Chartered Accountant Academy opens today
The Western Cape Provincial Treasury recently established a Chartered Accountant Academy (CAA) to create a talent pool by offering graduates the opportunity to become chartered accountants with an in depth understanding of public sector financial systems and processes. The aim is to attract and retain the best finance and accounting professionals within the Western Cape Government.
When Dr Ivan Meyer, the Western Cape Minister of Finance, delivered the 2015 Provincial Treasury Budget, his vision was clear: To embed good governance across the Western Cape and entrench a culture of financial accountability in the province. This academy is just one of the steps to ensure this.
Provincial Treasury approached SAICA to become a training office for prospective chartered accountants. “Effective financial management is critical to the success of any organisation. Provincial Treasury’s contribution to the consistent rising trend of unqualified audits in provincial departments and municipalities in the Western Cape has laid the foundation of setting up a best practice office. If poor financial management exists, it is very easy to redirect and abuse resources. When that organisation is local government, this mismanagement directly affects service delivery,’ says Meyer.
“One of our primary goals is to improve the quality and standard of financial governance throughout our department as well as the Western Cape Province. To achieve this we require quality leadership and good governance practices. Chartered accountants possess these qualities,” explains Adila Aboo, Deputy Director of the Chartered Accountants Academy.
In addition to receiving competencies in accounting and leadership, the Academy’s management decision-making elective will expose CA trainees to extensive knowledge and intensive experience in key government areas including management, decision-making and control. In doing so, Provincial Treasury aims to train government finance specialists who have the skills and experience necessary to manage the various components of government where chartered accountants are needed.
Speaking on Provincial Treasury’s recent accreditation, Adri Kleinhans, Project Director: Training at SAICA echoes these sentiments. “Many factors contribute to a well-run provincial government. One of the most important is sound financial management. Another is leadership, accountability and ownership. The Academy’s training framework addresses all these aspects. This will help the Provincial Treasury build an internal capacity of suitably skilled people who are passionate about strategic financial leadership in the Western Cape.”
“The Academy is creating a unique opportunity to develop the skill set required within the public sector and I am excited to be part of this process. We aim to empower people to unveil their potential” says Aboo.