The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) recently announced the candidates who wrote and successfully met the requirements of the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) examination. One of 2 024 names released was that of Charne Ferreira, a University of the Free State (UFS) alumna.
Ferreira was among 3 560 candidates who attempted the APC in November 2019. This gruelling part of her journey to becoming a Chartered Accountant (CA) was a culmination of many years of intensive education and training.
Now a Senior Associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ferreira reflects on how her career started with the decision to take Accounting as a subject in high school. In her second and thirdyear as a Kovsie student, Ferreira challenged herself to become a tutor. This gave her the opportunity to secure a position as an Academic Trainee at the UFS School of Accountancy.
Recognising outstanding performance
Not only did Ferreira pass the most demanding Chartered Accounting test in South Africa, but she excelled and earned a place on the institute's prestigious APC Honours Roll. SAICA honours only 12 exceptional candidates for their aptitude and skill.
Excellence to match market demands
According to Freeman Nomvalo, CEO of SAICA: In many ways this is the toughest exam because it requires aspirant Chartered Accountants (CASA) to apply their technical academic knowledge from multiple disciplines to a single but complex reallife business case study. To pass, candidates must demonstrate high levels of the skills employers have told us they want in the next generation of CAs (SA).
Succeeding at this final test of professional competence requires advanced levels of critical thinking, the ability to work with technology, and the capacity to assimilate new information under pressure over a fiveday period which culminates in an eighthour assessment. It's gruelling but it's exactly the kind of challenge successful candidates will soon face as qualified CAs (SA), added Nomvalo.
A word to the wise
Looking back at the building blocks that led her to this point, Ferreira shared invaluable advice for future candidates. Ask for help, speak up if you do not know, speak up if you are drowning in stress. Your career is not a sprint, it is okay if you fail, as long as you get up again and the most important thing is, make time to rest, do not be so hard on yourself, she said.
In congratulating Ferreira and the other UFS alumni who passed the 2019 Assessment of Professional Competence, Prof Frans Prinsloo, Director: School of Accountancy, also paid tribute to the excellent work of the UFS academics in the School who play a vital role in developing the knowledge, skills and values of the next generation of accounting professionals. These results attest to the quality of the Chartered Accountancy education offered by the UFS, he said.
Source: University of the Free State