An accountant is essential to all companies to gather fiscal information, to review and analyze the same and to prepare reports based on it. Accountants form a key component of any company’s success in any niche. In fact, one can even claim that they form an integral part of the organization itself.

The training is divided into academic and practical. Academic training comprises four to five years’ full-time study. During this time the following qualifications can be obtained:

  • BCom (Acc) 3 years;
  • BCom (Hons)(Acc)
  • 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.

The highest professional qualification in accounting in South Africa is Chartered Accountant (CA). Accounting graduates with lower qualifications (associate general accountants and associate accounting technicians) usually work as accounting officers.

The Certified Accounting Technician (CAT) programme is available to persons aged 16 or over, regardless of academic qualifications. The CAT can be studied through an ACCA Provider ( or through distance learning. One year of practical experience in the workplace is required to obtain this qualification.

Study Institutions

Degree: UNISA, UP, US, UKZN, RU, UL, Wits, UFS, Monash, NWU, UCT, NMMU, UJ, Fort Hare, UWC, UZ

Diploma: CUT, CPUT, DUT, MUT, TUT, VUT, Northlink, Cape Town TVET


  • Perform financial calculations for companies in a wide variety of fields.
  • Creating sales and cash flow reports,
  • Administering payroll,
  • Keeping balance sheets,
  • Carrying out billing activities,
  • Managing budgets and keeping inventory.
  • The accountant may also be responsible for filing taxes for the company, as well as reviewing past reports to generate income forecasts.

Personal Requirements

  • Integrity
  • Good aptitude for mathematics
  • Ability to analyse, compare and interpret facts and figures quickly
  • Ability to work accurately and convey recommendations clearly
  • Logical, intelligent and able to make sound judgements
  • Willingness to work very hard and sometimes for long hours
  • Good social and communication skills

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