Undergraduate qualifications

Accounting sciences interest fields

How do my career interests link with this field?

Read the following statements and select the statements that apply to you. The more statements you select that apply to you, the higher your interest in this career field.

Accounting sciences
(main motivation: financial leadership - empowering others to use financial resources responsibly and ethically)

  • financial consulting and advice
  • financial planning and control
  • financing large projects
  • numbers and figures
  • structuring and valuing organisations
  • taxation
  • working with business people

Career fields, possible job titles and work environments

The following is a list of career areas linked to accounting sciences. Click on the career field to read more about the field, possible job titles and work environments. In addition, we provide you with an indication of which occupations are in high, higher or highest demand according to the National List of Occupations in High Demand: 2018. These occupations are marked as follows:

High demand

Higher demand

Highest demand

Remember that this information is a start for you to explore options related to specific career fields - you will need to expand your research as you continue with your studies. Download the Career research document to learn more about different ways you could find information related to your career decision. 


Auditing


What is this all about?

Once qualified as a chartered accountant, aspiring candidates may proceed to eventually become Registered Auditors and register as such with the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA). External auditing is an independent and objective assurance service that is designed to add value to the business of its clients. An external auditor identifies risks associated with a business and responds to such risks by designing and performing audit procedures to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence to base the audit opinion on.


Possible job titles related to auditing

Visit the National Career Advice Portal for more information about these occupations.

  • Accountant (general)
  • Accounting officer
  • Audit and assurance manager
  • Chartered accountant (further training required)
  • External auditor (further training required)
  • Financial accountant 
  • Lecturer (university)  
  • Registered auditor (further training required)


Possible work environments related to auditing

  • Accounting and auditing firms
  • Banks and other financial institutions
  • Commerce and industry
  • Educational institutions
  • Insurance companies
  • National Treasury
  • Partnerships with other chartered accountants
  • SARS
  • Self-employment (entrepreneur or consultant)


Find out more about careers in this field

Financial accounting


What is this all about?

Financial accounting focuses on bookkeeping and the preparation of financial statements. It provides learning opportunities for aspiring bookkeepers, accounting technicians, professional accountants and chartered accountants (CAs) to either start their own accounting practice, to join one of the many established accounting firms or to become an accountant in commerce and industry. Most of the qualifications offered are accredited by professional bodies, such as the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) and the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA). However, there are further requirements to be fulfilled before these bodies will allow candidates to their respective professions.


Possible job titles related to financial accounting

Visit the National Career Advice Portal for more information about these occupations.

  • Accountant (general)
  • Accountant in practice 
  • Accounting clerk
  • Accounting officer
  • Accounting technician
  • Accounts clerk
  • Bookkeeper
  • Chartered accountant (further training required)
  • Compliance officer
  • Corporate treasurer
  • Cost clerk
  • Cost estimator
  • Credit controller
  • Credit or loans officer
  • Finance manager 
  • Financial accountant
  • Financial investment advisor
  • Financial markets practitioner
  • Forensic accountant (further training required)
  • Investment advisor
  • Investment analyst
  • Investment manager
  • Insurance agent
  • Insurance broker
  • Insurance administrator
  • Lecturer (university)
  • Management consultant
  • Payroll clerk
  • Payroll manager
  • Professional accountant (further training required)
  • Project accountant


Possible work environments related to financial accounting

  • Accounting firms
  • Banks and other financial institutions
  • Commerce and industry
  • Educational institutions
  • Insurance companies
  • National Treasury
  • Partnerships with other chartered accountants
  • SARS
  • Self-employment (entrepreneur or consultant)


Find out more about careers in this field

Forensic auditing


What is this all about?

Forensic auditors specialise in white-collar crime, assisting in bringing white-collar criminals to justice. Graduates in financial accounting or internal auditing may specialise through further postgraduate studies to become forensic auditors.


Possible job titles related to forensic auditing

Visit the National Career Advice Portal for more information about these occupations.

  • Forensic accountant (further training required)
  • Forensic auditor (further training required)
  • Forensic investigator
  • Lecturer (university)  


Possible work environments related to forensic auditing

  • Audit companies
  • Banks
  • Expert witnesses in court
  • Insurance companies
  • Law enforcement agencies (eg Special Investigation Unit, The Hawks, Specialised Commercial Crime Unit of the South African Police, National Prosecuting Authority and The Asset Forfeiture Unit)
  • Law firms
  • Regulators such as the Financial Services Board and the Financial Intelligence Centre


Find out more about careers in this field

Internal auditing


What is this all about?

Internal auditing focuses on governance structures and compliance with predetermined rules and regulations within businesses. An internal auditor analyses and evaluates all activities, controls and governance processes concerned with the operations of an organisation; reports to executive management on audit findings; and submits proposals for improvements. Once qualified, graduates will have the opportunity to register as Certified Internal Auditors (CIA) with the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) after completing a traineeship. Internal Auditors may either work in the commerce industry or work for an audit firm that renders internal audit services.


Possible job titles related to internal auditing

Visit the National Career Advice Portal for more information about these occupations.

  • Audit technician
  • Certified internal auditor (further training required)
  • Controller
  • Internal audit manager  (further training required)
  • Internal auditor (further training required)
  • Lecturer (university)   


Possible work environments related to internal auditing

  • Accounting firms
  • Banking industry
  • Commerce and industry
  • Financial institutions
  • Government departments
  • Insurance companies
  • Law firms
  • Public and government sectors
  • Statutory bodies


Find out more about careers in this field

Management accounting


What is this all about?

Management accounting focuses on the internal accounting functions within a business, such as operating budgets, capital budgets, internal financial reporting, restructuring of businesses, take-overs, mergers, the valuation of businesses, costing and control, break-even analysis and project accounting.

The International Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) recognises different exit levels, affording the top-level exit graduates the opportunity to be recognised as Chartered Management Accountants (CMA) after fulfilling additional requirements. Qualified management accountants may start their own financial consulting business or join large enterprises as a management accountant.


Possible job titles related to management accounting

Visit the National Career Advice Portal for more information about these occupations.

  • Cost accountant
  • Cost clerk
  • Cost controller
  • Finance manager
  • Financial analyst
  • Financial controller
  • Financial investment advisor  
  • Management accountant  (further training required)
  • Lecturer (university)  


Possible work environments related to management accounting

  • Commerce and industry
  • Financial institutions
  • Government (local, provincial and national)
  • Management consultancies
  • Higher education institutions (public and private universities, universities of technology & colleges)

Find out more about careers in this field

Taxation


What is this all about?

Taxation focuses on the preparation of a variety of tax returns for individuals and businesses. It also focuses on tax case law and the fiscal budget, providing ample opportunities for consulting on taxation matters. Graduates may start their own business as tax consultants, register as tax practitioners with the South African Revenue Services (SARS) and join the South African Institute of Tax Practitioners (SA IT). They may also join large corporations as a tax specialist.


Possible job titles related to taxation

Visit the National Career Advice Portal for more information about these occupations.

  • Taxation clerk
  • Tax professional (including administrator, practitioner, clerk, specialist and consultant)
  • Tax technician
  • Lecturer (university)  


Possible work environments related to taxation

  • Accounting and auditing firms
  • Financial institutions
  • SARS
  • Self-employed
  • Higher education institutions (public and private universities, universities of technology & colleges)


Find out more about careers in this field

Further career information