The Department of Accounting receives SAIPA accreditation
In a very exciting development, the Department of Accounting’s General Accounting degree was accredited by the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA) this year. This accreditation will enable non Chartered Accountant students of the Department the opportunity to register and become members of the professional body. SAIPA is one of South Africa's foremost accountancy institutes comprising more than 6000 professional accountants in practice, commerce and industry, government and academia. Membership of SAIPA provides accountancy professionals with local and international recognition, ensures that they remain abreast of the latest local and international developments in the accountancy profession and are able to regularly network with fellow accountancy professionals. SAIPA addressed the Department’s third year students at the East London Campus on the 17th of October and provided them additional information on the benefits of being affiliated with SAIPA, how to apply for membership and facilitated a question and answer session with the students. Daylan Staude, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Accounting said; “the accreditation of the programme is particularly significant for the students that graduate with a B-com general degree as it will afford them the opportunity to belong to a well accredited, professional body”. The University of Fort Hare was the first university to gain SAICA accreditation since the institute’s accreditation and monitoring processes were revised in 2006. Since then, the Department has produced consistently good results, becoming one of the flagship Departments of the university. According to industry research, higher education is not producing enough graduates to meet the market demand for new entrants. South Africa is especially in desperate need of black and coloured accounting professionals, and according to Professor Lana Hanner Weldon, Associate Professor at the Department of Accounting, one of the core objectives of the Department is to increase the number of black qualified students in the accounting profession. The Department’s CA and non-CA programmes are at par with most SAICA accredited institutions but the Department experiences difficulties in attracting quality graduates as the university’s catchment area comprises mostly rural, underdeveloped schools. According to Professor Hanner, quality graduates, after having experienced the staff’s commitment to teaching and learning and the supplementary programmes accompanying academic training, such as the work readiness skills programme; the student motivational and mentorship seminars; the Omega program, one of the many projects that aid students in applying theory to practice, are retained by the institution to continue their post graduate studies.