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- Volume 17, Issue 2, 2009
Meditari : Research Journal of the School of Accounting Sciences - Volume 17, Issue 2, 2009
Volume 17, Issue 2, 2009
Author B. AckersSource: Meditari : Research Journal of the School of Accounting Sciences 17, pp 1 –17 (2009)More Less
As companies begin accounting for the triple bottom line, external corporate social responsibility (CSR) assurance provides stakeholders with assurance that CSR disclosures may be relied upon. In this way, companies may go some way towards avoiding their CSR efforts simply being perceived as greenwash or a public relations exercise. Several organisations currently provide this assurance, using different methodologies and standards. Using a content analysis, the annual and / or CSR reports of the top 100 South African publicly listed companies were investigated in respect of CSR assurance, and compared with international trends. Despite a slow response, the evidence suggests that CSR assurance prevalence is growing. It was found that despite its developing country status, the prevalence of CSR assurance by South African companies compared favourably with that of their counterparts in developed countries. In South Africa and the UK, the audit profession, led by the "Big 4" firms, is the dominant provider of CSR assurance. As the demand increases, the auditor's role as a CSR assurance provider is expected to become increasingly more important, especially in South Africa, where the audit profession is highly regarded. This increased demand for assurance services will require the global audit profession's paradigm to be re-examined to include competence in contextual accounting and auditing.
South African training officers' perceptions of the knowledge and skills requirements of entry-level trainee accountantsAuthor K. BaracSource: Meditari : Research Journal of the School of Accounting Sciences 17, pp 19 –46 (2009)More Less
Changes in business environments have challenged the competencies (technical knowledge, skills and attitudes) of professional accountants. Accounting professions have responded by developing competency frameworks. In 2008, the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) issued a draft competency framework encapsulating a broad range of knowledge, skills and attributes. The objective of the study reported on here was to determine training officers' perceptions of the knowledge and skills requirements of entry-level trainee accountants. SAICA could consider the findings of this study in the finalisation of its competency framework. The study reveals that nearly three-quarters of all the topics in the current prescribed SAICA syllabus are considered to make at least an important contribution to the knowledge requirements of entry-level trainee accountants. Although more than half the management accounting topics prescribed in the SAICA syllabus are perceived as being only reasonably important, further statistical analysis revealed that TOPP (training outside public practice) training officers disagreed significantly with their TIPP (training inside public practice) counterparts on the importance of management accounting topics and perceived them to be at least important. Except for specialised topics, all other topics covering the remaining core subjects (Financial Accounting, Financial Management, Taxation and Auditing) were perceived to be important or even more than important by the respondents.
The study demonstrates that there is a movement towards an expanded set of competencies beyond the technical knowledge typically taught to prospective CAs, and that there is evidence of a need for today's entry-level trainee accountants to receive training in communication, analytical, interpersonal and computer skills.
Factors influencing a prospective chartered accountant's level of financial literacy : an exploratory studySource: Meditari : Research Journal of the School of Accounting Sciences 17, pp 47 –60 (2009)More Less
Using exploratory research, this study analysed some of the factors that have an impact on the level of financial literacy of undergraduate students studying to become chartered accountants. The study utilised an internationally developed instrument to measure financial literacy. It investigated whether some of the factors that were identified in international studies also influence the financial literacy levels of chartered accountant students in South Africa. In line with previous international studies, the study concluded that gender, age, language, race and income levels do have an impact on the level of financial literacy. This information should enable chartered accountant firms to identify trainee accountants who might require special training in the field of financial literacy.
The application and constitutionality of the so-called "reverse" onus of proof provisions and presumptions in the Income Tax Act : the revenue's unfair advantageAuthor G.K. GoldswainSource: Meditari : Research Journal of the School of Accounting Sciences 17, pp 61 –83 (2009)More Less
This study analyses and discusses the application and constitutionality of the general onus of proof provision (section 82 of the Income Tax Act 58 of 1962 [the "Act"]), the presumption in favour of the State when criminal sanctions are applied to an offending taxpayer (section 104(2) of the Act) and the mechanics for imposing administrative sanctions in terms of section 76(1)(b) of the Act.
The conclusion reached is that the reverse onus presumption, as provided for in terms of section 104(2) of the Act, is unconstitutional. It is penal in nature and offends against the constitutional right of an accused to a fair trial (sections 35(3) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act, 108 of 1996 [the "Constitution"]). The section 36 limitation of rights clause of the Constitution does not save it.
Section 76(1)(b) of the Act read in conjunction with the deeming provision of section 76(5) of the Act, is inextricably linked to the section 82 general reverse onus provision of the Act. Hence, when these three sections are applied together, they create a reverse onus that, prima facie, violates the right to just administrative action (section 33 of the Constitution).
Regarding the general reverse onus burden as provided for in terms of section 82 of the Act, the conclusion reached is that it is reasonable and justifiable in an open and democratic society and can therefore be regarded as constitutional.
Comparing levels of career indecision among selected honours degree students at the University of PretoriaSource: Meditari : Research Journal of the School of Accounting Sciences 17, pp 85 –100 (2009)More Less
Career indecision plays a major role in the way students perceive their future career prospects and how they approach these prospects. In addition, career indecision influences career-related thoughts and decisions, and plays a role in the way students formulate career goals. A convenience sample from honours students in Accounting Sciences, Financial Management, Economics and Marketing was drawn and their levels of career indecision were measured using self-administered questionnaires. The study demonstrates that differences exist between students whose employment status differs, and those who were studying for different degrees. Consequently, this study has vital implications for groups (such as career counsellors and educational institutions) involved in the career decision-making processes of university students.
The use of multiples in the South African equity market : is the popularity of the price earnings ratio justifiable from a sector perspective?Source: Meditari : Research Journal of the School of Accounting Sciences 17, pp 101 –115 (2009)More Less
The price earnings (P/E) ratio is generally regarded as the most popular multiple used to value equity in practice. Although this is supported by evidence from practice, the use of the P/E ratio has not been substantiated by evidence from research. This article investigates the accuracy of the five most popular multiples, including the P/E ratio, in valuing the equity of South African companies listed on the JSE Securities Exchange, for the period 1988 to 2007. The research results revealed that the P/E ratio does not perform the most accurate valuations across all sectors and that different multiples should be used for different sectors. There is an opportunity to enhance the accuracy of equity valuations based on multiples by employing multiples other than the P/E ratio.
Methods of choice in the valuation of ordinary shareholders' equity : evidence from theory and practiceSource: Meditari : Research Journal of the School of Accounting Sciences 17, pp 117 –135 (2009)More Less
The question that inevitably surfaces in practice, and certainly in lecture halls, is which equity valuation method is superior. Popular opinion holds that academia and investment practitioners may have different preferences in this regard. This article investigates which primary minority and majority equity valuation methods are advocated by academia, and how well these preferences are aligned with the equity valuation methods that investment practitioners apply in practice. The research results reveal that, contrary to popular belief, academia and practice are fairly well aligned in terms of preferred equity valuation methods, with notable differences in their respective approaches.
Author L.J. StainbankSource: Meditari : Research Journal of the School of Accounting Sciences 17, pp 137 –149 (2009)More Less
The value added statement has been voluntarily reported by South African companies for many years despite reservations about its usefulness. This article examines current literature on value added statements in two areas : the usefulness of the value added statement in South Africa and the relevance of social accounting theories in explaining its continued disclosure in South African listed companies' annual reports. It also reports the results of a questionnaire survey addressed to preparers of value added statements.
The research studies examined in the literature review indicate that legitimacy theory is more likely to provide an explanation for the disclosure of value added statements in annual reports in South Africa. The results of the empirical survey indicate that the majority of the respondents are of the opinion that it is desirable to prepare a value added statement, but that it is not used in the majority of companies. Furthermore, the reasons advanced by the preparers for the desirability of the value added statement provide some evidence that legitimacy theory may be behind the propensity of companies to publish a value added statement. The article recommends that the preparation of the value added statement should be standardised. However, the disclosure of an independently prepared value added report may be more useful to all users.
Author M. Van HeerdenSource: Meditari : Research Journal of the School of Accounting Sciences 17, pp 151 –165 (2009)More Less
Controlled foreign company ("CFC") legislation, governed by section 9D of the Income Tax Act 58 of 1962, serves as anti-avoidance legislation in South Africa's residence-based tax system. Section 9D provides for the calculation of a deemed amount which must be included in the South African resident's income. This deemed amount is calculated with reference to the net income for the CFC's foreign tax year. Section 9D(6) provides for this deemed amount, which is denominated in the foreign financial reporting currency, to be translated into South African rand by applying the average exchange rate for that year of assessment. The legislation refers to the South African resident's year of assessment and not the CFC's foreign tax year. It is submitted that the average exchange rate for the CFC's foreign tax year should be used for translation. The author therefore disputes the period to be used in calculating the average exchange rate.
Source: Meditari : Research Journal of the School of Accounting Sciences 17, pp 167 –185 (2009)More Less
Section 80A(c)(ii) of the Income Tax Act 58 of 1962, as amended (the Act), introduced a new concept to the South African income tax environment: misuse or abuse of the provisions of the Act, including Part IIA thereof. According to the Revised Proposals on Tax Avoidance and section 103 of the Income Tax Act 58 of 1962 (Revised Proposals) the rationale behind the insertion of section 80A(c)(ii) was to reinforce the modern approach to the interpretation of tax statutes "in order to find the meaning that harmonizes the wording, object, spirit and purpose of the provisions of the Income Tax Act". The objective of this article is to examine the rationale behind section 80A(c)(ii) of the Act.