Tania Lee is a former teacher with a caring and nurturing side that is well known within the Saiba family. She has 20 years’ experience with professional accounting bodies, and that has given her unique insights into the progress and demands resting on the shoulders of up-and-coming practitioners.
She previously headed up the Saiba’s projects department as director of projects, but recently reverted to a consulting role. She spoke to Accounting Weekly about her professional – and her private avocations.
Having obtained a higher diploma in teaching, Tania worked as a teacher for nine years and during the late 1990s, with the countrywide redeployment of educators, she took advantage of an early package and decided to venture into a completely different stream.
After her move from the education sector, she took on a role at the SA Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA), then known as the Institute of Commercial and Financial Accountants (CFA) as a training and marketing assistant. Her teaching background provide invaluable in this role.
She was responsible for assisting in the marketing department and doubled up as a training administrator. She then went on to manage and produce SAIPA’s in-house publication, where she did everything including the layout, printing and distribution.
Her role evolved to marketing advisor and after five years with SAIPA, she moved to the Institute for Public Finance and Auditing (IPFA) where she worked for over a year as project manager, travelling between Limpopo and the Western Cape to fulfil the role.
Her longest employment term was with the Finance and Accounting Services Seta (Fasset), where for over a decade she worked as a project manager and ultimately project director. She was responsible for overseeing hundreds of projects that ranged between R1-R10 million in value.
How did she come to know about Saiba
After 14 years with Fasset, Tania took a different route and decided to move into consulting. Within 18 months going down this route, a former colleague and now CEO of Saiba, Nicolaas van Wyk, reached out to her and asked her to come on board to consult on Saiba projects. She joined Saiba in July 2018 and quickly became an indispensable member of the team. She took on a permanent role as director of projects, where she managed CFO Talks, Accounting Weekly Saiba Academy, as well as the funding of other special projects within the organisation.
If you can improve anything in the profession what would that be?
It would be for accountants to take more accountability. There is a lot of knowledge and skills available to improve their personal lives as well as their business practices. Being able to manage personal development helps shape your career.
Embrace cloud technology – most of our members have not adopted cloud technology yet and this is a shortcoming. In order to stay relevant, they need to get up to speed with emerging technologies that will help to improve and contribute to the growth of their practices and careers.
I enjoy fast sports and I am always up for a thrilling adventure. I am an aunt to many and the go-to person when it comes to looking after my nieces. When I am not busy with my day job I am either reading or tutoring.
I am also an incidental DJ. I do weddings, bridal showers, house parties and any type of gig you can think of. My music ranges from old school to new depending on my client’s needs. I am skilled in IT, self-taught and I set up home networks as a hobby. I read a lot to make sure I stay well informed as I am a bookworm at heart.