oa Meditari : Research Journal of the School of Accounting Sciences - Transformation in the South African chartered accountancy profession since 2001 : a study of the progress and the obstacles black trainee accountants still encounter

Volume 14, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1022-2529



The severe shortage of black chartered accountants (CAs) in South Africa highlights the need for equity in the development of future accountants. However, despite the transformation initiatives that had already been introduced by then, at the end of 2001, black CAs were still grossly underrepresented in the membership of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA). Furthermore, black trainee accountants still experienced cultural and social alienation, hostility and mistrust in their ability, resulting in their not reaching their full potential.

This article investigates the progress made in transforming the accountancy profession in South Africa since 2001. It surveyed the obstacles black trainee accountants still encounter, using a questionnaire that took into account issues identified from the literature reviewed. A number of recommendations are made on the basis of the findings.
The results show that black accountants are still a minority in the accountancy profession. Black trainees currently believe that they receive very good training; however, they also believe it is more difficult to be a black trainee than a white trainee. Different cultural backgrounds, a lack in social skills and race-based perceptions were identified as the key obstacles they currently encounter.

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