Professional Accounting Bodies in South Africa – Who is who in the Zoo?

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Ever wondered what the Accounting Regulatory Sector looks like? Read this article to find your way around the industry with ease.

Professional accounting bodies have the statutory right to set admission criteria, rules of conduct and continued education requirements that must be met before a person is deemed qualified. The professional accounting bodies so licenced include:

  • Southern African Institute for Business Accountants (SAIBA)
  • South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA)
  • South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA)
  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
  • Institute of Accounting and Commerce (IAC)
  • South African Institute of Government Auditors (SAIGA)
  • Institute of Chartered Secretaries of South Africa (ICSA)

As government has given regulatory responsibility to these organisations, they in effect act as Self-Regulating Organisations (SRO). Professional self-regulation under law is differentiated from other forms of self-regulation by the fact that it is compulsory and is enforced through law under the authority of the state. As SROs the bodies are required to set admission criteria, CPD requirements, discipline members, be financially viable and commit to the development of the profession.

The following table provides a comparison of the professional accounting bodies:

Members Represent
SAICA 32 000 CFOs, FDs, CA, auditors
SAIPA 8 000 General accountants, SME practitioner
CIMA 1 500 Management accountants
IAC   800 General accountants, SME practitioner
ACCA    500 CFOs, FDs, CA, auditors
ICB 3 000 (mostly students) Bookkeepers and entry level accountants

 

SAIBA 2 300 Accounting and financial professionals.

The BA (SA) designation is a home for anyone that works in or with the accounting department. This includes any of the following: Debtors clerk, Creditor clerk, Financial controller, Financial manager, and Financial accountant. It is also suitable for Marketing, HR and Operations managers that work with the accounting department and need to know accounting jargon and prepare their own budgets.

The BAP (SA) designation is for persons providing accounting work to the public for a fee and is ideal for accounting officers and independent reviewers.

In recent years completing tax returns and giving tax advice for a fee has become subject to regulation. The Tax Administration Act 28 of 2011 (TAA) requires that such persons be registered with a controlling body. Controlling bodies are professional tax bodies that have met the admission requirements in terms of the TAA. Professional tax bodies so recognised include:

  • South African Institute of Tax Practitioners (SAIT)
  • South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA)
  • South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA)
  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
  • Institute of Accounting and Commerce (IAC)
  • Institute of Chartered Secretaries of South Africa (ICSA)

SAIT is the largest professional tax body and boast a membership of more than 10 000 tax practitioners.

1 COMMENT

  1. ICBA – Institute of Certified Bookkeepers and Accountants (qualified members) has been left out as professional accounting body or were the qualified members lumped together with the students under the ICB umbrella

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