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National Certificate: Business Accounting 
24418  National Certificate: Business Accounting 
SGB HET Accountancy and Financial Management 
FASSET - Financial and Accounting Services SETA  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
National Certificate  Field 03 - Business, Commerce and Management Studies  Finance, Economics and Accounting 
Undefined  120  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  Regular-ELOAC 
Reregistered  SAQA 06120/18  2018-07-01  2023-06-30 
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

  • Provide the learner with the knowledge, understanding, skills and experience to become a junior management accountant, which will aid both individual development of the learner along a path of life-long learning and social transformation through the formal aknowledge-ment of competencies, skills and knowledge through the attainment of a registered Qualification thereby enhancing the employment prospects of learners.
  • Prepare the learner to work as a junior management accountant and develop a specialist Accounting and management career, either within South Africa or in other countries around the world.
  • Provide the learner with a developmental learning experience which promotes independence and self reliance and encourages the adoption of a critical, questioning approach, analysing and challenging the truth and value of received wisdom.
  • Provide employers and others, with an adequate basis for assuring that those learners gaining the Qualification, are competent to act as junior management accountants for companies and other organisations, whether in manufacturing, commercial or service organisations, in either the public or private sectors of the economy within South Africa.
  • Provide companies and other organisations, with qualified, skilled junior management Accounting staff, who are able to make a positive contribution to the development of business and society, adding value and assisting in the creation of sustainable economic growth, both for their employers and the economy of South Africa.


    The National Certificate in Business Accounting provides learners with a post school Qualification in Accounting. The National Certificate in Business Accounting gives learners access to the Accounting profession at the first level, as well as access to all sectors and organisations that require an Accounting function to be performed. It is a Qualification, which is suitable for people filling the following positions in the commercial world: Assistant Cost Accountant, Assistant Accountant, Assistant Management Accountant and Deputy Financial Manager. The Qualification is not restricted to learners occupying positions in the Accounting profession, but is applicable to people in other related financial positions such as Accounts Clerks and Bookkeepers.

    Successful completion of this National Certificate enables learners to enrol for the Diploma in Management Accounting.

    The Certificate serves to increase skills in the Accounting sector. Learners who have completed the National Certificate in Business Accounting will have the necessary financial skills to be self-employed in the Business Accounting field, contributing to job creation by possibly employing others in their small businesses and thereby ultimately contributing to the reduction of unemployment in South Africa.

    Organisations in all economic sectors require competent, highly skilled and knowledgeable employees to perform Accounting and related functions to ensure the financial viability of the organisation and its compliance with related financial legislation. The National Certificate in Business Accounting will help provide a pool of well-qualified employees, who possess a Qualification that is internationally recognised and who will be able to perform the functions required of them . The Qualification is such that it provides practical experience for the learner through its learning content and its assessment procedures. Holders of this Qualification should require less initial on-the-job training on entering employment, as they would have mastered the competencies required whilst completing the Qualification. This will reduce the amount of non-productive time associated with new entrants to the Accounting profession. 

    Learners accessing this Qualification are assumed to be competent in:
  • Mathematics at NQF Level 4.
  • Communication at NQF Level 4

    Recognition of prior learning

    The Qualification may be achieved in part, through the recognition of prior learning. 



    Specific outcome

    1. Explain the conceptual and regulatory framework of Accounting.
    2. Explain the nature of Accounting systems and understand the control of such systems.
    3. Prepare accounts for a single entity.
    4. Explain the basic concepts and processes used to determine product and service costs; including standard costing, absorption cost, marginal cost, opportunity cost, notional cost and relevant cost concepts.
    5. Apply a range of costing and Accounting systems.
    6. Apply C-V-P analysis and interpret the results.
    7. Explain the role of budgets and standard costing within organisations.
    8. Prepare and interpret budgets, standard costs and variance statements.
    9. dentify how a market economy functions, including the role of government and explain the economic environment within which businesses operate.
    10. Identify the economic factors, which influence the behaviour and performance of firms and industries, and prepare the economic analysis that informs and guides the advice given to business decision-makers.
    11. Explain and demonstrate the use of basic Mathematics, including formulae and ratios;
    12. Identify and apply techniques for summarising and analysing data
    13. Explain and demonstrate the use of probability where risk and uncertainty exist.
    14. Explain and apply financial Mathematical techniques.
    15. Explain and demonstrate techniques used for forecasting.
    16. Identify and explain the fundamental aspects of the organisation and operation of the legal system.
    17. Identify and explain the essential elements of a business contract; what the law regards as adequate performance of the contract, and the remedies available to the innocent party in the event of a breach under the applicable legal system.
    18. Identify and explain the main obligations placed upon employers to provide a safe system of work, the main rights of employees in respect of the employment contract, and the rules dealing with discrimination and dismissal.
    19. Identify and explain the essential differences between the various forms of business organizations, with particular reference to companies.
    20. Explain the ways in which companies are administered, financed and managed.

    Critical cross field

    1. Identify, systematically examine, critically evaluate and solve problems in which responses display that responsible decisions have been made, using critical and creative thinking.
    2. Work effectively with others as a member of a team, group, organisation or community.
    3. Organise and manage oneself and one`s activities responsibly and effectively.
    4. Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information.
    5. Communicate effectively using visual, mathematical and language skills in the mode of written presentation.
    6. Use science and technology effectively and critically, showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others.
    7. Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation.
    8. Self manage skills development from the range of experiences and learning opportunities available.
    9. Transfer skills and continuous learning to organisational setting. 

    1. > Identify the various user groups which need Accounting information and the characteristics of such information necessary to meet their objectives.
  • Explain the function of and differences between Financial and Management Accounting systems.
  • Identify and explain the fundamental Accounting concepts, bases and policies.
  • Explain the concepts of capital and revenue, cash and profit, income and expenditure and assets and liabilities.
  • Explain the historical cost convention.
  • Identify the basic methods of valuing assets on current cost, market value and economic value bases, and demonstrate their impact on profit measures and balance sheet values.
  • Explain the influence of legislation (for example, Companies Acts) and Accounting standards on the production of published Accounting information for organisations.

    2. > Explain the purpose of Accounting records and their role in the Accounting system.
  • Prepare cash and bank accounts; prepare bank reconciliation statements.
  • Prepare petty cash statements under an imprest system.
  • Prepare accounts for sales and purchases, including personal accounts and control accounts.
  • Identify the necessity for financial Accounting codes and construct a simple coding system.
  • Prepare nominal ledger accounts; prepare journal entries; prepare a trial balance.
  • Prepare accounts for indirect taxes (for example, VAT).
  • Prepare accounts for payroll.
  • Identify the requirements for external audit and the basic processes undertaken.
  • Explain the purpose and basic procedures of internal audit.
  • Explain the meaning of true and fair view.
  • Explain the need for financial controls.
  • Explain the purpose of audit checks and audit trails.
  • Explain the nature of errors, and be able to make Accounting entries for them.
  • Explain the nature of fraud and basic ideas of prevention.

    3. > Prepare accounts using accruals and prepayments.
  • Explain the difference between and prepare accounts for bad debts and provisions for doubtful debts.
  • Explain and calculate the methods of depreciation and prepare accounts using each method.
  • Prepare a fixed asset register.
  • Explain, calculate and prepare accounts for stock.
  • Prepare trading accounts, profit and loss accounts, appropriations of profit and balance sheets from trial balance.
  • Prepare manufacturing accounts.
  • Prepare income and expenditure accounts.
  • Prepare accounts from incomplete records.
  • Calculate and explain basic ratios.
  • Prepare cash-flow statements.

    4. > Explain why organisations use costing systems.
  • Explain raw material Accounting and control procedures.
  • Explain and calculate reorder quantity, reorder level, maximum stock, minimum stock and economic order quantity.
  • Explain FIFO, LIFO and weighted average stock valuation methods.
  • Calculate stock, cost of sales and gross profit under LIFO, FIFO and weighted average.
  • Explain labour Accounting and control procedures.
  • Discuss and calculate factory incentive schemes for individuals and groups.
  • Explain absorption costing.
  • Prepare cost statements for allocation and apportionment of overheads including reciprocal service departments.
  • Calculate and discuss overhead absorption rates.
  • Calculate under/over-recovery of overheads.
  • Calculate product costs under absorption and marginal costing.
  • Compare and contrast absorption and marginal costing.

    5. > Compare and contrast job, batch, contract and process costing systems.
  • Prepare ledger accounts for job, batch, contract (in accordance with SSAP 9) and process costing systems.
  • Prepare and contrast cost statements for service and manufacturing organizations.
  • Prepare profit and loss accounts from the same data under absorption and marginal costing and reconcile and explain the differences in reported profits.
  • Prepare Accounting entries for an integrated Accounting system using standard costs.
  • Explain the difference between integrated and interlocking Accounting systems.

    6. > Identify relevant costs and revenues.
  • Identify cost behaviour,
  • Explain the contribution concept,
  • Calculate and interpret the break even point, profit target, margin of safety and profit / volume ratio for a single product.
  • Prepare break even charts and profit / volume graphs for a single product.
  • Calculate the profit-maximising sales mix for a company with a single resource constraint which has total freedom of action.
  • Discuss C-V-P analysis.

    7. > Explain why organisations prepare budgets.
  • Explain how organisations prepare budgets.
  • Explain the use of IT in the budget process.
  • Explain the principles of standard costing.

    8. > Prepare functional budgets, profit and loss account, balance sheet and a simple cash budget.
  • Calculate simple cost estimates using high - low method and line of best fit.
  • Prepare simple reports showing actual and budgeted results.
  • Explain the differences between fixed and flexible budgets.
  • Prepare a fixed and flexible budget.
  • Prepare the standard cost for a product/service.
  • Calculate and interpret variances for sales, materials, labour, variable overheads and fixed overheads.
  • Calculate expenditure, volume and total budget variances.
  • Prepare a report reconciling budget gross profit/contribution with actual profit.

    9. > Explain the principal issues related to economic welfare and its growth.
  • Explain the main trends in the rate and structure of economic growth in recent years.
  • Explain the central economic problem and the concepts of scarcity and opportunity cost.
  • Explain the main factors determining the rate of economic growth.
  • Explain the main elements of government policy towards economic growth.
  • Explain the functioning of a market economy.
  • Explain how the price system works by applying appropriate economic concepts and principles.
  • Explain and illustrate how product and factor markets operate.
  • Apply basic economic analysis to explain economic and business issues.
  • Explain the behaviour of business costs in both the short and the long run.
  • Analyse the process of competition in different market structures.
  • Identify the public issues that are raised by business activity.
  • Explain how governments might respond to the effects of business on the environment.

    10. > Explain the economic factors which affect the structure, behaviour and performance of individual businesses and industries.
  • Identify the appropriate macroeconomic concepts to explain the measurement and determination of national income.
  • Explain macroeconomic phenomena by demonstrating a simple circular flow of income model.
  • Identify the main indicators of macroeconomic performance and demonstrate their significance.
  • Identify the main elements of the monetary and financial system.
  • Explain the importance of the monetary environment to the business sector.
  • Explain the economic role of government through fiscal and monetary policy and demonstrate the impact of such policies on the business sector.
  • Explain the nature of the trade cycle, its causes and consequences.
  • Explain the debates concerning the nature of the macro-economy and appropriate government policy.
  • Explain patterns of international trade and the sources of international specialization.
  • Identify the international movement of factors of production and the role of transnational companies in this process.
  • Identify and explain the concept and consequences of globalisation for businesses and national economies.
  • Explain the concept of the balance of payments and its determinants;
  • Distinguish between different exchange rate regimes and explain their implications for the business sector.
  • Identify the main elements of national policy with respect to external economic relations, especially in the context of regional trading blocs.

    11. > Demonstrate the order of operations in formulae, including the use of brackets, negative numbers, powers and roots.
  • Calculate percentages and proportions.
  • Calculate answers to appropriate significant figures or decimal places.
  • Calculate maximum absolute and relative errors.
  • Solve simple equations, including two variable simultaneous equations and quadratic equations.
  • Prepare graphs of linear and quadratic equations.

    12. > Explain the difference between data and information.
  • Explain the characteristics of good information.
  • Explain the difference between primary and secondary data.
  • Identify the sources of secondary data.
  • Explain the different methods of sampling and identify where each is appropriate.
  • Tabulate data and explain the results.
  • Prepare a frequency distribution from raw data.
  • Prepare and explain the following graphs and diagrams: bar charts, time series graphs (not Z charts), scatter diagrams, histograms and ogives.
  • Calculate and explain the following summary statistics for ungrouped data: arithmetic mean, median, mode, range, standard deviation and variance.
  • Calculate and explain the following summary statistics for grouped data: arithmetic mean, median (graphical method only), mode (graphical method only), range, semi-interquartile range (graphical method only), standard deviation and variance.
  • Calculate and explain a simple index number, a fixed base and chain base series of index numbers.
  • Use index numbers to deflate a series and explain the results.
  • Calculate a simple weighted index number. Candidates will not have to decide whether to use base or current weights.

    13. > Calculate a simple probability.
  • Demonstrate the use of the addition and multiplication rules of probability.
  • Calculate a simple conditional probability.
  • Calculate and explain an expected value.
  • Demonstrate the use of expected values to make decisions.
  • Explain the limitations of expected values.
  • Demonstrate the use of normal distribution and the mathematical tables.
  • Demonstrate the application of the normal distribution to calculate probabilities.

    14. > Calculate future values of an investment, using both simple and compound interest.
  • Calculate an annual percentage rate of interest, given a quarterly or monthly rate.
  • Calculate the present value of a future cash sum, using both a formula and mathematical Tables.
  • Calculate the present value of an annuity using both a formula and Mathematical Tables.
  • Calculate loan/mortgage repayments and the value of an outstanding loan/mortgage.
  • Calculate the present value of a perpetuity.
  • Calculate the future value of regular savings (sinking funds) or find the savings given the future value, if necessary, using the sum of a geometric progression.
  • Calculate the NPV of a project and use this to decide whether a project should be undertaken, or to choose between mutually exclusive projects.
  • Calculate and explain the use of the IRR of a project.

    15. > Calculate the correlation coefficient between two variables and explain the value.
  • Calculate the rank correlation coefficient between two sets of data and explain the value.
  • Explain the meaning of 100r2 (the coefficient of determination).
  • Demonstrate the use of regression analysis between two variables to find the line of best fit, and explain its meaning.
  • Calculate a forecast of the value of the dependent variable, given the value of the independent variable.
  • Prepare a time series graph and identify trends and patterns.
  • Identify the components of a time series model.
  • Calculate the trend using a graph, moving averages or linear regression, and be able to forecast the trend.
  • Calculate the seasonal variations for both additive and multiplicative models.
  • Calculate a forecast of the actual value using either the additive or the multiplicative model.
  • Explain the difference between the additive and multiplicative models, and when each is appropriate.
  • Calculate the seasonally adjusted values in a time series.
  • Explain the reliability of any forecasts made.

    16. > Identify and explain the sources of law.
  • Explain how law is made.
  • Explain the system of courts.
  • Distinguish between the civil and the criminal law.
  • Explain the manner in which behaviour within society is regulated by the civil and the criminal law.

    17. > Identify the essential elements of a business contract and situations where the law requires the contract to be in a particular form.
  • Explain how the law determines whether negotiating parties have reached agreement.
  • Explain when the parties will be regarded as intending the contract to be legally binding.
  • Explain when an apparently valid contract may be avoided because of mistake, duress, or misrepresentation.
  • Explain the status of contractual terms and conditions, and the possible repercussions of non-performance.
  • Explain what the law regards as performance of the contract; the valid and invalid reasons for non-performance.
  • Identify the different types of breach of contract, and distinguish between material and non-material breach of contract.
  • Identify and describe the remedies available for breach of contract.

    18. > Distinguish between employees and independent contractors, and explain the importance of this distinction.
  • Explain how the contents of a contract of employment are established
  • Explain the obligations of employers to provide a safe system of work, and the consequences of failing to do so.
  • Explain the main rights of the employee, including those applicable in the event of discrimination and upon dismissal.

    19. > Explain the essential characteristics of the different types of business organisations.
  • Explain the concept `juristic personality` and its practical effect.
  • Describe situations in which the law will ignore the separate legal existence of the company.
  • Explain the differences between the different types of companies.
  • Explain how a company is formed.
  • Explain the purpose and legal status of the documents used to form a company.
  • Explain the capacity of a company to contract.

    20. > Explain the use and procedure of board meetings and general meetings of shareholders.
  • Explain the processes/procedures to be followed by the owners and controllers of companies when reaching decisions.
  • Explain the voting rights of owners and controllers.
  • Explain the requirements for the publication of information regarding the operation of the company.
  • Explain the nature of a share and the essential characteristics of the different types of share.
  • Describe the procedure for the issue of shares, and the acceptable forms of payment.
  • Explain the legal repercussions of issuing shares for an improper purpose.
  • Explain the maintenance of capital principle and the exceptions to the principle.
  • Explain the procedure to increase and reduce share capital.
  • Explain the ability of a company to take secured and unsecured loans, the different types of security.
  • Explain the procedure for the appointment, retirement, disqualification and removal of directors.
  • Identify the power and duties owed by directors to the company, shareholders, creditors and employees.
  • Explain the rules dealing with the possible imposition of personal liability upon the directors of insolvent companies.
  • Identify and contrast the rights of shareholders with the Board of a company.
  • Explain the Qualifications, powers and duties of company officers.

    Critical Cross-Field

    1. Solves problems by methodically examining the issues, researching and critically evaluating circumstances and/or situations.

    2. > Integrates well within a team, group, organisation or community.
  • Demonstrates a variety of personal skills in dealing with others, including listening, communication, negotiation, co-operation, diplomacy and leadership.
  • Works effectively with others to achieve planned outcomes.

    3. > Plans and carries out tasks/activities in a methodical and well ordered manner.
  • Achieves task/activity objectives within the planned time-scale and using the allocated resources.

    4. > Searches for appropriate and relevant data/information and assembles in a structured manner.
  • Analyses data/information and identifies key elements or facts.
  • Critically evaluates data/information to draw conclusions and make recommendations.

    5. > Communicates in writing, an understanding of theoretical knowledge and concepts, appropriate to level, using a variety of methods.
  • Communicates in writing, thoughts, ideas and opinions in an easily understood and effective manner.

    6. > Applies appropriate scientific principles to analyse data and provide information to support decision making.
  • Uses information technology to analyse and/or compute data.
  • Uses information technology to communicate with others in a safe and effective manner.

    7. > Applies knowledge of alternative cultures, environment, systems and methods of working in other countries/continents to support problem solving.

    8. > Uses learning opportunities to learn with and from others.
  • Uses task/activity/work experiences to improve existing skills or develop new skills.

    9. > Demonstrates the application of previously acquired knowledge, understanding and skills, to new activities, areas of work or contexts.

    Integrated assessment

    Assessment of competence will be done through a combination of formative and summative assessment tools, techniques and procedures, which do not discriminate against learners in an unjust or invalid way. Formative assessment will integrate theory with practice, with much of it being done in real or simulated work situations.

    A final summative assessment combining theory and practical competencies will be done through learners writing a series of Examinations covering all learning areas. 

    The Qualification is comparable in every respect with the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting, which is offered in more than 130 countries worldwide. The Qualification will grant learners entrance into the Management Accounting profession as well as to the Accounting profession in general globally. 

    Horizontal/parallel articulation with other Qualifications include:
  • The Accounting Technician Qualification (AAT)
  • Certified Accounting Technician (CAT) Qualification from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

    The Qualification articulates vertically with the following Qualifications:
  • CIMA Diploma in Management Accounting
  • Examinations of other professional bodies such as the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

    The Qualification grants qualifying learners membership of professional institutions such as the Institute of Administration and Commerce. 

  • Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against this Qualification must be registered as an assessor with a relevant ETQA or an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable the achievement of this Qualification must be accredited as a provider with the relevant ETQA.
  • Assessment and moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant ETQA or by an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA, according to the ETQAs policies and guidelines for assessment and moderation; in terms of agreements reached around assessment and moderation between ETQAs (including professional bodies); and in terms of the moderation guideline detailed immediately below.
  • Moderation must include both internal and external moderation of assessments at exit points of the qualification, unless ETQA policies specify otherwise.
  • The relevant NSB and SGB may be notified of any feedback related to this
  • Anyone wishing to be assessed against this Qualification may apply to be assessed by any assessment agency, assessor or provider institution that is accredited by the relevant ETQA or an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.

    Formative assessment will be conducted internally by the provider with moderation being done by the relevant ETQA. 


    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this qualification was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 



    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.

    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.