Qualifying as a Registered Auditor requires you to first qualify as a Chartered Accountant (SA) and usually takes a minimum of 8 ½ years but can be done in 7 ½ years if you are able to qualify as a Chartered Accountant (SA) within 6 years.
Your journey to qualifying as a Registered Auditor works as follows:
Step 1: Obtain an undergraduate degree accredited by SAICA. Visit SAICA’s website (www.saica.co.za) for a complete list of accredited degrees offered by accredited universities. The minimum time to complete this qualification is three years.
Step 2: Obtain a postgraduate qualification accredited by SAICA. This qualification is either in the form of an honours degree or postgraduate diploma and is referred to as CTA (Certificate in the theory of accounting). Visit SAICA’s website (www.saica.co.za) for a complete list of accredited universities offering the postgraduate qualification. The minimum time to complete this qualification is one year.
Step 3: Enter into an internship at a SAICA accredited training office. The duration of the internship is:
The 4-year and 5-year programmes can be reduced by one year should you obtain your accredited undergraduate degree within the necessary timeframe.
Step 4: There are two board exams that need to be written in order to qualify as a Chartered Accountant (SA). The first exam is the Initial Test of Competency (ITC) and can be written at the beginning of the year following the year that you obtain your CTA qualification. There are two examination opportunities per year for the ITC (January and June of each year). A CTA is valid for three years which means you will have a maximum of six attempts at passing the ITC.
The second exam is the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) and can only be written once you have passed the ITC exam; successfully passed the Professional Competence Development Programme provided by an accredited institution and completed at least 20 months of your internship. The Professional Competence Development Programme remains valid for three years. If you fail to pass the APC during the 3 years you will have to complete the Professional Competence Development Programme again. Unlike the ITC, the APC exam is written only once a year in November each year.
Step 5: You will be eligible to register as a Chartered Accountant (SA) once you have passed the APC exam and completed your internship.
Step 6: Once you have qualified as a Chartered Accountant (SA), you will need to complete an additional ‘internship’ of 18 months. This internship is known as the Audit Development Programme and must be completed at an auditing firm that is registered with the IRBA. During this period, you will gain experience in auditing at a more senior level, you will also be involved in tasks that are more complex. This means that you become a specialist as an auditor. During the 18-month period, you will be required to prepare a portfolio of evidence indicating that you have achieved the necessary competencies. This portfolio gets submitted to the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) for review.
Step 7: You will be eligible to register as a Registered Auditor should IRBA be satisfied that you have achieved the necessary competencies as indicated in your portfolio of evidence. You will be allowed to sign audit opinions only once you have successfully completed this ADP and registered with the IRBA as a Registered Auditor.
Visit IRBA’s website for more information – www.irba.co.za.