Find out everything you need to know about becoming a Chartered Accountant.
Job Title - Chartered Accountant
A Chartered Accountant (CA(SA)) examines the financial information of individual clients, corporate clients and other institutions.
Typical Job Activities
Analyses and reports on a company’s financial information
Prepares and reports on financial statements to shareholders
Captures financial information on computers
Gives financial and strategic input into how a business can be run better
Audits financial statements
Provides tax or financial planning advice
Offers consulting and advisory business services
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Senior Certificate with matric exemption.
Compulsory subjects: Mathematics (Level 5 or more pass) and English
Recommended subjects: Accounting
The qualification period is a minimum of 7 years full-time
If you want to become a chartered accountant, you need to take the following steps:
- BCom (Accounting – CA stream) at a SAICA accredited university in South Africa - 3 years full-time
- BCom Honours (Accounting) known as a PGDA or Certificate in the Theory of Accounting (CTA) - 1 year full-time
- pass two Qualifying Examinations: the Initial Test of Competence (ITC) and the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC)
- enter into a training contract (also known as articles) for 3 years with a SAICA accredited training office (this can be in the public or with a private practice, bank or commerce and industry partner)
- apply to the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) for membership
After admission a chartered accountant is able to write the letters CA (SA) behind his name
Provision is made for a student who has obtained a degree in another direction, for example law, to pass the subjects at university according to the minimum requirements for a CTA. He will also be required to serve a three-year period of articles and pass the qualifying examinations.
To practice chartered accountant must register with SAICA. To be an auditor, a CA(SA) must have SAICA membership and the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA).
What natural skills and/or aptitudes do I need for this occupation?
Have integrity, determination and perseverance
Have a strong aptitude for Mathematics
Be able to communicate well and think strategically
Be able to analyse, compare and interpret facts and figures quickly
Be able to make sound judgements based on knowledge gained from information
Be able to work accurately and convey recommendations clearly
International Employment Market
Government, national and provincial departments, municipalities, local councils etc. universities or TVET colleges as lecturers
Big, medium or small private companies – Either with a registered firm of practicing chartered accountants/ auditors of as a member of a companies’ finance office (e.g. as the CFO)
Medium or small Companies - Remain with the firm where articles were served
Self-employed: Own practice or as a entrepreneur
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Relevant Contact Details
Public Accounts' and Auditors' Board
South African Institute of Chartered Accountants
South African Institute of Professional Accountants
Career Progress and Path
Experience in specific field
Possible Career Paths
Specialist career in the specific field
Management positions in the specific field
Management positions in related fields
General business management
Consultant/ contractor/ own practice/ freelance
Reasons to consider this career
To be a CEO or CFO of a company
A job in the private or public sector
To start my own business
A stable job
To make money
To work in any industry of choice – in all fields of business and finance and, more specifically, in auditing/assurance, tax, financial management, information technology, management accounting, forensic accounting and insolvency;
To make a sustainable impact in the economy of the country
To work internationally