Qualifying for a Bachelor of Accounting Science (BCompt) degree is perhaps one of the best decisions you could ever make.
Accounting professionals with the BCompt degree are essential to the smooth running and growth of all kinds of business enterprises and public institutions in South Africa – and the world at large.
From the biggest retail chains to international conglomerates, your municipality, or even the national government, every establishment requires the knowledge and skills of accountants to take care of their financial matters.
So, why put in all the work; why study so much to pass many exams on the journey to acquiring a BCompt degree?
Here are the top 10 reasons!
1. Bigger, better salary!
What motivates an employee better than increased pay?
With a degree in BCompt, your salary will shoot up, and you’ll get better perks from your boss.
This is especially true if you go one step further, after the first three years, to acquire the Honours degree.
As a BCompt graduate, however, you can negotiate your wage; an advantage that helps you determine if the workload is commensurate to the remuneration being offered.
According to Payscale, the median annual salary of an Accountant in South Africa is R284 000, that’s about R23 600 per month. This remuneration can rise to as much as R490 000 in a single year, or R40 000 per month.
This figure represents the basic income and not inclusive of bonuses, commissions, and other incentives like paid leave, medical insurance, among others.
In other words, an accountant is highly valued in the workforce and is accorded that much respect considering the very sensitive role he/she plays in the business enterprise or government institution.
Even as an entry-level accountant, you are still going to earn a decent salary if you have the BCompt qualification.
2. Opportunity for growth
Because the accountant’s role is crucial and (quite broad too), you need to continue upskilling further along the way.
This requirement opens even more doors for growth which then translates to better pay and more rewarding benefits.
For instance, a fresh BCompt graduate might be responsible for tasks like bookkeeping, general ledger accounting, billing activities, inventory keeping, and so on.
Upskilling to become a CTA and then a Chartered Accountant (CA) opens more room for more responsibilities – and a significant pay rise.
As a CA, the accountant may now be saddled with more complex tasks like internal auditing, reviewing financial reports, among others.
If you decide to go further and acquire an MBA or a Masters in Accounting, you then become a qualified financial manager who will be responsible for strategic financial planning, financial reporting, full audits, among other duties.
Your progression in the career could also be targeted at specialising in specific sub-fields like taxation, auditing, management accounting, financial analysis or even branching into academics (as a lecturer/facilitator or researcher in a higher institution).
Now armed with the requisite technical skills to understand, plan, and analyse finance-related content, you can then explore further beyond your wildest dreams.
It means, in essence, that the more certificates and experience you garner over the years, the more your pay will rise and the farther your reach in the profession.
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3. More options; more sectors and industries to work in
Because you hold a BCompt certificate, you can choose to work in virtually any sector or industry out there.
As a certified graduate of Accounting, your services will be required in any business or public sector that deals with the receipt and expenditure of money.
Once there are entities still in business to sell (or offer, in the case of public establishments) services or goods to members of the public, your skills and knowledge will always remain in fashion.
It is not surprising, then, that accountants are among the very few professionals who seldom look for work endlessly as with many other professions.
Whether as an Account Clerk or a Financial Manager, accountants of varying levels of experience and academic accomplishments find jobs relatively easily – when compared to other professions.
Thus, the dynamic nature and flexibility the profession offers ensure you will enjoy your job, find fulfilment and be rewarded – since you can choose the sector you desire to work in.
4. Job security
While it is true that nothing is guaranteed in this world, having a BCompt degree will help insulate you from the boom and bust economic cycle every nation experiences from time to time.
Whether the economy is in a recession or thriving, an accountant will still be required to balance the books, provide financial advice and reporting, as well as manage business and government accounts.
Unlike several professions that are adversely affected by a slowing economy, the accounting profession is always necessary to ensure that society runs as smoothly as expected.
5. From corporate to private: An accountant can practice anywhere
Long before the Industrial Age kicked in just over a hundred years ago, bookkeeping (the precursor of accounting) has always been prominent in business.
From ancient China to classical Rome, and throughout the Renaissance, historians have recorded the important role bookkeepers played in society.
Like George S. Clason’s “Richest Man in Babylon” describes, a bookkeeper’s role in society is crucial to the stability of the economy.
The same holds today.
As such, you may choose not to practice as an accountant with a blue-chip company or as a civil servant in a public institution but instead set up a private practice like the bookkeepers of old.
The freedom to choose whether to go private or work with corporate bodies is one of the most admirable freedoms accountants enjoy.
If you’ve dreamed of working in insurance, banking, retail, fleet management, auditing, and everywhere else where money exchanges hands and financial records need to be properly organized, analysed, and presented, then a BCompt is right for you.
6. Access to SAIPA: Now you can join a truly professional body
With a BCompt certificate in your name, you too can become a member of the prestigious South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA).
This body is one of South Africa’s most respected professional associations.
It currently has well over 10,000 members whom you can network with as you grow in your career.
As a member, you will get access to many benefits, including international recognition which allows you to practise your trade in countries where SAIPA has affiliations.
Also, you can qualify for Professional Indemnity insurance as well as many more exclusive perks.
The best part of being a member of SAIPA is the opportunity it affords you to make friends and connect with fellow professional accountants in the public sector, the academia, commerce and industry, and private practice.
Such an expansive reach provides leverage to increase your knowledge as well as find mentors to guide you on the path to success.
This network has been known to open many doors – and still doing so.
Listed below are other professional bodies you can also join as you progress in your accounting career:
- Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
- Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
- Institute of Chartered Secretaries of South Africa (ICSA)
- Institute of Accounting and Commerce (IAC)
- South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA)
- Southern African Institute for Business Accountants (SAIBA)
- South African Institute of Government Auditors (SAIGA)
7. Flexible study mode
The BCompt degree is so adaptable to the point where one can decide to study through other methods other than contact learning.
Although it is a science, you can study on your own via e-learning portals, interactive learning systems, PDF materials, and other such digital tools – without needing to be present in a brick-and-mortar classroom.
Unlike core sciences like chemistry and physics that require laboratory experiments and other research components, you can join online classes, read the recommended materials, take the test, and submit your assignments online from start to finish if you choose to.
Other than the exams which are largely moderated in a classroom setting (obviously to deter cheats), you can begin and complete a BCompt degree entirely online.
Want to study for a BCompt Degree Online? Click here to register
8. Suitable for different kinds of personalities
Whether you enjoy talking and associating with people (extrovert) or prefer to keep to yourself and go the whole day quietly (introvert), the Bcompt degree will be suitable for you.
Since much of modern accounting – and most of its related subcategories – is done on a computer system, everyone is welcome to pursue the profession.
If you think you have a knack for numbers and will love to help people solve problems for a living, this degree will suit you well.
9. Enhance your computer knowledge and skills
Tied to the point above, pursuing a career in accounting means becoming very competent in the use of computer programmes.
Beyond the basic (and advanced) functions Microsoft Excel offer, there are several other purpose-built software designed for accountants and their numbers-intensive jobs.
Some of the most prominent accounting software programmes like SAP Financial Accounting, Sage Accounting, Quickbooks, among others, have now become an accountant’s best friend.
Other more modern ones like ZohoBooks, Xero, and Wave, among many others, will make you a master in financial computing and set you apart from people without the degree.
With a Bcompt degree, plus a mastery of any, or several, of these software programmes, you become more marketable and, as such, potential employers or clients will pay you better for your services.
10. Easily switch to other exciting careers
Acquiring a BCompt degree proves that you have passed through sufficient education that can serve as a background to explore other opportunities.
For instance, working in the field for several years (and upskilling further) makes you a good candidate for other senior roles other than accounting.
You could become a corporate governance executive, a risk manager, stock and forex trader, financial analyst, and many more.
Your BCompt background must have prepared you to the extent that you may only need a little more academic or on-the-job training to master new terrains and become even more dynamic in your practice.
In summary, getting a BCompt degree is a valuable investment worth the three years it demands.
Furthermore, it takes a shorter time to complete when compared to other professions in its category – like engineering, medicine, law, etc.
With such dynamism in terms of what to do with your BCompt certificate and the fact that it is one profession that is almost always in high demand, pursuing this line of study can be more rewarding than you could ever expect.
Don’t have the financial means to acquire quality education? Click here to apply for study aid.