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Mastering the SAICA Flagging Policy | Lesson 1

We know that navigating the world of flagging can be a bit overwhelming, but fear not! We're here to help you ace those exams with SAICA's open book policy in mind. Specifically, we'll be diving into how you can effectively flag, highlight, and take notes for IFRS, the Tax and VAT Acts, ISA standards, the Companies Act, and the King Code. So, let's get started and uncover some tips and tricks along the way!

Visual representation of flags/tags placed on IFRS, IAS, Tax Act, VAT Act, Companies Act, King Code, and ISA text books, indicating adherence to SAICA's flagging policy.

Understanding SAICA's Open Book Policy

First things first, let's get acquainted with SAICA's open book policy.

"Candidates will only be allowed to highlight, underline, side line and flag in the permitted texts. Writing on flags is permitted for reference and cross-referencing purposes only, that is, writing may only refer to the name or number of the relevant discipline standard, statement or section in the legislation.”

This policy recognises the importance of practical knowledge and problem-solving skills in the field of accounting, without simply testing rote learning. It allows you to use certain materials during exams, such as those highlighted, underlined, and flagged permitted texts. But remember, you can only use these markings for reference and cross-referencing purposes. So, when you jot down notes on flags, keep it limited to the name or number of the relevant discipline standard, statement, or section in the legislation. We've got to play by the rules, right? Remember, Any contravention of regulation 4 will be considered to be misconduct.


Helpful Tips and Tricks

Alright, now that we know the drill, let's dive into some helpful tips and tricks that will make your life easier:

  • Find your flagging groove: One size doesn't fit all when it comes to flagging and highlighting. Spend some time experimenting and figure out a system that works best for you. Whether it's colour coding, spacing, or layering, go with what makes sense to you. But remember, once you've found your groove, stick to it! Changing your system halfway through can lead to unnecessary confusion and frustration. So, find your flagging vibe and own it!

  • Create your own highlighter code: Why limit ourselves to just flags when we can rock the highlighters too? Develop a colour code for your highlighters to add an extra layer of organisation. For example, you could assign green to definitions, blue to the most important stuff, yellow to general information, and orange to exceptions or exclusions. This way, you'll have a rainbow of knowledge right at your fingertips!

  • Incorporate cross referencing: Another useful tip for the Companies Act is to cross reference where one section triggers another. For example, you might have a flag cross referencing S45 on Financial assistance with S4 (solvency and Liquidity test), as S45 requires a company to perform the solvency and liquidity tests.

  • Focus on the gems: Highlighting or flagging every single line won't do you any favours. Instead, focus on the real gems—the important definitions, principles, and requirements that you need to see to efficiently interpret a section. By narrowing your focus, you'll save precious time and be able to quickly locate the crucial information you need.

  • Practice like it's the real deal: To truly master the art of open book exams, practice under exam-like conditions. Simulate the pressure and time constraints, and get comfortable with using the permitted texts when doing tuts and practice papers. This will build your confidence and help you develop a strategy for efficient referencing.


Wrapping up.

Alright, accounting enthusiasts, we've covered the basics of flagging and highlighting in line with SAICA's open book policy. Remember to find a flagging system that suits your style and stick with it. Create a highlighter code to add some colour to your reference materials. Focus on the important bits and keep your notes concise. And don't forget to practice like a pro! SAICA's open book policy is your opportunity to shine, so make the most of it and conquer those exams with confidence.

Stay tuned for more awesome tips and tricks in our upcoming blogs!

Keep calm, flag on, and rock those exams!

*Disclaimer: Always refer to the official SAICA guidelines and policies for the most accurate and up-to-date information.


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