Trainee accountant logbook goes digital

Trainee accountants will now be able to maintain an online version of their portfolio that needs to be completed to become a professional accountant.

Rashied Small, Saipa executive: education, training and membership

Rashied Small, Saipa executive: education, training and membership

The South African Institute of Professional Accountants (Saipa) has digitised, streamlined and optimised the process that has up until now been paper-based and exposed various stakeholders to loopholes.

“The portfolio of evidence that trainee accountants need to compile over three years used to be paper-based, but this has now been replaced by the digital logbook. This is where aspiring professional accountants can log the evidence that is needed to demonstrate that they have completed the necessary work and obtained the right experience to become certified and registered by the Quality Council for Trade and Occupations,” says Rashied Small, Saipa executive: education, training and membership.

Removing paper and streamlining administration

One of the main features of the online logbook is that it allows for articulation across the various learnership qualifications in a seamless and efficient manner without losing any of the competencies completed in a previous learnership.

“In the past, if a trainee accountant worked in the government sector and moved to a role in the private sector, a lot of paperwork would be involved in updating their information with Saipa and ensuring that they didn’t have to redo competencies and assessments that they had completed in their previous role. With the new system, a trainee’s logbook will be adjusted automatically if they change employers and competencies that they have obtained in their previous role will be carried over to their new role to avoid duplication of tasks,” says Small.

Improving performance management for all stakeholders

The online logbook will also enable better performance management of all stakeholders who form part of the assessment process. There are currently four key stakeholders involved in the certification process, namely the trainee, the supervisor, an external assessor, and Saipa. The online logbook enables Saipa to monitor the performance of all the stakeholders involved in the certification process to make sure they are supporting the trainee’s career development.

“In the same way that we will receive notifications and updates as a trainee accountant compiles their portfolio of evidence and completes assessment to validate their technical and practical competencies, we will also be notified if a supervisor or assessor isn’t reviewing their work and giving appropriate feedback. The online logbook has been designed to monitor all levels of activity and performance of each of the key stakeholders to improve the control over the development and progress of trainees,” says Small.

The online logbook also has a communication feature that connects stakeholders via a built-in communication channel and e-mails, a learning system that provides technical support to trainees and other stakeholders who need to use the logbook, as well as an intranet service where Saipa shares news, videos, and relevant articles of interest and importance.

“The new online logbook offers a vast improvement in how young accountants will go about becoming certified. We look forward to continuing to improve their experience and look at how digital solutions can help us streamline the support we offer,” concludes Small.