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Home Media Releases 26 February 2010

26 February 2010

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Exceptional PPE results bode well for audit and accounting profession.


The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) is proud to announce that of the 2798 candidates who wrote the 2009 Public Practice Exam (PPE), 2320 passed, resulting in a record pass rate of 83%. Of the 1849 candidates who wrote for the first time, 1596 passed, representing a first time pass rate of 86%.

The PPE, written last year on 18 November, is the final test of professional competence for qualification as a Registered Auditor (RA) and Chartered Accountant (CA) and is administered by the IRBA.

Bernard Agulhas, CEO of the IRBA says, “We are elated by these superb results and congratulate all the candidates on a job more than well done.

“Transformation of the auditing profession remains a priority for the IRBA, and what is particularly gratifying about these results is that this is the highest number of Black candidates to pass in the history of the examination.”

Of the 1094 Black (African, Coloured and Indian) candidates who wrote the 2009 PPE, 849 passed, representing a pass rate of 78%.

Agulhas said that the excellence of the results is due to a host of reasons. “They are a consequence of the many professional initiatives which have been running for some time. These include SAICA’s Thuthuka programme, the audit firms’ internal training programmes supported by SAICA’s training assessment programme and the IRBA’s repeat support programme.”

Agulhas says South African business, investors and the public can be confident in the knowledge that this rigorous and comprehensive process is delivering on the need for auditors and accountants, whose competence is highly valued globally.

All candidates who achieved the top ten places were awarded honours for achieving a pass mark of 75% and over. A further 6 candidates were awarded honours, bringing the total of honours candidates to 21.

The names of the top ten candidates are:


1 Mr Ruan Greeff
2 Ms Carmen Lindsay Krull
3 Miss Tessa Alice Germishuizen
4 Ms Andrea Jane Osborne
5 Ms Cara Lee Botha
Joint 6th Mr Carel Johannes Malan
Mr Akash Dowra
Mrs Lisa Claire Beattie
Joint 7th Ms Birte Schneider
Ms Claudia Hein
Ms Saadiya Adam
Joint 8th Ms Freda Venter
Ms Karine Kakoma
9 Mr Jacques van Ravesteyn
10 Mr James John De Smidt


Transformation of the profession

In an endeavour to increase the number of Black auditors, the IRBA facilitates a programme for Black repeat candidates who have been unsuccessful in previous attempts to pass the PPE. The 2009 Support Programme was offered from June until November 2009. Of the 131 candidates who attended the programme and wrote the PPE, 104 passed, resulting in a pass rate of 79%. Black, repeat candidates who did not attend the Support Programme achieved a pass rate of 75%, thus indicating that the Support Programme offers repeat candidates an improved chance of passing the PPE.


About the PPE

The examination takes the form of two, 2½ hour written assessments consisting of two scenarios reflecting the public practice environment. Candidates must demonstrate an ability to solve multi-disciplinary practical problems in an integrated manner and to do so must analyse and interpret information and provide viable solutions to address specific client needs. The ability to demonstrate logical thought and exercise professional judgement is an integral part of the examination.


Admission requirements

Admission requirements to the PPE are academically rigorous, requiring completion of recognised academic, education and training programmes. Completion of the academic requirement ordinarily takes at least four years. Thereafter, candidates are required to successfully complete the Part I Qualifying Examination (QE) of SAICA. Given the practical focus of the PPE as a test of professional competence, candidates are required to have served at least 18 months of a registered training contract in the service of a RA and to have successfully completed an audit specialism programme before being admitted to write the PPE.

The minimum duration of a training contract is three years, which when added to the four-year period for the development of technical competence results in a qualification period of at least seven years. The IRBA believes that this is in keeping with its duty to ensure that standards at entry point are maintained and that only those who are able to meet prescribed competency standards are registered as auditors. The qualification period is similar to that of other highly regarded professions and internationally recognised accounting bodies.

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