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Chartered accountants versus bean counters

08 Dec 2014

Clients often want to employ a person with business savvy but many seem to think that chartered accountants don’t fit this description; that they’re the stereotypical bean counters. It’s hardly surprising then that the CIMA qualification becomes increasingly popular because clients value the practical commercial applications that it teaches.

Young CA professionals acquire valuable business skills during their articles. According to the Accountancy CA article, these skills include the following:

Seeing an opportunity and taking it - The winner of the competition, Gavin Lucas, recognised an opportunity during his second year of articles. At the age of 24 he had the skills and the guts to start a business, which he did with the help of his father and brother. Store-age soon grew to a successful business with 370 employees.

Self-awareness - According to runner-up Shiluba Malewa it is very important to plough back the skills one has learnt.

Commitment and endurance - This is certainly what is required not only to complete a degree, but also the tough CA exams while working long hours as part of a training contract.

Strong financial grounding for business - The CA route is undoubtedly the best training ground for financially sound business men and women.
 
Perspective on business - Exposure to a variety of businesses adds to the valuable experience gained during CA articles. My experience of auditing sessions at clients’ premises echoes those of many clerks, from working at make-shift tables in warehouses and factory kitchens to sitting in the boardrooms of corporate clients.

Ability to work with all people - During their articles, clerks constantly work with different people, often as member of a team.

Maturity - Although maturity is not a given, their three years of articles afford clerks the opportunity to grow emotionally. Many realise that hard work pays off, and that the way in which one finishes a task tops the start.

Shoud you need guidance with your staff employment and recruitment, contact us at Exceed Human Resource Consultants.

Sanelle Hobbs is a chartered accountant and a director of Exceed Human Resource Consultants. As a head-hunter and recruiter, she assists chartered accountants with their career paths. Clients rely on her to find the right fit for the job.  Sanelle can be contacted on 021 882 8140 / sanelle@exceed.co.za.


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