How to become a Chartered Accountant
Register for a SAICA endorsed Bcom Accounting program
Pass the SAICA endorsed program (usually within 3 years)
Register for a SAICA endorsed Postgraduate Diploma in Accountancy program ( aka CTA)
The CTA program has to be completed within one year.
Register for ITC, which is your first competency exam out of two.
Find a SAICA approved Training Office where you have to serve your articles for 36 months.
After 24 months of training you will be eligible to register for your APC exam which is your second board exam.
After 36 months of Training and passing both of your board exams you will be eligible to register as a Chartered Accountant.
This whole process usually takes seven years.
These will be mainly
based on UJ and UNISA.
Let’s say your points are quite low, but you qualify for a higher Certificate.
So you can register for a Higher Certificate in Accounting Sciences at UNISA – which would take two years.
After that, you register for a Diploma in Accounting Sciences – Takes one year.
Register for an Advanced Diploma in Accounting (ADA) – one year.
Only then can you register for The Postgraduate Diploma in Accountancy program.
Now let’s say you took Maths Lit in High School.
You can register for the extended Bcom Accounting program at UJ which is not endorsed by SAICA – this will take 4 years.
You can then register for a Bridging Certificate in Theory of Accounting (BCTA) at UJ or an Advanced Diploma in Accounting at UNISA, these are basically the same thing – takes a year.
Only after you’ve passed your BCTA/ ADA can you register for Postgraduate Diploma in Accountancy program.
Now let’s you have a Diploma in Accounting from whichever University.
You can either register for an Advanced Diploma in Accounting at UNISA and then CTA or you can register for the undergraduate Bachelor of Accounting Sciences degree at UJ ( They will credit you for some of the modules you did in your Diploma but you have to be registered For the program for a minimum of two years)
Then register for your CTA.
Now let’s say you did a Non-accredited Bcom Accounting degree. You can either register for the ADA at UNISA or BCTA at UJ.
Then register for the Postgraduate Diploma in Accountancy.
Side Note : When I say “register”, I’m assuming that you have applied and have been accepted for that particular program. You can’t just register without applying.
Now, the Final year of your SAICA endorsed Bcom Accounting program, The advanced Diploma in Accounting at UNISA and the BCTA at UJ need to be completed within one year in order for you to be able to register for the Postgraduate Diploma in Accountancy.
If you complete them in two years, don’t despair, UNISA has your back.
Now, let’s say you have your SAICA endorsed Bcom Accounting degree, BCTA, ADA with third year modules completed in more than one year.
UNISA gives you the opportunity to fix that, UNISA says to you, we see that you have completed the required credits but it took you longer than it should have, we know that you are capable of Passing the Postgraduate Diploma in Accountancy but we don’t think you are ready yet, we need to prepare you for the program.
That is where CTA level 1 and CTA level 2 come in. CTA level 2 is the normal CTA program that is done at SAICA endorsed institutions.
CTA Level 1 is for people with undergraduate degrees that are older than 3 years.
People who don’t meet the minimum requirements for CTA level 2
People who completed their third year modules/ ADA/ BCTA in more than a year.
After you’ve passed your CTA level 1, you can register for CTA level 2.
As you can tell, the alternative routes are longer, but when you know what you want, you stick it out. Because at the end of the day, it won’t matter how long it took you when you finally have that CA(SA) next to your name.