If you have an interest in finance and believe in your analytical and problem-solving skills then a career in Chartered Accounting could be for you.
Chartered Accountants are the people responsible for examining the financial affairs of individual clients and organisations.
Typical activities conducted include analysing an organisation’s financial information, preparing and reporting on financial statements for shareholders and capturing financial information on computers.
You will need to have the following school subjects in order to study towards a Chartered Accounting qualification:
- English (matric level)
- Accounting (not required but helpful)
- Mathematics/Mathematical Literacy (depending on the institution you apply to)
The following institutions are highly recommended for studies in Chartered Accounting:
- University of Cape Town (UCT) – a Faculty Point Score (FPS) of 480
- University of Pretoria (UP) – APS of 30
- University of Witwatersrand (Wits) – APS of 39
- University of Johannesburg (UJ) – APS of 33
A Bachelor’s Degree/Higher National Diploma (HND) is the minimum requirement for individuals who want to work in the industry although there are organisations that accept candidates without either a degree or HND. The learning process doesn’t end with a Bachelor for a Chartered Accountant; the journey to becoming a qualified Chartered Accountant is generally 7 years.
An Honours degree, Certificate in Theory of Accountancy (CTA), Articles of clerkship, final exams and applying for a Chartered Accountant membership are all part of the journey to being able to write CA (SA) or similar.
The following traits are found among successful Chartered Accountants:
- communication skills
- analytical and problem-solving skills
- business Interest and Awareness
- organisational and Time Management
- IT skills
- interpersonal skills
- numeracy skills
- self-motivation and commitment
- integrity and trustworthiness
As a Chartered Accountant, you can work in any industry. Some of these include:
- Chartered/Certified Accountant firms
- Telecoms Industries
- Charities and Non-profit Organisations
- Central and Local government
- Educational Institutions
- Manufacturing Industry
- Public Sector
Chartered Accountants generally work standard 8am-5pm hours. Depending on which company you work for and what your role is, the hours may be more than indicated. For example, accounting auditing firms may require more hours during the ‘high season’. Chartered Accountants tend to work late in the evening and over weekends for some projects.
The salary for a Chartered Accountant in South Africa is estimated to range between R208 671 to R930 597 annually – with the average being R562 120.
In this field, experience and qualifications contribute to increasing the salary.
The following are some of the things you can expect in this career:
- Projects generally require Chartered Accountants to work at the client’s offices, which means quite a bit of travelling. It could be for a day or week away from home
- For women, there is still a gender pay gap that exists in the industry
- Job opportunities are available internationally and, depending on the organisation, the possibilities of working overseas are high. The UK and USA are generally the go-to places for people who are looking to gain experience from a different country
- There is a formal dress code that is associated with this field due to it being high profile and high responsible, in nature