Seven hundred and forty-two (742) is currently the total number of registered Chartered Accountants (CA’s) in Namibia, a figure that the University of Namibia, through its School of Accounting, has significantly contributed to profiling.
Since independence, the chartered accounting fraternity has grown purposefully and meaningfully to envision a more diverse demographic in terms of gender and race.
“To date, we have graduated a significant number of Chartered Accountants who are making great headway in the industry while the recent graduates are progressing fairly well towards their board examinations”, remarked the Chartered Accountancy Programme Leader, Samantha Schwartz.
She furthered adds that “Since 2016, UNAM alumni students contributed about 40% of all CA candidates that attempted the Initial Test of Competency (ITC) board examination set by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), and we couldn’t be prouder”.
ITC is the first of the two professional board examinations which Chartered Accountant candidates are required to pass to register with ICAN as CAs.
The University’s significant contribution to the chartered accounting fraternity is largely attributed to a decision made in 2012 to roll-out a separate unique degree qualification programme. Schwartz discloses that: “In 2012, the then Department of Accounting, Auditing and Taxation rolled out a 3-year bachelor degree programme uniquely tailored for the CA qualification. The programme aimed to reduce the studying time with two years for UNAM students”.
In the past, CA students had to embark on a 9-year journey to become registered and recognised chartered accountants in Namibia. The current 3-year degree programme is coupled with a Certificate in the Theory of Accounting (CTA) programme at North-West University. The latter – a route tailored by partnering with North-West University.
Currently, the School of Accounting, formerly known as the Department of Accounting, Auditing, and Taxation, is the largest in the Faculty of Commerce, Management, and Law and continuously strives to expand access for students to its programmes, without sacrificing academic excellence. The school’s key focus is to address skill shortages and forge demographic building, a goal it continues to attain through its students.
“The journey to becoming a chartered accountant is truly challenging and many students are at some point faced with the urge to give up, but we are so proud of our students for soldiering on”, said a proud programme leader.