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School of Accounting Sciences

Chartered Accountant

Passing the qualifying exam to become a Chartered Accountant (CA) is the ultimate qualification to be achieved within the accounting profession.

CAs are well represented in the senior management and boardrooms of most large South African companies, and thus the expectation that a business professional should seek a CA qualification is very real.

CAs work in all industries, at every level of management. They are sought after because of the standard and content of their undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications and their commitment to ethical standards mandated through adherence to a comprehensive code of professional conduct.

The CA designation provides excellent career opportunities and financial rewards. It presents you with a wide range of diverse career opportunities and will help you achieve a rewarding career, international recognition and the ultimate competitive edge in business.

How do I become a CA?

Enrol for a three year B Com accounting degree, or equivalent, at a tertiary educational institution.  After graduating, complete the Certificate in the Theory of Accounting (CTA), or equivalent, at an accredited tertiary institution. After obtaining a CTA, or equivalent, candidates are required to write Part I of the qualifying examination (ITC), which tests the candidate's knowledge on the theory of accountancy.  Thereafter, candidates have to complete a specialist course in auditing or financial management (depending on their chosen career route). After a minimum training contract of 18 months and having passed ITC, candidates write the public practice examination (PPE) set by the Public Accountants' and Auditors' Board (PAAB), in the case of those who have chosen the auditing route, or the financial management paper (QE2), set by SAICA, for those who have chosen to specialise in financial management. 

Meeting all these requirements is not going to be easy, but that's why you will stand out from the crowd when you do! In short, commitment to becoming a CA is a demonstration to employers that you are committed to hard work, professionalism and an ethical code of conduct.

What does a Chartered Accountant do?

CAs can operate in most areas of finance including:

  • Audit, Assurance and Information Integrity
  • Financial Accounting
  • Management Consulting and Performance Management
  • Information Technology, as applied to accounting and auditing
  • Corporate Finance (Merger & Acquisition, initial public offerings, share & debt issuings)
  • Financial Planning
  • Financial Analysis
  • Venture Capital
  • Forensic Accounting (preventing, detecting, and investigating financial frauds)
  • Tax Preparation and Planning
  • Corporate Governance  

Whilst some CAs are generalists and offer a range of services (especially those in small practices) you may also choose, and many CAs do, to specialize in one area and not to provide all the services listed above.

For more information, please visit the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants web site: