The South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA) today released the results of its November 2018 Professional Evaluation. Professor Rashied Small, Executive: Education and Training at SAIPA, congratulated the successful candidates and welcomed them as full members to the Institute. “Those who passed have proven their competence and may now proudly bear the distinguished title of Professional Accountant (SA),” he says. “We are delighted to have them as members and look forward to supporting them throughout their careers and endeavours.”
The purpose of the PE
The Professional Evaluation is a four-hour written exam that every prospective SAIPA member must complete before being granted access to the Institute’s ranks. Prerequisites for taking the test are a SAIPA approved degree or diploma and the completion of a three-year learnership at a SAIPA accredited training centre (ATC).
The stringent pre-entry evaluation is a distinctive requirement that sets SAIPA apart by testing the applicant’s ability to apply what they have learned to complex practical and ethical problems. “We don’t assume an accountant to be competent,” explains Professor Small. “Rather, they must be able to demonstrate their proficiency on demand. This assures the public that our members understand their burden of responsibility and are equipped to practice professionally from the very beginning.”
For this round, a total of 676 candidates wrote the Professional Evaluation exam. This number comprised 265 males (39%) and 411 females (61%). From an equity perspective, 378 (56%) of the candidates were African, 55 were Coloured (8%), 43 Indian (6%) and 200 White (30%).
“We’re excited to observe so many female accountants entering the field and it’s encouraging that over half our applicants are black,” remarks Professor Small. “However, we’d definitely like to see many more Africans pursuing a career in accounting. It is an incredibly rewarding profession that also plays a key role in accelerating South Africa’s socio-economic transformation.”
Project Achiever is a special five-month course designed to prepare candidates for their Professional Evaluation. It has proven very popular, with 415 of those being tested having participated. This optional programme is open to both university and university of technology graduates who have completed their 3-year learnership. Selected formally disadvantaged groups qualify for full funding through the Finance and Accounting Services Sector Education and Training Authority (FASSET).
“We dare not lower our standard to meet the overwhelming demand for accountants at the cost of protecting the public interest,” says Professor Small. “Through Project Achiever, we are instead helping aspiring accountants reach that standard and thereby satisfying both concerns.”
In addition to technical and ethical competency, the programme imparts vital soft skills, like team work, communication, business writing, reporting and more.
The future with SAIPA
With their Professional Evaluation behind them, these newly fledged Professional Accountant (SA) holders may go on to, say, work at corporations, start their own private practice or even extend their skills to specialised fields, like tax consulting. Whatever they choose, each will be considered a valuable business advisor. “Furthermore, SAIPA will be behind them all the way to help them realise their full potential,” says Professor Small.
A total of 521 candidates successfully completed the Professional Evaluation exams. Below the top 10 achievers for November 2018 exams.
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