July 31st, 2012
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If you want to become an accountant in South Africa, you must undergo the required amount of accountant training first. If you study hard you can attain the qualifications you need to get started in this career.
Accountant Training – What is the initial qualification you must attain?
There are many different qualifications in accounting in South Africa, so you must make sure you take the right ones. You should expect to devote approximately four to five years to studying for your initial qualifications. You will need to study for the BCom (Acc) which takes about three years to attain. In addition to this you will need to gain the Certificate Theory of Accounting (CTA) as well.
It is interesting to note that the Certificate in Theory of Accounting is also required by many colleges and organisations that are offering other courses in accounting. One example is a Chartered Accountants Training program or CAT for short.
Are there other qualifications that could help towards a career in accounting?
Yes – one worthwhile one to look at if you are considering making inroads into a career in accounting is the Certified Accounting Technician qualification. This has one main advantage to consider, in that it is quicker to achieve than the accounting courses mentioned above. Thus it can enable you to start work as an accounting technician to see whether you want to further your career in accounting before diving into a five year course. Accounting technicians can also find work in all kinds of companies and businesses, and there are opportunities at all levels as well.
I’ve heard a lot about chartered accountancy. Is this the ultimate qualification to aim for?
Yes it is, and in order to attain this position in the profession you must first enrol in a degree course to become a Bachelor of Accounting Science. The alternative would be to opt to become a Bachelor in Commerce Accounting. The Certificate in Theory of Accounting is also required, although an alternative could be to study for the Higher Diploma in Accountancy instead.
Once all this is completed you still have to go through three years of training in auditing or financial management. While this training is being completed you will sit a Qualifying Examination. If you have opted to specialise in financial management you will also need to sit the Qualifying Examination 2. If you opt for auditing instead, the second exam will be the Professional Practice Exam.
As you can see, there are lots of accountant training routes to consider if you want a career in accounting. With so many benefits to following this career in South Africa, it is definitely worth investing several years of your life to getting the required qualifications. Remember, you can become an accountant by attaining the basic qualifications to get this far, and then study further to become a chartered accountant later on in your career if you wish. This is where the biggest earnings lie for you if you are prepared to study harder to get there.