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Why is World Youth Skills Day important?

15 July has been declared as World Youth Skills Day by the United Nations to highlight the importance of equipping youth with skills for employment and entrepreneurship. The UN’s objective is to spread awareness about technical, vocational education training, and the development of other skills relevant to both local and global economies.

The World Bank reports that most economies are in short supply of accountants, and South Africa and the rest of the continent are no exception.  Below we look at the many professional bodies in the accounting and auditing profession that one can choose from that are all available in South Africa (and some African countries as well).

In the next few weeks, we will be covering the different professional bodies, some of which are International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) members (IFAC is the global organisation for the accounting profession and is headquartered in New York in the United States of America).  Its global membership base through its different membership bodies is over 3 million.

Some accountancy and finance organizations in South Africa.


Each professional accountancy organization offers its own designation with different requirements needed to be met for one to obtain the qualification. Some of these include:

  • Association of Accounting Technicians—South Africa (AAT-South Africa)
  • South African Institute of Business Accountants (SAIBA)
  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
  • South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA)
  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
  • South African In­­stitute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA)
  • Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA)
  • Southern African Institute of Government Auditors (SAIGA)
  • The Institute of Internal Auditors South Africa (IIA)
  • Chartered Financial Analyst Institute (CFA Institute)
  • Institute of Accounting and Commerce (IAC)
  • Southern African Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (CSSA)


AAT, SAICA, SAIPA, CIMA and ACCA are members of IFAC.

Each of the listed bodies serve a specific segment in the market and youths who are looking for a career in finance, should evaluate each of the bodies before joining or even embarking on their studies, evaluating what each organisation offers, privileges of each body, qualifications offered by the body as well as their limitations.  It is important that youths evaluate which of these may be the best fit for their known life mission, personalities as well as their career ambitions.

Accounting plays an essential role in economic development and sustainability. High-quality corporate reporting is key to improving transparency, facilitating the mobilization of domestic and international investment, creating a sound investment environment and fostering investor confidence, thus promoting financial stability for a company and extending to a local economy to the global economy.

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