Sharp drop in CA candidates writing ITC exam

Sharp drop in CA candidates writing ITC exam

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Figures produced by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) exhibit that the range of finance graduates composing the Initial Check of Competency (ITC) test – the to start with of two board tests that need to be passed in order to qualify as a Chartered Accountant (CA) in the nation – noticed a sharp 24% drop this year.

With 2 946 candidates having the exam in contrast to 3 887 in 2021, concerns have been elevated about the drop, which comes amidst a “undersupply” in the wake of enhanced world-wide demand for South African-qualified accountants with the acclaimed CA(SA) qualification.

Read through: A new truth for the accounting career

“The reduction in the selection of ITC examinees is alarming, specially as it arrives in the midst of a growth in international desire for South African-skilled chartered accountants,” states Graeme Marais, director of finance recruitment enterprise Blue Recruiting.

He notes that the number of candidates using the ITC examination experienced been on the rise before 2022, growing by 19% in 2020 and 6% in 2021.

“This year’s ITC consumption fell by all around a quarter, which indicates the system will be making fewer chartered accountants in 3- or four-years’ time,” warns Marais.

“The point that the possible quantity of CAs who will graduate in 2025 in South Africa [will consequently] fall by these a substantial number is a stress for me and need to be for the overall current market.”

Robert Zwane, Saica’s govt in mastering, advancement and countrywide imperatives, says there are different variables that can account for the fall.

Explanations for the decline 

He notes that one of these elements is linked to pupils needing to adapt to blended finding out in college through Covid-19 restrictions about the previous two several years.

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

“The international consensus is that college students have been negatively influenced by the challenges of learning remotely and that these outcomes will be obvious in the outcomes of these worries on education and learning and teaching for many years to come,” adds Zwane.

In accordance to Professor Nico van der Merwe, outgoing CA programme coordinator at the North-West College, the fall could be because of to the Covid-19 pandemic, and lousy matric arithmetic outcomes.

“We have also noticed a continual fall in pupils qualifying to research CA with the poorer quality 12 mathematics marks the state has witnessed in excess of some time. Intakes are usually down and this has now spilled over to postgraduate stage,” he says.

“In my feeling, the main cause for the fall in quantities was the impression of emergency distant training and learning… that was necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic and government’s similar polices,” van der Merwe, nevertheless provides.

He claims the universities could not have avoided the drop in CA candidate numbers.

Strong Saica criteria

“Saica is protecting a high normal of qualification and has not dropped the regular of the ITC or improved the competency framework,” notes van der Merwe

“There were just fewer students that could full the CA college qualification efficiently in an emergency distant educating and mastering atmosphere, inspite of our greatest efforts…”

In the meantime, Marais reiterated his issues around the brain drain from SA’s accounting and auditing industry.

He warns that the growing scarcity of CAs regionally is being compounded by capable South African professionals leaving the place to function especially in the United Kingdom and Netherlands.

Examine:
Saica revs up compliance declaration for CAs and associates [2021]
Saica’s examination go rate improves [2021]

“This is not to say that our CAs are necessarily leaving, though… The planet, suffering from the great resignation, is now waking up to the actuality that our excellent South African CA’s can fill vacated careers at a fraction of the value, while they continue being in South Africa,” he suggests

“A significant number of CA(SA) professionals are previously getting employed to do the job remotely.”

Nondumiso Lehutso is a Moneyweb intern.

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