Certificate: Accounting Technician Public Sector NQF 3

AT(SA) Public Sector

About this course

This is the introductory level of the Public Sector AT(SA) Qualifications, aimed specifically at National and Provincial Departments. This level covers a range of skills needed by employees to operate effectively in this sector. Outcomes covered include computerised accounting; ethical duties and responsibilities; understanding accounting concepts; planning and budgeting concepts; organisational expenditure; and recording of revenue within the public sector. The learner will also gain invaluable self-management and time management skills and will develop an appreciation of ethical issues and sustainability, which is essential for any workplace.

Accreditation

2023/2024 Enrolment Dates

Intake 1: Enrol from 1 September 2023 – 15 January 2024. Study from February 2024 – November 2024.

Intake 2: Enrol from 1 February 2024 – 15 March 2024. Study from April 2024 – March 2025.

Intake 3: Enrol from 1 April 2024 – 15 May 2024. Study from June 2024 – May 2025.

Credo Public Sector Accounting Technician Qualification NQF 3

Qualification Description

The Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and Treasury Regulations (TR) set high standards for financial management in the public sector, requiring practitioners to possess practical skills and competencies. The Public Sector Accounting Qualifications are customised qualifications, offering accounting officials formal qualifications that ensure immediate demonstration of the acquired skills through their practical and competence-based assessment structures. While applicable across various sectors, the qualification focuses on the Public Sector, specifically National and Provincial Departments. These qualifications support the development of learners who are employed in the public sector and who want to progress with a career in public sector accounting. The learning programmes are registered as learnerships and are therefore eligible for SETA funding and for the tax rebate.

Training format

In-person training is usually the preferred choice for Public Sector courses and can be customised for groups of 10 learners or more. Please contact us today with your requirements for full-time, part-time or distance learning.

Regardless of the format, learners will benefit from our well-designed and comprehensive study support, encompassing unit/module notes, assignments, feedback, and revision assistance, ensuring a well-rounded and engaging learning experience.

Admission Requirements

There are no formal entry requirements in terms of qualifications; however the following conditions must be met:

  • Learners need to be competent in English Language literacy, Computer literacy and Mathematical literacy.
  • Learners must either already be employed in a relevant Public Sector finance role or be employed under the conditions of the learnership in order to participate.
  • Learners must speak to their line manager to discuss why they want to undertake the qualification and their commitment to seeing it through, and to gain approval.

Certificate

Upon completion of the qualification, learners will receive the Certificate: Accounting Technician Public Sector (SAQA ID 73710) and a Statement of Results detailing the units of learning completed.

Careers

Every senior accountant needs the support of skilled, competent accounting technicians to undertake the more routine and operational work. The focus of this qualification is Public Sector and more specifically National and Provincial Departments, but graduates of the qualification can work in all sectors of the economy in several positions, including:

  • Accounts clerk
  • Wages clerk
  • Accounts assistant
  • Sales ledger clerk
  • Tax assistant
  • Bookkeeper

Additional Opportunities

Further Studies:

Graduates can progress to the FET Certificate: Accounting Technician Public Sector NQF 4 qualification and thereafter the Certificate: Accounting Public Sector NQF 5 qualification.

AT(SA) Membership:

After completing the Certificate: Accounting Public Sector NQF 5 qualification and meeting the membership requirements of AT(SA), the learner will be eligible to apply for membership with the professional body.

AT(SA) is an associate of SAICA, the foremost accountancy body in South Africa. To find out more about AT(SA), please visit SAICA

Assessment

Assessments are done online on the AT(SA) platform or paper-based. The final assessment for each module is invigilated and conducted at an examination venue. To earn the qualification certificate, learners need to be competent in all modules. AT(SA) qualifications are competency-based, meaning learners must demonstrate competence in each task based on minimum standards. There are no percentages; a learner is either deemed Competent or Not Yet Competent in the module.

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Course Modules

This course has 7 modules which must all be successfully completed to obtain this qualification.

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Skills that all accounting practitioners need to operate effectively as a member of an accounting team, or as the accounting member of a broader team, within an organisation. The unit includes an introduction to the public sector.

Performance criteria

  • Identify and prioritise work tasks taking organisational procedures and policies into account and prepare a work plan
  • Monitor and report progress against work plans and deadlines, adapting as necessary
  • Communicate courteously with, and support, colleagues in work tasks to build effective working relationships
  • Follow organisational procedures to find workable solutions to conflicts or difficulties in working relationships
  • Review, evaluate and identify training and development needs taking current work tasks and career goals into account
  • Monitor work methods and activities against legislation, regulations and organisational procedures ensuring that emergency procedures are adequate for potential hazards
  • Organise and monitor your work area so that conditions promote an effective and efficient working environment
  • Identify and explain government structures and functions
  • Explain how the Batho Pele principles are applicable to the accounting function.

The ability to use a computer system safely and effectively. It introduces software for word processing, spreadsheets and email which an accounting practitioner will be required to use from time to time.

Performance criteria

  • Perform initial visual safety checks and power up the computer system
  • Access and use word processing software
  • Access and use spreadsheet software
  • Access and use e-mail software
  • Use appropriate file names and filing protocol to organise electronic data
  • Print documents
  • Seek immediate assistance when difficulties occur
  • Use passwords/biometric access to gain access
  • Ensure passwords are kept secret and change it at appropriate times
  • Identify potential risks to computer hardware
  • Identify potential risks to data
  • Take steps to resolve or minimise risks to computer hardware and data
  • Maintain security and confidentiality

The ethical duties and responsibilities necessary and the knowledge required to underpin ethical practice in this sector.

Performance criteria

  • Identify and apply the fundamental
  • principles of honesty and integrity
  • Highlight situations within accounting work that require objectivity and fairness, and where judgements and actions could compromise personal or organisational integrity and reputation
  • Recognise and explain why certain types of information should be regarded as confidential
  • Identify circumstances when it would be appropriate to disclose confidential information
  • Identify the key issues which ensure accounting work is performed within the scope of professional ethics guidance
  • Identify appropriate ethical behaviour when interacting with others in a variety of circumstances
  • Refer and seek advice from relevant sources for issues beyond own competence
  • Discuss, agree and resolve ethical conflicts
  • Describe the cultural values within organisations which support and promote high ethical values and helps resolve any conflict of loyalties
  • Resolve conflicting loyalties where an employer may ask you to perform tasks which are illegal, unethical or against the rules or standards of the accounting profession
  • Follow appropriate procedures where you believe a colleague has or will commit an act which you believe to be illegal or unethical
  • Respond appropriately to requests to work outside of the confines of your own accounting experience
  • Prepare performance reports for Management

The understanding of accounting concepts, accounting frameworks, the fundamentals of the double entry accounting system and VAT.

Performance criteria

  • Distinguish elements of accounting concepts
  • Accounting for transactions using the double entry accounting principle
  • Complete the accounting equation
  • Differentiate between cash and credit transactions
  • Know the difference between the different books of prime entry
  • Explain the different methods of accounting
  • Ensure all source documents are stored in a safe environment
  • Understand general VAT concepts and principles

The planning and budgeting concepts and processes in the public sector. The monitoring of the spending against the budget is a critical process in the public sector and the regulatory requirements for this process is discussed in this unit.

Performance criteria

  • Identify the timeframes for the preparation of the planning and budget documents
  • Define the standardised budget structures
  • Understand the economic reporting format
  • Understand the budgeting process
  • Define the budgeting terminology
  • Understand the reporting requirements as required by the PFMA and Treasury Regulations
  • Determine which expenditure reports to request to meet the reporting requirements
  • Explain the monthly reporting templates as prescribed by Treasury

Relates to the organisation’s expenditure. It includes dealing with documentation from suppliers, ordering and delivery documentation, preparing payments and recording expenditure in the appropriate records both in an accrual and a cash basis of accounting.

Performance criteria

  • Check expenditure documents for validity, accuracy and completeness
  • Perform a creditor’s reconciliation
  • Identify and deduct available discounts
  • Identify discrepancies and either resolve or refer to the appropriate person if outside own authority
  • Communicate appropriately with stakeholders regarding documents
  • Correctly code invoices and credit notes
  • Correctly enter invoices and credit notes into books of prime entry
  • Enter invoices and credit notes from the books of prime entry into the creditors ledger and the general ledger
  • Calculate amounts to be paid to suppliers payments from relevant documentation
  • Schedule payments, obtain authorisation and prepare payment documentation
  • Use the appropriate payment method and timescale, in accordance with organisational procedures
  • Enter payments into books of prime entry
  • Enter payments from books of prime entry into the creditors ledger and general ledger
  • Explain the different petty cash methods
  • Maintain a petty cash register
  • Enter petty cash transactions from the documents in the petty cash journal and the general ledger
  • Reconcile the petty cash register to the petty cash vouchers and cash on hand

Relates to the recording of revenue in the public sector, the recording of revenue on an accrual basis, the banking of receipts and the recording of debtors. It includes the sources of revenue for government and the source documentation relating to revenue and receipts.

Performance criteria

  • Explain the difference between a cash sale and a credit sale
  • Accurately prepare invoices and credit notes in accordance with organisational requirements and check against source documents
  • Enter invoices and credit notes into books of prime entry according to organisational procedures
  • Enter invoices and credit notes in the appropriate accounting records
  • Distinguish between trade receivables and other receivables
  • Understand the different sources of revenue for the services rendered by the public sector
  • Check receipts against relevant supporting information
  • Accurately prepare receipts in accordance with organisational requirements
  • Allocate the receipts using the correct SCOA allocations
  • Correctly enter receipts into the accounting records
  • Calculate amounts to be paid to suppliers payments from relevant documentation
  • Schedule payments, obtain authorisation and prepare payment documentation
  • Use the appropriate payment method and timescale, in accordance with organisational procedures
  • Enter payments into books of prime entry
  • Enter payments from books of prime entry into the creditors ledger and general ledger
  • Explain the different petty cash methods
  • Maintain a petty cash register
  • Enter petty cash transactions from the documents in the petty cash journal and the general ledger
  • Reconcile the petty cash register to the petty cash vouchers and cash on hand
  • Understand the SCOA accounts which are affected when receipting revenue
  • Know how to safeguard cash on hand
  • Understand the controls during the cashingup procedures
  • Reconcile the cash on hand to receipts to the bank deposit slip
  • Know when to deposit the cash on hand
  • Identify unusual features and either resolve or refer to the appropriate person
  • Identify the nature of debtors that a public sector department may have
  • Create a debtor file for each debt account raised
  • Understand the SCOA classifications when creating a debt account
  • Communicate and distribute information regarding the status of debt accounts to relevant individuals within the organisation
  • Allocate the receipt of monies received from debtors
  • List and explain the SCOA classifications for receipting of monies from debtors
  • Prepare statements for debtors and communicate with the debtors on the recovery of the outstanding debts

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