autobiographical or biographical approaches have shown to have the potential of providing the deepened understanding of the phenomenon this research project aimed at. The paper reports on a review and analysis of, as well as a critical reflection on the autoethnographer’s own published scholarship, her participation in and observations of higher education in general and this university in particular, as well as on various supporting operational documents. Following the methodological tradition of ethnography, the data have been treated as suggested by Chang (2008: 49) “with critical, analytical, and interpretive eyes”.

Within the context of the several reported approaches to transformation, this paper reports and reflects on the possibility of an ethical approach to the transformation of the accounting profession, by identifying the core reasons for the lack of transformation, and to consider appropriate corrective interventions in terms of ethical criteria such as equity, justice, merit and diversity (Wessels 2014: 60). The fundamental role of higher education in general, and open and distance e-learning (ODeL) in transforming the accounting profession, will be described and analysed. The paper will subsequently report on and critically assess the autoethnographer’s lived experience within and ODeL institution of identifying the academic and non-academic reasons for the lower performance of students from the previously disadvantaged groups, and initiating tailor made student support interventions.
@InProceedings{SADLER2016TRA,
author = {Sadler, E. and Wessels, J.},
title = {THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE ACCOUNTING PROFESSION IN SOUTH AFRICA: REFLECTIONS ON THIRTY YEARS OF WORKING WITHIN AN OPEN DISTANCE LEARNING INSTITUTION},
series = {9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-5895-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2016.0217},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2016.0217},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {4899}}
TY - CONF
AU - E. Sadler AU - J. Wessels
TI - THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE ACCOUNTING PROFESSION IN SOUTH AFRICA: REFLECTIONS ON THIRTY YEARS OF WORKING WITHIN AN OPEN DISTANCE LEARNING INSTITUTION
SN - 978-84-617-5895-1/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2016.0217
PY - 2016
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2016
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2016 Proceedings
SP - 4899
EP - 4899
ER -
E. Sadler, J. Wessels (2016) THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE ACCOUNTING PROFESSION IN SOUTH AFRICA: REFLECTIONS ON THIRTY YEARS OF WORKING WITHIN AN OPEN DISTANCE LEARNING INSTITUTION, ICERI2016 Proceedings, p. 4899.
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