The purpose of this qualification is to equip students with the necessary knowledge, skills and attributes in order to pass the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) board examinations. It is aimed at providing a deeper understanding and level of proficiency so that students are able to apply their knowledge to real life or practical applications, which is the manner in which students are assessed in the SAICA board exams.
The Post Graduate Diploma in Accounting (PGDA) is aimed at fully preparing students to meet the competencies which comprise of the knowledge, skills and attributes which accounting students need to be in a position to write and pass the SAICA board exams (the initial test of competence (ITC exam) and later the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC exam). Not only are students required to be familiar with the knowledge base which underlies the competencies for each specific competency area, they are also required to meet a level of proficiency for each competence within all the specific competency areas:
Upon qualifying, learners will be able to:
Be familiar with the key principles and knowledge of the four core areas of Accounting, Auditing, Managerial Accounting and Finance, and Taxation.
Be equipped with such skill, knowledge and proficiency as is necessary to become a chartered accountant.
Understand the fundamental principles underlying the four core modules including strategy, risk management and governance.
Achieve the desired levels of proficiency in the four core modules.
Integrate the different knowledge and competencies, as in practice and real life, the various knowledge bases are interwoven and interrelated.
Aware of the fundamental importance of ethics to the accounting profession.
Have exposure a variety of contextualized case studies in order for them to develop practical and feasible methods to solve practical problems.
Have exposure to detailed problem rich scenarios so that they have to exercise judgement in choosing between alternative approaches to the problem to determine an appropriate solution.
Be prepared for the SAICA board exams.
Students who complete their Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting studies at accredited educational institutions South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) achieve a level of knowledge and proficiency in related modules of accounting and this allows learners to access a number of Accounting careers. However, in order for students to become chartered accountants they need to complete an intensive year which requires them to understand and be able to apply knowledge learnt in five different technical fields, namely:
Managerial Accounting and Finance.
Strategy, risk management and governance.
The latter is usually integrated into the other four fields as it is interrelated but must be studied in the context of accounting.
To become a chartered accountant (SA), students who have completed their B Com Accounting must also complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting (PGDA) at a SAICA accredited institution SAICA has developed a competency framework which summarises the competencies students should have achieved in order to become chartered accountants (CAs).The aim of the PGDA is consequently to appropriately prepare students to become chartered accountants by equipping them with the necessary knowledge at the required level of proficiency. Chartered accountants are regarded as a scarce skill in the country and the PGDA is aimed at providing an alternative way for accounting students to acquire the necessary competencies to also become chartered accountants.
The South African Government has also seen the huge potential for skilling students to become chartered accountants and is urging departments such as Treasury and the office of the Auditor General to provide financial assistance to students who are keen to study to become accountants. In addition, neighbouring states such as Namibia and Zimbabwe are also using the South African Universities to study to become chartered accountants. Consequently, many of the students from these countries are studying in South Africa. The institution will offer a suitable alternative by providing distance learning to these students thereby increasing the numbers of students studying to become chartered accountants. The qualification has been designed to:
Provide a formal qualification for accounting students to attain the necessary competencies in order to qualify to write the SAICA board exams.
To provide an alternative means of studying the PGDA part-time.
To enable students who are unable to pass all four modules in one year, to obtain the PGDA without CTA i.e. students will have a Diploma in accounting which assists them with becoming members of other Accounting bodies such as ACCA and CIMA.