Accounting bursaries are some of the most popular bursaries available. Here we discuss the benefits of applying for an accounting bursary and the different types of bursaries currently available to students in South Africa.

Accounting Bursaries

Getting an Accounting Bursary

Finance and accounting is a rewarding career in South Africa. Qualified professionals in this field enjoy higher salaries, a respectable work environment, and higher status. There are career advancement opportunities as well all the way up to the C-suite level. So if you’ve always loved crunching numbers and want to get involved in an evergreen industry, accounting is the way to go.

– Finding the latest bursaries

Bursaries are a great way to support your education financially. If you belong to a low-income family and are finding it difficult to fund your education, then consider applying for the available bursary programmes. There are many government and private organisations that recognise the shortage of qualified accountants in the country. A part of the reason is that not everyone can afford the tuition fees to attend a finance school.

So these organisations are offering financial assistance in the form of accounting bursaries.

 – Basic eligibility requirements to qualify

Every accounting bursary has some eligibility requirements. The candidates applying for the bursary are expected to fulfill all the requirements. The criteria exist because the number of bursaries is limited, and the number of applicants always outnumber them. The companies want to award bursaries to the neediest and brightest students. So the criteria act as a filter.

The requirements vary from bursary to bursary, but here are some of the common ones:

  • The applicant must be a South African citizen with valid ID cards. Some bursaries accept foreign nationals too.
  • The applicant must be in need of proven financial assistance.
  • They must fulfill all the prerequisites for the course they want to take up and ideally got selected by the institution
  • Must have a strong academic background and meet the minimum scores in certain subjects, especially Maths
  • Must have a passion for accounting and want to pursue a career in the same field

 – Application processes

In order to avail the funding, students are required to apply for the bursaries. Most organisations either accept online or offline applications, but some may accept both.

In online application process, you’d have to submit an online form and upload the documents. This is a really quick and efficient way to manage the entire process. So many organisation opt for it.

In offline mode, students would have to download the form, complete it by hand or on a Word Processor software and mail it to the required mailing address.

You’d have to follow the instructions and apply accordingly to be considered for the bursary.

 – Bursary cover and its benefits

There are several reasons why you should apply for the available accounting bursaries. Once awarded, they may cover costs like registration fees, tuition fees, textbook costs, accommodation costs, and monthly living expenses. Some bursaries also provide laptops, internet costs, and career advancement opportunities like seminars and workshops.

There are even bursaries that provide employment offers to some or all of the bursars. After completion of the study programme, the bursars would have to work at the organisation for a specific period. Down the road, it may lead to permanent employment.

Students should also be aware of all the terms and conditions. Some bursary programmes require the bursar to pay back the entire amount if they fail to complete their course or drop out in between.


Study Accounting in South Africa

There are several world-renowned institutions and universities in South Africa that offer accounting courses. These universities provide diplomas, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in accounting and finance. A diploma can be either for undergraduate or postgraduate students with a duration of 1-2 years.

A bachelor’s degree has a duration of 3 years, with a master’s degree requiring two years of education.

The top universities offering accounting and related courses are:

  • University of Cape Town
  • University of Witwatersrand
  • University of Stellenbosh
  • Rhodes University
  • University of Pretoria
  • University of KwaZulu Natal
  • University of Western Cape
  • University of UNISA
  • University of Free State
  • University of Zululand
  • University of Venda
  • Johannesburg University

Please note that the majority of the accounting bursaries do not provide funding to students studying online or in distance mode.

 – Total cost and expenses

The total cost and expenses incurred while pursuing an accounting degree depend on many factors. First is the cost of the degree itself. Every university has a different fee structure. For example, a BCom degree with a specialisation in accounting costs between R40,000-54,000 per year. The same degree, if pursued from the University of Witwatersrand, costs R47,830-53,940 yearly. Then, there are accommodation and living cost which varies from region to region.


Career Opportunities in Accounting

A degree in accounting can open up many job opportunities. Many students think pursuing accounting means becoming an accountant. But there are so many positions you can apply for after completing your studies. Here are some of the careers you might be interested in, along with the estimated payscale:

  • Auditor – R95,000 – 530,000 per annum
  • General Operations Manager – R99,000 – 860,000 per annum
  • Accountant – R110,000 – 390,000 per annum
  • Senior Accountant – R115,000 – 470,000 per annum
  • Internal Auditor – R120,000 – 450,000 per annum
  • Chartered Accountant – R150,000 – 780,000 per annum
  • Financial Accountant – R156,000 – 500,000 per annum
  • Management Accountant – R186,000 – 600,000 per annum
  • Finance Manager – R216,000 – 790,000 per annum
  • Financial Manager – R218,000 – 750,000 per annum
  • Financial Director – R426,000 – 14,00,000 per annum
  • Chief Financial Officer (CFO) – R500,000 – 15,000,000 per annum
  • Finance Director – R600,000 – 16,000,000 per annum

The above numbers are just an estimate, and the actual remuneration can be above or below the figures. Also, experience and additional qualifications do influence your pay scale.

Chartered Accounting Bursaries 2023

Chartered accountants are accounting professionals that work in many sectors of the economy – whether it’s a business, individual or government. The prime role is managing the finances of an entity. This includes providing any financial advice and asssisting with money management.  A chartered accountant is able to offer specialist accountancy services and financial advice across a range of important areas. The main difference between a chartered accountant and an accountant is that the former is typically more highly qualified and experienced, and will be a member of a professional body.

In order to become a charted accountant CA(SA), you will need to complete your degree and then undertake three years of internship training and pass two board exams with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA).

If you want to become a chartered accountant, then here are the bursaries you should apply for:

Financial Accounting Bursaries 2023

If you want to get involved in finance, then here are the bursaries available to you:

General Accounting Bursaries 2023

For those pursuing general accounting degrees, here are the available bursaries:

Finance & Financial Management Bursaries 2023

For those pursuing degrees in financial management, here are the most suitable bursaries to apply for: