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More than 30 percent of the chief executives of the 200 biggest companies listed on South Africa's stock market are chartered accountants.
And in those same 200 companies, 82percent of the chief financial officers are also chartered accounts (CA's).
A CA usually has analytical abilities, a systematic and logical thought process, good communications skills and a talent for working quickly and accurately with numbers.
To be a CA, you have to get top marks in most subjects in matric and you most definitely have to score well above average grades in mathematics and English.
Though interesting, fulfilling and rewarding, a CA's requirements are demanding. So it is not surprising that South Africa suffers from a shortage of such professionals.
It is also not surprising that they are among the highest paid of all professionals. Senior chartered accountants in the big firms, who are executives in commerce and industry, are the highest paid professionals.
But you can't be the top dog without working your tail off.
To become a CA, you have to obtain a four-year degree from an approved university. You then have to complete a 36-month training contract with an accounting firm to become an auditor or with an approved training organisation to follow the financial management route.
You also have to complete a rele- vant postgraduate diploma or specialised course such as the Certificate in Theory of Accounting and pass part one of the qualifying examination (accounting) and part two (auditing or financial management).
After that, you must register with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) You then get to use the most sought-after letters after your name - CA(SA).
The Thuthuka Bursary Fund offers bursaries to previously disadvantaged students. Some firms in public practice also offer bursaries.
Send applications for 2008-2009 to The Thuthuka Bursary Fund, PO Box 59875, Kengray, 2100 DX92 Johannesburg or visit www.saica.co.za The closing date is 30 June every year.
Further information is available from Saica's accountancy development unit. Tel: 086-107-2422.