In South Africa, How to Become a Chartered Accountant
A professional accountant who is qualified to do a wide range of accounting-related tasks is known as a Chartered Accountant (CA). At senior management level, a CA is sometimes referred to as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). A CA is responsible for a variety of tasks, but their main responsibilities include implementing accounting systems and processes, creating financial reports, managing general ledger data, and completing corporate tax returns.
A CA’s primary goal is to defend diverse economic sectors by offering advice on how to address tax-related issues. As a result, they play a critical part in the development of a country by avoiding fraud, malfunctions, and corruption in business.
What does a chartered accountant do?
- Oversee their accounting team
- Reconcile income statements
- Control the general ledger
- Manage the full financial process
- Budget reporting
- Statutory auditing
How to become a CA in South Africa?
Step 1 – Students need to ensure that they receive matric results at a university level. This means that you need to obtain outstanding results in mathematics and accounting as this will form the basis of your knowledge.
Step 2 – Enroll and apply at a university for a degree that is SAICA (South African Institute of Chartered Accountants) recognised.
Step 3 – Obtain your degree with excellent results in order to qualify for a certificate in the theory of Accountancy (CTA).
Some institutions will allow you to complete a learnership whilst obtaining your degree and entrance into a CTA. Should you choose this step, you can study part-time while completing your degree
Obtaining your degree and CTA at the same time can be quite challenging and therefore you need to consider whether you are capable of doing both or doing it part-time whilst working. However, both can be obtained if you are dedicated and willing to put in the hardwork and extra effort.
Step 4 – Register with a training office to start your learnership. If you are doing your learnership and in between your CTA, you have to complete a 3 year fixed-term training contract that will run in conjunction with your SAICA learnership.
Step 5 – Two board exams need to be completed. The first one is the initial test of competence (ITC) which can be written after completing your CTA. Most universities prepare students for their ITC exam when completing your CTA. The second exam is the assessment of professional competence (APC), this can be completed after your 18 months of training.
Step 6 – Once you have completed your learnership and passed both board exams, you are now a qualified CA (SA).
Becoming a qualified accountant can open up a wide range of potential career pathways. It is important to have the right attitude and mindset when pursuing this career and becoming a successful chartered accountant.