Wits University Courses, Financial Accounting is central to the Bachelor of Accounting Science Degree (BAccSc) or CA Programme, which leads to a qualification as a Chartered Accountant. The subject accounts for 50% of the material in SAICA’s qualifying exam.
While we focus on the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), as per the requirements of SAICA’s Qualifying Exam, our teaching goes far beyond simply preparing students for SAICA’s entrance requirements.
In keeping with the School’s policy of providing a well-rounded and comprehensive education, Financial Accounting teaching goes into a level of detail, analysis and interpretation of the IFRS not typically seen at other institutions and includes IFRS material not required by SAICA. At the end of the course, students will therefore not only be familiar with the Standards – they will have an in-depth understanding and knowledge that will make them subject matter experts.
We have an outstanding record of high SAICA pass rates and consistently have students who are among the country’s top ten performers in the exam.
Internal examination and tutorial assessment focuses on developing the analytical and problem-solving ability of students, a unique Wits differentiator. The Big 4 firms provide input into our integrated projects which combine the four subject areas of financial accounting, taxation, auditing and management and use a business case-study scenario method of teaching.
The subject provides students with challenge, promise to stretch them and ultimately rewards them with a competitive edge.
Not all students wish to become CAs but they are nonetheless interested in pursuing a career in the fields of accounting, finance and business. Accounting accommodates these students, providing them with a broad range of career options.
The subject can be taken as a major in a BCom degree, and paired with another major subject such as economics, marketing, finance, HR, tax or management accounting and finance. This allows students to tailor their degree to their particular field of interest or to meet specific career aspirations.
Graduates with a BCom Accounting degree can also practice as professional accountants in the world of business. At the third year level, the subject includes an internal auditing component, which is a growing area of demand in the banking industry in particular.
Taxation covers the principles of Tax Law, as set out in the Income Tax Act, the VAT Act and the Estate Duty Act, and the application of these with respect to individuals, companies, trusts and deceased estates. The area of international taxation is also included. At the end of our courses, students will be able to interpret and apply the laws and procedures.
Taxation poses a number of challenges to students because of the high level of integration between all different taxes, the fact that students are required to interpret tax legislation by applying decisions of case law on a regular basis and the natural integration of tax in all other disciplines. The tax courses focus on providing students with the tools to analyse a tax profile and address all tax issues, identify and advise on tax planning, compliance and other tax related problems, formulate a logical argument and be able to calculate tax payable on behalf of a variety of different taxpayers.
Students will be guided and prepared to develop practical thinking, be provided with an understanding of legal and ethical requirements and will be trained to apply their understanding in any practical scenarios.
Tax is an important component in the BAccSc (CA programme) and is also included in the BCom Accounting degree stream, where it can be taken as a major.
Auditing is a branch of financial management concerned with assessing the internal financial status of a business. Auditors examine and evaluate the financial statements of companies, assessing the accuracy and fairness in their reporting. These external reports provide assurance as to the quality of information being reported on, create certainty in the market and contribute to the efficiency of financial/capital markets.
Auditing is a truly interdisciplinary subject, encompassing business laws, ethics, financial and management accounting theories and practices, and computer processing. This subject focuses on providing students with the tools to integrate all these areas, equipping them to perform an audit or prepare company information or an audit.
Students will need to develop practical thinking about business and the business environment; an awareness of current trends and developments in the business community; an understanding of how the annual financial statements of a corporation are affected by legal and regulatory requirements, corporate governance, management decisions, accounting systems, business processes, internal controls, and the local and world economy; and a sound grasp of all the legal, ethical and professional compliance requirements. Above all they will learn to apply their understanding in these areas to practical scenarios.
Internal Auditing III is designed as a final year BCom course intended for students intending to pursue a career as an Internal Auditor. The course is aimed at increasing the student’s competency level in order to prepare the student for the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA®) examinations. In this subject, students will gain knowledge of the basic concepts, philosophy and principles underlying the practice of internal auditing, the relationships between the internal auditor, management and the external auditor. In addition the student will gain knowledge and understanding of the nature of an organisation, risk management and the role of Internal Auditing in managing organisational risks to ensure sound corporate governance in an organisation.
Management Accounting and Finance
This subject covers two different but complementary sections: Corporate Finance and Management Accounting. Based on many common principles, the two are inextricably linked and focus on making operational and strategic business decisions.
Corporate Finance consists fundamentally of decision-making skills, evaluating investment and financing decisions, and integrating these decisions into a coherent strategic direction for the company. Corporate transactions such as mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures have become commonplace in our global environment and companies are frequently faced with financing choices which have strategic consequences. Their managers must make capital structure decisions, evaluate short-term and long-term financing needs, and choose finance tools that are appropriate to the company’s strategic direction and to the competitive environment within which it operates. In Corporate Finance students will learn how to converting the company’s strategies into specific financial objectives, fulfill these, evaluate the financing needs and recommend appropriate financing tools.
Management Accounting consists fundamentally of decision-making skills, and inventory valuation tools, both of which are integrated into the strategic purpose and direction of the firm. It is the responsibility of management to meet the company’s strategic objectives by directing and controlling it in an effective, efficient and ethical manner. In Management Accounting, students will learn to enhance their decision-making ability, translate a company’s strategies into measurable objectives and identify the information required to make business decisions to help the company achieve its objectives. They will also learn to design the information systems necessary to generate the required information for both decision making and inventory valuation, and use the information generated to gauge a company’s effectiveness in meeting its objectives.