Chartered accountant

Table of contents

Chartered accountants are responsible for preparing or reporting on financial statements for presentation to the public. Chartered accountants act as consultants on financial matters, taxation, accounting and computer systems, estate planning and management reporting and procedures. They accept appointments such as executors, liquidators, trustees or curators. What am I going to do in this occupation? Accounting The primary responsibility of chartered accountants in practice, is to report on the financial statements of clients, to the clients’ shareholders as required by its constitution or through legislation.In order to compile reports, chartered accountants examine the books and records of the client, considering the adequacy of the controls over the safe-keeping of the client’s assets, as well as the fairness of the financial statements prepared by the client for presentation to its shareholders or the public.

Planning and management

Chartered accountants compile reports on aspects of management, for use by the client in improving the management of the company.They investigate the accounting methods adopted by clients and make recommendations for the improvement thereof. Auditing Chartered accountants investigate the financial reports of the company and then report on it. Computerisation They also assist in the installation of computerised systems and the development of programmes, the planning of financial models and the giving of advice regarding hard-and software purchases. Taxation Chartered accountants are tax specialists and they give advice on determining of and the legal manner of saving tax.Legal matters It is important that chartered accountants are well versed in mercantile and company law and are therefore able to handle the legal aspects of contracts, estate planning, and are able to accept appointments such as trustees in insolvent estates, liquidators of insolvent companies or curators where people are unable to administer their own affairs.

Financial management

Chartered accountants who choose to specialise in a career in commerce and industry normally advance to positions in top management, such as financial directors.

In this position accountants are responsible for control over the funds and assets of the company or institution, the preparation of financial or management reports to top management and the interpretation thereof in order to increase efficiency and profitability.


What kind of personality do I need? To be successful, qualities such as integrity, intelligence, good judgement, a strong analytical predisposition and determination are needed. It is also necessary to be able to work and convey recommendations both clearly and accurately. What kind of school training do I need?A Senior Certificate (matric exemption) with Mathematics as a major subject is essential in order to study further in this field. Compulsory school subjects: Mathematics. Recommended school subjects: Accounting, Economics, Business Economics. What further training do I need? Until recently persons wishing to qualify as chartered accountants could only obtain their practical/business training with a firm of approved registered accountants and auditors in public practice (TIPP).

This training is now, however, also available in approved training organisations outside of public practice (TOPP).The training outside of public practice will be of the same standard as that offered by a practising firm. The working environment and the practical experience, will however, be different. The following routes are available in training as a chartered accountant:

  • Enrol for a three-year B. Com. (Acc. ) degree or equivalent at an approved tertiary institution, then, register for a one-year CTA (Certificate of Theory and Accountancy) or equivalent at an approved tertiary institution, then, enter into a three-year training contract either with an auditing firm or an pproved training organisation in commerce and industry.
  • Enrol for a three-year full-time B. Com. (Acc. ) degree or equivalent at an approved tertiary institution, then, register for a two-year post graduate part-time CTA or equivalent at an approved tertiary institution, then, enter into a three-year training contract either with an auditing firm or an approved training organisation in commerce and industry.
  • Enrol for a B. Com. (Acc. degree or equivalent at an approved tertiary institution and enter into a five-year training contract with an auditing firm or an approved training organisation in commerce and industry, then, register for a CTA or equivalent at an approved tertiary institution.

After following any one of the above-mentioned routes, the following needs to be done:

  • Write part 1 of the Qualifying Examination (QE) after completing the CTA or equivalent and after entering into a training contract.
  • Write part 2 of the Qualifying Examination (QE) after completing 18 months of training. In addition to the practical training, one would be required to complete approximately 6 months of part-time study in order to specialise either in Auditing or Financial Management, prior to writing part 2 of the Qualifying Examination).
  • Register with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants as a chartered accountant (CA).

Where can I work? Chartered accountants work in registered firms or with practising chartered accountants. When qualified they may wish to remain with the firms where articles were served and look forward to eventual partnerships.

They work in commerce and industry and in the academic world as lecturers. Can I work for myself in this occupation? Chartered accountants may start private practices in which case broad experience is required to take care of the needs of a wide range of clients, or they may enter into partnerships with other chartered accountants. They may also start businesses in the commercial and industrial arena.


  • Fantastic professional development and travel opportunities
  • An internationally recognised professional designation
  • Membership of he Global Accounting Alliance
  • Being part of an elite professional network
  • Lifelong support ; development opportunities from the Institute
  • The status membership of Australia’s most respected professional accountancy body – the Institute
  • Possessing the only Australian accounting qualification accredited by higher education providers and allows for exemption in over 60 master degrees. Download the list of available CA Plus pathway options by university
  • Earning good money
  • Enjoying a secure role with an exciting career path.

Chartered Accountant uses the designation CA(SA) and is regulated by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants Following the route offered by Stellenbosch, a student have to register for the BAcc degree (3 years), and then either do the HonsBAcc degree (1 year) or the Post Graduate Diploma in Accountancy (1 year). After gaining the required theoretical knowledge at Stellenbosch, students have to enter into a 3 year contract with a registered auditing firm or other registered training organisation in commerce and industry to gain the required practical experience.

In the first year of their internship, students are allowed to write Part I of the Qualifying Examination (QE). Passing the Part I of the QE allows a student to complete a specialism course in either Auditing or Financial Management (not offered by the University of Stellenbosch) and, after completing 18 months of internship, is eligible to write Part II of the QE. A student who complies with all these requirements and has completed his/her 3 years of internship, is allowed to register as a Chartered Accountant (South Africa).

  1. Once you pass out your Class 10th examinations from a school which is recognized by the central government you need to Enrol with the Institute for Common Proficiency Test.
  2. After completing the Class 12 ie Senior Secondary Examinations the student should appear for Common Proficiency Test which is held twice a year ie june & december though the exam dates keep changing.
  3. Join PCC, articled training with a certified Chartered Accountant and register for a 100 Hours Information Technology Training[ITT] with listed institutes like NIIT, Aptech etc after passing CPT & 10+2 Exams.
  4. The Student should complete the 100 Hours ITT Course within 3 months of time which is generally a 25days program based on 4 hours/day schedule with the computer institute and its useful for learning computer based auditing and related computer course.
  5. Next the CA Student has to appear for PCE Exam[Professional Competence Examination] if he has worked as a article clerk with a CA for a period of 15 months minimum 3months prior to the exam month and also has to have completed the 100 Hours computer training course.Note that 8 months of audit training is equally treated as 6 months of articled training as per the requirement.
  6. Next the student has to join the CA Final course after passing the above mentioned PCE and while registering collect study materials and start the preperation for final CA Exams. He should also complete General Management and Communication Skills Course during the last 12 months of articled trianing and should also have completed 3. 5 years articled training.
  7. Appear for the final CA Exam when the practical training is completed. Pass the final exam and complete the General Management and Communication Skills Course[GMCS]

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