Original Research

The competencies developed in an undergraduate accounting course before SAICA's competency framework was effective: a student's perspective

Sybil Smit, Gretha Steenkamp
Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences | Vol 8, No 2 | a115 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jef.v8i2.115 | © 2015 Sybil Smit, Gretha Steenkamp | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 December 2017 | Published: 30 July 2015

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Sybil Smit, School of Accountancy, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Gretha Steenkamp, School of Accountancy, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

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SAICA developed a competency framework prescribing competencies a chartered accountant should master before qualifying. These competencies include compulsory, elective and residual skills (this study focused on compulsory skills: accounting and external reporting as well as pervasive skills). SAICA also issued guidance for academic programmes, detailing how competencies should be developed during academic training. Therefore South African universities should evaluate their academic programmes to ensure compliance with the guidance. The objectives of this study were (1) to determine the extent that an academic programme at a university (before the effective date of the guidance) had developed the compulsory skills and (2) to propose changes to the academic programme in underdeveloped areas. It was found that most skills were addressed in the academic programme but certain pervasive skills (leadership, innovation, understanding the environment, teamwork and communication) had not been well developed. Solutions include additional subjects, case studies, group work, and practical examples.


accounting students; competencies; competency framework; pervasive skills; chartered accountant; student perceptions


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