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Unlike the traditional understanding of what an accountant does, which puts emphasis on the preparation of financial statements, a Professional Accountant (SA) is a business consultant/advisor who actively participates in the decision-making processes of a business, and can perform a broad range of functions. As you can imagine, it takes a significant amount of learning to do this.

If you want to become a Professional Accountant (SA), you will need to comply with the following academic, practical and Professional Evaluation (PE) requirements of SAIPA:

Academic requirements

Successfully completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree or equivalent, with the following required core subjects from a SAIPA-accredited tertiary institution (click here):

  • Financial Accounting 3
  • Taxation 1
  • Auditing 1 / Internal Auditing 2 / Internal Control and Code of Ethics
  • Corporate Law 1 / Commercial Law 2
  • Management Accounting
  • Practical requirements

A three year learnership at a SAIPA Accredited Training Centre (ATC) for a list of these <a href=”https://www.saipa.co.za/lists-of-atcs/”>click here</a>; or six years of verifiable experience; or a completed training programme from another accredited professional accounting body.

Professional Evaluation (PE) exam

The SAIPA Professional Evaluation is a four-hour written examination to determine your ability to integrate your academic knowledge with your practical experience gained in the workplace. The exam can be taken twice a year in various venues around South Africa, in either May or November, and is part of the admission process for membership to SAIPA.

SAIPA is here to guide you through the entire Professional Accountant (SA) qualification. Once you are a fully-fledged accountant, SAIPA also offers you the chance to attend our events where you can learn more about vital topics such as e-filing and professional ethics. Our student members can also attend two SAIPA events per year free. If you would like to find out more about this and other benefits for student members, then you can follow this link.