It was a double celebration for Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting (PGDA) graduate Mr Ahmed Ally as not only did he graduate with distinction but was also ranked third in South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA)’s Initial test of competence (ITC).
Passing the ITC, a requirement for graduates aiming to become chartered accountants with special honours, is just one achievement on Ally’s long list of academic accomplishments, which include graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce summa cum laude and being awarded the College Deputy Vice-Chancellor Scholarship in 2017.
‘I always had the dream of being in the top 10 and achieving a place on the SAICA’s honours roll. But, I certainly didn’t think I’d get third place,’ said Ally.
‘Studying for the ITC exams was very similar to the process I used to study for my final UKZN PGDA exam. I went through the UKZN tutorials and focused on my course notes that I developed during my final year. To supplement this, I attended the Gauteng board course which provided extra questions to learn from and I spent some time doing past ITC exam papers,’ said Ally.
When asked about his recipe for success, Ally said it was all about planning, preparation and hard work.
‘Firstly, candidates must have a plan for studying for the ITC exams. It will help ensure they make the best use of their time and they must take a break some time. I used the festive period to go for a religious trip to Saudi Arabia with my family. This break allowed me to relax a bit, de-stress and focus my mind on the upcoming exam. Once you finally get the qualification, the joy and happiness make the hours of studying worthwhile.’
Ally is looking forward to a career as a chartered accountant using his newly acquired technical and academic skills.
‘My future plans include completing my training contract at Deloitte and then qualifying as a CA. From there, I would like to go into the world of business and hopefully the education I got at UKZN will help me prosper in life and give back to the community.’
Words: Thandiwe Jumo