UJ adopts cloud accounting syllabus

Johannesburg – The University of Johannesburg (UJ) has become the first South African tertiary institution to adopt Xero Learn.

  Developed by global cloud accounting and small business platform Xero, the aim of Xero Learn is to drive innovation in financial education and develop digital skills for the future of accounting. It supports tutors in preparing courses, delivering lessons and provides students with real-world experience in using cloud technology to support clients.

  UJ senior director at the School of Accounting, Professor Amanda Dempsey said they are proud to be the first South African university to introduce Xero to their teaching syllabus.

   “Our vision is to educate a generation of accountants that embraces the fourth industrial revolution. The partnership is a first for education in the accounting industry and will give our graduates the necessary tools to be well-skilled, agile and ahead of the game,” Dempsey said.

  Country manager at Xero South Africa, Colin Timmis said: “Cloud technology is rapidly transforming accountancy, so it’s critical that the next generation of accountants is equipped with these skills to support businesses through economic challenges. We hope this is the first of many academic institutions future-proofing their accounting courses in this way.”

  Every full-time, second-year B Com Accounting student at the university will be given a Xero license. After completion of the course, every student will be given the option to become a ‘Xero Advisor certified’ by completing the Xero Advisor certification.

  Within the Xero Learn software there are customisable ‘teaching’ panels that guide students, allowing tutors to adjust the in-product content to meet curriculum requirements. They can also create a dummy company moulded to resemble various scenarios, like a failing company or a completed assignment.

  To make these examples as authentic as possible, digital accounting firm DoughGetters worked closely with Xero and the University of Johannesburg to shape the in-product messaging and scenarios. 

  Co-founder and CEO of DoughGetters Accounting, Willem Haarhoff said: “Developments like this will help equip students with the ideal tools to become digitally-thinking professionals. As a digital-first accounting business ourselves, it’s been great to help create learning experiences that reflect what it’s like in the real world of beautiful accounting.”

  Senior Executive: Professional Development Pre-Qualification at the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) Mandi Olivier said accounting professionals of the future need to have more digital acumen than in the past. 

  “The new CA2025 competency framework, which will be introduced at universities from 2021, requires far more emphasis on the acquisition of these digital skills. Digital acumen includes data analytics, cognitive and non-cognitive systems, cyber security and IT user competencies to name a few. Cloud computing is the way of the future and it is pleasing to see universities adapting by including this in their academic programmes,” Olivier said. 

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