Figures released by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) demonstrate that the quantity of finance graduates writing the First Check of Competency (ITC) test – the to start with of two board exams that need to have to be passed in get to qualify as a Chartered Accountant (CA) in the region – observed a sharp 24% fall this 12 months.
With 2 946 candidates getting the exam in contrast to 3 887 in 2021, problems have been elevated about the decline, which will come amidst a “undersupply” in the wake of elevated world need for South African-educated accountants with the acclaimed CA(SA) qualification.
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“The reduction in the quantity of ITC examinees is alarming, primarily as it comes in the midst of a growth in international demand for South African-certified chartered accountants,” says Graeme Marais, director of finance recruitment enterprise Blue Recruiting.
He notes that the variety of candidates using the ITC test had been on the rise right before 2022, growing by 19% in 2020 and 6% in 2021.
“This year’s ITC consumption fell by all-around a quarter, which implies the technique will be developing fewer chartered accountants in a few- or four-years’ time,” warns Marais.
“The reality that the opportunity quantity of CAs who will graduate in 2025 in South Africa [will consequently] fall by these types of a big quantity is a be concerned for me and ought to be for the total current market.”
Robert Zwane, Saica’s govt in mastering, development and nationwide imperatives, states there are numerous components that can account for the fall.
Motives for the decline
He notes that 1 of these things is linked to college students needing to adapt to blended learning in university all through Covid-19 restrictions about the past two several years.
“This, of training course, is not limited to students pursuing CA(SA) designation.”
“The world-wide consensus is that college students have been negatively impacted by the issues of finding out remotely and that these results will be obvious in the results of these problems on education and teaching for decades to occur,” provides Zwane.
In accordance to Professor Nico van der Merwe, outgoing CA programme coordinator at the North-West College, the fall could be because of to the Covid-19 pandemic, and inadequate matric arithmetic outcomes.
“We have also noticed a continuous drop in students qualifying to study CA with the poorer grade 12 mathematics marks the state has viewed more than some time. Intakes are typically down and this has now spilled more than to postgraduate degree,” he claims.
“In my feeling, the key motive for the drop in quantities was the impact of unexpected emergency remote instructing and learning… that was necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic and government’s related rules,” van der Merwe, even so adds.
He claims the universities could not have prevented the drop in CA candidate quantities.
Powerful Saica criteria
“Saica is maintaining a large regular of qualification and has not dropped the normal of the ITC or modified the competency framework,” notes van der Merwe
“There were being simply just fewer college students that could full the CA university qualification efficiently in an crisis remote educating and discovering natural environment, inspite of our best efforts…”
Meanwhile, Marais reiterated his problems all-around the mind drain from SA’s accounting and auditing sector.
He warns that the raising shortage of CAs locally is currently being compounded by capable South African professionals leaving the country to work especially in the United Kingdom and Netherlands.
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“This is not to say that our CAs are essentially leaving, though… The environment, suffering from the good resignation, is now waking up to the fact that our brilliant South African CA’s can fill vacated work opportunities at a fraction of the cost, when they continue being in South Africa,” he suggests
“A significant selection of CA(SA) experts are by now being utilized to get the job done remotely.”
Nondumiso Lehutso is a Moneyweb intern.