The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) has launched a new training model that combines the institute’s two current training models into a single programme.
At present, SAICA students qualify by either training inside or outside public practice. The former offers specialisation in auditing, while the latter offers specialisation in financial management.
SAICA project director for training Adri Kleinhans said the new model is designed to arm chartered accountants with broad-based business skills. It aims to ensure the SAICA programme responds to the needs of the South African economy and ensures the CA designation remains relevant and sustainable, and the profession continues to grow.
The competencies currently prescribed for the SAICA training programme have been redefined with a more equal weighting of auditing with other core technical areas such as tax, management accounting, financial management and financial accounting.
There will also be added emphasis on corporate governance and ethics, business acumen, IT, communication technology, interpersonal and communication skills, leadership skills, and organisational and management skills.
When developing the new training model, SAICA identified key issues facing the profession by researching local and international trends and evolutions in professional development. The institute examined international professional services organisations and other accountancy bodies.
The issues identified included:
• demand for knowledge and skills occasioned by globalisation;
• demand for improved corporate governance and ethics;
• the supply of and demand for trainees;
• the changing generations;
• the demand for more flexibility in the training programme; and
• the potential impact of corporate law reform on training offices.
After identifying these issues, SAICA developed a working model that sought to amalgamate the best aspects of the profession internationally. The new model will be effective from 1 January 2010.