Starting Salary for 1st Year Accounting Trainee

Derp

Active Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2015
Messages
40
Members of SAIBA can also act as accounting officer, which means they can also do independent reviews for sub-100 PIS companies. You dont necessarily need articles or a specific entry exam to join them. Refer to their website for registration requirements.
Thanks. I see even with SAIPA, you can get membership with 6 years verifiable experience instead of articles. That seems like a better option than working for an article salary, since the salary after articles for SAIPA members isn't that much either. That is if you can find employment without any sort of articles(and of course a better salary than articles salaries).

In my opinion CA salaries are the only ones that justifies working 3 years for an article salary.

Thanks for your help.
 

Stefanmuller

Expert Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2008
Messages
2,867
Thanks. I see even with SAIPA, you can get membership with 6 years verifiable experience instead of articles. That seems like a better option than working for an article salary, since the salary after articles for SAIPA members isn't that much either. That is if you can find employment without any sort of articles(and of course a better salary than articles salaries).

In my opinion CA salaries are the only ones that justifies working 3 years for an article salary.

Thanks for your help.
Also depends on the type of work experience. Remember if you plan to work in public practice ie provide accounting and tax services to clients, you would need to prove you have obtained the required skills and experience. Articles kind of guarantees this because the programme is tailored for this purpose.

Some accounting firms, including the one I work at, have people doing the same day to day work than what article clerks to (maybe less auditing) but are not registered in a training contract. They would be able to apply for membership to both SAIPA and SAIBA. The SAIBA work experience requirement I think is 4 hears. They are the youngest "regulatory body" between the three and has the lowest entry requirements (in my opinion). They are more focused on the business and management side of things which is apparent from their name "South African Institute of Business Accountants" and cater more for financial management or rent-a-FM type of function. They are allowed to act as Accounting Officers if you are registered under SAIBA in practice, which gives the same status as a SAIPA or AGA.
 

HavocXphere

Honorary Master
Joined
Oct 19, 2007
Messages
31,488
And a person who doesn't have SAIPA or SAICA membership can't do independent reviews or act as accounting officer?
It's not so much about what you can do but rather the commercial reality.

Given a choice will a medium sized company hire you to do their books or a SAIPA/SAICA member?

That leaves you largely competing on price...which since you're competing against every bookkeeper out there is a race to the bottom.

Not saying don't do it, but make sure you've thought this through all the way.
 

Derp

Active Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2015
Messages
40
Ah, okay thanks for clearing this up for me, I have a better understanding now.

Just one last question, do you have any idea what these people not registered in a training contract earn?

Some accounting firms, including the one I work at, have people doing the same day to day work than what article clerks to (maybe less auditing) but are not registered in a training contract.
 

Stefanmuller

Expert Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2008
Messages
2,867
Also, in my opinion and from what I have seen in public practice, the difference in salary of someone working as a non-trainee vs a trainee is negligible. Remember you habe zero experience, so I am not going to pay you a lot more that the article clerk starting off with zero experience. You might start off with R2500 more because I dont have to go through the schlep of registering you and the fees that goes with it. On the other hand the article clerk I know is signed into a contract and will work for me for 3 to 5 years or risk a penalty on his training contract. You on the other hand can jump ship in a year after having spent resources to train you.

The clerk will earn less, but will jump up significantly after his articles is done, while the other person will likely just get normal yearly increases. Usually the clerk will work on the big fee clients (audit) and if he is worth his salt he will be in charge of the big client when his articles is completed, while the non-clerk will work on smaller clients with lower fees. All this equates to lower increase in salary potential within the firm. The clerk catches up and surpasses the non-clerk after his articles.
 

Derp

Active Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2015
Messages
40
It's not so much about what you can do but rather the commercial reality.

Given a choice will a medium sized company hire you to do their books or a SAIPA/SAICA member?

That leaves you largely competing on price...which since you're competing against every bookkeeper out there is a race to the bottom.

Not saying don't do it, but make sure you've thought this through all the way.
I agree with you 100%. It's just the article salary, I won't be able to live with that. I'll rather take the 6 year route for 5k more per month. Well, I won't have much of a choice.
 
Last edited:

Stefanmuller

Expert Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2008
Messages
2,867
It's not so much about what you can do but rather the commercial reality.

Given a choice will a medium sized company hire you to do their books or a SAIPA/SAICA member?

That leaves you largely competing on price...which since you're competing against every bookkeeper out there is a race to the bottom.

Not saying don't do it, but make sure you've thought this through all the way.
Was going to say the same. Also, when you decide to rather go commercial, someone who has completed articles (SAICA/SAIPA) is highly valued and preferred by employers.
 

Derp

Active Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2015
Messages
40
Also, in my opinion and from what I have seen in public practice, the difference in salary of someone working as a non-trainee vs a trainee is negligible. Remember you habe zero experience, so I am not going to pay you a lot more that the article clerk starting off with zero experience. You might start off with R2500 more because I dont have to go through the schlep of registering you and the fees that goes with it. On the other hand the article clerk I know is signed into a contract and will work for me for 3 to 5 years or risk a penalty on his training contract. You on the other hand can jump ship in a year after having spent resources to train you.

The clerk will earn less, but will jump up significantly after his articles is done, while the other person will likely just get normal yearly increases. Usually the clerk will work on the big fee clients (audit) and if he is worth his salt he will be in charge of the big client when his articles is completed, while the non-clerk will work on smaller clients with lower fees. All this equates to lower increase in salary potential within the firm. The clerk catches up and surpasses the non-clerk after his articles.
Makes sense. If they start at the same time, the non-clerk will only start making better money after 6 years, whereas the clerk will start making better money after 3 years. And due to experience, the non-clerk might never catch up with the clerk?
 

Stefanmuller

Expert Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2008
Messages
2,867
Makes sense. If they start at the same time, the non-clerk will only start making better money after 6 years, whereas the clerk will start making better money after 3 years. And due to experience, the non-clerk might never catch up with the clerk?
Dont know your situation or whether you are studying towards B.Compt or want to become a CA?

If you intend to do accounting work for clients, and intend to get your training at an accounting firm, I would definately just suck it up and do articles.

Both the firms I have worked for employ article clerks without degrees. Your typical newly appointed trainee will be in their first year studying B.Compt through Unisa. Because they dont have a degree when they register, the article contract is 5 years, to be reduced to 4 years should they obtain their degree within 4 years.

This works well for both the trainee and the firm, because the trainee can earn a salary while also studying, and the firm has someone that is committed to the firm for at least 4 years (cant really go anywhere because they are signed in a contract and dont have a degree to go work in commerce or whatever the case may be). They are usually young and eager to learn, also that doesnt demand a high salary, or put differently, the salary is not a problem for them because they are still studying and have been given the opportunity to start their articles amd earn money. They get help in their studies because they work with other clerks also studying the same and there are seniors to explain things to them. They get ample study leave etc.

Then you also get the other group who are a bit older. They maybe studied something else, changed to studying accounting, or maybe did B.Com and worked for a year and now want to do articles. Also a good type to employ because they are motivated and have a little life experience. For most it is still their first proper job.
 

Derp

Active Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2015
Messages
40
Dont know your situation or whether you are studying towards B.Compt or want to become a CA?
I like the actual accounting, l've done FAC1503 when studying LLB(2014) and FAC1501 for my IT diploma(2017). So I'm gonna go with Bcom Financial Accounting next semester.

Since it looks like there isn't really a viable way around articles, I might try going the CA route, but CTA looks hectic for part time studying(I have an okay-ish job at the moment so have to study part time). Maybe ACCA if I can't pass all CTA exams at once.


But since at the moment my plan is to eventually start my own thing doing SMEs, I can maybe save time on CTA and just do SAIPA.

I should probably get to third year at least before making a decision. I just wanted to do research about the salaries before I venture into this degree.

Thank you so much for your time and advice Stefan, much appreciated.
 

HavocXphere

Honorary Master
Joined
Oct 19, 2007
Messages
31,488
I'll rather take the 6 year route for 5k more per month.
You're thinking way too short term imo. On a 6 year time scale 5k pm barely matters. Plus article path will catch up about 2-3 years into that 6 year timeline anyway.

It's just the article salary salary, I won't be able to live with that.
Try to look beyond the 3 years and consider the implication for the 30 working years coming after that.

And due to experience, the non-clerk might never catch up with the clerk?
I doubt they'll ever catch up unless there is some other factor at work- they do something different (start a successful business or combine it with another desirable discipline etc).

Well, I won't have much of a choice.
Because of the article salary or other factors?
 

Stefanmuller

Expert Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2008
Messages
2,867
I like the actual accounting, l've done FAC1503 when studying LLB(2014) and FAC1501 for my IT diploma(2017). So I'm gonna go with Bcom Financial Accounting next semester.

Since it looks like there isn't really a viable way around articles, I might try going the CA route, but CTA looks hectic for part time studying(I have an okay-ish job at the moment so have to study part time). Maybe ACCA if I can't pass all CTA exams at once.


But since at the moment my plan is to eventually start my own thing doing SMEs, I can maybe save time on CTA and just do SAIPA.

I should probably get to third year at least before making a decision. I just wanted to do research about the salaries before I venture into this degree.

Thank you so much for your time and advice Stefan, much appreciated.
By the sounds of things your are around 23years of age at least? I started both my B.Compt and my articles at age 24 after having changed degree routes after doing B.Sc Hounours. It was my first job, so even though the pay was only R4500 back in 2005, it was more than I ever earned. And I could study and get my articles.

You will be far behind your peers salary wise, but if you finisb your degree and CA in due time you will soon catch up.

In my case it took untill 2014 to get my CTA which was my own fault (did CTA for 5 years). I still feel the reprecussions of that. Bit at least that is over. CA I passed both exams first time. If I also put enough effort into CTA i would have been where I am now but 4 years younger. Or I could have made a move earlier.

It all depends where you want to end up though. I dont think there is a salary difference between SAIPA articles and SAICA articles, but I wont be surprised if SAICA pays more - merely due to the fact that audit clients are more lucrative than doing SAIPA clients which will be mostly accounting and tax. You will anyway need to get 4 to years plus workinf experience so might as well do articles. You then have the option to do CTA. If you dont pass you can always register at SAICA as a AGA if you have a degree and articles which puts you on the same level as SAIPA in terms of what you can do with it but you do have the added benefit of being a SAICA member.
 

zstorm

New Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
Messages
5
Hi guys

I'm glad this thread is still active after all these years..

Now for my question:
How hard is it to get into one of the big 4 after university? Will they evaluate you on your studies as a whole, or will they just focus on your CTA marks? I assume the company you want to get into also plays a role as well as the location (eg. Kimberley would be much easier to get in than Sandton?)

I would love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks
 

HavocXphere

Honorary Master
Joined
Oct 19, 2007
Messages
31,488
Hi guys

I'm glad this thread is still active after all these years..

Now for my question:
How hard is it to get into one of the big 4 after university? Will they evaluate you on your studies as a whole, or will they just focus on your CTA marks? I assume the company you want to get into also plays a role as well as the location (eg. Kimberley would be much easier to get in than Sandton?)

I would love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks
Not massively difficult, but not a given either. You need to apply before CTA though...that's way too late.

Also helps if you're black.
 

Ecko_1

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2017
Messages
618
Not massively difficult, but not a given either. You need to apply before CTA though...that's way too late.

Also helps if you're black.
Agreed. Probably best to start looking in 2nd year. Attend the tables the plop up on campus. I signed articles in 1st year.

Size of the office will determine how easy it is to get in. Durban & Cape Town were tough when i was there as they are major cities but not massive office. Jhb and Pta were easier as they are much bigger offices. Smaller towns like PMB and RB were relatively easier at the last minute.
 

zstorm

New Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
Messages
5
Agreed. Probably best to start looking in 2nd year. Attend the tables the plop up on campus. I signed articles in 1st year.

Size of the office will determine how easy it is to get in. Durban & Cape Town were tough when i was there as they are major cities but not massive office. Jhb and Pta were easier as they are much bigger offices. Smaller towns like PMB and RB were relatively easier at the last minute.
Thanks a lot for the reply. My dilemma is this: I enjoyed uni life too much in my 2nd year so I am repeating it this year with only 2 3rd year modules. Would it be best 2 try and sign up at these plop up tables this year and if I fail try again next year, or should I just wait until next year when I'm a full 3rd year and try then?

Thanks a lot.
 

HavocXphere

Honorary Master
Joined
Oct 19, 2007
Messages
31,488
Thanks a lot for the reply. My dilemma is this: I enjoyed uni life too much in my 2nd year so I am repeating it this year with only 2 3rd year modules. Would it be best 2 try and sign up at these plop up tables this year and if I fail try again next year, or should I just wait until next year when I'm a full 3rd year and try then?

Thanks a lot.
Sign up ASAP.

The big 4 are more forgiving in that they give guys a 2nd chance versus signing up someone fresh that has failed.
 

daiyaan

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2011
Messages
551
Hi all, back to the topic . What do trainees earn in 2018 in Cape Town? Big four ? Would like to know for all 3 years how it changes . Thanks !
 
Top