These are the game-changers, the out of the ordinary under 35 CAs(SA) for 2017. Out of hundreds of entries, these 35 young CAs(SA) made the biggest impression and were selected as finalists. They are not afraid of challenges and are an inspiration to those around them.
They show the world that being a CA(SA) goes beyond just crunching numbers.
The finalists will now be judged by a panel of high-profile business leaders, whereafter the category winners will be announced and finally the winner. Keep a look-out in future issues and visit www.accountancysa.org.za/35-under-35 for more information on these phenomenal finalists.
Eleven years ago, post articles with Ernst and Young, Dylan headed to the UK and worked his way from back office associate to vice-president on the trading floor of a leading investment bank.
‘I am an entrepreneur at heart, and in 2011 I left the UK banking world to pursue my lifelong goal of owning, running and growing a business in South Africa. At this time I joined an FMCG business operating out of Ballito with grocery and liquor outlets in rural KZN,’ he says.
Over the last six years, Dylan has embarked on a steep learning curve to get to grips with a fiercely competitive market, and in doing so has managed to initiate changes to bring the business up to date from a technology and operating perspective. Since joining, the business has achieved high double-digit growth and currently employs over 240 people within the local Zululand communities.
Surene has always dreamed of using her skills and expertise as a CA(SA) in the non-profit sector in South Africa. In the last four years, she has had the opportunity to do so in various roles.
Her current role has allowed her to move from a purely financial function to being closely involved in the daily operations of the NPO projects that she oversees.
In her previous role as finance director of an international NPO, Open Society Foundation for South Africa, one of Surene’s first tasks was streamlining the full finance function and the development and implementation of financial policies and procedures in a short period of time.
In March 2017, Surene initiated the project Sponsor a Poncho to raise funds and purchase rain ponchos for 680 learners from a needy local primary school.
‘Using a flexible working arrangement to balance the demands of a young family, while still contributing to the NPO sector is a personal achievement that I treasure,’ she says.
Lyle is positioning Laxton Group Limited as a global leader in providing high-technology, election, identity, and self-service solutions to governments and corporations. Flagship technologies include biometrics, cryptography and artificial intelligence. Lyle’s dynamic leadership has transformed Laxton from a one-man start-up into a market leader with revenues of $46 million in 2016. Annual sales are forecast to exceed $100 million.
In 2017 Laxton was awarded a $7,5 million contract to register 7 million Zimbabweans ahead of the 2018 national elections. This was followed in 2015 by a $40 million contract for instant issuance of identity cards in Tanzania. 23 million Tanzanians received identity cards within 90 days and voted in the 2015 national election in which John Magufuli was elected president. Other noteworthy achievements include a $6,5 million Malawi national ID contract, $6 million Guinea elections contract, $2,5 million Indonesia police contract and $3 million Colombia notary contract.
Laxton is headquartered in China with branches in the USA, South Africa, Colombia, Malawi, and Zimbabwe. Lyle heads up a team of more than 200 highly skilled employees. Laxton is regarded as one of the pioneering firms in its industry.
After articles, Kubendren (Kuben) Pillay decided to leave the mainstream corporate to follow his passion of changing socio-economic imbalances facing South Africa. He has since been actively involved in various high-impact programmes ranging from addressing the issues facing children to supporting projects that are aimed at eliminating the HIV/Aids epidemic.
Kuben has built stakeholder confidence in the support service units – finance, procurement, IT and travel – of TB/HIV Care. Growing exponentially in a short space of time, it has become one of the biggest organisations funded by the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR), with an annual budget growing from $10 million to over $50 million per annum and over 1 500 employees.
Kuben has successfully set up a grants and compliance unit to manage a variety of sub-recipients with a total of $26 million per annum. He was honoured to be a judge for the Youth Empowerment through Entrepreneurship Programme (YEEP).
Coen epitomises the modern young CA(SA) and his acquisition of Beraca Accountants and Auditors, a medium-sized public practice, is testimony to his go-getter spirit. He’s the only partner with 22 employees and more than 1 000 active clients.
Coen has been recognised by SARS regional offices and executives as one of the leading tax practitioners in Region 1 of SARS. His highlights include being nominated to represent SAICA on the SARS Region 1 Stakeholder Forum and being retained as a tax adviser for listed companies and subsidiaries of multinationals.
He has also established a tax discussion group in the SAICA Highveld District to empower tax practitioners in the district to improving their knowledge of the latest tax legislation and practice.
Coen has been approached to present workshops to heads of various rural schools in and around Secunda and Ermelo to improve their financial controls and performance, thus increasing the quality of education and nurture the leaders of tomorrow.
Ismail Adam is more than just a CFO at this non-profit company in Soshanguve, which is responsible for medical research around HIV, TB and other diseases. Owing to the nature and size of the entity, Ismail plays many roles and wears many hats – including heading up the IT department of the organisation. The financial management of the organisation has improved significantly since Ismail has taken over the company.
The organisation’s goals are in line with the National Strategic Plan for HIV, TB and STIs 2017–2022. The company’s growth has been phenomenal and Ismail has been able to successfully implement good policies and procedures to manage this growth from a financial management and reporting perspective.
Ismail is also part of a steering committee that is considering expansion and setting up of another research centre in a much-needed part of the country. His efforts contribute towards global health improvement.
Jonathan currently lectures Accounting to CTA students. In this role, he contributes significantly to the Thuthuka repeat programme transformation initiative.
As a young student, he finished top in his class in Accounting and Finance in CTA, was placed in the Top 10 in the first board exam and holds a Master’s (cum laude) in International Accounting.
’The work I do as a reviewer on the JSE proactive monitoring panel ranks amongst the top highlights of my career. This truly exceptional process is making a phenomenal contribution to South Africa’s global dominance in the quality of financial reporting,’ he says.
Jonathan was recently appointed to the board of APT (Pty) Ltd, a SAICA-accredited professional programme provider. Since 2016, Jonathan has served as a judge for the prestigious CSSA Integrated Reporting Awards. His passion for innovation in education is evidenced by him being recently involved in an edu-tech start-up in the accounting education space during 2017.
Tyron Barnard is known to be an inspirational facilitator at KPMG. He was awarded the 2017 KPMG Europe, Middle East & Africa Facilitator of the Year in a region comprising more than 100 countries.
Tyron started the KPMG Spring School initiative in 2013 where KPMG hosts approximately 100 school teachers for one week a year offering free soft-skill training. The teachers are from largely underprivileged schools. Tyron has also voluntarily worked on the Unogwaja Challenge since 2013 in order to help empower education in South Africa.
Tyron established the KPMG Sports Leagues, an initiative that sees over 400 KPMG staff members compete against one another in four different sporting competitions. He is also an award-winning sports journalist and regularly features on radio and TV. He was recently selected as media officer for the SA indoor hockey sides for their World Cup qualifier in Namibia.
Montaque is the founder of a modern accounting practice, CFO360. After completing his qualification, he spent a number of years in the corporate sector reaching the position of regional financial manager at Bidvest Steiner. In March 2016 he decided to take the leap of faith and venture out on his own.
CFO360 uses a variety of cloud-based technology solutions to simplify and improve the accounting, compliance and reporting for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), helping SMBs focus on what makes their businesses successful. Within 16 months, CFO360 has grown to a large and varied base of South African and international clients and a staff complement of 8.
SMBs make up 52% of the South African economy. With 9% of SMBs still using paper records and a further 31% running their finances on a spreadsheet, this is a sector where Montaque feels he and his company can have the biggest impact.
As deputy section head, Elton is playing a leading role in transforming the Management Accounting and Finance (MAF) discipline within UWC’s Department of Accounting. He is regarded as an academic whose heart is exactly where it belongs, with his students, and has thus been nominated as Teacher of the Year in the Commerce Faculty for four of the five years that he has been employed at UWC. He is also the first staff member in the Department of Accounting to rise in the ranks from lecturer to senior lecturer in under three years.
Elton holds an MCom degree in Financial Management and is currently pursuing his PhD qualification.
His thesis ‘Factors that Impact on Performance in Advanced Management Accounting’ was presented at the 2015 Southern African Accounting Association International Conference. The results of the paper have allowed him to play a key role in a SAICA task team addressing the performance of candidates in MAF at ITC level.
Founder and managing director of the business advisory and consulting firm House of Growth, Francois is the strategic partner to as many as 12 small and medium-size entities. Serving on their boards, his key purpose is to ensure the companies prosperity by collectively directing the companies’ affairs and helping them identify and optimise their full growth potential.
Born with an entrepreneurial spirit, Francois has, through House of Growth, established 13 successful start-up entities over a wide range of industries, including retail, manufacture and construction.
He was recently instrumental in establishing a community upliftment project (Shift the Frame) in Hermanus, where 21 unemployed individuals are being taught the craft of carpentry. This SETA-accredited carpentry programme does not only provide the practical skills but is also a mentor programme. Francois is actively involved in mentoring, motivating and coaching these students in order to promote entrepreneurship, personal growth and self-worth.
Jacobus is a South African-born entrepreneur and investor with a vision to grow SMEs into globally competitive businesses by creating a platform to manage and focus their creativity, energy and financial resources.
Jacobus evaluates strategic opportunities and aggressively tackles business issues ranging from market adoption and product development to hiring to fundraising. He believes that innovative solutions are an interconnected web of small problems solved brilliantly. He has navigated well over 200 SMEs to sustainable growth and raised over R35 million in financing for these businesses.
Creative CFO has four core pillars – systems, accounting, taxation, and investment – that allow businesses to plan, structure, invest and grow. It has offices in Cape Town, Stellenbosch and London with clients around the world – the UK, Hong Kong, Switzerland, UAE, Malta, Curaçao, Mauritius and the USA. Creative CFO currently employs 15 financial professionals of which six are CAs(SA).
Lukhanyo Dabula is a seasoned social entrepreneur who launched Gamerz eXplosion in 2014. Through Gamerz eXplosion, he addresses social issues right from the root with its core design being on building relationships. In 2016, he won first place in Soweto Business Stars in the category of Technovator.
Using gamification, Lukhanyo catalyses young people from different races to go out into the world with greater confidence in the world of technology. He also partnered with the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation on a programme to drive social cohesion.
Concerned that over 60% of South African children grow up without their fathers, Lukhanyo sponsored the event ‘Every Day Can Be Father’s Day,’ which was attended by 600 people, including fathers and their children. Lukhanyo also serves on the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the portfolio of Youth and Economic Development.
Ayanda Kanana personifies dynamism and agility when it comes to his professional career and personal life. He is an individual with diverse interests who not only enjoys the thrills of a boardroom tackling strategy as a CEO but also loves farming as a hobby and challenge.
Ayanda qualified as a chartered accountant in 2008. He worked as a learning and audit manager, a combination of skills that eventually led him to develop learning content preparing Grade 12 pupils for the job market.
He launched the new #JoburgCA’s Programme and is the first training officer for the City of Johannesburg – the first municipality in the country to be individually accredited by SAICA.
Ayanda is the youngest managing executive at the City of Johannesburg and has the mammoth task of managing 900 km of fibre network for the metro. He is also a farmer and his passion is breeding Dorper sheep.
Malander Inc is a chartered accounting and financial advisory firm of talented finance professionals. The company’s core focus is providing talented, temporary staffing and financial function outsourcing solutions to a variety of large listed clients.
‘To enhance our service offering to our clients, our specialist finance recruitment team, namely Malander Placements with branches in Johannesburg and Cape Town, provides a permanent recruitment solution of talented finance professionals,’ says Lyle.
Malander Digital, which was launched recently, provides web development and IT outsourcing services. Lyle has also introduced the Malander Incubator to nurture small businesses run by individuals from previously disadvantaged backgrounds to help reduce the rate of unemployment in South Africa.
The Malander businesses currently employ 20 people, including 15 CAs(SA). They have completed many finance projects both locally and in Africa.
At Nedbank, Clifford played an advisory and support role as an executive assistant (EA) to the Group Managing Executive for the Wealth cluster, with the responsibility of managing more than R1 billion worth
of annual earnings. He has recently been promoted to the role of Head of Strategic Projects for Nedbank Insurance, one of the divisions of the Wealth cluster. ‘As an EA, I was able to shift my focus from being a “pure” accountant to more of a strategic thinker,’ he says.
In February 2017, Clifford was voted into the Insurance Institute of Gauteng Council by the short-term industry. Serving on the Transformation and Impact portfolio, his initial focus has been leading a skills transfer initiative called the Roots & Wings mentoring programme.
Clifford has complemented his CA(SA) qualification with an MBA from Warwick Business School, one of the Top 3 business schools in the UK. He is a co-founder of Supreme Brands, a leading toilet tissue manufacturing company in Zimbabwe.
Liaan was one of only six candidates globally who were selected in 2016 for Jaguar Land Rover’s high-performance training programme – and the only candidate based outside the UK.
In September 2016, Liaan was asked to present at the global Jaguar Land Rover Finance Director’s conference: “ My presentation was aimed at sharing best practice with the rest of the financial directors in the group and give an insight into the work and improvements we have been doing in the South African company.”
Despite exceptionally challenging macroeconomic conditions, Liaan has continued to meet JLR SA & SSA budgets and commitments to the group. In 2017/18, he is on track to deliver bottom-line growth and continues growing the business across SA & SSA.
As the Head of Group Finance and Investor Relations, Shivani initiated and transcribed the group’s first integrated report, which is today aligned to international standards and was nominated at the CSSA awards hosted by the JSE. ‘I had no prior experience in this and taught myself by researching and engaging with others,’ Shivani says.
Shivani was also at the forefront of the group’s significant mergers with the most recent being the Sanlam transaction. She managed this transaction closely with the JSE and prepared the group’s JSE circular.
Shivani is a proud PwC alumni and now Head of Finance, and each initiative she has been involved with led to improvements in her group. She is a well-balanced individual with a passion for life and people.
Her advice for future CAs(SA): Don’t neglect the soft skills. In the end, it is how you work with people that will count and help you to be great at what you do.
Resigning from a great position in the corporate world, Glen Ntuli co-founded and became CEO of MNB Chartered Accountants, an accounting and auditing firm. Starting out with challenges of cash flow and no support system, Glen had to come up with ways to ensure that the organisation survived. Today, MNB Chartered Accountants boasts a turnover of R10 million for both the 2016 and 2017 financial years and has 25 employees, including three CAs(SA). Glen has registered MNB Chartered Accountants as a training office with SAICA to ensure that it offers SAICA training contracts to assist in the development of chartered accountants.
Glen assists start-up companies in the ICT, consulting engineering and auditing industries by providing them with office space and sub-contracts. He is the chairperson of the Audit and Risk Committee at MICT SETA.
Damian’s eagerness to understand and learn the history of Kaytech and discover how he could add value to the operation has paid off. Being recognised as a top achiever, Damian was appointed to the Kaytech Board of Directors and continues to add value to the business.
Some of his notable achievements have been his appointment to the Executive Board of the Manufacturing Circle and initiating and coordinating the establishment of the SA Inc strategy for the construction sector. This required the involvement of government, financial services, and the private sector.
Damian has also developed and implemented a tailored business analytics reporting system to improve decision-making within the business. He also developed and successfully implemented the first mobile application by a geosynthetic supplier that is specifically tailored to meet the needs of the business. The KayApp provides instant access to all functions at Kaytech, including product specifications and answers to technical queries.
After completing her articles at a Big Four firm, Monique joined the University of Johannesburg to pursue her passion for teaching. This gave her the opportunity to combine her CA(SA) skill set with education by completing a master’s on the benefits of teaching methods in transferring SAICA’s pervasive skills.
Spending two years on her master’s instilled a passion in her to better prepare graduates for a changing business world. Subsequently, she has been able to apply this knowledge in both the academic and the training environments.
Monique jointly developed a case study with a financial institution to provide students with a real-life simulation of the work environment, which has also been made available to the University of Venda.
She has published numerous accredited articles on the development of pervasive skills. Monique is also using her knowledge to build a successful business assisting trainees in developing learning portfolios.
Syft Analytics is a free, real-time cloud analytics and reporting platform that directly integrates into accounting software such as Sage One, Xero and Quickbooks. Syft’s goal is
to leverage the cloud and AI to improve business decision-making and access to capital markets. It achieves this by reducing the lag time between accounting data and reporting.
Since launching in January 2017, Syft has had over 3 500 companies sign up to the platform. More than 120 accounting firms use Syft’s software to automate and visualise their clients’ monthly management accounts.
Syft’s vision is to become the Bloomberg of SME data and provide aggregated industry reports to the market. It has grown from two co-founders to six employees in just nine months. ‘Our strategy is to hire young and grow our employees as part of the business,’ says Vangelis.
Michele Tagliatti is a financial manager at Liquid Telecom South Africa where he is responsible for managing the finances at the largest operating company within the Liquid Telecom Group. Since joining Liquid Telecom in 2015, Michele has developed and implemented financial processes for two companies within the group, as well as helped standardise processes, forecasting and reporting group-wide. He now also performs an advisory role within the group relating to African tax affairs.
In February 2017, Liquid Telecom successfully completed the R6,55 billion acquisition of Neotel (Pty) Ltd in South Africa. ‘Since the acquisition, I have played a fundamental role in the integration of Neotel with the Liquid Telecom Group by streamlining and improving synergies,’ says Michele. Liquid Telecom is the leading independent data, voice and IP provider in eastern, central and southern Africa. It supplies fibre optic, satellite and international carrier services to Africa’s largest mobile network operators.
At the age of 22, Robin had already founded his own successful residential construction company. But he soon realised his limitations and the immense value that the CA(SA) programme could add to his career through the learning and development process of articles exposing him to what makes businesses succeed or fail.
So at age 26, having completed his BCompt through correspondence, he exited his business to take on the CA(SA) journey.
Fast forward five years. After acquiring an immense amount of knowledge during articles at BDO and consulting at EY, Robin joined IFS where he was later promoted to finance director for the group. IFS is a dynamic group employing more than 1 800 people across eight countries who bring world-class innovation and services to the most remote mining and oil and gas locations across Sub-Saharan Africa.
Having championed various initiatives in all of his roles, Robin is passionate about leadership and CSI.
Karen Odendaal is an energetic, positive person who has excelled in the accountancy profession. She is a senior lecturer and head of the Accounting Department at Monash South Africa, where she focuses on accounting teaching and research, also directing departmental academic excellence and driving student employability. From a market leader perspective, she has given significant input into a newly launched MBA offering at Monash in 2017.
Karen has received numerous awards for outstanding teaching, including a Dean’s Commendation for Teaching Excellence from Monash University Australia. She has published two research manuscripts in international journals as well as one local publication. She completed her BCom, BCom (Honours) and MCom degrees cum laude and graduated top of her class. She completed the SAICA and IRBA qualifying examinations in the Top 10. She is passionate about the environment and describes herself as the motivator of the team, always noting the potential and best attributes of every student and colleague.
In pursuing his long-term career objective, Averen actively looked to diversify his experience across various industries, which included fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), banking, pharmaceuticals and services.
He joined magic circle law firm Allen & Overy during its infancy in South Africa and was responsible for building the finance team, establishing relationships and compliance in addition to formulating and entrenching policies, procedures and controls. He is the chair of the Pension Fund Committee and a member of the Management, Risk and Equity committees.
In his previous occupation within the pharmaceutical industry, Averen played a leading role in formulating strategies for the company’s southern African markets. He further co-led the roll-out of strategies including the financial modelling of investment plans, obtaining approval for funding, and discussions with foreign government departments and service providers. Averen has completed his MBA and is a registered ACMA. He is an encouraging mentor to aspirant CAs(SA).
Husain has played a leading role in integrating technology into the teaching and learning process. To this end, he developed a solution called e-NACT. This was selected out of more than 500 applications worldwide to be showcased at a Wharton – QS Reimagine Conference held at Wharton University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League institution.
Husain was the winner of the 2016 Vice-Chancellor’s Award at the University of Johannesburg. He was also selected as a judge it the annual global Reimagine Education competition, dubbed the Oscars of higher education.
Through his engagement with companies like Google, he identified available software and created an APT application. The application facilitates online marking and allows students to view their results online. Pre academia, Husain successfully listed products at a major South African retail store. Through innovative solutions, he managed and implemented processes required for the business to be a success.
Julian Palliam says he is living proof – no matter if you fail at first, or if people write you off, you can still achieve great things with hard work, passion and perseverance. Julian is the youngest AMD worldwide leading Metso across Africa, with a staff of over 800 employees and looking after a turnover close to R4 billion.
Julian has been involved in M&A deals across Africa exceeding $1,25 billion. He was most recently at ABB (Asea Brown Boveri), where he was the youngest divisional manager with full responsibility of running the division across southern Africa and where he improved profitability and increased operating cash flow. He worked as a finance lean champion across Asia Middle East and Africa to transform the ABB finance group.
Julian is involved in CSI projects, is a former KZN volleyball player and, most of all, is a loving dad and husband.
James heads up Business Improvement at Distell, which helps solve difficult problems and creates value through new opportunities. The recipient of the first PwC CEO Innovation Award, he has brought this energy and passion for executing to Distell. He launched initiatives such as the E+Scalator programme that works with over 40 Distell suppliers to drive transformation and create new jobs.
In the last year, Business Improvement went live with a first of its type centralised procurement shared service centre that operates dynamic new capabilities such as reverse auctions. 33 Degree Energy Systems is an associated start-up company launched by his department that delivers group power solutions. Another highlight is the announcement by the president of the Apple Juice Concentrate project as a Top 10 priority investment project.
James has been a guest speaker at the first Business of Design Conference in Cape Town and has worked as a start-up coach.
Dawie is a young leader and, today, Group Financial Reporting Manager at a JSE Top 40 company. Growthpoint Properties is the largest South African primary-listed REIT on the JSE and has a market capitalisation of R73,3 billion (31 December 2016).
Growthpoint Properties was recently announced the overall winner of the Investment Analysts Society Excellence in Financial Reporting and Communications Awards 2016 and the winner for the property sector for the sixth consecutive year.Dawie works closely with the Executive Committee in respect of property and fund acquisitions in terms of due diligence for technical accounting and international as well as South African tax.
He is also a member of the SA REIT Association’s Regulation and Tax Committee and makes an important contribution to the ongoing changes to the REITs legislation contained in the South African Income Tax Act (section 25BB).
Dawie holds a master’s degree in taxation and is currently completing the MBA programme through the Henley Business School, UK.
Janice is driven by her passion to empower, promote growth and provide socio-economic solutions to SMMEs in Africa. She has focused on oversight of a broad portfolio of companies and has been instrumental in concluding four transactions: a joint venture with a successful Eastern Cape 5 000-hectare farm which resulted in the farm becoming South Africa’s largest black-owned potato/maize operation; facilitation of funding which resulted in an investment of R200 million in affordable housing; financing of SMMEs which has enabled school feeding of 150 000 children monthly; and the purchase of a retail store in Durban.
Janice also oversees the establishment and on-going management of Musa Group’s Emerging Farmers Programme, which involves the development of a retail BEE upliftment programme focused on identifying, training, and establishing qualified black entrepreneurs as retail store owners. Both programmes will be run with Musa Group’s operations at the hub, with an aim of promoting greater economic growth through innovative business solutions.
Itumeleng is an innovative and proactive chartered accountant who launched ITU, a platform which strives to empower, connect and uplift Southern African designers who specialise in using African print and colours to showcase their work in the UK and the rest of Europe. They are young, female and entrepreneurial designers who work with local cooperatives and disenfranchised and unemployed local women to manufacture designs of clothes and accessories for women, men and children.
She is also the Southern and East African buyer for the London Designer. She successfully convinced London designers to order in bulk goods from ITU designers, lobbying investors and partners to enable shipping these textiles to the UK.
Itumeleng currently works on listed blue chip financial services clients in London after being head-hunted from South Africa by KPMG UK for her current role as Benefits Lead in PMO.
Rated as a high performer at PwC, Logamal’s passion for service led her to leave the consulting space and move into a CFO position.
After five interviews at Netsurit, she was appointed as the group chief financial officer of an international business. She successfully concluded an MBO, mergers and acquisitions, built international offices, and also concluded a forward merger in the USA for the group.
Her belief in service stems from her motto in life: ‘If you inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.’
She started the Netsurit Women’s Forum to motivate, inspire and encourage women to stand out in all aspects of life.
As a dream coach, Logamal is involved in life coaching to high school kids from Alexandra, in partnership with Netsurit and Afrika Tikkun, to expand on the DREAMS Programme. She strives to give back as much as she receives in life.
On 1 October 2016, Robert was appointed as the first African and youngest director at the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA). He also sits on the International Federation of Accountants’ International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB) as a technical adviser serving on a number of task forces.
Robert is part of the team that drives the IRBA’s branding, raising awareness and transformation initiatives.
He has been instrumental in the implementation of the IRBA’s Audit Development Programme (ADP).
The ADP is a period of work experience undertaken by qualified professional accountants, currently CAs(SA), and it is relevant to the work of a registered auditor (RA).
Over the last few years he has delivered motivational talks and talks about the profession to learners and students across South Africa. He is actively involved in coaching and mentoring initiatives for young professionals.
After achieving a Top 10 position (honours) in honours, Darren Lang launched into his first year of articles lecturing Financial Accounting to third-year students and reviewing JSE-listed entities’ reporting compliance.
This equipped Darren with public speaking skills and immense technical knowledge but, he admits, no practical experience. He was forced to develop soft skills as well as core expertise during his remaining article training. Darren then joined Excel Academy as director and partner to its founder, Dan Stillerman.
‘Everything we do is geared towards making people around the world more productive and confident in their work. We achieve this through our interactive Excel workshops (online, webinars and face-to-face),’Darren says. To date, they have transformed the traditional classroom learning environment into a stimulating experience for some 6 000 delegates.
Darren has been instrumental in growing the start-up into a global brand and at the same time, building a dynamic team.