Fikile Simelane is the first-born child in a family of five, which meant that she had to assume parenting duties and help raise her siblings.
From a young age she dreamed of being a nurse and this was the career she decided to pursue when she left school.
But Soweto-born Fikile’s career took a sudden after two years as a nurse.
“After working for two years as a professional nurse I was offered a job to take care a patient that was very fond of me. I took the offer, but after some time she became sick and passed away. I could not go back to my nursing job because I saw that there was nothing there for me, so I decided to change and start something new,” she says.
Fikile started joined the Saiba family in 2016. She initially started working as a CPD compliance officer, then became a project administrator then became and NPO (Non-Profit Organisation) assistant.
“When I started working at Saiba I was very concerned about the distance because I travelled from Soweto but as I adapted, it got easier. Moreover, I became part of the family and I enjoyed going to work daily and I can gladly say that I am happy with Saiba to this day.”
What do like about working for Saiba and how has the working conditions changed due to Covid-19?
Working for Saiba is great because I get to build relationship with clients. I care a lot about helping people and love starting members off on their professional journey and guiding them in the right direction.
I enjoy working from home because I don’t have to wake up early and travel to work during the rush hours. My lunches are shorter, and I have no fixed hours but that does not impact my productivity. I can now spend more time with my family, I enjoy cooking, so now I have time to do that without having to worry about waking up early or coming home late. I even get a chance to read a book or watch TV with my daughter.
What are the most difficult members’ experiences you’ve had?
I would say that giving advice to accounting officers and they do not take it. It saddens me because our intention is to assist our clients. If they don’t take our advice, they end up getting stuck in one place. Being a Saiba member allows you to be more than what you can imagine.
Also, I find it difficult when I get to the verification process and I find that the member is not in good standing. Some members are unaware of how this affects their careers and businesses. They might not see it now, but it does have a bad effect on them.
How can you advice members to better use the services at Sabia?
- Read through information that is sent to you through mailers
- Call in and ask if you do not understand or if you need additional information
- Utilise your profile. There are benefits that come with being a Saiba member and your profile has all these benefits.
What do you feel are the best services offered by Saiba?
- It allows you to earn a designation. You can move from just being a CA
- Upskilling. Saiba allows you to do courses and learn more using webinars and guides. That is a tool which you need to use to gain more skills to improve your career or business
- Growth. Saiba does not limit your potential to grow and that means that our members can go as far as being a CFO.
- Support groups, we have regional WhatsApp groups that are dedicated to helping members in different regions and all the time.
- Events where you can network with other accountants.
- Including accounting services as part of the essential services during Alert Level 4, giving guides, templates and information to members during the lockdown.