SAICA Requirements for Aspiring Chartered Accountants

Understanding SAICA Requirements for Aspiring Chartered Accountants

The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) is the foremost professional accounting body in South Africa. It sets the educational, assessment, and professional development standards for chartered accountants in the country. Adhering to SAICA’s requirements is crucial for anyone aiming to earn the prestigious CA(SA) designation.

SAICA Educational Requirements

1. Undergraduate Degree

  • Accredited Program: Your journey begins with an undergraduate degree in accounting. SAICA requires that this degree comes from an accredited university. The curriculum of these programs is designed to align with SAICA’s competency framework.
  • Core Subjects: The degree must cover essential subjects like financial accounting, management accounting, taxation, auditing, and corporate law.

2. Postgraduate Studies

  • CTA or Equivalent: After your undergraduate degree, you need a postgraduate qualification, typically a Certificate in the Theory of Accounting (CTA). This program deepens your understanding and skills in accounting, auditing, taxation, and financial management.
  • Accreditation: The postgraduate program must also be SAICA-accredited, ensuring it meets the institute’s rigorous educational standards.

Practical Experience

1. Training Contract (Articles)

  • Duration: You are required to complete a three-year training contract with a SAICA-accredited training office, which could be an audit firm, a corporate organization, or a public sector entity.
  • Exposure: This period is designed to provide you with practical experience in a variety of accounting fields, including auditing, tax advisory, and financial management.
  • Mentorship: During your articles, you’ll work under the guidance of experienced CAs who will mentor you and help develop your professional competence.


1. Initial Test of Competence (ITC)

  • Eligibility: You can sit for the ITC after completing your CTA.
  • Content: This exam assesses your technical competence in core accounting disciplines.

2. Assessment of Professional Competence (APC)

  • Post-Articles Exam: The APC is the final examination, taken usually after you have completed your training contract.
  • Focus: This exam tests your ability to apply technical knowledge in a practical, real-world context.

Continuous Professional Development (CPD)

1. Lifelong Learning

  • CPD Requirements: After qualifying as a CA(SA), SAICA members must engage in continuous learning. This involves attending workshops, seminars, and other educational programs.
  • Updates in the Field: The aim is to keep abreast of the latest developments in accounting, tax, and other related fields.

Ethical and Professional Standards

1. Adherence to Code of Conduct

  • As a SAICA member, adherence to high ethical standards and a professional code of conduct is mandatory. This ensures the integrity and trustworthiness of CAs in South Africa.

Meeting SAICA’s requirements is a comprehensive process involving specific educational achievements, practical experience, and a commitment to ongoing professional development. It’s a journey that shapes well-rounded, highly skilled accounting professionals capable of contributing significantly to the financial and business landscape of South Africa.


What are the entry requirements for SAICA?

Hey there future number crunchers! Ready to embark on the journey to become a chartered accountant in South Africa? First things first, you’ll need to get familiar with the entry requirements set by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA). It’s like the rulebook for your journey into the world of accounting.

So, what’s on the checklist? You’ll need an accredited Bachelor’s degree in Accounting to start with. This is your ticket into the club. After that, gear up for a postgraduate qualification, typically a Certificate in the Theory of Accounting (CTA). This is where things get serious, diving deeper into the nitty-gritty of accounting.

What are the minimum requirements for a chartered accountant?

Alright, ready to get down to the brass tacks? The minimum requirements to become a chartered accountant in SA might seem like a tall order, but it’s totally doable with dedication. After acing your CTA, it’s time for a three-year contract under a SAICA-accredited training program. Think of it as the apprenticeship phase where you get your hands dirty with real-world accounting.

But wait, there’s more! After your training stint, there are two big exams to conquer – the Initial Test of Competence (ITC) and the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC). These are not just any exams; they’re the ultimate test of your accounting prowess.

How many APS needed for a chartered accountant?

Now, let’s talk APS (Admission Point Score). For those looking to get into a university accounting program, APS is like your academic scoreboard. Each university has its own APS requirements, but generally, you’re looking at needing a pretty solid score. Think high marks in subjects like Mathematics (not Maths Literacy!) and English. The higher your APS, the better your chances of getting into those sought-after accounting programs.

What can I do to get started to become a chartered accountant?

Eager to kickstart your journey? Here’s the game plan. Focus on nailing your high school subjects, especially Maths and English. Then, aim for a university that offers a SAICA-accredited accounting program. This is non-negotiable if you want to be a CA(SA).

While studying, don’t just stick to the books. Get involved in accounting or business clubs at your university. These extracurricular activities are gold for gaining insights and networking.

And remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Becoming a CA(SA) takes time, effort, and a whole lot of number crunching. But, the reward? A fulfilling career in one of the most respected professions in South Africa.

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