Connecting students to SAICA training contracts

I get hundreds of queries from accounting students looking for a SAICA training contract (SAICA Articles), trying to get information about requirements, the firms, opportunities etc… so I ‘interviewed’ an audit firm who is currently recruiting, on your behalf!

I spoke to Ingrid du Preez CA(SA), the Recruitment Manager at PKF Cape Town an Audit Manager (Ingrid did her articles and qualified with PKF), and after qualifying, now also recruits for PKF Cape Town). She is currently recruiting for audit trainees to start in 2019, and beyond.

Who is PKF Cape Town?

PKF Cape Town is a formidable audit and accounting firm that operates mainly in the Western Cape. The larger PKF group, however, has an international footprint in 150 countries with more than 400 offices across the globe, employing more than 15 000 accounting professionals. They are one of SA’s largest mid-tier networks.

Our Cape Town office currently has a team of ten partners and 90 employees (of which a whopping 51 are trainees!). It opened its doors for business in 1994 (The firm started as Rademeyer Wesson) and has grown considerably since then, and now forms part of the flagship “PKF” brand.

We have a suite of clients that represent a true cross-section of the economy (Both in size and industry). From SMME’s (Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises), to multi-national conglomerates; pension funds; family owned businesses; non-profit institutions and government agencies – to name but a few!

We pride ourselves on providing “all the services our clients need”. This includes Auditing and related Assurance services; Accounting and Financial Reporting; Tax and Secretarial services.

Who are you looking for?

PKF is always looking for South African accounting students and graduates with ‘oomph’, guts, commitment and dedication. Strong work-ethic, creativity and an eagerness to learn are essential traits a potential SAICA trainee should display!

Basic requirements:

  • B.Acc / BCompt (ie: a SAICA accredited degree from any university) and CTA
  • We also accept accounting students who are currently studying CTA Level 1 (UNISA)
  • SA Citizenship
  • Our office is in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town, so you must live in Cape Town and surrounds. You need to live in an area close enough to get to work every day
  • A car is preferable, but not a pre-requisite

Added bonusses (NOT basic requirements):

  • Experience with MS Office (ie: Excel, Word, Outlook etc)
  • Previous work experience (Vacation work; Part time; Full time)

What can PKF offer you?

PKF guarantees a holistic training experience for those doing a SAICA training contract with us. Since we pride ourselves on providing “all the services our clients need,” we need to train our staff to provide those high quality services! So, you will be carefully stretched to avoid ‘one-trick-pony’ status, ensuring that upon ‘leaving the nest’, you are armed with business acumen that goes way beyond mere accounting and auditing!

We offer 18 – 20 SAICA training contract / SAICA Articles per year under the Audit & Assurance elective.
Here are the specs of the contracts on offer:

  • Market –related salary depending on qualification and experience gained
  • 15 days leave (compulsory leave in December)
  • Study leave (Different days for different levels of studies)
  • Interest-free study loans to post-graduates
  • Payment of ITC and APC board courses and board exams (first attempt only!)
  • Overtime paid out (or can be converted into additional study leave)
  • Laptop with required software
  • Travel and Subsistence Allowance (R4.00 per km)
  • Payment of SAICA and IRBA-fees
  • International secondment opportunities (PKF have offices in 150 countries)

Office Culture?

We are really a hub of friends, not colleagues.

We believe in a balanced lifestyle, dynamic team-work, a healthy pursuit of a ‘good time’ and a bare minimum quota of that foul concept called ‘overtime’.

We don’t believe in the ‘cut-throat”, “every-man-for-himself’ mindset that dictates the financial world. PKF believes in celebrating each other’s success and that playing hard should always follow hard work.

Sports / out-of-office interests

If you deem yourself a ‘sporty specimen’, PKF’s official action cricket, action netball and/or touch rugby team is the perfect outlet to help you build up a sweat! Virgin Active is also just around the corner from our office, so feeding those puppies before work is a viable option!

If, however, you shun exercise and prefer the finer things in life, dedicated culture evenings (aka “internationals”) and PKF wine tastings should appeal to your refined sensibilities.

Fall somewhere in the middle? Why not take part in the annual bowls tournament or the occasional Rush-outing; or get your humanitarian hands dirty with the various PKF-sponsored community projects and outreaches?


Every Friday, the PKF team have drinks at a nearby bar in their casual jeans and T-shirts (pick-up lines are risky enough as is without one’s attire screaming ‘Caution: Accountant!’). Trainees form great friendships throughout their time at PKF! Perhaps the foundation of these lasting relationships traces back to the much-loved 1st-years concert, where the fresh troops get to know each other on a different level while tasked with compiling, rehearsing and performing a comedy skit for the delight of the office.

Given its central location in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town, a lunch breakaway at PKF could incorporate anything from a leisurely shopping centre stroll or a few practice shots at the local driving range.”

Contact details if you’re interested:
(Please contact PKF as below, do not query me with comments on this post)

We take all submissions via email. (ie: DO NOT PHONE) Please follow these instructions:

Email address:
Subject line: CV Submission (Ref: Yvonne Venter)

Attention: Ingrid du Preez

Your email should contain the following:

  • A brief introduction of yourself, and what you’re hoping to get out of your training contract / Articles
  • Your CV attached as a PDF document
  • Any related questions you have
  • Your contact details
  • The year you wish to start your articles

We will contact you to discuss further (so please check your emails!)

Please don’t send CV’s if they don’t meet our basic requirements!

We get a lot of enquiries and emails from students, some of whom don’t meet our basic requirements (eg: they don’t live in Cape Town; they’re still busy with their undergraduate degree; they’re doing a non-SAICA accredited degree; they want to do articles outside of auditing… etc).

In order to give the right time and attention to serious candidates (and still make sure our clients are looked after!) we don’t have time to respond to general queries and submissions who don’t meet our requirements.

Note from Yvonne

Please do not take this as a recommendation, or career advice from me. I am merely attempting to connect firms with students looking for articles.

Every trainee should make their own decisions for their contracts. What’s ‘right’ for one student may not be ‘right’ for another.

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Yvonne Starkey CA(SA)

Yvonne Starkey CA(SA)

I coach accounting students who are struggling with their study habits and mindset, and want their studies to be as effective as they used to be. See more on my about page

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