SA Institute of Business Accountants (Saiba) has announced a major reboot of its technical committee to better represent its members at the top levels of government and in the economy at large.
Let’s introduce the team.
Lehana Nel of Tax Solutions Namibia is Saiba’s Namibian representative and has done sterling work on keeping members up to date on all things accounting and tax in that country. She is currently enrolled with University of SA (Unisa) on a forensic auditing course, and then plans to become a Chartered Accountant. She is a dedicated and diligent member of the Saiba technical committee, interacting with Namibian officials at all levels to keep abreast of developments and to put the case for business accountants and other Saiba members. It helps that Nel is both a farmer and an accountant. That gives her a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by farmers, and – just as crucially – how to overcome them. You can read more about Lehana here and get an update from Namibia here.
Joseph Ogbonnia is a former senior executive in a Nigerian oil and petroleum conglomerate who arrived in SA in 2017,and joined Saiba in 2018 as a member of its technical committee. This involves liaising with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) on behalf of Saiba members and representing their interests. He has been lobbying on behalf of Saiba to have accounting officers with the BAP (Business Accountant in Practice) designation given the authority to conduct audits and offer assurance services to clients. Read more about Joseph here.
Fully aware that the accounting profession is going through a crisis with so many accounting scandals bleeding through the daily press, Joseph says it is time to recalibrate the profession around its guiding principles of ethics and honesty. “If I have any word of advice for accountants it is to maintain your integrity and be God-fearing. This goes down to the smaller things in life. If, for example, you say you are going to be at an appointment at 12pm, be there at 12pm. Then it goes to the bigger things, like guiding clients along the path of truth. Do not get involved in anything that will compromise your integrity, because that could ruin your life.”
Louis Klopper is the Saiba technical committee member in charge of Business Rescue. He is perhaps better known as the business rescue practitioner for the Gupta companies., a role he took on in February 2018 when the eight Gupta companies, largest of which was Optimum Coal, were placed in business rescue after local banks cut off the companies’ banking facilities. This was at a time when the press was swirling with stories of the Guptas’ undue influence over then-president Jacob Zuma. Read more about Louis here.
Together with input from academia and Saiba’s internal technical resources, he is currently putting together training materials that will develop Saiba members to become licensed business rescue practitioners. The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) recently amended its requirements for recognition of BRPs: they must be recognised by their professional bodies, and must demonstrate that they have the necessary competence to engage in business rescue. There will also be opportunities to apprentice under experienced BRPs such as Louis Klopper.
Daleen McDonald is Saiba’s representative on the Financial Reporting Technical Committee of the Financial Reporting Standards Council – the legally constituted financial reporting tandard-setter for South Africa (IFRS and IFRS for SMEs). Daleen started her career as an auditor at the Auditor-General of SA (AGSA) where she specialised in public sector audits, quality assurance, training and mentoring. She was involved in auditing and the quality assurance of audits for national and provincial departments, public and municipal entities, the United Nations and World Health Organisation. As training manager, she managed AGSA’s Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programme and obtained the Registered Government Auditor (RGA) qualification.
In 2008 she started DMCD Consulting primarily to provide support to AGSA and public sector entities, and later extended this service to smaller businesses, providing them with technical advice on audits and financial projects.
She has a BComm (Internal Audit) degree from the University of Pretoria, a Post Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning from the University of the Free State and an MBA from the University of North West.
Lettie Janse van Vuuren is no stranger to Saiba members. She hosts the Monthly Compliance and Regulatory Update (MCLU) webinar which keeps acocuntants up to speed on the latest developments on the regulatory front. She is a Chartered Accountant and – let’s be honest – one of the most informed and knowledgeable accountants in the country. That’s part of her job. She pores through thousands of pages of documents each month, from legal changes to new accounting standards and everything in between. Being an accountant in this new era requires a ferocious attention to detail, and Lettie misses nothing. She distills and simplifies this information so that accountants across the country (and beyond) are kept in the loop.
That’s your team. You’re in safe hands, and know that they are toiling daily to raise the profile of Saiba members in the economy and open doors that might otherwise remain shut.