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Register for the Postgraduate Diploma in Specialised Accountancy at Wits School of Accountancy. Picture: SUPPLIED
Register for the Postgraduate Diploma in Specialised Accountancy at Wits School of Accountancy. Picture: SUPPLIED

The world of commerce is ever-changing — more so when we are facing a global crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. An economy is only as strong as its financial systems, which makes the right accounting skills critical and in high demand. 

The Wits University School of Accountancy has created a first-of-its-kind, postgraduate programme to address this immediate skills shortage and get you ready for the competitive job market.

The postgraduate diploma in specialised accountancy (PGDIP SA) was introduced in 2018 to produce well-rounded accountants and increase work-ready strategic finance professionals who have the technical and financial ability to work anywhere in the world, in any sector.  

This year, Covid-19 meant that Wits had to switch to remote teaching but put measures in place to make sure most students can learn off campus for the indefinite future. 

Wits senior lecturer Irfaan Omarjee says that where students don’t have access to appropriate computing devices, there is a mobile computing bank where they can loan basic gadgets and equipment.

“Wits also finalised an agreement with four telecommunications service providers: Telkom, MTN, Vodacom and Cell C to zero rate Wits’s library and learning management sites. In cases where students did not have access to any device or data, other measures included the use of the SA Post Office to deliver paper-based material to them,” says Omarjee. 

“Additional support will be made available for students when contact teaching resumes, and particularly for students who will have had difficulty in transitioning to online learning. It may be necessary for face-to-face lectures to be extended through the September and December vacation breaks and for some, to extend the academic programme into 2021.”

The recognition of how current and past circumstances affect students means Wits always reflects and intervenes to counter social, economic, political and cultural pressures. The university has worked hard to redress the inequalities and injustices imposed on South Africans because of apartheid. This has helped cement Wits as the leading contributor of black accountants to the SA business landscape with a firm foundation for the world of work.

Omarjee, who is proudest of helping develop world leaders, says: “During the 2019 academic year, there were more than 330 black undergraduate graduates (69% of the school) and more than 220 black postgraduate graduates (57% of the school) from the school of accountancy.”

This is also because Wits’s PGDIP SA works with the professional level syllabus of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), the global body for professional accountants. Their core values are opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. 

The programme is designed to include two core courses and two elective courses where the syllabus and learning objectives prepare you for the ACCA professional level exams. The core courses include strategic business leader and strategic business reporting while the elective courses include advanced taxation, advanced performance management and advanced audit and assurance. The diploma is offered on a full-time (one year) and part-time (two year) programme. 

The minimum requirements are a bachelor in commerce general with accounting major, a bachelor in accounting science with a major in accounting or auditing, or an undergraduate degree that meets the entry requirements to ACCA’s professional examination level.

ACCA works with global bodies such as the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and more than 80 global partnerships. The association partners with employers in all sectors to listen to their needs and make sure accountants are prepared for business through the right qualifications. The association works through a network of 101 offices and centres and more than 7,291 approved employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development.

“The Wits School of Accountancy has a proud history in the business world and is prepared to deal with the challenges of the future to maintain its reputation,” says Omarjee.

Because Wits also has well-established interactive links with commerce and industry, and the accountancy profession in SA and across the globe, it will give you an immediate leg up to a rewarding career in business.

This article was paid for by the Wits School of Accountancy.

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