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 In November 2016, 2 529 aspiring chartered accountants [CAs(SA)] nervously sat for their final professional examination: the Assessment Professional Competence (APC). It is with great pleasure that the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) announces that 89% (2 247) of these candidates have a reason to celebrate.

The CA(SA) journey is not for the faint hearted. Taking a minimum of seven years to complete, those who begin the journey need talent, diligence and commitment to come out the other side with this qualification in hand. Today, this is precisely what the 2 247 aspiring CAs(SA) who succeeded in the 2016 APC can boast about doing.

For successful candidates, passing the APC is the crowning jewel to the many years of studying and training undertaken to become a CA(SA). For the profession, their achievements cement the high regard the CA(SA) designation continues to have for delivering highly competent individuals that will help build and lead South Africa’s economy.

 

What is the APC and what does it measure?

 While many still see “accountants” as traditional bean counters, much has changed in the role CAs(SA) play in the business world. To this end, SAICA has made many changes to the focus of the CA(SA) qualification, which this includes changes to the way in which prospective CAs(SA) are assessed. It is for this reason that the APC assesses a candidate’s ability to use and apply their technical knowledge in a real world context by setting tasks that entry level CAs(SA) are expected to be able to complete in the working world. Candidates become eligible to write the APC after passing the Initial Test of Competence (ITC), successfully completing an accredited professional programme and completing a minimum of 20 months in a registered training contract with a SAICA accredited training office.

 The APC, which takes the form of a written examination, places emphasis on pervasive skills (ethics, personal attributes and professional skills) and assesses whether candidates demonstrate their professional competence through the application of their acquired skills and technical knowledge in a multi-disciplinary case study as well as their behaviour during the case study period.

 

Perhaps more importantly, the 2016 sitting of the APC demonstrates the efforts SAICA continues to put into ensuring its qualifying process reflects the development of relevant competencies a CA(SA) needs to have in the workplace. Adding to the real life nature of the assessment, candidates are now able to opt in to using a computer to “write up” their responses to the assessment tasks using a secure software package. 54% of the candidate population opted for this in the 2016 APC.

 

13 candidates honoured for their aptitude and skill

 Every year, candidates who perform exceptionally well and show the greatest insight into the way they complete the APC case study tasks are placed on SAICA’s APC Honours Roll. This year, those candidates, in alphabetical order (by surname), are:

 

Name

Surname

Training Office

Professional Provider Programme

Wallace

Barnes

Deloitte

APT

Kelton

Bingham

BDO

APT

Richard

Duffy

KPMG

UCT

Doreen

Jordaan

BDO

APT

Matthew

Legg

Deloitte

UCT

Kyle

Moodley

PKF

APT

Soret

Nel

Moore Stephen

APT

Louisa

De Kramer

PwC

UCT

Gabrieel

Richter

BDO

APT

Daniella

Shenker

Ernst & Young

APT

Jason

Smith

PwC

UCT

Petrus

Strauss

Deloitte

APT

Gregory

Tomaselli

Deloitte

APT

 

To all the successful candidates, Mandi Olivier, Senior Executive of Professional Development at SAICA, has the following message: ‘Well done class of 2016! Famed American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright famously said “I know the price of success: dedication, hard work and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.” Today, the 2 247 successful candidates who passed the 2016 APC examination are living proof of this having spent almost seven years preparing for this moment.  We look forward to seeing you grow and develop in your career as you beomce our future business leaders.’

Transformation at the heart of these results

 As a critical stakeholder in the South African economy, one of the key responsibilities SAICA has undertaken is to ensure that there is a consistent supply of adequately and suitably qualified professionals who are representative of the country’s demographics. To this end, SAICA is also pleased to reveal that this year’s APC results continue to show a change in the demographics of the profession l.

 “With 58% of the writing population comprising of black candidates compared to 50% when the APC exam was first written in 2014, we are seeing a direct result of the significant resources that go into SAICA’s various Thuthuka transformation initiatives,” explains Olivier.

 Olivier adds, ‘SAICA is extremely pleased with this year’s candidates’ successes. They positively illustrate that SAICA is leading the process of transforming South Africa’s chartered accountancy profession and economy as a whole.’ 

Epic Discussion

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