012 346 3234 info@davisdean.co.za

Local Government Accounting NQF level 4

About the Course

Qualified accounting technicians, with a qualification awarded by AT(SA), make a valuable and critical contribution to organisational and national economic success. The Local Government Accounting qualification gives learners access to the accounting field through entry and mid-level accounting roles within the municipal environment. Every senior accountant needs the support of skilled, competent accounting technicians to undertake the more routine and operational work.

The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) is a partner in the development of this qualification and is championing this as a direct measure to increase the skills base in accounts departments in the local government environment

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Program Outline

1. Accounting Work Skills

This unit is about those skills that all accounting technicians need to operate effectively as a member of an accounting team, or as the accounting member of a broader team, within an organisation.



  • Recognise cost centres and elements of costs and extract and code income and expenditure from orders and
  • Consolidate and reconcile data from different parts of an organisation into a given format, adjusting for internal recoveries / transfers as
  • Provide, in the given format, comparisons of data as requested, to include ratios and performance
  • Adjust data to allow for changing price levels (inflation)
  • Prepare internal reports which identify problems and discrepancies and present to appropriate staff whilst observing confidentiality
  • Prepare external reports in the given format observing confidentiality
  • Identify VAT inputs and outputs and complete a VAT
  • Enter accounting transactions into computerised
  • Operate a computerised accounting system including
  • Identify the possible impact of relevant legislation and regulations.

2. Professional Ethics

The Professional Ethics unit requires the candidate to provide evidence of their ability to demonstrate the ethical duties and responsibilities necessary and the knowledge required to underpin ethical practice in this sector.

  • Identify and apply the fundamental principles of honesty and
  • Highlight situations within accounting work that require objectivity and fairness, and where judgments and actions could compromise personal or organisation’s integrity and reputation.
  • Recognise and explain why certain types of information should be regarded as
  • Identify circumstances when it would be appropriate to disclose confidential
  • Identify the key issues which ensure accounting work is performed within the scope of professional ethics
  • Make critical decisions to identify appropriate ethical behaviour when interacting with others in a variety of
  • Refer and seek advice from relevant sources for issues beyond own
  • To discuss, agree and resolve ethical
  • Follow appropriate procedures where you believe an employer has or will commit an act which you believe to be illegal or
  • Respond appropriately to confines of your own accounting
  • Describe the type of culture within organisations which supports and promotes high ethical values and helps resolve any conflict of
  • Resolve conflicting loyalties where an employer may ask you to perform tasks which are illegal, unethical or against the rules or standards of the accounting
  • Follow appropriate procedures where you believe an employer has or will commit an act which you believe to be illegal or
  • Respond appropriately to confines of your own accounting experience

3. Maintaining Financial Records and Preparing Final Accounts

This unit is about the maintenance of accounts from the drafting of the initial trial balance through to the preparation of information required to produce a set of final accounts.

  • Record relevant details relating to capital expenditure in the appropriate
  • Ensure that the organisation’s records agree with the physical presence of capital
  • Correctly identify and record all acquisition and disposal costs and revenues in the appropriate
  • Correctly calculate and record depreciation charges and other necessary entries and adjustments in the appropriate
  • Ensure that the records clearly show the prior authority for capital expenditure and disposal and the approved method of funding and
  • Correctly calculate and record the profit and loss on disposal in the appropriate
  • Ensure that the legislation and the organisation’s policies and procedures relating to the maintenance of capital records are adhered
  • Identify and resolve or refer to the appropriate person / committee any lack of agreement between physical items and
  • Make suggestions for improvements in the way the organisation maintains its capital records where possible to the appropriate
  • Correctly prepare reconciliations for the preparation of final
  • Identify any discrepancies in the reconciliation process and either take steps to rectify them or refer them to the appropriate
  • Accurately prepare a trial balance and open a temporary holding account / suspense account to record any
  • Establish the reasons for any imbalance and clear the temporary holding account / suspense account by correcting the errors, or reduce them and resolve outstanding items to the appropriate
  • Correctly identify, calculate and record appropriate
  • Make the relevant journal entries to close off the revenue accounts in preparation for the transfer of balances to the final
  • Conduct investigations into business transactions with tact and
  • Ensure that legislation and the organisation’s policies, regulations, procedures and timescales relating to preparing final accounts are observed

4. Recording and Evaluating Costs and Revenues

This unit is about how organisations record, analyse and report current and future costs and revenue data for use within the organisation.

  • Identify direct costs in accordance with the organisation’s costing procedures
  • Record and analyse information relating to direct
  • Calculate direct costs in accordance with the organisation’s policies and
  • Check cost information for stocks against usage and stock control
  • Resolve or refer queries to the appropriate person Identify overhead costs in accordance with the organisation’s
  • Attribute overhead costs to service and support cost centres in accordance with agreed bases of allocation and
  • Calculate overhead absorption rates in accordance with agreed bases of
  • Record and analyse information relating to overhead costs in accordance with the organisation’s procedures Make adjustments for under and over recovered overhead costs in accordance with established
  • Review methods of allocation, apportionment and absorption at regular intervals in discussions with senior staff and ensure agreed changes to methods are
  • Consult staff working in operational departments to resolve any queries in overhead cost
  • Identify information relevant to estimating current and future revenues and
  • Prepare estimates of future income and costs
  • Calculate the effects of variations in capacity on product
  • Analyse critical factors affecting costs and revenues using appropriate accounting techniques and draw clear conclusions from the
  • State any assumptions used when evaluating future costs and
  • Identify and evaluate options and solutions for their contribution to organisational
  • Present recommendations to appropriate people in a clear and concise way and supported by a clear rationale

5. Operating a Cash Management

This unit is concerned with the management of cash and credit.


  • Monitor and control cash receipts and payments against budgeted cash
  • Consult appropriate staff to determine the likely pattern of cash flows over the accounting period and to anticipate any exceptional receipts or
  • Ensure forecasts of future cash payments and receipts are in accord with known income and expenditure
  • Prepare cash budgets in the approved format and clearly indicate net cash requirements
  • Identify significant deviations from the cash budget and take corrective action within defined organisational
  • Arrange overdraft and loan facilities in anticipation of requirements and on the most favourable terms available in compliance with applicable legislation
  • Invest surplus
  • Ensure the organisation’s financial regulations and security procedures are observed
  • Maintain an adequate level of liquidity in line with cash
  • Enter into contracts with service customers in accordance with the organisation’s policies
  • Identify and use internal and external sources of information to evaluate the current credit status of customers and potential customers, inter alia, to calculate suitable account deposits and other methods of reducing credit
  • Monitor information relating to the current state of debtors’ accounts regularly and take appropriate action
  • Send information regarding significant outstanding accounts and potential bad debts promptly to relevant individuals within the organisation
  • Ensure discussions and negotiations with debtors are conducted courteously and achieve the desired outcome with a focus on customer service
  • Use debt recovery methods appropriate to the circumstances of individual cases and in accordance with the organisation’s procedures
  • Base recommendations to write off bad and doubtful debts on a realistic analysis of all known factors

To ensure ongoing professional development, this qualification leads to membership of AT(SA).

In addition to Professional Body Membership, members are provided with support, advice and learning interventions. 

This helps to reinforce the skills and competencies required to perform optimally within their roles and advance their careers over time.