Financial accountants control the financial management systems of a business. Their role in a company is to extract and interpret information from financial records, advise on strategic direction, advise managers on daily financial decisions of a company, advise the board of directors, control the working capital of a business, ensuring that information with regard to debtors, creditors and stocks is maintained.
The exact duties that a financial accountant may be required to perform, would depend on the professional’s area of speciality. For example, a financial accountant may choose to specialise in internal auditing, management, public accounting or government accounting.
Regardless of the area of speciality, the primary responsibility of a financial accountant is to provide their client with financial guidance. This may include assisting with budgeting and developing financial plans, but may also include monitoring budgets and taking care of taxes on behalf of the client.
Schooling & School Subjects
Training is available by distance learning courses at colleges of further and higher education and private training providers.
The training is divided into academic and practical phases.
BCom (Acc) 3 years; BCom (Hons)(Acc) and CTA (Certificate Theory of Accounting) 1 - 2 years. During the following year, the qualifying examination of the Public Accountants board can be written. Practical training takes three years after obtaining a degree.
A Chartered Accountant is the highest professional qualification in accounting in South Africa and CA’s are very much in demand in the job market. Accounting graduates with lower qualifications (associate general accountants and associate accounting technicians) usually work as accounting officers, often not rising to the same levels without further studies to become CA’s.
The Certified Accounting Technician (CAT) programme is available to persons aged 16 years or over, regardless of academic qualifications. This may be studied through the ACCA’s tuition providers or by distance learning at the student’s own pace. In addition one year of practical experience in the workplace is required to obtain the qualification.
Degree: UNISA, UP, US, UKZN, RU, Wits, UFS, Monash, NWU, UCT, NMMU, UJ, UFH, UZ
Diploma: CUT, CPUT, DUT, TUT, VUT, and FET’s such as Northlink, Cape Town TVET.
Employment opportunities for accountants are excellent. The demand for their skills usually exceeds the availability of qualified people in the job market, so the financial rewards are generally substantially more attractive than in most other careers.
Employment options include:
Institute of Commercial and Financial Accountants of Southern Africa (CFA)
P O Box 1791
Tel: (011) 486-0283 Fax: (011) 486-0632