The CA(SA) designation has been considered a coveted profession. Once you have qualified as a CA(SA), you hear of all the opportunities that are available in all kinds of industries all over the globe.
Becoming a CA(SA) is a long and tiresome journey. Spending years studying every aspect of accounting needing a wheelbarrow to carry all your books, three gruelling years of being stretched to the absolute limit during your articles and two of the toughest exams known to man. So, after all this work, our qualification is officially on the endangered species list along with lawyers and bankers. How did this happen?
Technology has been the biggest change in our field, with the creator of Bitcoin throwing us a blockchain-shaped loop (refer to the article Cryptocurrency (http://aslblog.asl.co.za/?p=2259) for a brief overview of what blockchain technology is). Furthermore, IT developments have automated a substantial amount of accounting work, resulting in less audit work required in certain instances, therefore a smaller number of auditors and more IT knowledge being needed to test the systems. The skillset required to perform audits has therefore adjusted along with technological changes.
Further problems for the CA(SA) designation is the recent ethical violations by SAICA members which have dominated the media and brought the profession into disrepute.
SAICA is currently working on a project to define the competencies that CA(SA)’s will need in the year 2025 in order to adjust the training programme as needed to ensure their members remain relevant. SAICA is also currently reviewing the organisation and profession by specialist advisors to address any deficiencies in the constitution, governance and structure of SAICA to address the tarnished reputation of the industry.
This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. (E&OE)