If you think Accounting is a boring office job…think again!
What is an Accountant?
Accountancy has become an exciting career that involves working with the latest accounting software. A good Accountant stays up to date with rapidly changing business and professional trends. The Accountant’s important role in business is the reason why they rise fairly quickly to senior management positions.
The current shortages of chartered accountants in South Africa, makes it one of the highest paid professions in the country.
Once you’re qualified, the sky is the limit. You will have proved that you have what it takes to make it to the top in any organisation.
Accountants and Auditors help to ensure that companies are run more efficiently, particularly from a financial point of view, so that a country’s public records are kept accurately and that taxes are paid properly and on time.
An Accountant’s job is to compile, analyse, and evaluate financial information. This includes the completion of entries into accounts, such as general ledger accounts used for documenting business transactions.
Accountants can be employed by large organisations or they can choose to be self-employed as private consultants.
There are 5 areas you can specialise in:
- “Pure” accounting work comprises the preparation of financial statements, the giving of advice about accounting systems, budgets, cash flow and the improvement of profit margins.
- This is the field of calculation of expenses and the implementation and development of cost-accounting measures.
- A tax specialist gives advice concerning tax matters, such as the determination and legal saving of tax.
- This field especially comprises the development and implementing of programs for electronic information processing, the planning of financial models and the giving of advice regarding hard- and software purchases.
Planning & Management:
- Planning is an important management function. Forecasts, feasibility studies and the financial planning of new projects must be carried out continuously. Management also includes administration, secretarial, financial and various other functions of business management.
What does an Accountant do?
- analyses, interprets and compares facts and figures of the company
- studies figures and shares info with managers so they can make the right business decisions
- prepares budgets
- manages cash flow
- manages investments
- controls debt collection
- monitors risk management
- keeps up to date with industry laws and bylaws
- prepares annual financial reports
- prepares figures for tax purposes
Are you …?
- good with numbers and mathematics?
- methodical and analytical?
- able to concentrate for long periods at a time?
- intelligent and logical?
- computer literate?
- hard worker?
- deadline orientated?
- a person with good social & communication skills?
Interested in a career in accounting?
Click here for a useful guide that explains many accounting terms you will need to know.
This guide is designed to help anyone who wants a career in accountancy by outlining and explaining industry-specific terminology.
How do I become an Accountant?
Requirements for all undergraduate programmes in accounting are set by each of the different universities or private training institutions. As a rule, aspirant students require a National Senior Certificate with Matriculation exemption and English and mathematics. Accounting at Grade 12 level is recommended.
There are 3 training paths:
(1) Diploma / Higher Diploma in Accounting (NQF Level 6)
This can be done at:
- Boland TVET College
- Cape Peninsular University of Technology
- Mangosutho University of Technology
- Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
- Tshwane University of Technology
- University of the Free State
- Walter Sisulu University
(2) Advanced Diploma in Accounting (NQF Level 7)
This can be done at:
- UNISA (University of SA – distant learning option)
(3) Bachelor of Accounting degree (NQF Level 7)
Can be done through most SA universities as a:
- Bachelor of Accounting Science
- Bachelor of Commerce
- Bachelor of Public Administration
- or Bachelor of Accounting
- CLICK HERE to check for a training institution near you to see what they offer.
- Make sure you understand their entry requirements for each course.
- To avoid scams, make sure your institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education. CLICK HERE to check accredited Private Higher Education Institutions.
Is becoming an Accountant the right career choice for me?