February 12 this year heralded a new era for the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) in the Eastern Region with the opening of an independent office in Durban.
The launch was aptly entitled “Opening New Doors”, reflecting the glimpse of a bright future dedicated to serving SAICA members in the Eastern Region. The launch also gave members an opportunity to meet the newly appointed Regional Executive of the Eastern Region, Naeem Asvat.
The office was officially opened by the SAICA Executive President, Ignatius Sehoole. Other SAICA senior executives and managers such as Nazeer Wadee, (Chief Operations Officer), Riaz Hassim, (Senior Executive: Member Services and Azim Omar, (Project Director: Small and Medium Practices) were also in attendance.
The office launch was an exciting affair, with ceremonial events such as the cutting of the ribbon and the cutting of a cake. Members were also pleasantly surprised by the staging of a lucky draw, the winners of which were Mr Suresh Naidoo, Mr Hemant Govind and Mr Dave Kneebone.
The evening was sprinkled with speeches from Ignatius Sehoole and Kishore Kooverjee, President of the SAICA Eastern Region Council.
Apart from its formalities, the launch afforded members an opportunity to socialise and engage in discussions with the SAICA Executive President.
There was widespread consensus that the launch was thoroughly enjoyed by SAICA members in the Eastern Region.
The IRBA announced the results for the 2007 Public Practice Exam (PPE) in February 2008. 1766 candidates passed the exam (all top ten candidates passed with honours by achieving a pass mark of 75% and over), achieving a record equalling pass rate of 71% (71%)*. A record number of 2 479 (2 451) candidates wrote the November 2007 PPE.
The pass rate for Black (African, Coloured and Indian) candidates was a record 67% (64%), with 580 (518) passing out of a total of 870 (806) candidates. Increasing the number of accountants and auditors, especially blacks, is a national imperative and the IRBA, the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), the universities and the professional firms are working aggressively to address. One initiative of the IRBA is the implementation of a support programme for candidates who have been unsuccessful in previous attempts to pass the PPE. Of the 132 candidates who participated in and completed the IRBA’s support programme, 70 passed, representing a pass rate of 53%. The pass rate for repeat candidates who did not attend the support programme is 45%.
The number of female candidates continue to increase and of the 2 479 candidates, 1 154 (1 062) were females with a pass rate of 75,8% (74,4%) and 1 325 (1 389) were males with a pass rate of 67, 2% (68,7%).
The PPE is administered by the IRBA and it is the final test of professional competence for qualification as a Registered Auditor (RA) and Chartered Accountant (CA). The aim of the exam is for candidates to demonstrate an ability to solve multi-disciplinary practical problems in an integrated manner. To do so they must analyse and interpret information and provide viable solutions to address specific client needs. The ability to demonstrate logical thought and exercise professional judgment is an integral part of the exam.
The PPE is the culmination of a candidate’s successful completion of the academic, education and training assessment process aimed at developing professional competence. The IRBA wishes to acknowledge the significant contribution made by the various education institutions, training officers, SAICA and the staff and committees of the IRBA towards the success of the candidates.
Candidates must also ensure that they meet, at least, their minimum continuing professional development (CPD) requirements.
* Figures in brackets are comparative figures for 2006 results.