SAQA 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.

National Certificate: Bookkeeping 
58375  National Certificate: Bookkeeping 
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 3  NQF Level 03  Regular-Unit Stds Based 
Passed the End Date -
Status was "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 replaces: 
Qual ID Qualification Title Pre-2009 NQF Level NQF Level Min Credits Replacement Status
20362  Certificate: Registered Accounting Clerk  Level 3  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L3  120  Complete 


The purpose of this qualification is to:
  • Provide the learner with the knowledge, understanding, skills and experience to become a Bookkeeper. This will aid individual development and enhance the employment prospects of the learner, as well as social transformation through the formal acknowledgement of competencies, skills and knowledge.
  • Equip the learner with a Qualification that can be used as an introduction to the field of Accounting. Successful completion of this qualification will give the learner the knowledge and skills required not only to perform his/her Accounting job efficiently, but also to proceed on a path of life-long learning with Qualifications at a higher level.
  • Provide employers and others with an adequate basis for assuring that those learners gaining the Qualification are competent to act as Bookkeepers, providing accounting support and recording the day-to-day financial transactions of the business for companies and other organisations.
  • Encourage the widest possible access to the Accounting profession and Accounting Qualifications by making it possible for the following learners to obtain a bookkeeping qualification:
    > Those who have performed an Accounting and/or Bookkeeping function in their organisation for some time without a formal Qualification in Accounting.
    > Those who were previously disadvantaged and who were unable to continue their learning in the Further Education Band.
    > Those who are contracted in a learnership agreement in the Accounting sector.
    > Those who have recently taken up a position as a support staff member in an Accounting section of a medium to large organisation.


    There is a need for adequate control to be maintained over the financial affairs of companies, which sometimes fail due to inadequate record keeping of creditors and debtors with costs being allowed to exceed budget and income. This Qualification aims at equipping learners to perform the Accounting function in small organisations and to provide support to Financial Administrators, Accounting Technicians, Accountants and Financial Managers in medium and large organisations so that the Accounting and Financial Management functions can be performed effectively.

    The nature of the Qualification and the integrated work-place assessment requirements will reduce the amount of non-productive time traditionally associated with workplace training when learners enter the world of work in the Bookkeeping field. 

    Learning Assumed to be in Place:

    It is assumed that the learner is competent in:
  • Communication at NQF Level 2.
  • Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 2.
  • Computer Literacy at NQF Level 2.

    Recognition of Prior Learning:

    This Qualification may be obtained in whole or in part through a process of RPL. The learner will be credited with the Unit Standards already mastered and will not need to prove competence in them again. If competence can be shown in all the Exit Level Outcomes of the Qualification and the Specific Outcomes of the constituent Unit Standards, the complete Qualification can be awarded to the candidate.

    The assessor applying RPL could use any of the following tools and techniques to assess competence:
  • Performance of an accounting task in the workplace.
  • Questioning the learner about the task.
  • Written evidence that the learner is able to undertake the task in terms of previous work experience.
  • Simulation of an accounting task.
  • Case studies.
  • Preparation of written reports.
  • Evidence from workplace appraisal.
  • Interpretation of accounting information.
  • Evidence of minutes, notes and working papers relating to meetings.
  • Verification of completed work.
  • Training records.
  • Testimonials.
  • In-company short courses.
  • Certificates and qualifications.

    The learner could be required to prepare a portfolio, which will comprise a collection of evidence of prior learning.

    Access to the qualification:

    Access to the qualification is open, bearing in mind the requirements of "learning to be in place" and that the learner must have access to a work environment where bookkeeping function can be fulfilled. 


    Fundamental component:
  • All Unit Standards in the Fundamental Component, totalling 36 credits are compulsory.

    Core component:
  • The Unit Standards in the Core Component totalling 61 credits are compulsory.

    Elective component:
  • Unit Standards totalling 38 credits have been included in this component. The learner is required to select Unit Standards totalling a minimum of 23 credits to complete the qualification. 

    1. Administer credit purchase and credit sales transactions.

    2. Apply knowledge of income, receipts, payments and expenses.

    3. Administer Value Added Tax (VAT) transactions.

    4. Complete reconciliation statements, general ledger accounts and trial balances.

    5. Administer petty cash.

    6. Apply knowledge and understanding of personal taxation.

    7. Apply knowledge of business taxation.

    8. Record business financial transactions.

    Critical Cross-Field Outcomes:

    The learner who acquires this qualification should be able to demonstrate ability to:
  • Identify and solve problems by thinking and making responsible decisions.
  • Work with others as a member of a team.
  • Organise and manage him/herself and his/her activities responsibly and effectively.
  • Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate performance.
  • Communicate well using mathematical and language skills.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem-solving situations do not exist in isolation.
  • Benefit by full personal development, thus contributing to the social and economic development of South African society at large. 

  • Source documents are identified and used in compliance with organisational and legislative requirements.
  • Credit Purchase Transactions and Credit Sales Transactions are recorded in the appropriate journals.
  • Credit-related transactions are recorded in the General Journal.
  • Creditors' and debtors' accounts are maintained according to organisational procedures and requirements.

  • Source documents are identified for the relevant functions.
  • Income, receipts, payments and expenses are recorded in the relevant books of account.
  • Credit Sales Transactions and Routine Income Transactions are recorded in the appropriate journals.
  • Other credit-related transactions, as well as non-routine related income transactions are recorded in the General Journal.
  • Receipts are received and recorded according to general bookkeeping practice.
  • Payments are recorded according to legislative and organisational requirements.

  • VAT concepts are understood and defined using accepted business terminology.
  • The current rules and rates of VAT are applied in accordance with legislation.
  • VAT for cash and credit transactions is calculated and recorded according to legislative requirements.
  • VAT records are set up and maintained following the relevant legislative policies and procedures.
  • VAT returns are completed in accordance with legislative regulations.
  • Relevant documentation for the Receiver of Revenue is compiled according to legislative requirements.

  • Receipts and payments are compared to bank statements according to organisational procedures.
  • Bank reconciliation statements are compiled in accordance with organisational requirements.
  • A basic Debtors and Creditors Reconciliation Statement is prepared according to organisational and legislative policies and procedures.
  • General ledger accounts are prepared following relevant organisational and legislative requirements.
  • Ledger balances and control accounts are prepared according to organisational requirements.
  • Initial trial balances are drafted relevant to the organisational policies and procedures.

  • Money for Petty Cash transactions is disbursed according to internal regulations.
  • Petty Cash transactions are recorded in accordance with organisational requirements.
  • Imprest amount is restored according to organisational requirements.

  • Gross wages and salaries from time records or a productivity scheme are calculated.
  • Making and recording the correct deductions calculate net wages and salaries.
  • Payslips, PAYE documents and other forms, showing Income Tax deductions are completed.
  • Money for wages is disbursed according to organisational requirements.
  • IRP 5 forms and documentation for the Receiver of Revenue are completed according to legislative requirements.

  • The main business expenses, not allowable for income tax purposes are distinguished from expenses that are tax allowed.
  • Capital allowances are understood and calculated according to relevant legislation.
  • The figures required for the completion of an income tax return are calculated according to relevant legislation.
  • The tax payable by an individual who is a sole trader is calculated according to relevant legislation.
  • Tax payable by a small business is calculated according to legislative requirements.
  • The concepts of limited liability and incorporation is understood and applied in accordance with legislative requirements.

  • Receipts and Payments are processed according to organisational procedures.
  • Records are entered in an analysed cashbook for both cash and bank entries.
  • Check invoices are received against orders according to organisational procedures.
  • Quotations and invoices are produced in accordance with organisational requirements.
  • Debtors and creditors are recorded according to organisational procedures.
  • Suppliers' statements are reconciled in accordance with organisational requirements.
  • Bank reconciliation statement is prepared according to legislative and organisational requirement.

    Integrated Assessment:

    Integration implies that theoretical and practical components are assessed together. It also implies that learning in different unit standards could and should be assessed in a integrated way where possible. Integrative assessment techniques may be used to assess multiple specific outcomes within multiple unit standards within the learner's work context. Within each unit standard, the specific outcomes and associated assessment criteria guide the learning process. The assessment determines whether the outcomes have been attained.

    Assessments should be flexible and must cater for a wide range of options and contexts. Assessment must be fair, transparent, valid and reliable and should ensure that no learner is disadvantaged.

    Assessment of Communication and Mathematical Literacy should be contextually based in accordance with the specialisation and context chosen and applied. Assessment has a formative monitoring function. Formative assessment should be used to assess gaps in the learner's skill and knowledge level. Its goal is to assess the learner's competence providing feedback to both learner and facilitator for further learning. It is continuous and is used to plan appropriate learning experiences to meet the learner's needs. It provides information about problems experienced at different stages in the learning process.

    Assessment must also have a summative component. Summative assessment may be used on completion of a unit standard, but should not be the only form of assessment.

    A variety of methods must be used in assessment, and tools and activities must be appropriate to the context in which the learner is working. Where it is not possible to assess all competencies in the workplace, simulations, case studies and other techniques should be used to provide a context appropriate to the assessment. 

    Training in African countries and the Western World (in the latter Bookkeeping structures are well established) was looked at to assess the suitability and the level of learning in the qualification. International benchmarking took place throughout the project in:
  • The standards writing approach.
  • The contents of the standards themselves.
  • The appropriateness of the chosen standards format.

    Benchmarking was done on qualifications from Britain, Mozambique, Malawi, Bahamas, Namibia and New Zealand. In terms of the Australian and New Zealand approach to qualifications the unit standards were either non-existent or hard to find.


    Reviewing the Namibian Qualifications Authority (NQA) website and meeting with representatives from the NQA highlighted a need to develop supporting qualifications for the Accounting Sector, which is lacking in Namibia at present.


    The Botswana Training Authority is a body parastatal charged with the responsibility to develop and review national training standards for levels with in the Botswana National Vocational Qualifications Framework, to form a clear and consistent system that is relevant to the needs of Botswana's economy.

    To this end the Training Standards Division has been established under the Department of Quality Assurance to coordinate the development of national training standards in collaboration with all relevant stakeholders, including industry or sector specialist. Two specific structures are used for this coordination; namely the Standards Setting Committee (SSC), and sector Standards Setting Task Forces (SSTF). These are legally constituted bodies that are responsible for the development of awards in their respective subfields, trades or sectors. SSC is equivalent to the ETQAs under SAQA, SSTF to the SGBs.

    To date BOTA has developed unit standards in some subfields notably in the Services Field of Learning, but very little in the Business and Commerce field of learning.

    United Kingdom

    This qualification is directly comparable to the Level 2 Certificate in Bookkeeping (100/2870/5) registered with the Qualifications Curriculum Authority and awarded by the International Association of Bookkeepers (IAB). In addition to this qualification being offered in the United Kingdom, it is also offered in Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Sri Lanka. The IAB, as an awarding body under the auspices of the Qualifications Authority offer this qualification in Russia and the Eastern Block in Russian and assessed in Russian whilst learners receive the United Kingdom qualification.

    The following outcomes of the IAB Level 2 Certificate in Bookkeeping (100/2870/5) are listed below:
    1. Understand and apply basic accounting concepts and Book-keeping ethics
    2. Understand fundamental double entry Book-keeping terms and processes
    3. Calculate Value Added Tax
    4. Prepare and validate business documents
    5. Use sub divided Books and record credit based transactions
    6. Make and receive payments
    7. Record receipts and payments
    8. Process Petty Cash

    In addition to the above qualification, the outcomes of this qualification can also be mapped to the following two qualifications as indicated:

    IAB Level 3 Diploma in Accounting and Advanced Bookkeeping (Qualification Accreditation Number 100/2873/0),
    1. Understand the use of the Bank Reconciliation Statement and Sales and Purchase Ledger Control Accounts as secondary checking devices.
    2. Be able to prepare reconciliations following the tracing and elimination of errors.
    3. Be able to prepare a Bank Reconciliation Statement

    IAB Level 3 Certificate in Bookkeeping (Qualification Accreditation Number 100/2872/9)
    1. Prepare Reconciliations
    2. Manage Credit Control

    When reviewing this qualification to the above qualification cognisance was taken with regards to terminology and relevant legislative criteria.


    A review of qualifications in Bookkeeping offered in the Bahamas showed that the accounting outcomes of this qualification fairly represent the outcomes of the qualification "Certified Professional Bookkeeping" offered by Galilee College which is registered with the Bahamas Ministry of Education and approved by the Bahamas Department of Public Personnel. During the review of this qualification, it was found that the four parts that make up the Professional Bookkeeping qualification are covered in the various outcomes illustrated below:

    Part 1: Accounting for a Proprietorship

    1. Starting a proprietorship
    2. Changes affecting owner's equity
    3. Analysing debit and credit parts
    4. Recording a general journal
    5. Cash control systems

    Part 2: Accounting for a Partnership

    1. Journalising in special journals
    2. Posting to ledgers
    3. Payrolls
    4. Taxes and reports

    Part 3: Accounting for a Corporation

    1. Recording in special journals
    2. Inventory and receivables
    3. Notes and interest


    During the international comparability is was identified that there is a need for entry level qualifications both locally and internationally, especially in the SADC region. It was also evident that the outcomes of this qualification compared favourably with qualifications offered in the United Kingdom and Eastern Europe through the IAB as well as with the Professional Bookkeeping qualification offered in the Bahamas. 

    This Qualification articulates horizontally with the following Qualifications:
  • ID 23655: National Certificate: Business Administration Services, NQF Level 3.

    The Qualification articulates vertically with the following Qualifications:
  • ID 58376: FETC Bookkeeping, NQF Level 4.
  • ID 48736: National Certificate: Small Business Financial Management,NQF Level 4.
  • ID 23953: FETC: New Venture Creation,NQF Level 4.

    Qualifying learners will be able to apply for Associate membership of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers Ltd. 

  • 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 or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding 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 ETQA's 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.
  • Anyone wishing to be assessed against this Qualification may apply to be assessed by an 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. 

    Anyone performing assessment to determine competence for this Qualification should:
  • Hold a qualification in Bookkeeping that is registered at NQF 4 or above.
  • Be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA.
  • Be employed or have previous experience in the accounting field. 

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

    This qualification replaces qualification 20362 Certificate: Registered Accounting Clerk, Level 3, 120 credits. 

    Core  117423  Administer credit purchase transactions  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  117422  Administer credit sales transactions  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  117419  Administer income and receipts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  117420  Administer payments and expenses  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  117424  Calculate and record value added tax transactions  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  117425  Compile reconciliation statements  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  117421  Demonstrate basic accounting concepts  Level 3  NQF Level 03  12 
    Core  117427  Prepare general ledger accounts and initial trial balance  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  117418  Understand the Petty Cash system  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  114733  Complete PAYE documents  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  10022  Comply with organisational ethics  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  114735  Perform Value Added Tax calculations and complete returns  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  119472  Accommodate audience and context needs in oral/signed communication  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  9010  Demonstrate an understanding of the use of different number bases and measurement units and an awareness of error in the context of relevant calculations  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  9013  Describe, apply, analyse and calculate shape and motion in 2-and 3-dimensional space in different contexts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  119457  Interpret and use information from texts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  9012  Investigate life and work related problems using data and probabilities  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  119467  Use language and communication in occupational learning programmes  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  7456  Use mathematics to investigate and monitor the financial aspects of personal, business and national issues  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  119465  Write/present/sign texts for a range of communicative contexts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  117426  Prepare salaries  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  117417  Prepare Wages  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  116940  Use a Graphical User Interface (GUI)-based spreadsheet application to solve a given problem  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  114742  Calculate tax payable by a small business  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  114736  Record business financial transactions  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  117927  Use a Graphical User Interface (GUI)-based database application to solve a given problem  Level 4  NQF Level 04 

    When qualifications are replaced, some (but not all) of their learning programmes are moved to the replacement qualifications. If a learning programme appears to be missing from here, please check the replaced qualification.

    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.