Here is why your BCom accounting degree will put you on the right road once you graduate:
If you’re wondering whether or not you are on the right track with your BCom Accounting, think again, because recent research has revealed that the Chartered Accountancy [CA(SA)] designation is the best  business designation – by far.
Many students begin their studies with high zest levels and a positive outlook, but at some point along the lengthy and arduous road succumb to various pressures and throw in the towel. This is often the case with those who are on the verge of completing scarce-skill degrees such as accountancy and are poised to enter the ruthless, challenging and highly complex business world.

Crossing that threshold is equivalent to your first step toward enjoying the fruits of your toil. It is through entering this door that you begin to realise how privileged you are to have been afforded the opportunity of belonging to a group of highly respected business leaders; people who are looked upon as some of the masterminds of the South African economy.
More often than not, they have earned, as will you, the privilege of adding the highly and globally respected designation to their name – the letters CA(SA). This designation is in a league of its own. Indeed, according to the latest research, no other business designation can surpass it.
To the uninitiated, the quality of the CA(SA) designation lies in the rigour of the education and training process. While that’s true, it is only partly true; for there is a lot more to the CA(SA) than meets the eye. Quality is a word so frequently used to differentiate products or services that those to whom the message is directed have developed a healthy dose of scepticism. Yet those who are familiar with the essence of the CA(SA) designation have grown to appreciate the true depth of its quality.
That the CA designation is readily able to differentiate itself from other business qualifications is reflected in a recent London Financial Times, column compiled by Rupert Merson, a fellow of the London Business School and leading commentator on entrepreneurship and business growth.
Merson wrote that a professional accountancy qualification and an MBA were increasingly seen as competitors with one another. He disagreed; pointing out that such a comparison only devalued them both. “But when it comes to matters of accounting record, an MBA equips you to ask the right questions and an accountancy qualification enables you to provide the right answers.”
That’s one profound explanation of how the CA(SA) differentiates itself from all else. In addition, there are many more qualitative aspects that differentiate the CA(SA) designation from any other qualification or business discipline, among them:
Rigour of the qualification process
The education and training process of a CA(SA) is subject to education and training standards that meet, and in many instances exceed, international standards, but which have a local flavour.This process, overseen by The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), is recognised for its quality by a number of independent and external bodies that include:
• The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), which recognises SAICA as the only professional Education and Training Quality Assurer (ETQA) organisaton able to occupy the South African accountancy space;
• The CA(SA) was the first learnership registered by the Department of Labour through Fasset, the SETA for finance, accounting, consulting and other financial services;
• The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA), which currently only recognises persons in possession of the CA(SA) designation as capable of conducting the audit function of a business in South Africa; and
• SAICA is a member of the Chartered Accountants Group of Executives (CAGE), whose education standards at least comply with, and at times exceed, the requirements of IFAC. CAGE regularly performs quality control reviews of its member bodies.
Technical competence
The focus of SAICA on achieving academic excellence for prospective CAs(SA) in accounting, auditing, management accounting, finance, and tax ensures technical competence which promotes the highest quality technical business background.
Multidisciplinary knowledge and experience
The requirement that prospective CAs(SA) complete a minimum of three years under a training contract ensures that they further receive exposure to a broad and multidisciplinary range of knowledge, skills and experience in practical business. This training period therefore promotes a comprehensive broad knowledge and experience of business among prospective CAs(SA).
The training contract period is either completed in public practice, in commerce and industry, in national, provincial or local government, or in the public sector. Depending on the environment in which the training contract period is completed, the CA(SA) qualifies either as an audit or financial management specialist.

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