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Certified Accounting Technician

The Certified Accounting Technician (CAT) qualification is a technician-level qualification. Students may attempt this after completing the FIA Diploma in Accounting and Business as well as continuing with the ACCAs 'skills' level subjects.

The CAT qualification comprises of 3 subjects (students must complete at least two out of three) which focus on taxation, financial management and audit.

Foundations in Audit

The syllabus for Paper FAU starts with an introduction to the nature and purpose of an audit, including the duties and liability of auditors, and the regulation that auditors must adhere to.

The syllabus then covers the areas relating to the process of an audit of financial statements starting at audit planning and risk assessment, recording and evaluating internal control, as well as tests of controls, audit evidence and the use of substantive procedures. The final section deals with audit completion including the audit report.

Foundations in Financial Management

The syllabus for FFM, Managing Finances, introduces students to different ways of managing finance within an organisation with the aim of enhancing business performance. This includes planning and controlling of cash flow in both the short and long term, how to manage capital investment decisions and managing trade credit for an efficient flow of cash.

The syllabus starts by introducing the principles of effective working capital management, and the impact working capital has on an organisation's cash flow. It then looks at the techniques for forecasting cash to aid an organisation in planning its cash needs.

The next area of the syllabus looks at the different ways of managing cash in short , medium and long term, including investing funds in capital projects. It finally looks at procedures for effective credit management to maximise flow of cash to the business. 

Foundations in Taxation

The syllabus for the foundation in taxation paper introduces candidates to the subject of taxation and provides the core knowledge of the underlying principles and the major technical areas of taxation, as they affect the activities of individuals and 

businesses, at a level appropriate for someone working at technician level. Candidates are introduced to the rationale behind – and the functions of – the tax system.
The syllabus then considers the separate taxes that a technician accountant would need to have knowledge of, such as income tax from self-employment, employment and investments, the corporation tax liability of individual companies, the national insurance contribution liabilities of both employed and self employed persons, the value added tax liability of businesses, and the chargeable gains arising on disposals of investments by both individuals and companies. In addition an understanding of the administration aspects of these taxes should be gained, such as knowledge of the statutory timescales for the submission of claims and returns and the due dates for payment of tax liabilities. 
Having covered the core areas of the basic taxes, candidates should be able to compute tax liabilities, explain the basis of their calculations, complete the tax returns and identify the compliance issues for each major tax through a variety of business and personal scenarios and situations.
*Information based on UK variant. Students are able to select the South African or UK variant when booking exams. Study material for the local variant papers not supplied by BPP. 

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