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Certified Financial Officer (SA) 
631  Certified Financial Officer (SA) 
CIBA - Chartered Institute for Business Accountants (Formerly SAIBA)  Reregistered 
SAQA 15121/18  2018-07-26  2024-11-30 

Within the financial world, a Senior Financial Executive is the highest ranking position a professional can hold, and it is usually the third ranking position within a company or organisation overall. The Certified Financial Officer (SA) designation provides recognition to those professional persons that have obtained a Senior Financial Executive position. It takes appropriate experience and a firm foundation in business, finance, leadership and strategic planning to obtain the designation Certified Financial Officer (SA).

The designation will therefore contribute to the development of a unifying competency framework for Senior Financial Executives and enable:
  • Employers to better design and measure the career development of employees that aspire to become Senior Financial Executives.
  • Employers to better evaluate the competence of applicants for Senior Financial Executive positions.
  • Learners and university graduates to develop a career path to qualify as a Senior Financial Executive.
  • Business performance to be improved by ensuring that learners, employees, employers and training institutions align their resources to develop competent Senior Financial Executives.
  • Improved tax collection due to improved business profits achieved as a result of the adoption of a standardised competency framework for Senior Financial Executives.

    Some of the services that are rendered by the Certified Financial Officer are as follows:
  • Develop the company's strategic plan or goals together with the Chief Executive Officer, Board of Directors and other Executives.
  • Develop and implement financial strategies and monitor their performance.
  • Manage and oversee the company's or organisation's financial departments (i.e. human resources, accounting, investments, taxes, legal, loan, budgeting, equity and debt financing, payroll, etc.).
  • Facilitate benefits packages to be the most cost-effective as possible.
  • Help lead the company or organisation through acquisitions or mergers.
  • Ensure all necessary financial information is filed or reported according to regulations.
  • Report the company's or organisation's financial status to the Board of Directors and other relevant parties.
  • Direct all relevant risk management procedures (such as preparing for audits, insurance coverage, forecasting, legal issues and reporting and preventing financial risks).
  • Acting as a liaison between the company or organisation and banks, investors and other financial entities as well as financial services that have been outsourced. 
    For the Professional Designation to be awarded, professionals must comply with the following minimum requirements: 
    Underlying Registered Qualification or Part Qualification:
    Standard qualifications to obtain the designation Certified Financial Officer (SA) include approximately 8 to 10 years experience in managerial or senior positions and a Masters degree in Financial Management, Business Administration or Accounting. However Recognition of Prior Learning will also be applied to persons that have an unrelated or no qualification but have obtained leadership experience or obtained skills through volunteer experience and working with a mentor.

    Academic Component:
    Minimum education requirement is an NQF Level 9 Degree in Financial Management, Business Administration or Accounting issued by an accredited institution. 
    Experiential Learning or Experience
    The designation will be awarded if the candidate can demonstrate the achievement of a competency framework. It begins with a list of 34 competencies structured within the following four roles:
    1.Steward: Accounting, control, risk management and asset preservation are the province of the Steward. The Steward must ensure company compliance with financial reporting and control requirements. Information quality and control rationalisation are top of mind issues for the Steward (8 competencies).
    2. Operator: Efficiency and service levels are the primary areas of focus for the Operator. The Operator must dynamically balance cost and service levels in delivering on the finance organisation's responsibilities, and adapt finance's operating model as necessary. Talent management, offshoring and shared service decisions are often the key issues to be addressed. This role is oriented toward best practices of the finance function itself (9 competencies).
    3. Catalyst: The Catalyst is an agent for change, focused on establishing a value attitude throughout the organisation. The Catalyst gains business alignment to identify, evaluate and execute strategies, and serves as a business partner to other decision makers including business unit leaders, the chief information officer, and sales and marketing leaders. The Catalyst establishes a structure of enterprise accountability directed toward results, drives enterprise execution and gains acceptance from business management as the organisation's catalyst. This role is oriented toward best practices of the entire organisation (9 competencies).
    4. Strategist: The Strategist is a director, focused on defining the future of the company to enhance business performance and shareholder value. The Strategist provides a financial perspective on innovation and profitable growth; leverages this perspective to improve risk awareness, strategic decision making and performance management integration; and translates the expectations of the capital markets into internal business imperatives. This role is oriented toward long-term, strategic issues, and is outwardly directed (8 competencies). 
    Competency Assessment
    Competency assessment takes the form of a self-assessment and a completion of a Portfolio of Evidence (PoE). The assessment is conducted against the Certified Financial Officer competency framework. The candidate must demonstrate how the competencies are met and also provide third-party verification of the competencies achieved. An Education Committee consisting of subject-matter experts will make a final decision. 
    Designation RPL Statement
    This Designation may be awarded through Recognition of Prior Learning. 
    In order to ensure the currency of professional knowledge and to retain the Professional Designation, the professional must comply with the following minimum requirements: 
    Code of Conduct
    Members must adhere to the Professional Body Codes of Conduct and Ethics. 
    Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
    40 CPD hours per year relevant to the workplace requirements of the Certified Financial Officer (SA). 
    Ensure that the annual membership fee is paid. 

    (The Designation being reported on here is shown in italics.)

    Sequence Designation ID Designation Title
    1521Business Accountant
    2631Certified Financial Officer (SA)

    For more information on this Professional Designation, please visit