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Frequently Asked Questions Graduate Recruitment


  1. What do you look for in a Trainee?
    • Enthusiasm
    • Good communication skills
    • Preferably doing ITC, may accept Hons part-time (average of 40% for CTA subjects)
    • Sense of fun
    • Dedication
    • Attention to detail
    • Honesty and integrity
    • Academics – pass both board exams
  2. Do you offer bursaries?

    Yes we do: via Thuthuka bursaries (SAICA) and bursaries based on Transformation criteria.

    Type of bursaries: From Grade 12 students, 1st-3rd year and CTA students.

  3. Do you take on undergraduates or part-time Honours people?

    A minimum requirement is a relevant degree & CTA.

    We do occasionally take on people studying part-time Honours but we prefer those who will be doing their ITC exam in their first year.

  4. If I am studying Honours part-time and working full-time, what support can you give me?

    Audit Managers/Seniors will gladly assist with any study query you may have. We also give you paid time off to study – up to 24 days per year.

    All Trainees are assigned a mentor manager a mentor partner in the organisation. They meet twice a year with you after your ANA.

  5. Do you offer vac work?

    Yes – we do have a vac work programme. This is normally run twice throughout the year: June / July and October / November. Third year vacation work entails 3 days in the offices (cover bank, overheads and fixed assets) then the vaccies go out to a client for 2 days.

    Our vac programme enables students to spend most of their time at the client doing auditing work and experiencing the day-to-day activities of a trainee, CA etc.

    1st and 2nd year vacation work: 2 days in-house programme offered by the training department (Entails: a business game focusing on the practical side of finances and learning the company better)

  6. How do I apply for your vac work programme?

    Register on BDO Careers webpage - you need to apply in advance. Attach a copy of your matric certificate and academic transcripts.

  7. How many Trainees do you take on each year?

    Depending on the size of the specific office. On average JHB 35-42, PTA 15-25, DBN 15-20 and CT Woodstock 9 and CT Tygervalley 9.

  8. Can I apply if I am only in my 1st / 2nd year?

    Yes, we welcome early applications. This is also an opportunity to apply for vac work and to get to know you as soon as possible.

  9. How long does the entire application process take?

    Recruitment takes place throughout the year (dependent on qualification level)

  10. Can I transfer to another BDO office within the country?

    SAICA is becoming strict regarding transfers and it would be unlikely that they will agree to an inter-company transfer unless for specific reasons such as ill-health. If SAICA agrees to a transfer, they may insist on a 6-month penalty. It would be better for a Trainee to decide which office they want to go to and commit to completing their articles at that office. For inter-company transfers, you may submit a request for a transfer and it is up to the BDO office you are wanting to transfer to, whether or not they are able to take on additional staff.

  11. What does BDO stand for?

    BDO are the initials of the surnames of the founding members of BDO International i.e. Binder, Dijker, Otte

  12. What makes you different from the other Audit firms? We are different because we:
    1. Have a core set of values we all agree to
    2. Have a fantastic learning and fun culture in each of our offices
    3. Are able to offer trainees exposure to all aspects of auditing and in so many different industries. The broad practical experience is unlike any of auditing firm as there is plenty of variety (industries and type of work) & responsibility.
    4. We focus on assisting owner-managed businesses to grow so all of our trainees gain experience in advising / consulting businesses, in preparation for the big day when you run your own business.
    5. We care about our staff and go the extra mile in terms of the benefits and social

    activities: Some of our firms offer the following:

    • Birthday leave
    • Bonus leave days
    • Staff and family fun events
    • CSI initiatives
  13. How long has BDO been in existence?

    BDO was founded in 1963 and expanded to its current form in 1973

  14. What services do you offer? Apart from auditing, other services we offer include:
    • Corporate Finance
    • Wealth
    • Cloud Accounting Services
    • Bookkeeping
    • Company Secretarial Services
    • Tax consulting
    • Financial Services
    • Risk Advisory Services
    • IT Audit Services
    • HR Consulting
  15. What growth is available after I leave articles?

    BDO has a career path in place for all members of staff and is agreed in your performance appraisal (individually tailored) – you have a say about where you want to grow and how you want to achieve your goals. Career opportunities include other functions in BDO – it’s not only about auditing.

    Our career paths include Assessment Centers, Training Courses, Mentorships and one on one guidance – just to name a few. We invest in our people and talent and provide them with the best in training, experience and opportunities.

    Our Learning and Development department gives ongoing training to trainees. Staff are encouraged to attend short courses to continually develop their skills and expertise such as:

    • SAICA Assessment Training
    • Audit Planning and Finalisation
    • SAICA residual competencies
    • Leadership training – soft and technical skills

    Our ITC, PPE and APC results show the investment we put into your growth:

    • ITC Results:
      • Total: 78 wrote, 19 failed & 59 passed
      • JHB: 27 passed & wrote
      • PTA: 10 wrote, 9 passed & 1 failed
      • CT: 6 wrote, 5 passed & 1 failed
      • DBN: 12 passed & write
    • PPE Results:
      • 16 wrote
      • 7 passed
    • APC Results:
      • 58 wrote
      • 76% passed
  16. Tell me about secondments?

    A secondment is an international arrangement between BDO Member firms for the temporary transfer of staff (only after articles & qualified as CA (SA)).

    A secondment will:

    Provide you with the opportunity to develop your professional & personal skills, enhance your knowledge of multinational clients, the sharing of knowledge and skills, improve the quality and consistency of service delivery in the different member firms. Best we don’t forget one of the most important to the staff – you get to experience a whole new country and its culture.

    BDO (SA) currently provides the most outward-bound seconders to the rest of the world. Job placements: You apply directly on the website and liaise with the HR Manager. Last for 2-5 years.

  17. What does a Trainee Accountant actually do?

    Plan, execute and finalise an audit. Most importantly – you never stop learning

  18. What type of client base do you have?

    Our clients cover the full spectrum from listed companies to smaller private companies, trusts and body corporates. You will be exposed to a full range of experience from auditing, accounting, aspects of personal financial planning, general business advice and tax. Each office varies with regards to the client base. When in your interview find out more about that specific office.

  19. Do you offer market-related salaries and if so how are they made up?

    Definitely. We participate in numerous annual salary surveys and observe SAICA’s guidelines to ensure that we compensate our staff appropriately. All our salaries are on a TCC (Total Cost to Company) package.

  20. Why should I choose BDO?
    International focus on an owner managed business.
    We are in more than 135 countries at present.

    You will gain vast experience and knowledge in all types of business, and will be a well rounded CA (SA).
    We offer superb core training courses, as well as Secondment opportunities to those that qualify. We are people focused and believe in our staff. To us you are our biggest asset!

    If you have a strong sense of social responsibility, you will feel right at home at BDO because our CSI initiatives are suggested by staff and well supported by them. Our offices around the country support the elderly, animal welfare, education and children, while we also do work for a number of not-for-profit and non-governmental organisations

    Access our website for more information about the 10 reasons why choose BDO