School of Accounting, Economics and Finance

Discovery Health Chief Financial Officer Addresses Budding Accountants at UKZN

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Know Your Why: Understanding the Importance of Knowing Why People and Organisations Do What They Do, was the title of a talk delivered at UKZN by Discovery Health’s Chief Financial Officer, Mr Brett Tromp.

The gathering, attended by trainee accountants and Accounting students, was hosted by the South African Institute of Accountants (SAICA) in partnership with the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance, and was part of a strategy to develop knowledgeable graduates and postgraduate trainees in the field of accounting through structured mentorship programmes.

Tromp, a qualified Chartered Accountant (CA), highlighted the importance of individuals and accountants knowing their purpose in order to better serve their organisations and live life with a purpose.

‘It has been proven that companies and individuals that know their “why” perform better because once you know your “why”, you then know your “how” and your “what” should follow. This is why I want to encourage all of you aspiring Chartered Accountants to be mindful of this so that you can be more impactful in your careers,’ said Tromp.

He also urged students to be aware of the privilege and responsibility that came with being a CA and the importance of using that power wisely through taking into consideration the important role CAs play in South Africa.

‘Ethics start with you. That is why CAs must practice integrity even with the smallest of things in order for the profession to shed light on what lies ahead for South Africa. As future CAs you must be less egocentric, more emotionally intelligent and carry out your role with honesty and integrity. We have to live up to the pledge and oath we take on initial registration with our professional body at all times,’ urged Tromp.

Auditing lecturer and Chartered Accountant Ms Hlengiwe Ndlela highlighted the importance of qualified CAs to mentor postgraduate students when it comes to ensuring the growth and development of the profession.

‘As a School, we pair practicing CAs with postgraduate students who get to engage with a mentor at least once a week. This ensures our graduates have people they can look up to and get guidance from when it comes to navigating their CA journeys and making well-informed career decisions,’ said Ndlela.

The School’s Dean and Head, Professor Mabutho Sibanda, thanked SAICA for partnering with UKZN in the initiative and urged students to ‘pass the baton’ by coming back to the University after qualifying as CAs and empowering.

Words: Hlengiwe Precious Khwela

Photographs: Itumeleng Masa