THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN JOURNAL OF ACCOUNTABILITY AND AUDITING RESEARCH VOLUME 11: 2011   CONTENTS The applicability of using COBIT as a framework to achieve compliance with the King III Report’s requirements for good IT governance The perceptions of trainee accountants of the usefulness of an audit simulation at university level Alleviating the critical accounting skills shortage in South Africa: a distance learning perspective Integrated in-year management system: a synthesis of seemingly unrelated issues Elements of the internal audit capability model addressed by South African public sector legislation and guidance Practical role-play as an extension to theoretical audit education: a conceptualising aid ABSTRACTS The applicability of using COBIT as a framework to achieve compliance with the King III Report’s requirements for good IT governance (G Steenkamp) Due to the integration of IT in modern-day businesses, it is vital that the risks associated with IT are managed as an integral part of corporate governance. The Third King Report on Corporate Governance (King III) issued in September 2009 specifically addresses IT governance for the first time. Entities seeking to comply with King III could benefit from applying an IT governance framework, such as COBIT (Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology) to ensure that they address all aspects of IT governance. The aim of this research was to determine whether applying COBIT achieves compliance with King III’s IT governance requirements. This was found to be the case, but entities still have to pay attention to certain King III-specific requirements. [ BACK TO THE TOP ] The perceptions of trainee accountants of the usefulness of an audit simulation at university level (LP Steenkamp & SPJ von Wielligh) A study in 2007 reported on South African students’ perceptions of the usefulness of an audit simulation completed at university undergraduate level. These perceptions were surveyed immediately after completion of the simulation in 2006. The present study examines the perceptions of the same group of respondents who completed the 2006 simulation and 2007 review, but with enhanced insight from having successfully completed another year of (postgraduate) studies in 2007 and at least six months of chartered accountancy traineeship in public practice in 2008. Respondents were positive about the educational merits of the simulation and about its benefits in the workplace. With the benefit of greater experience they were more positive about the benefits of the simulation than they had been directly after completing the simulation. [ BACK TO THE TOP ] Alleviating the critical accounting skills shortage in South Africa: a distance learning perspective (EM Odendaal & K Joubert) One of the pressing issues facing the accountancy profession today is the pervasive shortage of qualified accountants, both in commerce and industry, and in private practice, and especially from the black and female segments of the South African population. This highlights the need for professional institutes and educational institutions that offer programmes for prospective Chartered Accountants (CA(SA)s), to take an in-depth look at what they can do to improve the intake and retention of prospective accountants. This paper presents the results of a survey conducted amongst final year auditing students at the University of South Africa (Unisa) that sought to identify, amongst others, which factors influenced students in their career choice to become accountants and to study at Unisa, and what preferences they have regarding student support programmes, in order to propose initiatives that could increase the intake and retention of prospective accountants. Understanding the perceptions and preferences of prospective accountants is essential in order to formulate initiatives that could increase the intake of and improve the retention of prospective accountants. [ BACK TO THE TOP ] Integrated in-year management system: a synthesis of seemingly unrelated issues (D Maphiri) In-year monitoring has been an issue that the South African government has placed emphasis on since the late 1990s. However, the prescribed in-year monitoring system treats financial and non-financial components separately. This situation entrenches the current problems where line managers work in isolation from financial managers. As a result, financial and non-financial information is always divorced from each other, further undermining effective service delivery. This paper focuses on the presentation of an integrated in-year management (IYM) system for national and provincial departments in South Africa. It specifies requirements an effective system must fulfil as well as mechanisms and processes that must be in place for it to work properly. A methodology is presented to assess the performance of an integrated in-year management system in government. Results from the application of the methodology suggest that although significant progress has been made in making non-financial information available, planning (both service delivery and budget) for in- year processes is largely unrealistic and needs to improve for the in-year management system in South Africa to be effective and supportive of service delivery. [ BACK TO THE TOP ] Elements of the internal audit capability model addressed by South African public sector legislation and guidance (JO Janse van Rensburg & GP Coetzee) Internal auditing plays an important role in any country’s public sector. South Africa is no exception and the role of internal auditing in the South African public sector has come to the fore in recent years. This article considers the extent to which the elements and key process areas identified by the Institute of Internal Auditors’ internal audit capability model are addressed by applicable South African public sector legislation and guidance. The internal audit capability model comprises a comprehensive international guide to assist any public organisation’s internal audit function to measure its capability in terms of the Institute of Internal Auditors’ six elements of internal auditing. A literature review was conducted to consider the inclusion of the key process areas within the six elements of the internal audit capability model to the most prominent applicable South African legislation and guidance. The results of this research may assist the South African government to identify the significant shortcomings in legislation and guidance as it relates to internal auditing. The study, as presented in this article, found that although most of the elements of the internal audit capability model are addressed to some extent by South African legislation and guidance, significant shortcomings still exist, especially on the higher capability levels of the model. [ BACK TO THE TOP ] Practical role-play as an extension to theoretical audit education: a conceptualising aid (RJ Rudman & J Terblanche) The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) released a new Competency Framework in 2009 requiring that students should be empowered to apply theoretical knowledge to visualised practical business environments. Students are introduced to the notion of the audit process for the first time during their undergraduate studies and many of them do not have practical experience at this stage. This contributes to the difficulty students experience in visualising the applicable business environment. Against this background, three different role-play activities were developed at appropriate academic levels for each of the three undergraduate years for the Bachelors of Accounting degree at Stellenbosch University. The purpose of the practical role-play activities was to assist students with the externalisation and conceptualisation of different theoretical concepts. The primary objective of this research was to determine whether practical role-play contributes to students’ learning, particularly since they are unfamiliar with audit aspects. A questionnaire was developed that investigated students’ perceptions of skills developed, benefits and constraints associated with role-playing activities, and their prior exposure to the real business world. The respondents felt that the role-play activity helped them to gain insight into the theoretical concepts, since the role-play scenarios gave them real world context and practical applications for the theoretical concepts. [ BACK TO THE TOP ]
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