College of Accounting Sciences

Going beyond the call of duty – CAS reaches out to ITC Board Exam candidates

Mr Mike Masia,Senior Lecturer: Department of Financial Governance

The College of Accounting Sciences strives for excellence in accounting education. Its commitment to contribute towards the transformation of the accounting profession does not end when students graduate, it goes further to reach out to the college alumni who wish to further their careers in the accounting field. In 2019, the college introduced the Unisa ITC Board Exam Technique Workshop. The purpose of the workshop was to provide exam technique sessions which are intended to prepare students who will be writing their ITC board exams. To date, these workshops have been well attended and highly recommended by ITC candidates as an additional tool in their preparation for the ITC board exams.

In previous years, the college held face-to-face ITC board exam technique workshops, however, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the college had to alter the programme to conduct virtual workshops. More than 200 students attended the various sessions.

Mr Mike Masia,Senior  Lecturer: Department of Financial Governance who has been with the project since its inception, had this to say about the workshops:

 Q: What is the purpose of the workshops and what does the college hope to achieve?

A: The purpose of the workshops is to help CAS alumni maximise their marks in the ITC board exams. Our modus operandi includes attempting previous exam papers. Our lecturers are qualified South African Chartered Accountants [CA(SA)] and are therefore in a good position to prepare students who will be writing ITC board exams.

I have no doubt in my mind that our graduates are capable to write the ITC board exams and pass it, but we want to help them do their best by preparing them for the exams.  

 Q: What is an Initial Test of Competence (ITC) and who gets to write the tests?

A: The ITC is the standard-setting exam, which is written after the completion of an accredited CTA programme. It is an assessment of core technical competence. To be eligible to write the ITC board exams, a candidate must hold a CTA qualification that has been accredited by SAICA. In this case, CAS students are eligible to write this exam since both our CTA qualifications (Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Accounting Sciences and Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting Sciences) are accredited by SAICA.

Q: What is the format of the workshop?

A: The workshops are split over two days. The focus is on Auditing, Financial Accounting, Taxation and Management Accounting disciplines (this includes question bank, subject content, and board exam simulations).

Day one focuses on Auditing and Management Accounting whereas Day two focuses on Financial Accounting and Taxation. Each session is approximately four hours long, which makes eight hours per day, sixteen hours in total.

The candidates are requested beforehand to download at least the previous three years’ ITC exam papers from the SAICA website. This is to allow the candidates to familiarise themselves with the questions asked during the actual exams. My colleagues and I then try to guide the candidates in how to answer the questions.

In preparations of the ITC Board examas, Lecturer; Mr Mlungisi Hlongwane went through some of the previous quations papers

Q: Who is involved in the workshops?

A: The workshops are conducted by experienced academics teaching in the field(s) of Auditing, Financial Accounting, Management Accounting, and Taxation at CTA level and who have previously marked CTA and ITC exams.

Q: Are these workshops a replacement of the board courses?

A: Our workshops are not a replacement for any board course. It is an exam technique workshop to give guidance to former Unisa students to maximise their chances of passing the ITC board exams. We encourage all our students to continue attending any board courses that are available out there.

In conclusion

Having been awarded our CTA qualification, serves as proof and speaks volumes about the capabilities of our graduates to sit for the ITC board exams and pass it. I am confident that they will give it their best and not only make Unisa proud but also make themselves proud.

I would like to extend my since gratitude to my colleagues, Auditing Ms. Keba Ramuswana, Mr. Werner Kriel and Mr. Hoosen, Taxation Ms. Lorena Brits, Ms. Mphahahlele Ndlovu and Ms. Annette Becker and from  Financial accounting Mr. Gaisang Diale, Mr. Mlungisi Hlongwane, Ms. Thindisa Lebone and Mr. Abed Yumna for their commitment towards the project. The project would not have been a success should they not have committed their time to share their expertise with our alumni.

Publish date: 2021/06/01