FET Certificate: Local Government Accounting NQF 4

AT(SA) Local Government

About this course

The intermediate level FET Certificate: Local Government Accounting Qualification introduces more complex accounting tasks, such as maintaining cost accounting records and preparing reports and returns. This course is the second level and currently the highest of the AT(SA) Local Government qualifications.


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 Local Government Accounting Technician Qualification NQF 4

Qualification Description

The Local Government Accounting qualification gives learners access to the accounting field through entry and mid-level accounting roles within the municipal environment. These are customised qualifications, offering municipal accounting and finance officials’ formal qualifications that immediately demonstrate their acquired skills through practical and competence-based assessments. These qualifications support the development of learners who are employed in local government and who want to progress with a career in local government accounting. Qualified accounting technicians, with a qualification awarded by AT(SA), make a valuable and critical contribution to organisational and national economic success. The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) is a partner in the development of this qualification and is championing this as a direct measure to increase the skills base in accounts departments in the local government environment. The learning programmes are registered as learnerships and are therefore eligible for SETA funding and for the tax rebate.

This is NQF Level 4 of this qualification.

Training format

In-person training is usually the preferred choice for Local Government 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

To study this course, learners have to meet the following requirements:

  • Learners need to be competent in English Language literacy, Computer literacy and Mathematical literacy

AND fulfill one of these options:

  1. Learner successfully completed the Certificate: Local Government Accounting NQF 3 qualification; or
  2. Learner has previous accounting experience or holds a similar qualification. A skills test will be conducted to determine the correct entry level for the learner.


Upon completion of the qualification, learners will receive the FET Certificate: Local Government Accounting (SAQA ID 73712) and a Statement of Results detailing the units of learning completed.


The focus of this qualification is Local Government (Municipalities) but graduates of the qualification can work in all sectors of the economy in several positions, including:

  • Senior Accounts Clerk
  • Accounts Officer
  • Credit Controller
  • Ledger Supervisor
  • Trainee Accounting Technician

Additional Opportunities

This is the highest level of this qualification.


Assessments are 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. A learner is deemed to be Competent or Not Yet Competent in the module.

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Course Modules

This course has 5 modules which must all be successfully completed to obtain this qualification.

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This unit is about those skills that all accounting technicians need to operate effectively as a member of an accounting team, or as the accounting member of a broader team, within an organisation.

  • Recognise cost centres and elements of costs and extract and code income and expenditure from orders and invoices.
  • Consolidate and reconcile data from different parts of an organisation into a given format, adjusting for internal recoveries / transfers as necessary.
  • Provide, in the given format, comparisons of data as requested, to include ratios and performance indicators.
  • Adjust data to allow for changing price levels (inflation)
  • Prepare internal reports which identify problems and discrepancies and present to appropriate staff whilst observing confidentiality requirements.
  • Prepare external reports in the given format observing confidentiality requirements.
  • Identify VAT inputs and outputs and complete a VAT return.
  • Enter accounting transactions into computerised records.
  • Operate a computerised accounting system including output.
  • Identify the possible impact of relevant legislation and regulations.

The Professional Ethics unit requires the candidate to provide evidence of their ability to demonstrate the ethical duties and responsibilities necessary and the knowledge required to underpin ethical practice in this sector.

  • 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 organisation’s 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.
  • Make critical decisions to 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.
  • To discuss, agree and resolve ethical conflicts.
  • Follow appropriate procedures where you believe an employer has or will commit an act which you believe to be illegal or unethical.
  • Respond appropriately to confines of your own accounting experience.
  • Describe the type of culture within organisations which supports and promotes 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 an employer has or will commit an act which you believe to be illegal or unethical.
  • Respond appropriately to confines of your own accounting experience.

This unit is about the maintenance of accounts from the drafting of the initial trial balance through to the preparation of information required to produce a set of final accounts.

  • Record relevant details relating to capital expenditure in the appropriate records.
  • Ensure that the organisation’s records agree with the physical presence of capital items.
  • Correctly identify and record all acquisition and disposal costs and revenues in the appropriate records.
  • Correctly calculate and record depreciation charges and other necessary entries and adjustments in the appropriate records.
  • Ensure that the records clearly show the prior authority for capital expenditure and disposal and the approved method of funding and disposal.
  • Correctly calculate and record the profit and loss on disposal in the appropriate records.
  • Ensure that the legislation and the organisation’s policies and procedures relating to the maintenance of capital records are adhered to.
  • Identify and resolve or refer to the appropriate person / committee any lack of agreement between physical items and records.
  • Make suggestions for improvements in the way the organisation maintains its capital records where possible to the appropriate person.
  • Correctly prepare reconciliations for the preparation of final accounts.
  • Identify any discrepancies in the reconciliation process and either take steps to rectify them or refer them to the appropriate person.
  • Accurately prepare a trial balance and open a temporary holding account / suspense account to record any imbalance.
  • Establish the reasons for any imbalance and clear the temporary holding account / suspense account by correcting the errors, or reduce them and resolve outstanding items to the appropriate person.
  • Correctly identify, calculate and record appropriate adjustments.
  • Make the relevant journal entries to close off the revenue accounts in preparation for the transfer of balances to the final accounts.
  • Conduct investigations into business transactions with tact and courtesy.
  • Ensure that legislation and the organisation’s policies, regulations, procedures and timescales relating to preparing final accounts are observed.

This unit is about how organisations record, analyse and report current and future costs and revenue data for use within the organisation.

  • Identify direct costs in accordance with the organisation’s costing procedures
  • Record and analyse information relating to direct costs.
  • Calculate direct costs in accordance with the organisation’s policies and procedures.
  • Check cost information for stocks against usage and stock control practices.
  • Resolve or refer queries to the appropriate person Identify overhead costs in accordance with the organisation’s procedures.
  • Attribute overhead costs to service and support cost centres in accordance with agreed bases of allocation and apportionment.
  • Calculate overhead absorption rates in accordance with agreed bases of absorption.
  • Record and analyse information relating to overhead costs in accordance with the organisation’s
  • procedures
  • Make adjustments for under and over recovered overhead costs in accordance with
  • established procedures.
  • Review methods of allocation, apportionment and absorption at regular intervals in discussions with senior staff and ensure agreed changes to methods are implemented.
  • Consult staff working in operational departments to resolve any queries in overhead cost data.
  • Identify information relevant to estimating current and future revenues and costs.
  • Prepare estimates of future income and costs
  • Calculate the effects of variations in capacity on product costs.
  • Analyse critical factors affecting costs and revenues using appropriate accounting techniques and draw clear conclusions from the analysis.
  • State any assumptions used when evaluating future costs and revenues.
  • Identify and evaluate options and solutions for their contribution to organisational goals.
  • Present recommendations to appropriate people in a clear and concise way and supported by a clear rationale.

This unit is concerned with the management of cash and credit.

  • Monitor and control cash receipts and payments against budgeted cash flow.
  • Consult appropriate staff to determine the likely pattern of cash flows over the accounting period and to anticipate any exceptional receipts or payments.
  • Ensure forecasts of future cash payments and receipts are in accord with known income and expenditure trends.
  • Prepare cash budgets in the approved format and clearly indicate net cash requirements
  • Identify significant deviations from the cash budget and take corrective action within defined organisational policies.
  • Arrange overdraft and loan facilities in anticipation of requirements and on the most favourable terms available in compliance with applicable legislation
  • Invest surplus funds.
  • Ensure the organisation’s financial regulations and security procedures are observed
  • Maintain an adequate level of liquidity in line with cash forecasts.
  • Enter into contracts with service customers in accordance with the organisation’s policies
  • Identify and use internal and external sources of information to evaluate the current credit status
  • of customers and potential customers, inter alia, to calculate suitable account deposits and other methods of reducing credit risk.
  • Monitor information relating to the current state of debtors’ accounts regularly and take appropriate action
  • Send information regarding significant outstanding accounts and potential bad debts promptly to relevant individuals within the organisation
  • Ensure discussions and negotiations with debtors are conducted courteously and achieve the desired outcome with a focus on customer service
  • Use debt recovery methods appropriate to the circumstances of individual cases and in accordance with the organisation’s procedures
  • Base recommendations to write off bad and doubtful debts on a realistic analysis of all known factors

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