8th April 2014
A development model pioneered in South Africa could well set the benchmark for the rest of continent. The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants’ (Saica’s) Thuthuka initiative, which has seen a near ten-fold increase in qualified black accountants in the last decade, will be exported to other African countries and developing nations globally.
Saica head of professional development Chantyl Mulder told Business Day that a fierce commitment to standards and strong private sector partnerships have been key to the success. As she explained to the news provider, cooperation is everything: "It is about alignment and working together constructively for a common cause. But we must get off our high horses to make this type of initiative work. It’s not government’s job — it’s all our jobs.”
The Thuthuka model was hailed by the World Bank in a recent report, which said this programme has been crucial to South Africa’s accounting sector. It found the gender and racial demographics for Certificate in the Theory of Accounting (CTA) students had changed “dramatically” over the past nine years. For example, the number of female CTA students as a percentage of total enrolment in 2003 was approximately 28 per cent. By 2011 it had increased to 50 per cent. Meanwhile black students comprised 25.8 per cent of total CTA enrolment in 2003, versus 38.8 per cent in 2011.
World Bank representative Patrick Kabuya said: "South Africa has implemented a number of commendable accountancy profession reforms in the past decade that have contributed to strengthening its financial reporting systems. The systems have contributed to the advancement of governance and financial accountability which are critical pillars of enhancing business environment and country competitiveness".
The Thuthuka model is to be presented at the International Federation of Accountants’ meeting in November as a model for developing nations.
South Africa’s auditing and reporting standards consistently top the World Economic Forum’s global rankings.
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