SAICA Chairman’s Difference Makers Awards
The 2022 Chairman’s Difference Makers Awards, sponsored by SAPRO, recognises SAICA members who are #differencemakers in various areas of business and society – those who have breached the gap between being good and being excellent.
The awards acknowledge members who make decisions that provide sustained prosperity for all and help shape communities, economies and society while applying the highest standards of ethics, integrity and accountability.
Knowledge is power and learning does not happen by accident – it must be pursued with zeal and tended to with effort. The Excellence in Education Award honours candidates in academia for their contributions to accounting education and training – someone who makes a tangible impact on the future of SAICA members.
Professor Benjamin Marx, CA(SA), head of auditing at the University of Johannesburg has extensive practical and commercial experience. He has also served as a director and audit committee member of listed and non-listed companies in various industries for over 15 years and has been in academia for more than 32 years, shaping the future of the South African chartered accountant.
Ben has made significant contributions to the chartered accounting profession and is a champion of transformation. He is an esteemed researcher with a doctorate in auditing and more than 50 accredited articles and has over 530 citations and his Google Scholar Profile lists. For his research, he was awarded the SAAA research award among others. Ben has also received various teaching accolades over the years for excellence in teaching, learning and research including the Vice-Chancellor Distinguished Excellence in Teaching award.
With more than 28 years of experience in accounting education, specifically audit teaching and learning, Ben is a renowned and well-respected expert.
He deeply cares for both his staff and students and is proud to be part of “the most transformed university in terms of both staff and students in the Country. But most importantly of all, I am proud and thankful for the role I could play over the years to have lectured and mentored the successful qualification of thousands of African Chartered Accountants and the role I could play in the transformation of the accounting profession and nation-building at large.”
Ben is a member of the Institute of Chartered Certified Accountants in the United Kingdom (FCCA), a Chartered Director (CD) of the Institute of Directors, a member of the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA), member of the Association of Black Chartered Accountants of South Africa (ABASA) and an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries.
He is also actively involved in ensuring the industry upholds the highest standards through collaboration with key players in the industry such as audit firms and other professional bodies. He is passionate about building the next level of leadership and can see potential in young people regardless of their background.
Ben exudes selflessness and Ubuntu, epitomises integrity and lives excellence. He lives to make a difference in the lives of others and to contribute to the future of South Africa. He invests time in developing students and opening doors of opportunities for them. Ben understands that transformation of the profession is not assimilation. “It requires more than financial assistance; it requires that students needed to see themselves represented at all levels of academia – student, lecturer and in leadership.”
Ben not only excels in education but as a leader, is always ahead and thinking of the future, of the highest integrity, serving the national interest, with a reach that has a global impact, who pioneers innovation and change, to create a sustainable future for all, through education. He has created a culture of excellence, agility and inclusion in the Department of Accountancy – one that creates an environment for both staff and students to develop, grow and flourish. He follows an open-door policy and is always available to talk to his staff and students.
Ben is a strategic thinker and someone who can put strategic objectives into action. He is also proactive in making sure that students are knowledgeable and equipped to deal with the changes that Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) brings. He initiated the introduction of a 4IR module on the Bachelor of Accounting programme as well as a specific 4IR project for the Post Graduate Diploma in Accounting Science students at the commencement of their programme.
Ben is not your typical academic. He is a difference-maker who is well-rounded and relevant with his extensive practical and commercial experience.
When he won the Excellence in Education award, Ben admits he felt humbled. “This is such a huge recognition for the work I love and do. I have taught so many wonderful students over my life in education and receiving this award is a testimonial to their success. The award is a recognition of the great work that all lecturers do and the passion for education they have. The receiving of the award is greatly appreciated by me, and an inspiration for the career I choose and love.”
Ben plans on continuing to dedicate his life to his students. “I want to ensure they excel in their studies and careers and be the great leaders our country needs. I also want to continue to work and dedicate my life to my colleagues in the dynamic and innovative environment I am fortunate to have and see them excel and win the award in the future. I am blessed with a rewarding career in education and would like to continue to do so for many years to come.”
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