BECOME HOT PROPERTY! Start a Career in Chartered Accountancy Nearly a quarter of the chief executives (the real top dogs) of the 200 biggest companies listed on South Africa’s stock market are Chartered Accountants (CAs(SA)). And in those same 200 companies 78% of the chief financial officers (the top dogs who handle the moola) also hold the CA (SA) designation. THE REASON? Having the low down on Chartered Accountancy gives you the edge in business – the edge being an extremely disciplined approach to business. THEY HAVE THE EDGE In addition, a Chartered Accountant usually has: • Analytical abilities; • A systematic and logical thought process; • Good communications skills; and • A talent for working quickly and accurately with numbers. So if you want to be a CA (SA), you have to get top marks in most of the subjects you study. And you’ll most definitely have to score well above average grades in Maths and English. SHORTAGE OF CAs Though interesting, fulfilling and rewarding, the profession's requirements are demanding. Not surprisingly, therefore, South Africa suffers from a shortage of Chartered Accountants. Also not surprising is that Chartered Accountants are one of the highest paid of all the professionals. Senior CAs (SA) in public practice (fancy name for big firms) and serving as executives in commerce and industry (fancy name for commercial business) are the highest paid earners in almost any profession. DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES? But you can’t be the top dog without working your tail off. You get back what you put in. To become a CA (SA) you have to: Obtain a relevant four-year degree from an approved university; Complete a 36-month training contract with either an accounting firm in public practice (to become an auditor) or with an approved training organisation (to follow the financial management route); Complete a relevant post graduate diploma or specialized course Pass Part 1 of the Qualifying Examination (accounting) before passing Part 2 (auditing or financial management). After passing the qualifying examinations and completing your training contract, you then have to register with The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) in order to become a Chartered Accountant. You then get to use the most sought after letters after your name – CA (SA). JOB SATISFACTION Newly qualified CAs (SA) have a host of options, among them a career in public practice, commerce and industry, government and education. In public practice, CAs (SA) are usually actively engaged in accounting and auditing, tax advice and compliance, financial management and investigations, and information technology. Chartered Accountants who follow the financial management route when training often stay in commerce and industry in the company’s financial department, or end up running operations in large companies. In a country with high unemployment, it’s rare that a Chartered Accountant is unable to find a job, since the CA (SA) is much sought after both in South Africa and around the world – making them the hottest property to boot. There are also 5000 CAs (SA) working around globe, holding their own. So these top dogs can travel wherever they want to. And they usually become leaders in their chosen field of business, because the training and experience they receive equips them to survive just about any challenge. Which also means they have what it takes to start and make a success of their own business. BURSARIES A limited number of bursaries are available to those wishing to study towards becoming a CA (SA). The Thuthuka Bursary Fund offers bursaries to students who were previously economically, socially and educationally disadvantaged, while several firms in public practice also offer bursaries. You can send an application for 2006 to: The Thuthuka Bursary Fund, PO Box 59875, Kengray, 2100 DX92 Johannesburg or visit www.saica.co.za (Thuthuka>Thuthuka Bursary Fund>How to Get a Bursary>Application Forms). ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Further information is available from SAICA’s Accountancy Development Unit: PO Box 59875, Kengray 2100, Tel (011) 621 6600, or visit the SAICA website, www.saica.co.za>Becoming a CA (SA), to find out more!