Accountant in Practice (Occupation Code : 241106)

Scarce Skill

Produces, prepares and analyses financial statements in support of a businesses as a going concern and provides advisory services in this regard.


Keeping full accounts for clients, based on the documents that they provide, making sure the accounts are accurate.

Preparing financial statements and reports and budget forecasts.

Managing cash flow, credit control or payroll for clients' businesses.

Providing consultancy services to clients, advising them on how to improve their companies’ performance and increase profits.

Improving financial systems for companies and helping put them into practice.

Preparing and submitting tax returns on behalf of clients, calculating tax liability, providing tax advice to clients and dealing with the South African Revenue Service on behalf of clients.

Working on company mergers or buyouts, or helping companies in money raising activities.

Conducting financial investigations in such matters as suspected fraud, insolvency and bankruptcy.

Occupation Regulation

This occupation is not regulated through legislation.  However, in order to render tax services to their clients Accountants in Practice have to be registered as Tax Practitioners with SARS.  Professional body membership and professional designations are highly valued by the market and for this reason most Accountants in  Practice follow learning pathways that lead to professional designations.

Learning Pathway Description

All the learning pathways to this occupation require a National Senior Certificate - Degree Entrance with Maths and English as subjects.

The first two pathways lead to the designation CA(SA).  For both of them you have to complete a Bachelor of Accounting Degree at a SAICA accredited university.  (Ensure that the university is accredited for the CA programme before enrolling).  This is followed by the CTA.

 The first pathway allows for entry into a learnership at a SAICA registered training office (an accounting practice approved by SAICA). At the beginning or early in the learnership you have to pass the First Qualifying Exam.  Towards the end of the learnership candidates who follow this route have to pass the Public Practice Exam (PPE).  

The second pathway leads to a learnership at a SAICA approved training organisation (the finance division of an organisation in commerce and industry). Candidates also have to pass the First Qualifying Exam.  Towards the end of their learnership they have to pass the Second Qualifying Exam (Financial Management).  Candidates from both streams are awarded the designation CA (SA).

The third and fourth pathways lead to membership of SAIPA.  After the NSC one has to complete a Bachelor of Accounting degree at a SAIPA accredited university.  This is followed by a three-year learnership either in private practice or in commerce and industry.  Candidates from both streams then have to pass the Professional Evaluation after which they are awarded the designation Professional Accountant (SA).

The fifth pathway is offered by ACCA.  The entry requirements for this programmes are the NSC - Degree Entrance  with Maths and English, or a National Diploma in Accounting or the ACCA Accounting Technician qualification.  The curriculum is prescribed by ACCA and candidates can either study for the theoretical examinations on their own or they can attend classes at a training provider that offers tuition in this programme.  Candidates have to pass 14 theoretical exams and they have to complete a three-year learnership or work experience at an ACCA approved employer.  The sequence in which all the requirements are fulfilled may vary.  Candidates may complete their theoretical exams and workplace experience at the same time.  After completion of the learning pathway candidates are awarded the designation Chartered Certified Accountant (FCCA).


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