Average Chartered Accountant Salary in South Africa (2024)

The average Chartered Accountant Salary in South Africa is R42,275 per month. An entry-level Chartered Accountant earns a salary range of R24,000, a Mid-career level earns about R39,000, and a senior/experienced level earns R59,750 per month.

Average Chartered Accountant Salary in South Africa

Job Title Approximate Monthly Salary (ZAR)
Entry-Level Chartered Accountant 24,000
Mid-Career Chartered Accountant 39,000
Experienced Chartered Accountant 59,750

Types of Chartered Accountants and Their Functions in South Africa

In South Africa, chartered accountants play a crucial role in various sectors, contributing to financial management, compliance, and strategic decision-making. There are several types of chartered accountants, each specializing in distinct areas. Here’s an overview of the main types and their functions:

1. Chartered Accountant (CA) – General Practice

CAs in general practice are involved in auditing financial statements, assuring the accuracy of financial information. They work with a diverse range of clients, including businesses, government entities, and non-profit organizations.

2. Auditor

Auditors specialize in examining financial records and reports to ensure compliance with accounting standards and regulations. They play a crucial role in maintaining financial transparency and integrity and providing confidence to stakeholders.

3. Management Accountants

Management accountants focus on providing financial information and analysis to support managerial decision-making. They help organizations with budgeting, cost analysis, and strategic planning to enhance overall financial performance.

4. Tax Consultant

Tax consultants specialize in tax planning and compliance. They help individuals and businesses navigate complex tax laws, optimize tax structures, and ensure adherence to tax regulations, minimizing liabilities and maximizing benefits.

5. Forensic Accountant

Forensic accountants investigate financial irregularities and fraud. They use accounting skills to analyze financial data, uncover discrepancies, and provide expert testimony in legal proceedings. This role is crucial in preventing and detecting financial crimes.

6. Internal Auditor

Internal auditors work within organizations to evaluate and improve internal controls and risk management processes. They help ensure that operations are efficient, compliant, and aligned with organizational objectives.

7. Information Systems Auditor

With the growing reliance on technology, information systems auditors assess and ensure the security and integrity of an organization’s IT systems. They play a vital role in safeguarding sensitive financial data from cyber threats.

8. Public Accountant

Public accountants offer a range of financial services to the public, including tax preparation, consulting, and auditing. They may work for public accounting firms or operate as independent practitioners serving various clients.

9. Financial Accountant

Financial accountants focus on preparing financial statements, ensuring accurate recording of financial transactions, and compliance with accounting standards. They play a key role in communicating an organization’s financial health to external stakeholders.

The diverse roles of chartered accountants in South Africa highlight their significance in maintaining financial stability, ensuring compliance, and contributing to strategic decision-making across various industries. Each type of chartered accountant brings unique skills to the table, collectively fostering a robust financial ecosystem.

Factors Affecting Chartered Accountant Salary in South Africa

Several factors can influence the salary of a chartered accountant (CA) in South Africa. These factors can vary from individual to individual and can significantly impact an accountant’s earning potential. Some of the key factors affecting chartered accountant salaries in South Africa include:

1. Experience

One of the most significant factors affecting CA salaries is experience. Typically, the more years of experience a CA has, the higher their salary. Newly qualified CAs may start with lower salaries and see significant increases as they gain experience and expertise.

2. Qualifications and Designations

Additional qualifications and certifications, such as becoming a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), or Certified Management Accountant (CMA), can lead to higher salaries. These designations often come with specialized knowledge that is in demand and can command higher pay.

3. Specialization

CAs who specialize in specific areas of accounting, such as tax, forensic accounting, or management accounting, often earn more than generalist accountants. Specialized knowledge and skills are valued by employers and clients, leading to higher compensation.

4. Industry

The industry in which a CA works can have a significant impact on salary. Industries like finance, banking, and consulting tend to offer higher salaries than public sector organizations or non-profit entities.

5. Location

The city or region in which a CA works can also affect their salary. Major metropolitan areas like Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban typically offer higher salaries to accountants due to the higher cost of living and increased demand for financial professionals.

6. Company Size and Reputation

The size and reputation of the employer can influence salary. Large, well-established firms or multinational corporations often pay higher salaries than smaller companies or less-known organizations.

7. Market Demand

The demand for chartered accountants with specific skills and expertise can influence salary levels. High-demand areas like tax planning, forensic accounting, or information systems auditing may command higher compensation.

8. Performance and Achievements

Individual performance, accomplishments, and contributions to the organization can lead to salary increases and bonuses. High-performing CAs are often rewarded with better compensation packages.

9. Economic Conditions

The overall economic conditions in South Africa, including inflation rates and economic growth, can impact salary levels. Economic downturns may result in slower salary growth, while periods of economic stability or growth can lead to higher salaries.

10. Negotiation Skills

Effective negotiation skills can also play a role in determining a CA’s salary. Being able to negotiate a competitive compensation package is essential for maximizing earnings.

How to Become a Chartered Accountant in South Africa

Becoming a chartered accountant (CA) in South Africa involves a structured education and training process. Here are the general steps to becoming a CA in South Africa:

1. Obtain a Relevant Bachelor’s Degree

Begin by earning a relevant bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. Many aspiring CAs pursue a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) degree with a specialization in accounting. Ensure that your chosen degree program is accredited by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA).

2. Register for a SAICA-Accredited Postgraduate Program

After completing your bachelor’s degree, you need to enrol in a SAICA-accredited postgraduate program. The most common program is the Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting (PGDA), which is typically one year in duration. The PGDA program provides the necessary academic foundation for the CA qualification.

3. Complete Your PGDA and Obtain Your Certificate of the Theory of Accounting (CTA)

Complete the PGDA program, which includes coursework in accounting, auditing, taxation, and other relevant subjects. After completing your PGDA, you will receive a Certificate of the Theory of Accounting (CTA).

4. Register as a SAICA Trainee

To begin your practical training as a CA, you need to secure a trainee contract with a registered SAICA training office or employer. The training typically lasts for three years and is a crucial part of the CA qualification process.

5. Pass the SAICA Assessment of Professional Competence (APC)

While completing your practical training, you will prepare for and take the SAICA APC examination. The APC is a comprehensive assessment that tests your ability to apply your knowledge and skills in real-world scenarios. It includes written exams, case studies, and presentations.

6. Complete Your Practical Experience

During your three-year training contract, you will gain practical experience in various aspects of accounting, auditing, and finance. This experience is essential for your development as a CA.

7. Pass the Initial Test of Competence (ITC)

Before you can take the APC, you must pass the SAICA ITC examination. The ITC is typically taken after completing your PGDA and CTA but before the APC.

8. Register as a Chartered Accountant (CA(SA))

After completing the APC and meeting all other requirements, you can apply for membership with SAICA and become a Chartered Accountant (CA(SA)).

9. Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

As a CA(SA), you will need to engage in ongoing continuing professional development to stay up-to-date with industry developments and maintain your professional status.



The average Chartered Accountant Salary in South Africa is R42,275 per month. Becoming a Chartered Accountant (CA) in South Africa entails completing a structured education and training process. Aspiring CAs must start with a relevant bachelor’s degree, followed by a SAICA-accredited postgraduate program. Practical training with a registered SAICA training office is crucial, lasting three years.

Success in the SAICA Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) and the Initial Test of Competence (ITC) exams is essential. Upon meeting all requirements, individuals can become a Chartered Accountant (CA(SA)) and must engage in continuing professional development to maintain their status. The CA qualification is prestigious and highly respected in South Africa and beyond.