Qualifying as a Chartered Accountant (SA) usually takes 7 years (3-year degree; 1-year honours and 3-years internship) provided you are able to complete the undergraduate qualification; postgraduate qualification and board exams in the minimum time. It is possible to qualify as a Chartered Accountant (SA) within 6 years by working and studying at the same time.
Your journey to qualifying as a Chartered Accountant (SA) 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.
Visit SAICA’s website for more information – www.saica.co.za.