Revised CA Charter now open for public comment

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Sindi Mabaso-Koyana | Chair | CA Charter Council | Executive Chairperson | African Women Chartered Accountants (AWCA) Investment Holding Company | mail me |


In its quest to empower and grow the number of Black people in the chartered accountancy profession and empower them meaningfully to participate and sustain the growth of the economy, the Department of Trade and Industry, has gazetted the revised Chartered Accountancy Profession Sector Code (CA Charter) for public comment.

According to transformation commentators, the CA Charter will significantly increase the pace of transformation in the sector.

Transformation and skills development

The key objectives of the revised code: One of the CA Charter’s primary goals is to strengthen the country’s economy by playing a significant and leading role in transformation and skills development by looking deep into the chartered accountancy profession in a united manner.

Our profession has faced many challenges over the past few years. Now that the CA Charter has finally being gazetted, not only can the profession ramp up the transformation efforts it began so many years ago but it can elevate these plans to restore the nobility of the profession while executing tangible results.

While the CA Charter utilises the Generic Codes as a base for its charter as far possible, it deviates from the standard allocation of points required under B-BBEE legislation in order to place a significant emphasis on the skills development that forms the foundation of the sector.

In so doing, the CA sector seeks to achieve its stated objective of growing the number of Black people in the CA profession to reflect the country’s population demographics.

These deviations are particularly evident in:

  • the increased weightings of targets set for the Skills Development Element, where ten additional points have been added to the weighting; and
  • the Enterprise and Supplier Development Element, where ten points have been removed from the procurement targets: it has minimal applicability in the CA sector.

The weightings for the revised CA sector codes are therefore as follows:

Element Codes of Good Practice CA Sector Code
Ownership 25 points 25 points
Management Control 19 points 19 points
Skills Development 20 points 30 points
Enterprise and Supplier Development 40 points 30 points
Socio-Economic Development 5 points 5 points
Total 109 points 109 points

The CA Charter: significantly more than a mere tick box exercise

Having examined the practical implications of the B-BBEE codes, the Council has worked in consultation with various key stakeholders to devise creative and sustainable ways to use the Generic Codes to cultivate growth and equality within the sector and thereby produce more Black CAs(SA).

By changing the Skills Development Score to 30 points, from the conventional 20, the CA profession is able to place greater emphasis on training, learnerships and bursary fund investments as it is impossible to grow the number of Black CAs(SA) without funding.

In addition to removing ten points from the Enterprise and Supplier Development Element (reducing it to a total of 30 points as opposed to 40), the CA Charter has reduced Supplier Development contributions from 10 points to five points and allocated these five points to the capacitating of South Africa’s historically disadvantaged tertiary institutions (HDIs) so they can develop future Black CAs.

There is wisdom in building capacity at HDIs, is improving the level of education available at HDIs means that we increase the capacity of the country in increasing the number of Black students who can now graduate from these institutions and also address many challenges relative to inequality.

She adds that the contributions towards this factor will also be used for, among other things, the subvention of salaries for Black academics at these institutions.

Why a Sector Code specifically for the CA profession?

The unique nature of CA profession demands strategic development approaches.

The number of prospective Black CAs(SA) in the pipeline – relative to those who are well established – is growing thanks to ongoing transformation initiatives such as SAICA’s Thuthuka Bursary Fund. South Africa still has a large shortage of CAs(SA) – especially African and coloured CAs(SA). But thanks to the CA Charter, the profession now has a very real opportunity to empower South African citizens by meaningfully expanding the economic activity of the country through the creation of decent work and sustainable livelihoods.

– Chantyl Mulder, SAICA Executive Director: Nation Building

Individuals who want to comment on the new CA Charter, should e-mail the DTI (for the attention of Sipho Solfafa) at cacode@thedti.gov.za by no later than 26 June 2019.

The full CA Charter can found here.


 

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