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Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act, 2003 (Act No. 53 of 2003)

Industry Charters

Chartered Accountancy Charter

Section A: Background

3. Scope

3.2 The CA Profession


As indicated in figure 1, the CA profession consists of the following:


3.2.1 The CA Sector (Public Practice) - Registered Auditors


The IRBA was instituted in terms of the Auditing Profession Act (Act 26 of 2005) (the AP Act), and took over the functions of the Public Accountants and Auditors Board (PAAB) in 2006. It is the statutory body regulating that part of the Accountancy profession involved in statutory audits, a component part of what is referred to in this Sector Code as the CA sector, in the Republic of South Africa.


In terms of the AP Act a 'firm' means an RA, also known as an RA, a number of RAs in partnership or a company referred to in section 38(3) of the AP Act.


The IRBA is accordingly the body designated by the AP Act to determine who may or may not register as an auditor, to place his or her services at the disposal of the public for reward. One of the education and experience requirements for qualifying as a CA is that prospective members need to undergo a learnership at an approved training organisation in public practice. (This is known as Training Inside of Public Practice, or TIPP).


Thus an RA may engage in public practice by him- or herself or in partnership with other RAs. In addition persons registered in terms of the AP Act as auditors may in terms of the Companies Act, 1973 (Act 61 of 1973) form a company to engage in public practice through its members, provided that the company is incorporated with a share capital and that every shareholder of the company is a natural person, an RA and a director. Therefore only such a shareholder may be a director of such a company. The CA sector consists mainly of the big four firms, and numerous small and medium size firms as well as the Auditor-General.


As part of the determination process the IRBA may adopt an accreditation model whereby the IRBA recognises the qualification of members of other accountancy bodies for purposes of registration with the IRBA as RAs. However, in terms of the AP Act no person may engage in public practice as an auditor unless he or she is registered as an auditor with the IRBA.


At this point in time the only accountancy body whose members are recognised by the IRBA for purposes of registering as RAs, is SAICA. It is likely that members of other accountancy bodies may be accredited by the IRBA for purposes of registration as RAs in the future, subject to their meeting the requirements set by IRBA. One of these recognition requirements would be that such a body should have its own Sector Code or have agreed to adopt the CA Sector Code for B-BBEE purposes.


The direct link between the CA profession and the IRBA is based on the fact that CAs are accredited by the regulatory body to perform as RAs and the public practice firms serve as a training ground for future CAs.


3.2.2 The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA)


Whereas the IRBA is the regulatory body for RAs, SAICA is the membership body for CAs. This membership body determines the pre- and post-education and experience requirements for CAs, and prospective members need to meet all the education and experience requirements before registration as a member will be permitted.


In terms of the Chartered Accountant Designation (Private) Act, no 67 of 1993 only persons who are registered with SAICA as a member may use the designation 'Chartered Accountant'.


The mission of SAICA is to serve the interests of theCA profession and society by amongst others delivering competent entry level members; running and facilitating programmes to transform the profession and facilitate community upliftment; and fulfilling a leadership role regarding relevant business related issues. Accordingly, one of SAICA's key strategic objectives is to transform the profession, the ultimate objective being that membership demographics reflect the country's population demographics.


The decision that SAICA should provide the underlying support structure and administration for the development of a Sector Code for the CA sector, on the one hand, and on the other to play an active role in helping the sector to achieve its transformation objectives, is influenced by a number of issues:

The great diversity in the CA sector (with members working in public practice, in the public and private sectors and in education and many running their own businesses).
SAICA is the common denominator in this diversity, being the organisation of which all CAs in South Africa are members.
SAICA already provides support services to its members, and its role in furthering the objectives of the CA Sector Code could be a natural extension of this service.
In agreeing to provide this function, SAICA will be working towards the fulfilment of its mission.


3.2.3 The Office of the Auditor-General


The Auditor-General conducts audits of government departments and other public sector bodies to provide assurance to Parliament that these entities have achieved their financial objectives and managed their financial affairs according to sound financial principles and in accordance with the legal framework created by Parliament.


The vision of the Office of the Auditor-General is to be the independent world-class provider of public sector audits and related value-adding services, and its mission is to provide independent and objective quality audit and related value-adding services in the management of public resources, thereby enhancing good governance in the public sector.


The Office of the Auditor-General is accredited by SAICA as a training office, within the TIPP framework.


3.2.4        Training outside of Public Practice (TOPP) Organisations


One of the experience requirements is that prospective CAs must enter into learnership agreements with approved training organisations. Such organisations can be inside of public practice (see par. 3.2.1) or outside of public practice, generally known as Training Outside of Public Practice (TOPP). While TOPP organisations will have their own sector Sector Codes on which they will be measured, they do also play an important role in the transformation of the CA profession as a whole through their learnership programmes for the delivery of CAs.


3.2.5        Members


Members include all persons registered with SAICA and / or IRBA as members and who may consequently use the designation Chartered Accountants (South Africa) (CA(SA)) and / or RAs.


These members work in an array of sectors such as public practice, public sector, private sector and education.


3.2.6 Accredited Education Institutions


As part of the education requirements for becoming a CA, SAICA accredits higher education institutions through which the education programmes are delivered to prospective CAs.


At present there are 13 such accredited higher education institutions. These providers also play a critical role in the transformation of the CA profession.