About

After many years of struggling to qualify and then starting my professional journey, I kept finding myself saying “I wish someone had told me that!”

Along the way, I realised that my passion lies in teaching. I started lecturing Auditing for the Chartered Accounting and ACCA qualifications. I love helping people understand things, and obviously, I never want them to use those words “I wish someone had told me that” So, now I teach. Not in front of a class, and not always ‘topic-based’ stuff.

Technology is amazing. I can reach so many more students than if I was in a class. And in so many more ways. From online courses, to articles, to videos and support groups, there are more and more ways to ‘talk’ to people than ever before.

Here's what I do:

Study coaching

Online Study Coaching

Exam Technique, Study habits and mindset. These are the biggest underlying skills that students need to work on. My online course helps explain these concepts, advise and give tips. One-on-one sessions allow me to help students for their situation, and regular emails helps me keep them on track, motivated, and improve each study session, day by day.

Yvonne's online courses

Online Auditing courses and Tutoring

I tutor Auditing topics that simplify concepts and exam technique for students studying their BComs, CTA, Audit and Assurance exams (F8 and P7), or any other Audit subjects.

Email: yvonne@yvonneventer.com

Right now course

'Right Now' Audit courses

We always tell students to do questions, but it can be tough to figure out what to fix when you mark your own work, nevermind HOW to fix it! So, I do feedback courses. Do a question, mark it, send it to me, and I'll tell you whether you're marking accurately, what you need to work on, and very importantly... HOW to work on it. I focus on what to do to improve your marks as soon as possible, and where you need to, or don't need to, study theory. (My cat, Thunder, helps out with the marking!)

Auditing Study Support

Articles about Accounting, Auditing, studying, career development

That would be THIS site... right here... right now!
I love writing. My biggest challenge is making each post shorter!

Yvonne's Youtube channel

Videos about Accounting, Auditing, studying, career development

I work from home, so there's always something going on in the background. Mainly my cats. They don't like sharing my attention with a computer screen. (Sorry for all the videos you watch with cat's crying in the background!).

82 comments on “About

  1. Mpilo Mthembu

    Hi Yvonne.

    I want to know if I can do the brigding course at Unisa “Advance Diploma in Accounting CTA” after I graduate in the current course that i’m doing. I’m going to be doing my Second year at DUT. N Diploma in Cost and management accounting, and the modules that I will do this year and next year(third year) includes Taxation, Auditing, Management accounting and financial accounting. Becoming a CA/SA have always been my dream, and it’s still a dream that excites me.

    Thank for in Advance.

    1. Yvonne

      Hi…
      Please refer to UNISA’s requirements for CTA
      The best move is to contact UNISA directly, and make sure you get accurate information from the source (Hence I refer you to their page!)

      Based on your qual, it appears that you would be eligible… but I’d make absolutely sure before making final decisions. (Keep in mind that the Advanced Diploma (98230 – Stream CTA) consists of all the third year modules in the BCompt degree. 🙂

  2. Athini

    Hi Yvonne,

    I need some advice. I have a Diploma in Accounting from the University of Johannesburg and I’ve been accepted at UNISA to do an Advanced Diploma in Accounting Sciences(CTA stream). My question is which one does companies prefere between Advanced diploma and Bcompt for Articles.

    Thank you.

    1. Yvonne

      Hi hi,
      The most important thing firms are looking for when it comes to articles, is whether you’re on the CA-route. If you’re talking about this Adv Diploma, then it’s basically a ‘bridging’ course to get into CTA.
      Essentially, you’ll be doing all the same third year modules as the third year BCompt students, and once you pass, you’ll do CTA. So, your studies are going in the same direction.
      Your biggest thing on your CV and in interviews is to emphasise that the ‘Advanced Diploma’ will mean you can do CTA. Here’s UNISA’s CTA requirements

  3. Randy

    Hi
    I’m a second year student doing Bcom Accounting, I passed all my first semester modules and when the second semester results came out it appeared that I failed one module which is financial accounting. At my university it means I won’t be able to register all my third year modules in one year, I will only get to register 3 and the other third year module the coming year . So I would love to know if I can be able to do my Bcta even if I did not pass all my 3rd year modules at the same year

    1. Yvonne

      Unisa allows you 18 months, or 3 semesters, to do your third year and still be able to register for CTA

  4. Muhammad

    Hi Yvonne,

    I’m currently at Wits university doing my 3rd year but unfortunately i don’t think I’m going to pass. I have applied at Unisa and i got accepted but i didn’t get all the credits for the subjects I did at wits.

    If I carry on at unisa I would most likely only start my 3rd year in 2nd semester at Unisa and hopefully finish in 2020 first semester.

    Currently, I’m a bit unsure on what route to take.

    So would you be able to give me any advice on how i should carry on?

    At Unisa is there a possibility of starting your CTA in 2nd semester?

    Looking forward to your response.

    Kind regards,
    Muhammad

    1. Yvonne

      Hi,
      I can’t tell you what’s best for your future 🙂 Only you can make that call. Are the extra ‘years’ it will take you to qualify worth it for you if you compare it to how many years you thought it would take? What do you want to DO with your CA that you can’t do with a different qualification (SAIPA etc), or ‘just’ your degree and work experience? These are questions only you can answer. I wrote the article on ‘what if you can’t do CTA’, it might help you to read it.
      You can’t start CTA mid-year at UNISA (or any other institution, as far as I know).

  5. Chad

    Hi Yvonne

    So unisa offers CTA level 1 and CTA level 2.. The difference being that CTA level 1 can be split over 2 years.. However what i don’t understand is this: “A student obtains the Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Accounting Sciences (CTA Level 2) by:

    1. Passing the five subjects (disciplines) in one sitting (within three years). All five modules must be completed in one academic year, which includes the supplementary
    exam period to be able to qualify for admission to SAICA’s initial test of competency (ITC).

    2. Passing the five subjects (disciplines) on a piecemeal basis (within three years). If the qualification is passed on a piecemeal basis you will not qualify for admission to SAICA’s
    initial test of competency (ITC). This qualification will however enable you to continue with a Master’s ”

    This is from Unisa latest tutorial letter CTA level 2. What i don’t quite understand is that they say all 5 modules need to be passed in academic year for you to qualify to write the ITC. But they also say that you can pass CTA level 1 and move on to level 2.. but this means not all 5 modules will be passed in 1 year.. which means i won’t qualify to write the ITC. I called them bout this to help clarify but that person i spoke to didn’t sound quite up to speed. So i’m wondering if you can help me out.

    1. Yvonne

      Hi Chad,
      Yeah, there’s SO MUCH information, and yet so much of it requires ‘translation’ and simplification to really understand what’s going on!
      So, the easiest way to think about it is that CTA Level 1 is a ‘bridging course’ to get into CTA Level 2.
      You’ll see that you need to do CTA 1 if you don’t meet a bunch of criteria (did your u/grad a few years ago, didn’t finish your third year modules in 18 months, did it at another university that doesn’t quite equate etc…). So, if you don’t quite make the cut to get into ‘actual’ CTA, you need to do CTA 1 first. So, it’s not really CTA, it’s a CTA-prep course 🙂 Really annoying that the names etc are so similar!
      CTA 2 is what you’ll know as ‘CTA’ at all other universities. This is the good, old-fashioned one year CTA.
      What they’re trying to say, badly… is that if you don’t qualify for CTA 2, you’ll have to pass CTA 1 first. For both CTA 1 and CTA 2, you have to pass all five subjects in one sitting.
      If you have to do CTA 1, you can’t get into CTA 2 unless you pass all 5 modules in one sitting.
      When you do CTA 2 (regardless of whether you’ve done CTA 1, or went directly into CTA 2), you have to pass all 5 modules in one sitting.

      CTA 1 consists of about 70% of the CTA content. The level of integration and complexity is a little lower than CTA… hence, it’s to prep you for CTA-proper 🙂
      CTA 2 consists of 100% of the CTA content. (So you REDO the stuff from CTA 1, and then add the stuff you didn’t cover), the levels of integration and complexity are higher.

      Does that clarify it, or confuse it!?

      1. Beon

        For the CTA level 1 (98231) or other SAICA-endorsed NQF level 8 qualification, all modules have to be completed successfully within the maximum period allowed (three consecutive years or less) to meet the admission requirements and selection criteria of the CTA level 2 (98255). FYY

  6. V

    Hi there. Do you think it is still worth it to pursue the CA(SA) dream given the reputational damage to the profession with the recent scandals?

    1. Yvonne

      Hi there,
      It’s a good question 🙂 It’s also something that every person needs to answer for themselves, and it depends on your perspective and goals. For me, I think that it’s a good time to keep those around who still keep the reputation of the profession high, and thus ensure that the world knows that although there may be ‘rotten apples’, it does NOT represent the profession as a whole.
      For a lot of students, their big goal and concern is more likely to be “Will I still get good positions and be well-paid when I qualify, if this is what’s happening to the profession?” Again… a good question. I do think these issues are making people question the value of the CA profession, but I also think that it may be a good thing. It’s smart to consider the value of people, their backgrounds, and challenge professions rather than blithely accept that because they carry the ‘title’, they’re untouchable. One of the reasons for the large shockwave that this has caused is that people HAVE seen the CA profession as untouchable, beyond question and beyond reproach… if there wasn’t such a perceived view… then people wouldn’t be so horrified when they learnt that, as with ANY other profession in the world… there are those who do great things, those who do average things, and those who do not-so-great things! It’s naive to think anything else… for ANY profession… hey, if it’s true for religious leader and government leaders… what makes Accountants so different!?! Our great surprise comes from the fact that the stuff we hear is such a contradiction to our long-held beliefs.

      Yes, I do believe that the profession has value. I also believe that we need to be careful about the ‘media’ (as if we don’t know this already!). Remember that the media makes it’s money off of sensationalism, shock value, and reporting the bad, rather than the average, or good stuff. Thus… the MASSIVE scandals, and the “all we hear is negative stuff” is hardly surprising.

      Your concern is probably more around whether future employers will place value on your qualification… and I believe that it will take far more than this to wipe out the value of the CA. Remember that for all this external stuff… you’re still studying valuable knowledge, you’re still getting valuable experience, you’re still developing valuable professional skills. For all the external stuff that’s beyond your control… there are internal things you can control. THIS is the stuff that people should be hiring you on. Rather than relying purely on the professional designation alone, you should be able to represent yourself, your personal value-add to any organisation, your relevant skills and knowledge. This speaks far more than anything else. 🙂

      Again, this is a decision only you can make, and obviously, I can’t tell the future! I think that you need to weigh up the value of the competencies you’ll come out of the qualification process with, against the perceptions that others, especially employers, may have.
      I hope some of this helps a little!

  7. Nikki

    Hi Yvonne. I am in my early forties and just got my Bachelor of accounting sciences in financial accounting degree from Unisa. The business world know wants honours as well;
    should I do cta level 1 at unisa and come out post grad qualification or should I do chartered financial analyst qualification.

    1. Yvonne

      Hi Nikki,
      Tough question! Very tricky to give people advice on such a personal thing! Only you can decide which qualification path has more value for you. I think that there are some things that may be valuable for you to consider as you make your decision:
      – CTA (especially at UNISA), is two years (I’m not sure if you qualify to go into Level 2), and it has really low pass rates, especially for part-time students. When you’re further into your career, as you are… I think this is a factor to consider.
      – Something that’s missing from your query is what you actually want to DO with your qualification. Most students ‘gather’ qualifications with the idea that the more, or better, the qualification they get… the better their career and earnings will be… but the reality is that you should select your qualification based on what you want to do with it. If your career choice REQUIRES a CA(SA) qualification… then that’s your decision made! If you want to specialise in something… and your choice of CFA indicates that you may have a leaning already… then do you need the CA(SA) designation to achieve that goal? It’s far wiser to consider what your goal is, and work back from there.
      – No qualification is a quick / guaranteed path to glory and success, and it definitely depends on what you do, how you perform… which is a little comforting, because it means that your choice is unlikely to make or break your career. Your professional skills and abilities will do that.
      – You haven’t actually mentioned whether you want to finish the CA qualification, or whether you’re just considering doing CTA… if it’s the latter… then I don’t think it’s the right path. CTA is designed as a ‘Board course’ (albeit really nasty one!) to prepare students to write their first Board exam (ITC). The greatest value it has is that it prepares you for, and entitles you to write that ITC exam. If you’re not writing that… then CTA doesn’t necessarily add too much to your portfolio that you can’t get from your CFA. The purpose of the CTA is pretty niche. Not to say that it’s not valuable… but keep the core of the CTA purpose and design in mind when you make your decision!

      I hope this has helped a little

  8. Byron

    Hi there,

    I am a member of SAICA who wants to study through CIMA. I am however not a Chartered Accountant, but rather an Associate General Accountants (SA). I have completed my SAICA articles. I want to know what exemptions I will be eligible for.

    I stumbled across the below on the CIMA website:

    “SAICA students or members with more than 3 years of work experience

    Description: Congratulations! You enter directly at Strategic Case Study (SCS) exam. ”

    1. Is the above applicable to all members of SAICA?
    2. Both Chartered Accountants (SA) and Associate General Accountants (SA) (CA’s and AGA’s)?

    I have completed my SAICA articles (3 years) but have 4 years work experience.

    If no to the above questions, what exemptions are available for Associate General Accountants (SA)?

    I see that SAIPA can enter at the management level case study but not AGA (SA) – I have asked. Then where do AGA’s fit in – surely they cant apply for exemptions based on their degree?!

    Thank you and regards,

    1. Yvonne

      Hi Byron,
      Honestly, I think your best approach is to contact SAICA directly, and ask them. They’ll be far more able to answer your questions than myself. I’d be working off of information that you’re looking at, and I’d HATE to give you inaccurate advice!

    2. Louis

      Dear Byron,

      I would like to find out if you have perhaps received any information with regards to your AGA (SA) question, as I am currently in the same situation.

      Can you email me directly. louisdt10@gmail.com

      Regards

  9. Sbo

    Hi Yvonne
    I am in so much pain and feel so over powered as I have been doing CTA level 2 for the past 3 years and unfortunately did not pass. I have been studying through UNISA and I have no idea what else I have to do at this point for even the energy and courage that I will make it has decreased and financially I have school fees debt now. what could be my next step at this point. Its the pain of knowing that I attempted this postgraduate diploma because I believed that I have it in me to pass yet now I feel like what else have I not tried for me to pass and what was lacking for me to not make it. please help me what could I do at this point, what options do I have or do I have no choice but to give up?

  10. T

    Hi Yvonne

    I’m doing my final modules in BCTA at UNISA, but I failed MAC3701 and next year I was hoping I’d do my articles with AG since I got the training offer . Does this mean i have to let go of the offer since I wont be doing CTA 2 next year ? How do I tackle this situation, please help

    Thank you

    1. Yvonne

      Hi there…
      The only way you’re going to know the answer to that is to call the AG and ask them. Different firms have different policies on their intake, whether they’ll still start your contract etc… so no one but them can answer that question.
      Good luck!

      1. T

        Thank you , and again is it better for me to do Mac3701 as well as CTA 1 or just focus on passing mac then do CTA 2 the following year ?

        1. Yvonne

          Very tricky question… and you’re going to have to weigh up the pro’s and con’s for yourself.
          Going an entire year without formal, structured studying is a really bad idea. You don’t realise how ‘used’ to the studying process you are, until you stop. Starting again, especially CTA… is a killer, and dangerous. You also lose all the knowledge, habits etc you’ve just worked so hard to get. You’re going to have to start from scratch in 2020.
          So many students tell me they’ll ‘study on their own’ for the year instead of registering for CTA 1… I’ve never actually seen one of them do it. Without the deadlines, the exams, the pressure… you will ALWAYS find some reason to put it off, not do it properly… so I don’t buy that.
          If you do start Articles, I can’t imagine they’ll be happy with you doing one module for the whole year… but you can ask them how they see that 🙂

  11. Ismail

    Dear Yvonne.

    I’ve been following your blog for the past 2 years and it hasn’t always inspired me.
    I would just like to ask if I could still become a CA after I was caught for a small plagiarism offense for an assignment. The university had a hearing with me and now I’m doing community service and I’m still allowed to continued with my studies. However it says on transcript that I have committed this offense.

    I would like to know what’s the chances of me getting registered as a CA with this offense on my transcript. I’m a final year student and I would like to know this before I register to do CTA. I obviously would not want to put myself through CTA to only be dissapointed and not be able to register as a CA

    Thank you so much.

    1. Yvonne

      Hi,
      It’s a tricky one. To be honest, most places will ask for your degrees (ie: certificates), rather than the full transcript. If your offense was in u/grad, and you do CTA, they’ll generally ask for the latest certificate (ie: CTA, not the degree). Some places do ask for your transcript as well… and that may differ through your career. The first firm you join might not want it, but later on, another employer may ask for it. You never know!

      It’s also something you have to consider for yourself, in terms of disclosure. You may live in fear that they ‘find out’, or choose to disclose it upfront and get it out the way. Why you did it, what happened, the consequence etc. And later on in life, your story may be a testament to others, as a role model, about how important it is to consider the impact of decisions, how far-reaching those consequences may be, and that making a mistake doesn’t need to bring your whole life to a standstill 🙂

      You’re going to need to decide how to approach it.
      Good luck!

  12. Dogza Aries

    Hello Yvonne
    I’m studying BCom Accounting and Economics at University of Zululand, second year of the four-year extended programme. I too am studying towards being a CA.
    After obtaining my current degree, how should I move forward? I would like to do my postgraduate studies at University o Pretoria, please also tell me how to convert/bridge my degree

    1. Yvonne

      Hi there…
      Your best option is to contact the university personally. I don’t have the details, or your all your background. I wouldn’t be able to give you complete advice, and I’d hate to give you inaccurate information

  13. Mpho

    Dear Yvonne

    I am a first year student at VUT and I am studying Internal Auditing. I would like to know if it is possible to become a CA through completing my studies at VUT. If there are, what are they.

    Kind regards

    1. Yvonne

      Hi hi…
      I presume you’re doing a BTech Internal Auditing?
      Take a look at UNISA’s website. They’ve laid out all their levels of studies, and the path you need to follow to qualify. It should help to give you some direction.
      Here’s the undergrad entry requirements… which go all the way from Higher Certificate (if you don’t qualify to get into the degree). One of the links shown there will also give you a complete list of SAICA accredited universities UNISA recognises. https://www.unisa.ac.za/sites/corporate/default/Apply-for-admission/Undergraduate-qualifications/Qualifications/General-admission-requirements/College-of-Accounting-Sciences

      Also… you can see on SAICA’s website the full list of accredited universities you can study a CA qualification through… https://www.saica.co.za/Portals/0/LearnersStudents/documents/List%20of%20accredited%20programmes.pdf (You can see that VUT isn’t on the list)

      Here’s the CTA entry requirements… so you can see what you need to do to be accepted for CTA… https://www.unisa.ac.za/sites/corporate/default/Colleges/Accounting-Sciences/CTA-student-support/One%E2%80%93year-CTA-programme

      Watch out for focussing on NQF levels… a lot of students look at their NQF level and think that if they have an NQF6, it means they can go to a NQF7 somewhere else… it doesn’t work that way. If the university you want to study through doesn’t officially recognise your academic institution, then they won’t credit you.
      Although your subjects are similar (ie: You’re studying Auditing, Accounting, Tax etc…), if UNISA doesn’t officially ‘recognise’ it, then they won’t give you the credits for it. You can try apply, and argue… but you’ll wait ages, and it’s unlikely that you’ll succeed.
      You can try looking at the other universities that SAICA accredits, and find out whether they recognise VUT (ie: Varsity College, Monash etc), if you’re not going to go to UNISA. You’ll need to research that.

      So… nope… you’re not going to be able to qualify as a CA on your current route. You’re going to need to do some serious thinking about your goal, and why you want a CA-qual specifically. A lot of students want the CA-qual purely because they feel that it’s the best way to get the highest salary, especially if they don’t know what they actually want to do… but it’s a minimum 7-year study route (full time), and you’ve already taken a year for your current studies… there are loads of great qualifications, and you really need your career goals define your studies. I’ve seen SO SO SO SO many students get stuck in the CA-route for YEARS AND YEARS because they feel that’s the only path to success… which you could spend working on building your skills, career and other studies… and would probably land you up with the same salary as the person who’s spent nearly ten years before they qualify…
      The CA qualification is great, of course… just think really carefully before that commitment 🙂

  14. Natasha

    Dear Yvonne

    Thank you for this blog, it is extremely informative and encouraging.

    I have a BCom Accounting degree from UKZN (2008 – 2010). In 2011 I attempted CTA full time at UKZN, in 2012 I attempted CTA part time at UKZN. In 2013 and 2014 I attempted CTA through UNISA, unfortunately I was unsuccessful. On my last attempt at UNISA I managed to pass four out of the five modules but failed Management Accounting. Thereafter I was completely discouraged and did not register to study since then. During this time I also completed SAICA articles.

    It is a dream of mine to become a CA(SA) and I want to continue with my studies. I contacted UNISA and was informed that I could not register with them as I have exhausted my three attempts (even though I did not register with UNISA a third time it still counts as an attempt). I would personally prefer not to study through UKZN again. Full time studies is not possible for me. Please can you advise me what other options I have available to me to eventually become a CA(SA). I live in Durban.

    I read from the comments below that CIMA might be an option to eventually reach the ITC, what is your view on this? Do you suggest I pursue this route?

    Kind regards

    1. Yvonne

      Hi hi…
      The CIMA qual is a really good one… I can’t see you needing to ‘bridge’ to CA(SA) with that behind you. You will be working (you’ll need to in order to do the practical experience for the CIMA qual anyway!). This will expose you to the finance / corporate marketplace, and you will probably find that there’s no ‘real’ need to get your CA on top of that. CIMA is an international qual too… so it’s really a good one to have!
      You CAN bridge from FULL CIMA qual (ie: CGMA) to CA(SA)… but you will have to do both Board Exams… and ITC is basically CTA on speed. If you haven’t done CTA… ITC will kick you in the head. So… you’ll go through ALL the CIMA qual, then have to ‘do’ CTA unofficially in order to prep for ITC… unless there’s an actual career necessity for the CA qual for you… I wouldn’t focus too much on it 🙂
      We’ve had some CIMA grads do CTA with Tabaldi this year to prep for ITC in Jan 2019… as qualified as they are (and they are!)… CTA has kicked their a$$ in a serious way.
      I believe you and your career can and will, be as successful as you want it to be without those 4 little letters 🙂 I know it’s been in your heart for a long time… but if your goal is a great, successful career… the CA is not the be-all and end-all. Finding a new way to reach your goal is NOT giving up on your dream, (A lot of students feel this way, I now)… it’s goal orientation and evaluation, path correction in order to achieve your goal.

      So, do you want the CA(SA) letters in and of themselves? Or were those letters supposed to be a ‘means to an end’ (eg: super-cool career). You’ve focussed on the letters themselves for so long… it’s tough to see the wood for the trees 🙂

      Does that help at all?!

  15. G

    Hello Yvonne

    It is my last attempt at unisa and with my current test results I dont think ill be qualifying for the exams.

    I would like to know know which route would you suggest I follow, ACCA or CIMA.

    I would still like to attempt itc but I am not sure out of the two above, which route will allow me to eventually write itc

    1. Yvonne

      Hi hi…
      The only other route to the CA(SA) qualification at this point, is to be CIMA qualified. SAICA has signed an agreement allowing CGMA’s to write ITC. 2019 will be the first year that these candidates will be able to register for ITC.

      Before you make your decisions, read this… I wrote it for students considering leaving the CA-route.

  16. Quinton

    Hello Yvonne. Got a quick question for you: I’ve passed my third year modules and qualify for cta 2, however I’m not quite impressed with my performance on my third modules. I feel like I’ll grapple with mastering cta 2 content. Do you think I should start at cta 1? Do you think cta 1 adequately prepares one for cta 2?

    1. Yvonne

      Hi hi,
      Nope, I wouldn’t suggest that. I would suggest that you spend the rest of the time until CTA getting into the right headspace, and developing the habits and study methods that you’ll need for CTA.
      How is your time management? Are you able to ‘let things go’ when you’re not ‘properly’ finished with a subject (Your comment about the fact that you’re not happy with your performance indicates a little bit of perfectionism… that’s a big challenge for CTA students! Read here How is your ‘basic’ understanding of your topics? Read here
      How ‘comfortable’ are you with being uncomfortable? Can you sit down and do a question ‘blind’? (ie: no revision of topics, no studying, no ‘recent’ memory of the topic… ie: how good is your ‘thinking’ in exams, rather than relying on recent ‘cramming’ or knowledge?). Practicing how to do this without the sense of panic that usually comes with it is a HUGE HUGE thing.. a lot of students procrastinate doing questions because they don’t feel ‘ready’ for them.. you will NEVER feel ready for CTA questions… you have to jump in ASAP… and that means that you can’t rely on memory, or doing the stuff ‘recently’ 🙂
      Which subjects do you have mental blocks about and how do you deal with that? (ManAcc is an issue for a lot of students… how do you feel about that… how do you plan to deal with that? How good is your exam technique? Do you manage your time properly? Move onto the next question, get the ‘easy’ marks first…
      There’s a lot of ‘habit’ and ‘mental’ stuff that gets in the way FAR FAR FAR more than the technical stuff ever will. I promise you… this stuff will help you with CTA more than trying to increase your marks or re-do theory that you’ve done before 🙂

  17. AKC

    Hi Yvonne

    What advice would you give a person who finished articles and the accredited degree at the same time, and now its time to consider doing CTA full time through UNISA or continue working in a professional auditing environment. Past experience has shown that students struggle part-time but I don’t believe other peoples experience should influence a personal decision?

    1. Yvonne

      Hi hi…
      Yup, you’re right. Don’t make decisions based on other people’s experiences… but you would be wise to take heed from the reasons that other students have struggled. Find the balance between their experiences and how it might affect your decisions and habits… this will be where your success lies.
      Consistent studying from Day 1; Time management; Doing more questions than theory; Making genuine assessments of WHY you’re not getting the marks you need; Making sure you ‘understand’ your basics, and ditch the ‘memory’ focus; Assessing your habits and changing them if you need to; Studying when you don’t ‘feel’ it; jumping out your comfort zone every day… these are some of the biggest issues that most students struggle with.

      Most students say they struggle with ManAcc, or with the ‘volume’ of work, the complexity of the questions… but in reality… they struggle with time management, consistency, exam technique, getting over the mental block to go back to that subject with a ‘clean’ headspace… all sorts of underlying reasons why they can’t quite ‘get’ to the stuff they need to.

      CTA is a big mental battle for you… and realising that you need to spend time managing your habits, emotions and mental energy is a HUGE part of your success!
      Good luck!

  18. Chaku

    Hi. I was admitted at UNISA for advanced diploma in accounting sciences(the bridging course). I am now confused whether i will be admitted straight into the one year Postgraduate diploma or i will have to start at postgraduate diploma CTA 1 to make it 3 years of studying CTA. Please advise

    1. Yvonne

      Hi hi..
      If you finish the ‘bridging’ course in the required time (that’s basically the full third year modules… and I think it’s within 3 semesters)… then you’ll go straight to CTA 2… far as I know 🙂

  19. kate

    Is CTA that difficult,I’m scared now,I was thinking of doing it next year

    1. Yvonne

      Hi Kate…
      CTA is difficult, yes. The fear of difficulty shouldn’t be the reason you don’t do it 🙂 What makes it so much more challenging is that there are a lot of things that are different to undergrad… and students have a tendency to hang onto habits they’ve developed over so many years… some of those need to change! If you don’t realise that, if you try to hang onto habits and study methods that worked for something ‘different’… you’re going to be in trouble.
      It most definitely can be done… but you need to work SMARTER, not HARDER. You have to understand rather than remember, you have to discuss rather than rely on calculations to get you through, you can’t rely on ‘past papers’. You can’t spend the time on theory that you do in undergrad… you HAVE to get to doing practice questions WAY before you’re ready!
      CTA challenges so much more than your technical knowledge… anyone who’s done CTA will tell you that it’s also a very tough mental challenge… it really challenges you emotionally, your confidence etc 🙂

      None of these are reasons for you to decide not to do it… if it’s next year… you have time to change your thinking and habits and mentally prepare yourself for what’s coming.
      You’ll find some useful articles on this blog about this stuff…
      Also… I did a series of CTA webinars for Tabaldi at the end of 2017, to help students think about stuff… take a look at the contents (and one of them was recorded, so you can watch it 🙂
      Mental preparation and study fitness is crucial. You will find that it’s not the ‘difficulty’ of the contents that you’ll struggle with… it’s time management, letting things go before you’re ‘finished’ studying them, exam technique, increased stress levels, habits that might be wrong, different examining approaches… prepare yourself… and you’ll find it will be a lot more manageable 🙂

  20. Anonymous Student

    Hi Yvonne I have a question I like to ask

    if I had to go the SAIPA route will that open a Door to a successful career path once the SAIPA articles is done just like how chartered accountants are able to open a Door to a successful career path when they actually qualify as chartered accountants and when they leave the audit environment and go to another company ?

  21. Anonymous Student

    Thank you very much for the help I really do Appreciate it … I just have a last question if it is okay , if I had to go the SAIPA route will that open a Door to a successful career path once the SAIPA articles is done just like how chartered accountants are able to open a Door to a successful career path when they actually qualify as chartered accountants and when they leave the audit environment and go to another company ?

  22. Anonymous Student

    Hi Yvonne

    I hope you are well , I had failed my CTA on my second attempt at UKZN and I know that during the year I wasn’t coping in the sense that I was lost with how to study the day before the tests because When I tired my method of studying , I blanked out and when I tired suggested methods by my peers and lecturers I had harder papers (basically you could call it back luck) and I only survived this year because I had tutorial attendance which was 25% of our class mark …..

    Now I have decided to go SAIPA route because my strengths are tax and accounting and not maf and auditing ….( I battled with those two subjects ) and my reasoning is because I would love to CTA again but it means I have to serve articles at a SAICA accredited audit firm and I have to study CTA and I evaluated the feasibility of that and I realized it’s not for me since I was used to studying CTA on a full time basis and I felt time still wasn’t enough and if I had to work and study , I would be much worse off

    I just like to find out is there anything wrong with the SAIPA route and will I still be rich and successful like how a CA(SA) is ? I still feel inferior and unequal because all my friends had gotten through and they are all going to have a CA(SA) designation

    1. Yvonne

      Hi there…
      You’ve had quite the journey… I hope it gets easier from here.

      My biggest concern for your studies is your mention of your studies the day before the test… it’s interesting that that’s the only part you mention of your challenges… you should not be studying the day before the test. It’s like a marathon… you can’t practice your running the day before, and hope to be fresh and ready the next day. Your skills have to be built up over time. CTA is not a set of memory stuff that you can cram… it’s a set of skills you have to practice.

      That said… your move to SAIPA… there’s nothing wrong with SAIPA. It’s becoming more popular with accountants, and is recognised with employers. The entry salary (ie: when you have the qualification and are looking for a job), will probably be lower with SAIPA than SAICA. This will also depend on your work experience. Your articles are going to be really important because an employee will want to know you can add value to their business without spending lots of time and money training you. Your degree is valuable, absolutely, and even your CTA attempts are valuable… it teaches you stuff, even if you haven’t passed. SAICA has had years of educating the market about the value of their CA’s… so employers are more able to put a ‘market rate’ on a CA. For SAIPA, you’ll have to prove your value more.

      I find students treat the CA qualification a little like high-school… they want to go where their ‘friends’ are, and make decisions about their lives and studies on the basis of what ‘other people’ are doing. Those people aren’t you, their journey and career aren’t yours, and their decisions shouldn’t impact yours. The amount of energy and focus in the CA study journey is pretty obsessive… it’s tough for students to see any other path because that’s all they’ve thought about, focussed on, and they’ve surrounded themselves with other people doing the same thing. Imagine if you surround yourself with Olympic athletes… that’s all they’ll talk about and spend their lives working towards… would that make you want to join them?! Probably not… but it would be easy to feel ‘left out’, and not quite good enough, because they’re obsessing about their goals. Same kind of thing. You need to remove yourself from everyone else to make your decision. Yes, you can be successful.

      The whole ‘rich’ thing… only you can define what that means… but let me say this… the more someone pays you… the more they expect from you. You are not choosing something easy… so you will constantly need to challenge and push yourself. No matter what your qualification, no one will pay you loads of money to be an 8 – 5 employee who takes the easy road… even if you’re a CA! You want them to value you enough to pay you lots.. you are going to have to do some serious work to earn that! Who you are, how you work, how you learn, how you move out your comfort zones, how you deal with people, your sense of ownership, your professional skills… these are the things that will make you more valuable. That piece of paper may get you in the door… but after that… it’s up to you 😉

      I hope that helps somewhat 🙂

  23. Concerned student

    Hi Yvonne.

    I would firstly like to say that your blog has been really helpful in the pursuit of attaining knowledge in the chartered accounting field. I find most articles helpful and motivating. Thanks for giving back.

    I would just like to know what is the difference between just passing modules (50% – 55%) and doing really well (70% +) for modules in university. Does better marks make you more favorable to get a job? Does it play a big role when applying for jobs and making yourself marketable?

    Thank you so much

    1. Yvonne

      Such a pleasure 🙂 I’m really glad that you find value in the information!

      Such a good question! Without doubt, higher marks are valuable. As to whether they’ll significantly influence your employment chances… my first thoughts are that it depends on where in your studies you’re looking at employment; whether you’re looking at doing articles; and of course… different employers have different priorities!
      – For articles… if you’re in u/grad and looking for articles, I think higher marks are more ‘marketable’… because it increases the chances of you passing CTA… so firms are more likely to take you on 🙂
      – If you’re applying for articles after passing CTA… your final marks are less likely to be a big issue… mainly because the pass rates for CTA are really low, and CTA is so nasty… that employers are impressed enough that you passed! (We often say that in CTA.. 50% is a pass… 51% is a distinction!)
      – If you are applying for articles…the Big 4 will probably be more interested in higher marks… but then, they’ll generally only consider you after you’ve passed CTA. Remember that because EVERYONE wants to do articles at a Big 4 firm… they can be fussier about their clerk choices! 🙂
      – If you’re looking for employment outside of articles… it will both depend on the employer, and what they require from you for the position. There’s no question that good marks make you look better… it shows a desire for achievement, a willingness to go the extra mile and obviously… makes you look smarter 🙂

      All that being said… your most desirable traits are your professional skills. I have seen many students with higher marks being passed over, because it’s clear their professional skills aren’t great. Your communication skills, understanding of the business world, work ethic, relational / people skills are WAY more important. A lot of employees see studies as more indicative of ‘textbook’ learning, but really value your ability to add value to their company, outside of the technical ‘stuff’! (Remember… you do business with PEOPLE… not computers… so your ability to relate to, communicate with, people at all levels… is crucial!)

      For your sake… Be careful about how much emphasis and self-definition you place on those high marks. If you’re a perfectionist… be careful about the stress and anxiety that you may create for yourself. Failure is as much a part of learning as passing is! I’ve seen so many perfectionist students (myself included), become almost paralysed with fear when they don’t do as well as they set out to… that they actually damage their studies further! Fear of failure, or lower marks, can actually get in the way of your progress 🙂 That’s not to say you shouldn’t strive for excellence… but don’t define yourself by it 🙂

      I know all this doesn’t give you a definitive answer that you might’ve been hoping for… but I hope it gives you something to think about!

  24. Niz

    Hi Yvonne

    I am have studied CTA at the University of Pretoria and unfortunately did not make it. I am looking for personal tutoring in Pretoria for next year in my CTA subjects especially Financial Accounting to polish my basics and help me pass next year. Please if your company or anyone that you know is able to assist please let me know.

    Kind regards

    1. Yvonne

      Hi there 🙂
      I’m sorry you didn’t make CTA, I can only imagine how disappointed you must feel.
      We at Tabaldi will be offering online tuition for CTA in 2018. Videos on theory and exam technique, notes, lecturer support… all online. We’ll be releasing more information over the next few weeks about the product and fees… you can sign up for our CTA newsletter to keep in touch and get all the info http://www.accountingclassroom.co.za/support-for/support-for-cta/

  25. Rob

    Hi Yvonne

    I am currently am halfway through completing a marketing qualification through UNISA but am seriously considering studying ACCA in order to expand my career options. I like the fact that ACCA is a global professional accounting body but my only concern is that I have read articles on the internet whereby some companies refuse to employ ACCA professionals and only favour CA(SA) – I even contacted the now infamous KPMG in earlier this year and asked if they employ ACCA graduates and they told me that they have never even heard of ACCA. but now I read an article by another poster on this blog that more and more employers are starting accept other accounting qualifications like ACCA/CIMA et and that ACCA is gaining momentum.

    If I go the ACCA route what career opportunities exist? I would like to venture into finance and investment banking. Is there also an opportunity to become self employed?

    Please advise?

    1. Yvonne

      I wouldn’t be comparing a massive audit / advisory company like KPMG (or other big audit firms) to other finance / accounting-related employees. The regulatory environment around auditing in SA means that the CA(SA) qualification is pretty much all they want (ie: Only Registered Auditors can sign off audits, and only CA’s can become RA’s), Also the levels / types of work etc has made these bigger firms lean heavily towards the CA qual as their requirements… (Rightly or wrongly… they feel that’s the best way to ensure their employees have the right level of skills and knowledge). Recognising ACCA / CIMA, anything else… means that they would have to investigate the learning outcomes and levels of those other quals to assess whether those graduates would have the skills they want. Up to now.. they don’t seem to have needed to do this. Who knows what the future holds… as these qual’s become more recognised in SA… that may change.

      At the moment, ACCA isn’t as well-recognised in SA by employees as it maybe should be. CIMA seems to be more popular. You’ll need to do some more research on this… but the audit firms are not the places you should be researching. 🙂

  26. Tshepo

    Hi Yvonne

    I need career advise, i am an ACCA student and i would like to move out of ACCA and register with SAIPA. I have a degree already with ACCA and Oxford Brookes University. I would like to register for the Management account Honors at UNISA so i can pursue my MBA. When i am done with my honours i will write my Professional Evaluation exams with SAIPA then do my MBA.
    Do you think i will be marketable in South Africa and if yes what jobs will i do?

    1. Maanda

      Hi I thought I should come through and help. Firstly I can start by answering your first question on what jobs you will be doing, this must come from you. You must know your strong area and what would interest you. To me it seems like you have ACCA, then want to do an Honors in Management Accounting then finally an MBA. That’s a pile of qualifications, which is not bad. But looking at these specifically it looks like they are not completely complimentary. MBA is generally a management course, Honors in Management Accounting a specific course meaning your area of work will be in the Management Accounting sector. More like someone who just did CIMA then when they move into an management role they get to do an MBA. At this moment the question that I still ask myself is then why did you ACCA. I think the evaluation should come from you and only you. I hope I am making sense. If not pardon me. Thank you.

  27. SALOMI MAHARAJ

    Hi
    I have 6 modules to complete my BCOMPT Financial Accounting Degree through UNISA, unfortunately I failed three and I had to rewrite but I have tried getting hold of UNISA since July 2017 and they just don’t answer their phones, I have missed the payment dates and therefore can only apply next year. I am so disappointed I wish I could join another open distant university to finish my degree. Do you know of any. The subjects I have left is FAC3701/FAC3702/FAC3703/FAC3704/TAX3701/TAX3702

    1. Yvonne

      Ah man! That seriously sucks!!! I’m so sorry!
      I really don’t have anything to advise you! Far as I know, UNISA is the only varsity that does the ‘semester’ approach anyway… the rest only have the full year options.
      Sheesh… I wish I could help you!!

  28. Concerned student

    Hi Yvonne

    I completed my accounting degree at stellenbosch university and was now registered for the CTA level 2 year at UNISA for the firts time this year. Due to many reasons I think I will be repeating next year. Are there any requirements that have to be met for me to be accepted to attempt my CTA level 2 year again next year?

  29. Cuthbert

    Hello Guys

    I urge you to give ACCA a go especially if you cannot study CTA fulltime. There are loads of benefits including exemptions, you don’t have to enter into a formal training contract to have your Practical Experience Record approved, you save loads of cash as study material (notes and video lectures) are completely free on Opentution and the ACCA like CA(SA) is a NQF level 8 qualification. And whats more ACCA is really gaining momentum in terms of recognition, most jobs now require CA(SA)/ACCA/CIMA indicating that a lot of employers now recognise them the same

  30. Harriet

    Hi Yvonne

    I am in my last semester for my Bcompt degree with UNISA. I have van average of 76% and I am aiming to Cum my degree.
    I am having some difficulty deciding whether to do CTA. I am in my 3rd year of SAICA articles (4 years articles of you study part time). As soon as my articles are signed off, I’ll register as an AGA

    I don’t want to do auditing after I finish study. Is honours necessary if I don’t want to do auditing as a career? I still want to earn a good salary after a few years of post articles experience.

    I am having a debate with myself whether I should do it or not.

  31. Keitumetse Elaine Moloto

    Hi,

    I need some advice and guidance, I tried CTA level 1 at UNISA and did not make it. I would like to join Monash university next year as they are running a part time course for the Postgraduate Diploma Accounting in 1 year instead of 2 like UNISA. I just need some guidance.
    Thank you.

  32. Khanyi

    Hi Yvonne

    I’ve been reading your articles and have found them so helpful. Im almost done witg my advanced diploma. I’m going to be doing CTA at unisa next year but i’m confused if I should go straight to level 2 or start at level 1. I’m not working therefore studying full time.
    Thanking you in advance

  33. Zamo Gumede

    It’s true Yvonne, ACCA is not recognised that much in RSA as in Europe and other countries in Africa. But I think ACCA South Africa is not doing enough to advertise its brand to employers. I have recently discovered that there are employers who don’t even know that there is ACCA out there, it was a shock to me.

    Question: I’m also a doing final modules of Professional Level of ACCA and was thinking to do Accountancy Masters at University of London if I’m able to raise funds. Do you think it’s worthy to do this masters?

  34. Ntseba

    I did ACCA program I would like to do CTA in order to become CA(SA),can I qualify to do CTA straight away?

    1. Yvonne

      Hi there,
      I’m afraid that universities don’t allow you to articulate from ACCA to CTA. Check with a bunch of them, of course, but as far as I know… it’s not an option.
      You MIGHT get some credits for the undergrad degree, but even if they do, I reckon you’ll be doing AT LEAST your entire third year. (The general ‘rule’ is that you won’t get credits for more than half the degree’s modules). Again… check with the universities… and start investigating now for next year… but I honestly don’t think you’ll come right.
      Sorry!
      If you do want to follow the CA route, I do encourage it, especially if you plan to work in SA, as employers here don’t recognize ACCA nearly as much as I think they should.
      I’d also advise you to look into CIMA, it’s a really good qual, and depending on what you want to do after you finish, it could actually be more relevant for you and your career.
      As I say to all my students… let your studies follow your career path… not the other way around!
      Yvonne

  35. Xoliswa

    His Yonne
    I am considering considering furthering my studies and be contemplating CA (SA) in 2018. I studied on Internal Auditing with TUT (BTech) majoring with Internal Auditing1-4; Financial Accounting 1-4; CMA 1-3; Taxation 1; Financial Management IV and Corporate Reporting IV. I complete in 2007. I have enquired with Unisa nd UJ. Unisa is giving the 2 years BCTA option.

    I recently found out that Monash does offer CTA (PDAcounting) 1year program.
    Please advice what are my option as it’s been 10 years since I have studied.

    Regards

  36. marsha

    Hi Yvonne,

    Hope you well.

    Can you kindly assist?
    I am doing fac1601 and would like to know if you have the proforma of the layouts of the different statements.

    I am totally stressing and forgetting it.
    Thank you

  37. Philip

    I agree with you completely Yvonne. The difficulties that come with the transition has never crossed my mind.

    1. Yvonne

      Hi there,

      What information are you looking for?
      Have you read my article

    2. Philip

      Monash PGDA (CTA) has only been in operation for two years. Number of students doing CTA at Monash has risen from about 30 to 100 students. The program is in conjunction with CA connect. The pass rate however is low compared to other accredited Universities. This is because of the development of the course(only two years) and because Monash cannot attract the “top” students like UJ, TUKS, WITS,UCT. I am studying Bcom Accounting at Monash, and the indication is that Monash is continuously developing its course.
      Hope that helps.

      1. Yvonne

        Thank you for your insight Phillip. It’s always great to connect with students ‘on-the-ground’ to get input.

        I’d like to add to the pass-rate issue you’ve mentioned by saying that a lot of students who went into the Monash CTA from a different University, (I think mainly UNISA). The transition from academic styles, exam technique, exam question styles etc greatly influences students’ pass-rates. It’s important to realise that if you shift, you might struggle with that quite a lot 🙂

  38. Mohammed

    Hi Yvonne

    I have been to your one of your Revision lectures ,I learned more in one day than I learned the whole year ,I passed audits at CTA level 2 level unfortunately failed MAC and FAC1,i would too keep in touch via email and have some guidance relating to Exam Technique.

    Kind Regards

  39. Thabang Mahlangu

    Hi Yvonne, thanks for this awesome blog.

    I am currently on my third level at UNISA. Next year I am attempting CTA. Problem is, I don’t know which route to take?

    Full time for a year (UJ, Wits) or part time for two years (UNISA)?

    With two years I can simultaneously start with articles but I will only write ITC after two years.

    One year option means I can write ITC sooner but with no exposure to articles.

    Please clarify the pros and cons of each option. Also tell me the financial impact of each in terms of how my salary will most likely be affected as I move up the ladder.

    Thank you in advance.

  40. KTD

    Hi Yvonne,

    2012 is the year I had my first attempt on CTA at NMMU. I flunked it, then repeated it in 2013 – and again failed the second time. One can only repeat CTA twice at NMMU so I had to leave and try somewhere else.

    So I went to UNISA to try there, since no one could afford the fees – I had to get a job and pay the fees myself. So I got employed by one of the big 5 auditing firms and repeated CTA for the 3rd time this year.

    In 2014, I changed everything… the way I studied mostly. This year it was all about practising questions, and I did as many as I could. I had help of my peers and had NSOA lecturers helping me out.

    To my surprise, I failed CTA yet again! (2 passes [Tax & Accounting], 2 supps [ManAcc and Auditing] and 1 fail [Groups])

    I’ve tried all I could, this year I honestly don’t know what went wrong. Now I feel like perhaps CA(SA) was not meant for me.

    To continue with my articles for the next 2 years, I obviously have to re-register for CTA. But I have no idea what I will have to change because I thought I nailed it this year.

    Regards,
    KTD

  41. Christelle

    Dear Yvonne

    I need some advice. I have failed my PGDA at Monash and want to find out if changing to Unisa would it help me?

    Thanks

    1. Yvonne

      Hi Christelle,
      I hope my latest article helps you with your question a little.
      Yvonne

  42. Farzana

    Good day Yvonne

    I would really appreciate any advice that you can give me on how to tackle aue302q,aue303r,aue304s as those are 3 of the 4 modules that I have left to complete my bcompt degree.

    1. Yvonne

      Hi, that’s a really tough question to answer briefly! The courses are long, very different, and have very diverse content and expectations. My best overall advice though, is to make sure that when you study, you focus on WHY you’re studying that topic. Knowing how that topic fits into the audit process, and why you need to know about it makes the information a little more ‘real’ and less theoretical.
      Auditing is about risk, so make sure you understand the risk associated with each topic. (i.e.: what could go wrong in the audit process / report if this isn’t done properly?)
      There is a lot of theory in these courses, but the more you understand why you need the information, the easier it becomes. You can focus then on less memorising, and more problem-solving.
      The third year Auditing subjects are very close to the CTA level, so if you’re planning on doing CTA, then understanding your third year Auditing is going to save you a LOT of time because you don’t have to start from scratch!
      I have included quite a few Exam Technique articles on this site, (mostly aimed at Auditing), you definitely want to work through those and incorporate them in your studies. It will assist your studies greatly!
      I hope this helps!
      Yvonne

  43. K

    Hi Yvonne

    I need some advice and guidance, I tried CTA level 1 at UNISA and did not make it. I would like to join Monash university next year as they are running a part time course for the Postgraduate Diploma Accounting in 1 year instead of 2 like UNISA. I just need some guidance.
    Thank you.

    Kind regards
    K

    1. Yvonne

      I will reply to you via email on this one! Can be a lengthy discussion!

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