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SPECIAL REPORT: Top 10 Statistics: Part II of the Qualifying Examination

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Top 10 Statistics: Part II of the Qualifying Examination

(Financial Management)

SAICA is extremely pleased with the excellent pass rate achieved in the Part II Financial Management Exam (QEII) written in November 2008. An overall pass rate of 79% (previous year 53%) was achieved.

The first time candidate pass rate was 81% compared to 63% in the previous year. Repeat candidates also performed well in this exam with a 64% pass rate compared to last year’s 41% pass rate. See Key Statistics table below.

The excellent pass rate is ascribed to a combination of factors, among them:

• The higher percentage of first-time candidates writing the examination (85% of the exam candidate population compared to 50% in the previous year);
• The implementation of a new case study format which was introduced in 2007 and which tests candidates’ ability to integrate and apply their technical and professional skills in a written exam. This exam now features two separate integrated case studies for which all candidates are given 20 minutes additional reading time before commencing with the writing of the examination;
• Both candidates and training officers put a substantial effort into preparation for the examination; and
• Candidates receiving outstanding support from the SAICA-accredited Accounting Professional Training (APT) programme in the form of additional lectures, simulated examinations and group tutorials.

Mr Mitan Nana and Mr Andrew Da Costa, both trainees from Investec, achieved honours being an average of higher than 75% in the QE II.

In addition SAICA is pleased with the fact that 6 of the Top 10 candidates are Black (3 African and 3 Indian). Two of the African candidates who were placed in the Top 10 completed the Part 1 Thuthuka Support Programme in 2007.
Further, one of the Top 10 candidates is a repeat candidate. Having a repeat candidate in the Top 10 is extremely rare as statistics show that the chances of success amongst repeat candidates is lower than that of first time candidates, but the 2008 results revealed that if repeat candidates apply themselves diligently, qualifying for the CA(SA) designation is obtainable as evidenced this year.

Key Statistics

QE PART II – FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
FIRST TIMERS VS REPEAT CANDIDATES (2007 VS 2008)
Fail Pass TOTAL % Pass
First timers 32 140 172 81%
Repeats 10 18 28 64%
TOTAL 2008 42 158 200 79%
First timers 28 48 76 63%
Repeats 41 29 70 41%
TOTAL 2007 69 77 146 53%

The top 10 candidates for 2008 are:

PLACE NAME FIRM
1 Mitan Nana * Investec Bank Ltd
2 Andrew Da Costa * Investec Bank Ltd
3 Munyaradzi Muvezwa Standard Bank of South Africa
4
Lwanda Cenge Investec Bank Ltd
5 Ruveshan Moodliyar First Rand Bank
6 Stuart Simpson Standard Bank of South Africa
7 Niriksha Singh Standard Bank of South Africa
8 Rona Louwrens Altron Management Services
9 Borg Sauber First Rand Bank
10 Mpho Mogoba Absa Bank
* With Honours

 

SPECIAL REPORT

Top Ten Candidate Profiles

1. Mitan Nana (23) CA(SA) – Investec Bank Limited

How did you prepare for the exams?
While preparing for the APT exams, I brushed up on my theoretical knowledge but focused more on revision and practised exam technique by going through previous board exams during the two weeks prior to the exam. It is worth mentioning that the exam had a very practical approach and, as such, it is difficult to prepare in the classic sense of exam preparation. The success of the QEII exam is a culmination of a sound university-education, hands-on training during one’s traineeship and having a keen acumen for financial management and business in general.

How do you feel now that you have passed and what does it mean to finally be a CA(SA)?
I am absolutely ecstatic and it is very rewarding having crossed the final hurdle following six years of arduous work and preparation. Qualifying as a CA(SA) is not only a personal feat but also, as mentioned earlier, an international ticket to global opportunities. SAICA must be commended on maintaining the quality of the CA(SA) qualification as it is highly regarded both inside SA and abroad. By qualifying as a CA(SA), I will soon join an elite class of business people and entreprenuers and hope to leverage off the achievements and successes of those before me.

What is your advice to other students aspiring to be CAs(SA)?
The CA(SA) qualification serves as an international passport within the global market place. Moreover, it is perhaps one of the best internationally-recognised qualifications to complement both those aspiring to be an entrepreneur or those wanting to climb the ranks of a large corporate.

2. Andrew Da Costa (25) CA(SA) – Investec Bank Limited

How did you prepare for the exams?
I took two and a half weeks of study leave and structured it in such a way that I would first revise the theory for each of the sections followed by practice questions. I spent my last week of study leave completing past board papers. I found this hugely beneficial. I also think it is important to study in an environment in which you are comfortable.

How do you feel now that you have passed and what does it mean to finally be a CA(SA)?
It is a real sense of accomplishment. I guess it is the pinnacle of seven years of studying and the start of a new life chapter. It is a great honour for me be a CA(SA). It is something that I feel will open many doors for me in my future. The CA(SA) is a great qualification that teaches excellent technical and professional skills while preparing you to be successful in the business world.

What is your advice to other students aspiring to be CAs(SA)?
It is hard work, but worth it in the end. Focus on the end goal and you will get there. It is important to blend your academic knowledge with the business/practical experience you have gained during your training when you write Board II. I think it is beneficial not to view your CA(SA) qualification in isolation, but to complement it with other learning experiences.

3. Munyaradzi Muvezwa CA(SA) – Standard Bank of South Africa

How did you prepare for the exams?
Nothing beats hard work! I worked hard on exam techniques. This meant understanding the syllabus content and a lot of practice questions under exam conditions with the aim of improving my efficiency in scoring marks. I also tried to enjoy the subject whilst at it and that helped as well.

How do you feel now that you have passed and what does it mean to finally be a CA(SA)?
It’s way more than anything I could have dreamt of. I am just happy to pass and coming 3rd in the country just put the icing on the cake. It feels like a load has been lifted off my shoulders. But being a professional comes with responsibilities and for me that means understanding what is expected of a CA(SA) and conducting myself in a manner that promotes the profession. It also means being an example to black students aspiring to be CAs(SA) and the realisation of a dream. It is a source of pride and financial freedom!

What is your advice to other students aspiring to be CAs(SA)?
You can make it! Believe in yourself, work hard and pick up good exam techniques and build on it as you go through your studies.

How did the Thuthuka Project help you on your route to qualifying as a CA(SA)?
I was part of both the inaugural QE1 support programme and the extra tutorial sessions group for part 2. The Thuthuka Project helped me improve on my exam techniques and to polish up on my understanding of the syllabus. With all the effort that went into the success of the projects from everyone involved, especially the QE1 support programme, you just had to work as hard as you could as a way of showing your appreciation.

4. Lwanda Cenge (23) CA(SA) – Investec Bank Limited

How did you prepare for the exams?
I focused on my exam technique. I think a big part of it was the mental preparation and getting myself into the right frame of mind. It’s very important to focus but you also need to take time for yourself and do the things you like.

How do you feel now that you’ve passed and what does it mean to finally be a CA(SA)?
Ecstatic, overwhelmed, thrilled, excited and proud of myself. What also makes it so wonderful is sharing the success with my beautiful friends and family that have been there every step of the way. Being a CA(SA) means everything! Qualifying for me is the start of yet another journey – a journey that is no longer about Lwanda but one that is about making a difference where I can with the skills that I have and being able to inspire others. With this qualification, I can truly participate in the transformation and growth of our developing economy.

What is your advice to aspiring CAs(SA)
It’s a long journey, bitter-sweet at times but really worth it. It doesn’t take a genius to follow this career path but it takes a very strong-willed individual who is determined and has self drive.

5. Rona Lauwrens (26) CA(SA), – Northwest University

How did you prepare for the exams?
First I made sure that I had a solid foundation regarding the applicable theory, and then: practise, practise, practise! I also worked on previous QE and CIMA papers.

How do you feel now that you have passed and what does it mean to finally be a CA(SA)?
I’m on cloud nine! I was relieved that all the stress of waiting for the results is a thing of the past. Being a CA(SA) opens doors everywhere in the big world. The CA(SA) route is such a sought after qualification, that we can always be sure of a challenging position in the market. I am currently a lecturer at the North West University (Potchefstroom Campus), and I feel that being a CA(SA) gives me credibility as a lecturer.

What is your advice to other students aspiring to be CAs(SA)?
Tackle every aspect of becoming a CA(SA) with passion. Be it studying hard for difficult exams, not passing everything the first time, or working long hours while doing your training. If you give it your all from the start, it’s hard not to be successful.

6. Mpho Mogoba (24) CA(SA)

How did you prepare for the exams?
A balanced approach was key and included exercise, going out, lots of laughter with friends and support from loved ones.

How do you feel now that you have passed and what does it mean to finally be a CA(SA)?
Greatful and humbled. Being a CA(SA) means a world of opportunities have just opened up and is there for my taking.

What is your advice to other students aspiring to be CAs(SA)?
The most rewarding things in life are difficult and require personal sacrifice, otherwise why would we aspire to them?

How did Thuthuka Project help you on your route to qualifying as a CA(SA)?
The intense lectures as well as the tutorials forced me to study on a continuous basis and thus keep up with the work. A speed reading course also helped me immensely.

Message from Chantyl Mulder, Senior Executive – Transformation at SAICA.

To all the successful Financial Management Candidates: Congratulations. You have achieved what a lot of people are only dreaming of.
Well done and may you make yourself and our profession proud as you develop your careers further and become the business leaders CAs(SA) are today. Remember, that you are free to choose where you work, what you do, and with whom you will work. But who and what you eventually become is hanging in the balance. Be excellent in all that you do. If you want to achieve excellence, you can get there today. As of this second, stop doing less than excellent work!

SPECIAL REPORT

IRBA releases PPE results

Of the 2 566 (2007: 2 479) candidates who sat the November 2008 Public Practice Examination (PPE), 1 545 (2007: 1 766) candidates passed, which equates to a pass rate of 60% (2007: 71%). The pass rate for candidates who wrote for the first time was 67% (2007: 81%).

The PPE is the final test of professional competence for qualification as a Registered Auditor (RA) and Chartered Accountant [CA(SA)] and is administered by the IRBA.

Bernard Agulhas, the CEO of the IRBA says that the examination was a sound test of professional competence and that it appropriately tested candidates’ competence at entry level to the profession.

“Although the results are much lower than in the previous two years, the current pass rate is more reflective of the norm. It is not unusual for candidates writing the exam in one year to perform differently – it really depends on the group sitting the exam in a particular year.

“The feedback from educators and students indicated that the paper was at the expected standard. In the current global financial situation, it becomes even more critical that all standards, at entry level and thereafter, are maintained to ensure that auditors are sufficiently skilled to perform high quality audits”, he says.

Of the 998 (2007: 870) Black (African, Coloured and Indian) candidates who wrote, 521 (2007: 580) passed. This represents a pass rate of 52% (2007: 67%). Increasing the number of accountants and auditors (especially Black accountants and auditors) 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 this.

One initiative of the IRBA is the Support Programme for candidates who have been unsuccessful in previous attempts to pass the PPE. Of the 172 (2007: 132) candidates who participated in and completed the Support Programme, 88 (2007: 70) passed, representing a pass rate of 51% (2007: 53%). The pass rate for repeat candidates who did not attend the Support Programme is 42% (2007: 45%).

Of the 2 566 (2007: 2 479) candidates, 1 208 (2007: 1 154) were females with a pass rate of 65% (2007: 76%) and 1 358 (2007: 1 325) were males with a pass rate of 56% (2007: 67%).

One candidate passed with honours by achieving a pass mark of 75% and over.

The names of the top ten candidates are:

1. Catherine Marion Aitken (Honours)
2. Michelle Viljoen
3. Lynne Kathleen MacMurray
4. Madeleine Stefanie van der Merwe
5. Lauren Dicks
6. Priyesh Makan
7. Kerroshin Cyril Naidoo
8. Stuart John Hancock
9. Johanette Reyneke
10. Tanya Niebuhr
PricewaterhouseCoopers’ candidates again successful in accountants’ exam

• 5 out of the top 10 candidates
• 308 successful candidates
• 109 new black chartered accountants

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is proud of the results its candidates achieved in the November 2008 Public Practice Examination (PPE), one of the requirements for qualifying as a chartered accountant. The PPE, set by the Independent Regulatory Board of Auditors (IRBA), assesses the competence of candidates at entry point to the auditing profession after a period of multi-disciplinary training.
The firm has 308 successful candidates. “We have five candidates in the top ten this year, including the number one candidate, who was the only candidate in the country to pass with honours. This is an achievement of which we are extremely proud,” says Suresh Kana, CEO Elect and head of the firm’s Assurance practice. Given South Africa’s shortage of professionals qualified in the field of accountancy we are proud to be playing a leading role in skills development in this country”.

109 of our successful candidates are black, again complementing the award PwC received in 2006 from the Association for the Advancement of Black Accountants in South Africa (ABASA) for developing the most black chartered accountants in South Africa over the preceding five-year period. This brings to 597 the number of black chartered accountants qualified by PwC over the past six years.

PwC attributes the firm’s success to trainee accountants receiving top quality training throughout their traineeship period. Nitasha Manik, National Human Capital Leader at PwC says, “We take the training and development of our people very seriously – after all, our differentiator in the marketplace lies in the fact that it is our people that deliver the brand and we need and expect a client’s experience with them to be of a high standard. Further to our investment in training, we support our candidates by providing adequate study leave, financial assistance and exposure to top tier clients”.

“We are very fortunate in that many of our staff enjoy the stimulating environment offered by PwC throughout South Africa, and stay on to become managers, some reaching director level. This has again been evidenced by the fact that in the latest Magnet Survey, students across South Africa rate PwC as an ideal employer,” concludes Nitasha.