Certificate: Accounting Technician Public Sector NQF Level 3

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. 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.

This is the introductory level of the AT(SA) Qualifications. The Certificate: Accounting Technician Public Sector Qualification consists of seven units. This level covers a range of skills needed by members to operate effectively, computerized accounting, ethical duties and responsibilities, understanding accounting concepts, planning and budgeting concepts, organizational 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. 

Course code:

CAT-PS3

Accreditation status:

Accredited by SAICA for Accounting Technician qualifications:

  • SAQA ID: 73710
  • NQF level: 3
  • Credits: 120

Course duration:

12 – 16 Months

Entry requirements:

There are no formal entry requirements in terms of qualifications

To study this course, learners need to be competent in:

  • 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.
  • A learner with similar qualification and/or experience can apply for recognition of prior learning (RPL). In this case, proof of qualifications and work experience will be required.
  • Competency in the following is required:
    • English Language literacy
    • Computer literacy
    • Mathematical literacy

Course Structure:

The qualification consists of 7 units:

Unit 1 Workplace skills

  • Element 1.1 Perform effectively in the workplace

Unit 2 Working with Computers

  • Element 2.1 Use computer systems and software
  • Element 2.2 Maintain the security of data

Unit 3 Professional Ethics

  • Element 3.1 Apply general principles and procedures for ethical compliance expected within the public sector
  • Element 3.2 Develop, maintain and apply ethics in work situations

Unit 4 Introduction to Accounting

  • Element 4.1 Introduction to accounting

Unit 5 Budgeting and Reporting

  • Element 5.1 Planning and budgeting
  • Element 5.2 Monitoring of the budget

Unit 6 Making and Recording Payments

  • Element 6.1 Verification of source documents.
  • Element 6.2 Recording creditors and payments on the accrual basis.
  • Element 6.3 Recording creditors and payments on the cash basis (public sector).
  • Element 6.4 Recording petty cash expenditure.

Unit 7 Recording Revenue and Receipts

  • Element 7.1 Recording revenue on the accrual basis
  • Element 7.2 Recording revenue on the cash basis (public sector)
  • Element 7.3 Banking
  • Element 7.4 Management of debtors

To view more information on the course content – Please click on the Course Content Tab.

Competency-Based and Computer-Based Assessments:

All assessments will be completed online or via a paper-based method, and competence must be achieved in each unit. To achieve the qualification certificate, you must be competent in all the units. AT(SA) Qualifications are competency-based. This means that the learner must display competency in each task according to minimum standards. There are no percentages. A learner is found to be either Competent or Not Yet Competent in the module.

Career Path:

Career path a learner can follow:

  • Accounts administrator;
  • Accounts assistant;
  • Accounts payable clerk;
  • Purchase/sales ledger clerk;
  • Trainee accounting technician;
  • Trainee finance assistant.

Award:

Upon completion of the qualification, learners will be awarded a Certificate: Accounting Technician Public Sector NQF Level 3 from SAICA/AT(SA) and you can enrol for the FET Certificate: Accounting Technician Public Sector NQF Level 4 qualification.

Additional information:

Benefits of studying this qualification

  • It is a cost-effective way of achieving sustainable capacity development
  • It incorporates an accessible and progressive framework for developing people of all backgrounds through SAQA-accredited qualifications
  • The learning programmes are registered as learnerships and are therefore eligible for SETA funding and for the tax rebate
  • It is a vehicle for facilitating a better fit between people’s skills and organisational needs, developing both people and business
  • It is a catalyst for improved organisational performance and service delivery

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

Contact details

For more information, contact Credo Business College on +27 (0) 12 348 3888
OR email:
pmupambi@credobusinesscollege.co.za      – General Enquiries
avdmerwe@credobusinesscollege.co.za      – Programme Manager: Operations – Accounting and Management Enquiries
rmoatshe@credobusinesscollege.co.za        – Programme Manager: Academic – Accounting and Management 

Learning areas covered:

Unit 1 Workplace skills

This unit is about those 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.

The elements within this unit involve those generic skills that are essential to employees performing an accounting function. It includes prioritising, planning and organising work tasks with an emphasis on training and development to improve performance. It also includes working effectively with other staff, both within and outside of an accounting team, and monitoring the work environment to ensure that it remains safe and effective.

Elements contained within this unit are:

  • Element 1.1 Perform effectively in the workplace

 Unit 2 Working with Computers

This unit is about how to use a computer system safely and effectively.

The elements within this unit involve the safety checks to be performed, the use of specified software at an introductory level and the responsibilities when using a computer system. It includes an understanding of the need to keep data confidential and secure.

 Elements contained within this unit are:

  • Element 2.1 Use computer systems and software
  • Element 2.2 Maintain the security of data

Unit 3 Professional Ethics

This unit is about the principles of professional ethics and how an employee applies these principles in the work environment.

The elements within this unit involve the identification of the principles of ethical behaviour and the different work situations in which these principles will be applied. It also addresses the different codes of conduct which an employee in the public service must adhere to. In addition, the ethics unit addresses communication skills and critical decision-making skills whilst applying the principles of ethics.

Elements contained within this unit are:

  • Element 3.1 Apply general principles and procedures for ethical compliance expected within the public sector
  • Element 3.2 Develop, maintain and apply ethics in work situations

Unit 4 Introduction to Accounting

This unit is about understanding the basic principles of accounting.

The element within this unit involves the discussion of accounting concepts, accounting frameworks, the fundamentals of the double entry accounting system, and VAT. It also includes the differences between cash and credit transactions and the books of prime entry.

The element contained within this unit is:

  • Element 4.1 Introduction to accounting

Unit 5 Budgeting and Reporting

This unit is about understanding 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.

The elements within this unit address time frames, formats of the budget, budget structure, terminology, the economic reporting format. It also includes the reporting timeframes, formats, expenditure reports for the monthly reporting of expenditure and revenue in comparison to the budget.

Elements contained within this unit are:

  • Element 5.1 Planning and budgeting
  • Element 5.2 Monitoring of the budget

Unit 6 Making and Recording Payments

This unit 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.

The first element is the verification of documentation to ensure the validity, accuracy and completeness of the transactions.
The second element relates to the recording of source documents in the manual accounting records of an organisation who adopts the accrual basis of accounting. It covers the payment of suppliers and the appropriate payment method.
The third element relates to the recording of payments in the accounting records of a public sector department which is operating on the cash basis of accounting.
The fourth element explains the different methods of petty cash, when it is appropriate to use petty cash and how petty cash transactions are accounted for in the accounting records.

Elements contained within this unit are:

  • Element 6.1 Verification of source documents.
  • Element 6.2 Recording creditors and payments on the accrual basis.
  • Element 6.3 Recording creditors and payments on the cash basis (public sector).
  • Element 6.4 Recording petty cash expenditure.

Unit 7 Recording Revenue and Receipts

This unit 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.

The first element involves the preparation, coding of invoices and credit notes for goods and services supplied. It also includes the entering of the details on an accrual basis in a manual accounting environment.
The second element is concerned with checking and recording receipts on a cash basis and the coding on the accounting system for the public sector. This element identifies the different sources of revenue, the classification and recording of the revenue.
The third element involves the safeguarding of the cash, the cashing up procedures and the banking of the cash.
The fourth element is the creating of debtor accounts, follow-up of debtors and communication with debtors.

Elements contained within this unit are:

  • Element 7.1 Recording revenue on the accrual basis
  • Element 7.2 Recording revenue on the cash basis (public sector)
  • Element 7.3 Banking
  • Element 7.4 Management of debtors

    Training methodology and learner support:

    Credo Business College offers 3 different types of training options, which you can choose from. Credo delivers high quality courses and depending on which course you study, the training option depends on the programme and the clients’ or learners’ needs.

    Training options available:

    • Full-time contact classes
    • Blended learning: combination of contact classes and distance learning
    • Full-time distance learning

    Training option 1: full-time contact classes

    Full-time study means that learners attend classes on a daily basis during the day. This usually implies that our full-time learners are not employed and, as they are either recent matriculants or school leavers, they are able to attend daily classes on a full-time basis for the number of years required to complete the qualifications.

    Training option 2: blended learning – combination of contact classes and distance learning

    This course is presented through a combination of contact sessions (face-to-face learning) and distance learning. Learners can attend a number of classes per module. The first class is an introductory class at the start of each module. This class gives you an overview of the most important aspects of the module and gives you an idea of what to expect in the module. After each introductory class, you complete the relevant module via distance learning. Learners may have 1 to 2 additional contact classes after the introductory class. The second class is usually held two weeks prior to a learner writing a practice assessment and the third class is held prior the formal assessment. Class 2 and 3 are purely based on revision.

    Training option 3: full-time distance learning

    With distance learning learners can study in their own time from home or work instead of attending classes. Learners have more flexibility as they will have full-time access to credo’s online learning platform. Learners will receive study guidance in terms of unit/module notes, study plan, assignments, assignment feedback and guidance on revision.

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