Original Research

South African students' perceptions of the usefulness of a management accounting simulation

Riaan J. Rudman, Wandi Kruger-Van Renen
Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences | Vol 7, No 1 | a136 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jef.v7i1.136 | © 2019 Riaan J. Rudman, Wandi Kruger-Van Renen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 December 2017 | Published: 30 April 2014

About the author(s)

Riaan J. Rudman, Department of Accounting, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
Wandi Kruger-Van Renen, Department of Accounting, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa

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Abstract

Professional bodies such as the International Federation of Accountants and related bodies such as the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants require Information Technology (IT) to be integrated with the professional subjects, which includes Management Accounting. This has been a recent development in the training of professional accountants. Historically, universities have mainly focused on numerical problem-solving, but there has been a shift in focus from numerical problem-solving only to integrating numerical problem-solving with strategic and business matters.
The Department of Accounting at Stellenbosch University developed a management accounting simulation in the form of a business plan project covering the entire process of launching a new business idea. Students select a new business concept, research the viability thereof and prepare various sets of financial information and a business plan. The learning objective of the simulation is to integrate management accounting with IT, and expose students to a real-life business experience.
A questionnaire was developed to evaluate students’ perceptions of the benefits and disadvantages of a simulation, including a business plan project as a teaching tool. Responses to the appropriateness of a simulation as a teaching tool were favourable. Respondents felt that it helped them to understand both management accounting as well as IT functionalities better.

Keywords

information systems; information technology; management accounting education; management accounting simulation; students’ perceptions

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