Sharp drop in CA candidates writing ITC exam

ByMargie D. Moore

May 19, 2022 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Figures produced by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) display that the amount of finance graduates producing the Preliminary Test of Competency (ITC) examination – the to start with of two board tests that have to have to be handed in get to qualify as a Chartered Accountant (CA) in the country – saw a sharp 24% fall this 12 months.

With 2 946 candidates getting the test as opposed to 3 887 in 2021, considerations have been raised about the decline, which comes amidst a “undersupply” in the wake of improved international desire 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, specially as it will come in the midst of a increase in world desire for South African-experienced chartered accountants,” states Graeme Marais, director of finance recruitment business Blue Recruiting.

He notes that the selection of candidates getting the ITC exam experienced been on the increase in advance of 2022, growing by 19% in 2020 and 6% in 2021.

“This year’s ITC ingestion fell by close to a quarter, which implies the technique will be producing much less chartered accountants in 3- or 4-years’ time,” warns Marais.

“The reality that the opportunity number of CAs who will graduate in 2025 in South Africa [will consequently] drop by such a huge variety is a be concerned for me and really should be for the entire current market.”

Robert Zwane, Saica’s govt in mastering, enhancement and nationwide imperatives, says there are several aspects that can account for the drop.

Factors for the decline 

He notes that 1 of these components is related to pupils needing to adapt to blended understanding in college during Covid-19 limits more than the past two decades.

“This, of course, is not restricted to college students pursuing CA(SA) designation.”

“The world-wide consensus is that learners have been negatively influenced by the issues of learning remotely and that these consequences will be evident in the outcomes of these problems on instruction and instruction for decades to come,” adds Zwane.

In accordance to Professor Nico van der Merwe, outgoing CA programme coordinator at the North-West University, the drop could be thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, and inadequate matric arithmetic benefits.

“We have also witnessed a constant drop in college students qualifying to analyze CA with the poorer grade 12 mathematics marks the country has witnessed more than some time. Intakes are generally down and this has now spilled about to postgraduate level,” he says.

“In my viewpoint, the primary motive for the drop in numbers was the impression of unexpected emergency remote educating and learning… that was necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic and government’s related polices,” van der Merwe, even so adds.

He suggests the universities could not have avoided the fall in CA applicant figures.

Robust Saica standards

“Saica is protecting a substantial standard of qualification and has not dropped the common of the ITC or changed the competency framework,” notes van der Merwe

“There were simply less students that could complete the CA college qualification successfully in an crisis distant educating and mastering natural environment, regardless of our ideal efforts…”

Meanwhile, Marais reiterated his concerns around the brain drain from SA’s accounting and auditing industry.

He warns that the escalating scarcity of CAs locally is staying compounded by capable South African professionals leaving the nation to do the job significantly in the United Kingdom and Netherlands.

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“This is not to say that our CAs are always leaving, though… The environment, struggling from the wonderful resignation, is now waking up to the actuality that our outstanding South African CA’s can fill vacated jobs at a fraction of the price, though they continue to be in South Africa,” he suggests

“A massive quantity of CA(SA) pros are by now getting used to function remotely.”

Nondumiso Lehutso is a Moneyweb intern.


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