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Deloitte closes gap between black and white Pass Rates

 The Deloitte results for the November 2007 Public Practice Examination (PPE) released today by the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) indicated that the professional services firm’s transformation strategy is paying dividends as the gap between Black and White pass rates was closed.

The PPE results revealed that the firm’s overall pass rate of 88% (308 individuals), which is up on last year’s 84%, was significantly better than the IRBA national pass rate, which has remained at 71% for two consecutive years. In addition, Deloitte’s Black (African Black/Coloured/Indian) candidate pass rate is, for the first time, the same as the pass rate for their White candidates at 88%.

At Deloitte, the African Black pass rate has rocketed to 80% from 69% for the 2006 exam. The Coloured pass rate rose to 100% from 75% in the prior year.  The Indian pass rate increased to 96% from 95% in the prior year.

“The Deloitte strategy of developing our Black talent is continuing to pay dividends as is evidenced by the fact that 80% of our African Black candidates passed,” says Grant Gelink, Chief Executive of Deloitte.

“We attribute the success of our results not only to the high calibre of talented trainees we have at Deloitte, but also to the great investment in our people in terms of training and support.  In the first three years of an audit trainee’s life at Deloitte they will undergo 53 days of classroom learning, which excludes their on-the-job coaching, e-learning and paid PPE study and exam leave.”

Strategies for preparing audit trainees for their exams include structured and monitored mentoring programmes partnered with a range of additional mock exams with supporting tutorials and lectures throughout the year.

“At Deloitte our audit practice spends R21 million on training each year. This equates to an average spend of R51 000 per trainee over three years, which is unmatched in the profession,” says Geoff Pinnock, Deloitte National Audit Leader.

The outcome of the Public Practice Examination is widely acknowledged as a fair reflection of the training firm’s on-the-job coaching, the quality of work experience provided to trainees, and the quality and depth of learning provided to trainees.

“Increasing the number of Black accountants and auditors is a national imperative and we at Deloitte continue to train a significant number of the total Black Chartered Accountants in South Africa.  This year we have contributed 26% of the African Black Chartered Accountant talent pool,” says Pinnock.

Deloitte also produced two candidates in the Top Ten, both passing with honours.  In first place was Shaun Roberts and in fifth place Kathryn Hodsdon, both from the Deloitte Durban office. 

Among the Big Four, this year Deloitte topped the log again with 88% of their current staff passing the PPE, followed by Ernst & Young (85%), and KPMG and PWC with 77% each.

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