The focal areas of research in the Department of Accounting are as follows:
- Accountability and financial decision-making
Research dedicated to the role of accountancy in society and the communication of financial information to stakeholders to meet their informational needs.
Research dedicated to the continual improvement of accounting education, focusing on topics such as the learning process, curriculum development, professional certification, assessment, career training, employment and instruction. Also included within this category are studies of student characteristics that affect learning, faculty-related issues, ranking of programmes, and historical, social, or institutional conditions and trends that affect accounting education.
At present, the Department has identified the following research issues within these focal areas. Other and new research interests will continue to be identified and pursued.
- Anti-money laundering compliance and detection
All business organisations in South Africa must comply with domestic and international frameworks to prevent and detect money laundering and terrorist financing. There are severe criminal and civil penalties for non-compliance. Accountants, auditors and tax advisors are particularly vulnerable.
Organisations are placing particular emphasis on the pro-active management of fraud risks. The consequences of material fraud occurring are too onerous for organisations adopting a reactive approach. There can be severe criminal and civil penalties against the organisation, the board and the individuals concerned.
The relationship between accounting data and capital market movements is investigated.
- Interim financial reporting
This field considers the clarity of the information contained in interim financial reports and whether these are used for decision-making.
- Investigative accounting for fraud detection
Investigative accounting is the skill that accountants contribute when major fraud occurs. It is about methodologies and skills regarding investigating and reporting on major fraud and the subsequent testifying on the results in a court of law.
- Student skills requirements
Investigating the changing role of the accounting professional in society and the effect of this change on skills development within accounting education programmes and the pedagogical approaches employed in these programmes.