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South Africa and Namibia working together to accelerate the accountancy profession

Last Updated May 2017

Johannesburg, Tuesday 2 May 2017 – One of the key attractions of accountancy as a global profession is that you can work anywhere in the world and the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) has seen a steady growth in the number of chartered accountants (CAs[SA]) practising outside of South Africa’s borders over the past few years. To make it easier for its members to do so, SAICA has Recognition of Mutual Agreements (RMAs) in place with several accountancy bodies around the world. Recently, SAICA added the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Namibia (ICAN) to this list.

South Africa has been rated number one in the world by the World Economic Forum for auditing and reporting for the past eight years. This bears testimony to the quality of chartered accountants that SAICA represents and the tremendous effort the Institute undertakes to ensure that the designation remains relevant both locally and internationally.

However, SAICA believes it does not go far enough unless its members are also highly regarded around the world. As a professional organisation, it is deemed as important that its designation is recognised at the same level as a local designation would be should a SAICA member wish to work in another jurisdiction.

Adri Kleinhans, Project Director: Training in SAICA’s Professional Development Department, explains: ‘RMAs enable SAICA members to become members of the professional bodies with whom SAICA has formal agreements in these other jurisdictions, thereby attaining local recognition. Our CAs(SA) are then able to use the CA designation in the relevant jurisdictions without writing conversion examinations as long as they retain the CA(SA) designation.’ Kleinhans does note that, ‘for audit rights, some further examinations and accreditation may be required in some jurisdictions.’

According to Mandi Olivier, Senior Executive: Professional Development, the importance of these RMAs cannot be understated. ‘SAICA is delighted to have entered into a RMA with ICAN. It provides CAs(SA) with better opportunities and credibility when working with or for organisations in Namibia, and we believe it will also enhance the existing good relations and cooperation between the two institutes, so that together we can accelerate the development of the accounting profession.’

Adds Jacobus de la Rey du Toit, CEO of ICAN: “The conclusion of the RMA with SAICA provides CAs(NAM) with the opportunity to obtain SAICA membership, a world leading accounting institute, and creates new opportunities for ICAN members. At the same time, achieving mutual recognition with SAICA gives ICAN increased confidence that the CA(NAM) designation meets the highest quality and competence benchmarks.”

SAICA now has reciprocity agreements with eight global professional accountancy bodies, namely:

  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW);
  • Chartered Accountants in Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ);
  • The Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPAC);
  • The Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA);
  • Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI);
  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland (ICAS);
  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants Zimbabwe (ICAZ); and
  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Namibia (ICAN).
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