• Posted on: 15 May 2019
  • By: Hilton Johnson

The aim of the draft is to transform the profession by increasing the number of black CA’s at business ownership and management level.
The department of trade and industry has gazetted a revised draft of the chartered accountancy profession sector code in a bid to transform the profession.

The draft code comes on the back of calls in the industry for more black ownership and management at companies, in the accounting sector.
In the Gazette, published on Friday, the department said its goal is to increase the number of black chartered accountants, particularly women, in ownership and management of chartered accounting companies.

“The vision of the chartered accountancy (CA) profession sector code is to grow the number of black people in the CA profession to reflect the country’s demographics, to empower and enable them to participate in and sustain the growth of the economy, to advance equal opportunity and equitable income distribution,” reads the draft of the charter. 

The department states that black people faced several challenges that locked them out of the accounting profession from high school, through tertiary institutions and into the workplace.

Regarding ownership and management, the department states that many black accountants leave public practice due to the higher salaries in the private sector, to avoid the high risks of the public practices regarding litigation and inadequate career planning.

The department also found that black partners were expected to play a disproportionately large role in business development and marketing, taking their time away from technical input and personal development.

To remedy this, the department of trade and industry recommended that auditing be sold as an exciting career option, that companies have career development plans for chartered accountants and other professionals and that black partners play a bigger role in the delivery of technical services and practice management.

It also recommends effective mentoring of black chartered accountants by senior employees. At the high school level, the department said the target was to increase the number of learners who study accountancy.

The challenges many learners face include a lack of career awareness and insufficient subject choice guidance, which means that black learners do not know about accounting and other positions in the sector.

Teachers are also unaware of the importance of maths for future careers, said the department, calling for more awareness for high school learners.

The other side of the problem is that there are few maths teachers and learners do not have the right numeracy and English literacy skills to study at universities and colleges.

In tertiary institutions, some of the challenge’s black students face, including having to drop out due to financial pressure while those who study part-time take longer to qualify.

Some of the department of trade and industry’s recommendations is that tertiary institutions include skills training and socioeconomic coping mechanisms, more quality bursaries and supervision for black chartered accounting students and mentoring.

In a statement issued on Friday, the chairperson of the CA Charter Council, said: “Our profession has faced many challenges over the past few years. Now that the CA Charter has finally been gazetted, not only can the profession ramp up the transformation efforts it began so many years ago, but it can elevate these plans to restore the nobility of the profession while executing tangible results.”

Mabaso-Koyana said the CA charter deviates from the standard allocation of points as per broad-based black economic empowerment legislation in that it places emphasis on skills development.