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Professor Berry Stoop – eulogy to one of the shining lights of the accounting profession

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It is with great sadness that we learned this week of the passing of Professor Berry Stoop, one of the shining lights of the South African accounting profession.

Berry played a critical role in the establishment and growth of the SA Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA), and helped establish the professional accountants’ qualification in SA.

According to a statement issued by SAIPA, Berry was the first lecturer to train SAIPA clerks at the North West University where he built a formidable legacy over many years.

“He developed the first syllabus for the training of accountants, he developed the final examination for students and he drafted the first qualifying examination paper for professional accountants. This ground-breaking academic achievement was subsequently duplicated by several of the country’s major universities,” says SAIPA.

SA Institute of Business Accountants (Saiba) CEO Nicolaas van Wyk, says Professor Berry Stoop had a profound influence on the development of the accounting profession in the country. “I knew Berry from the days when SAIPA was the only alternative to the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants. He took the profession to the next level. Professional bodies go through life cycles, and Berry was part of that generation that formalised the accounting education structure, and expanded SAIPA’s influence into universities and the marketplace. Above all, I remember him as an understanding and friendly person, and an exceptional teacher.

“It’s important that these great contributors to the profession get recognised for the work they have accomplished. Berry gave so much of his time to the development and refinement of the profession in SA.

“He was loved by his students, and perhaps his most outstanding characteristic was that he was friendly to everyone. I learned a lot from him on how to manage a professional body.

“We at Saiba say thank you to a shining light of the accounting profession and we promise to carry that light forward. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

According to a statement by SAIPA, Berry’s students described him as their best lecturer ever. “Berry connected with them on a level they could understand. At the same time, he could engage with his peers, drawing them into his vision for the profession with ease and confidence.

“He was the chair of the institute’s education committee prior to being elected president. As president, Berry played an important role in the initial development of the SAIPA Competency Framework.”

He developed the first syllabus for the training of accountants, he developed the final examination for students and he drafted the first qualifying examination paper for professional accountants. This ground-breaking academic achievement was subsequently duplicated by several of the country’s major universities.

“He did the ground work for many of SAIPA’s successes,” says SAIPA. “Berry will be remembered as a visionary who embraced different opinions, encouraged consultation and led by consensus.”

His heart and his passion was with the accounting profession. On behalf of the SAIBA board, management, and staff members we convey our deepest sympathy to the Stoop family for their loss.