Figures unveiled by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) exhibit that the range of finance graduates producing the Original Take a look at of Competency (ITC) exam – the very first of two board exams that want to be handed in get to qualify as a Chartered Accountant (CA) in the country – saw a sharp 24% drop this 12 months.
With 2 946 candidates getting the exam when compared to 3 887 in 2021, problems have been lifted about the drop, which will come amidst a “undersupply” in the wake of greater international demand for South African-experienced accountants with the acclaimed CA(SA) qualification.
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“The reduction in the selection of ITC examinees is alarming, especially as it arrives in the midst of a growth in world demand from customers for South African-qualified chartered accountants,” says Graeme Marais, director of finance recruitment company Blue Recruiting.
He notes that the number of candidates using the ITC examination had been on the increase ahead of 2022, expanding by 19% in 2020 and 6% in 2021.
“This year’s ITC ingestion fell by about a quarter, which suggests the method will be generating less chartered accountants in a few- or 4-years’ time,” warns Marais.
“The fact that the possible selection of CAs who will graduate in 2025 in South Africa [will consequently] drop by such a significant amount is a fear for me and really should be for the entire market place.”
Robert Zwane, Saica’s govt in learning, progress and national imperatives, claims there are various things that can account for the fall.
Factors for the decline
He notes that 1 of these components is relevant to learners needing to adapt to blended discovering in college for the duration of Covid-19 constraints in excess of the past two many years.
“This, of course, is not constrained to college students pursuing CA(SA) designation.”
“The international consensus is that learners have been negatively affected by the issues of researching remotely and that these consequences will be apparent in the results of these challenges on education and learning and instruction for several years to appear,” provides Zwane.
In accordance to Professor Nico van der Merwe, outgoing CA programme coordinator at the North-West College, the fall could be thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, and very poor matric arithmetic outcomes.
“We have also found a steady fall in students qualifying to examine CA with the poorer grade 12 mathematics marks the region has found more than some time. Intakes are typically down and this has now spilled in excess of to postgraduate degree,” he says.
“In my feeling, the principal explanation for the fall in quantities was the effect of emergency remote instructing and learning… that was necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic and government’s connected restrictions,” van der Merwe, having said that adds.
He suggests the universities could not have avoided the drop in CA prospect numbers.
Potent Saica standards
“Saica is keeping a significant normal of qualification and has not dropped the regular of the ITC or improved the competency framework,” notes van der Merwe
“There ended up just much less college students that could entire the CA university qualification effectively in an crisis distant training and learning environment, even with our finest efforts…”
In the meantime, Marais reiterated his considerations close to the brain drain from SA’s accounting and auditing field.
He warns that the raising shortage of CAs locally is currently being compounded by capable South African professionals leaving the nation to perform especially in the United Kingdom and Netherlands.
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“This is not to say that our CAs are always leaving, though… The globe, suffering from the good resignation, is now waking up to the point that our fantastic South African CA’s can fill vacated work at a fraction of the price tag, while they remain in South Africa,” he says
“A substantial selection of CA(SA) specialists are now remaining employed to do the job remotely,” he notes.
In accordance to Marais, the drop in the country’s CA consumption quantities has the potential to hurt the financial state.
“Chartered accountants are the lifeblood of the financial sector,” he claims.
“A reduction in their figures could have a major impression on the sector, and the overall economy in basic. The truth is, nevertheless, that this anomaly can be rectified in foreseeable future decades by larger intakes, when sustaining the significant CA expectations of Saica. The effects of Covid are momentary, but we need to have to do the job on our matric success.”
Nondumiso Lehutso is a Moneyweb intern.