ACCA continues to serve as a powerful voice for finance professionals and the business community, worldwide. ACCA continues to influence and inform legislation and public policy globally, and our research and inputs continue to add value and are highly respected worldwide,' Head of ACCA South Africa, Nadine Kater explained.
A global highlight during the period was the award of the Office of the British Empire (OBE) to ACCAs Chief Executive, Helen Brand: "This award attests to the high regard with which ACCA is viewed and the considerable contribution that ACCA continues to make in the training of accounting professionals worldwide.'
ACCA SA has also had a very good year. "Our operations have been re-structured to better align ACCA SA with ACCAs global strategy. As a result of re-structuring ACCAs staff complement has more than doubled. Most importantly, ACCA SA will now have a dedicated Marketing Manager. This will greatly strengthen the ACCA brand in South Africa.'
Particularly gratifying is the increase in membership and student enrolment: ACCA SAs membership base grew by 8% and its student enrolment by 20%.
Education and training is a key priority for government: "We were reminded of this in President Zumas State of the Nation Address and in the Budget allocations for the 2012 MTEF period. We also saw the release in January this year, of the Green Paper on Post School Education and Training.
The national focus on education and training, coupled with the accounting skills deficit in South Africa augurs well for ACCA SA, which provides open access either via the university route or as an alternative, and the emphasis in NSDS III on Professional, Vocational, Technical and Academic (PIVOTAL) Programmes, augurs well for student growth.'
Kater urged ACCA members to serve as brand ambassadors: "You are very well-positioned to educate employers, employees and even recruitment agencies about the value and international recognition of ACCA qualifications. Your skill-set is proof that the ACCA professional route, recognised by some of the most prominent and influential companies and institutions world-wide, is a world-class professional accounting alternative.'
Kater said she was very optimistic, not only in terms of the year ahead, but in terms of growing the ACCA brand in South Africa. "South Africa needs an additional 22 000 accountants. Our open-access business model is well-suited to a developing country such as South Africa.
There is considerable scope to market the Foundations of Accounting (FIA) suite of qualifications to both the public and private sector as a means to increase skills incrementally within organisations and as a means of empowering experienced employees through the recognition of prior learning.
The ACCA suite of qualifications could also assist organisations and government to meet governments legislated requirements in terms of Employment Equity, Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) scorecards and the need to fast track transformation within the world of work. ACCAs confidence in South Africa as a growth market is clearly well-founded,' Kater concluded.