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Cutting Edge Teaching

11th May 2015

Students at the University of Aberdeen are taking a virtual step into the world of accountancy and finance thanks to the University's investment in an innovative audit simulation software programme.

With the support of Thorpe Molloy Recruitment, the University has purchased a virtual simulation programme which is helping students grasp various aspects of financial auditing.

The simulation, which is supported through the Second Life virtual platform, was developed by the University of the West of England. A number of universities in England are already using the software, but Aberdeen is the first Scottish university to do so.

The simulator allows students to play the part of auditors for a virtual financial services firm carrying out a company audit.

Mirroring the work of real-life auditors, students are required to look into the procedures and financial documents of a home entertainment business, assisted by a virtual team manager who provides tasks, documents and other resources during the simulation.

Students are even able to visit the company's premises courtesy of its presence in the Second Life virtual world, where they can interact with virtual employees. A range of supporting material, including a company website and accounting documents, adds an extra layer of realism.

Lindsay Tibbetts, Teaching Fellow at the University of Aberdeen's Graduate Business School, said:

"Many people learning how to be an auditor struggle with some of the real world aspects of the process. The simulation tool brings auditing to life, helping students to grasp key concepts and ideas, as well as acquiring and trying out new skills.

"We're the only Scottish university to use this innovative approach, and one of only a handful in the whole of the UK.

"By harnessing the interactive experience of simulation, students are gaining a valuable insight into the auditing process, which is enhancing their learning experience and helping improve their employability."

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