Stellenbosch University graduate Angelique Landy won the 2022 South African Institute of Professional Accountants’ Top Achievers Award in the Masters in Accounting category.
SAIPA’s Top Achiever Award ceremony was held at a gala dinner during SAIPA’s Accounting iNdaba early in November to reward the best theses and dissertations for Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Accounting and Taxation during 2021/22. Four winners were awarded prizes of R20 000 each for PhD degree winners and R10 000 each for Master’s degree winners.
The SAIPA Accountancy Thesis Competition strives to raise the bar for research in accountancy and tax, and foster a research culture in the field of accountancy. This national competition allowed universities across South Africa to submit their top three theses and/or dissertations, whether in full or part fulfilment of postgraduate degrees in Commerce, Accounting or Taxation, in each degree level (where applicable). Each submission was reviewed by a panel of experts.
Ms Landy’s dissertation, Effective implementation and governance of association rules in credit scoring and default management, aimed to provide a framework for credit providers to use when implementing association rules for credit scoring and default management.
Ms Landy, who completed her MCom in Computer Auditing, said the framework is in the form of an application checklist that focuses on how to implement an unsupervised machine learning algorithm effectively, purposely considering the data governance issues faced by credit providers. The implementation checklist developed outlined the implementation considerations during the system development life cycle, structured using the COBIT 2019 enablers to provide guidance to data scientists and other users to assess their data and infrastructure requirements necessary and most appropriate for implementation.
According to a SAIPA spokesperson, “The accomplishment is no mean feat. Once tendered, Ms Landy’s study was subjected to a rigorous process of adjudication by a panel of experts in the field. That her paper emerged victorious against so many other works is a testament, not only to the quality of her research but also the critical importance of the concepts she has addressed.”
According to Ms Landy’s supervisor, Prof Riaan Rudman of the School of Accountancy, “As academics and researchers, we often find that interdisciplinary research is not that easily accepted as research that falls within the traditional four professional subjects.
“It makes Angelique’s award remarkable given its Master’s in Accounting category. Her work was evaluated against research that fit the traditional accounting research paradigm. Research is increasingly becoming interdisciplinary. This is particularly true in a changing work environment strongly influenced by technology.”
He added that Ms Landy’s dissertation was an example of how IT governance principles could be adapted to develop a useful business tool which can be used to govern new technologies.
- Photo: Ms Angelique Landy (in black; 4th from left) of Stellenbosch University with other prize winners at SAIPA’s Top Achievers Award.
- The MCom (Computer Auditing) programme offered by the School of Accountancy exposes students to technical details in modern information technology environments that enable them to apply computer assurance principles and equip them with the conceptual skills to deal with future technologies. It teaches students key concepts to reconceptualise auditing in the modern organisation.
According to programme leader Prof Riaan Rudman of the School of Accountancy, the MCom (Computer Auditing) degree is aimed at upskilling accounting and auditing professionals to re-think and re-conceptualise their approach to auditing in the modern era. The goal is to teach key principles to focus on aspects of assurance that matter in a cyber physical world.
The programme consists of a lectured component in the first year of study, and the writing of a dissertation in the second year. The programme allows for virtual attendance of lectures. The next cycle of the MCom (Computer Auditing) programme is expected to commence in 2024, and applications will open towards the end of 2023.