How to become a certified public accountant in South Africa
To become a certified public accountant in South Africa, one must first obtain a relevant degree in accounting or a related field from a recognized institution. The degree must be accredited by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) or the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA). After obtaining the degree, one must complete a three-year training contract with a registered training office. During this period, the trainee will gain practical experience in accounting, auditing, taxation, and other related fields.
Once the training contract is completed, the trainee must pass the SAICA or IRBA qualifying examination. The examination consists of two parts: the Initial Test of Competence (ITC) and the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC). The ITC is a computer-based examination that tests the candidate's knowledge of accounting, auditing, taxation, and other related fields. The APC is a case study-based examination that tests the candidate's ability to apply their knowledge to real-world scenarios.
After passing the qualifying examination, the candidate must register with SAICA or IRBA as a professional accountant. This registration allows the candidate to use the designation "Chartered Accountant" or "Registered Auditor" and to practice as a certified public accountant in South Africa.
In addition to the above requirements, certified public accountants in South Africa must also comply with ongoing professional development requirements. This includes completing a certain number of hours of continuing professional education each year and adhering to ethical and professional standards set by SAICA or IRBA.