At an awards ceremony held at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) last Thursday (15 November 2012), Michelle Longman emerged as the overall winner in the BDO UJ Accounting Studies Thought Leadership Project.
Student village 20/11/2013
Keith Sefularo was awarded second place as well as “Most Critical Thinker” and Jessica Watridge came third. Mary Ann Thobekile Ndinisa excelled as the most improved student and one who showed dedication and commitment throughout the course.
The assignment required students to write a critical essay on the business activities, management/leadership and financial position of one of 10 JSE-listed companies. The top five students then had to give a short presentation on their assignment at the awards function. Thereafter, the top three were selected to take part in a panel discussion with BDO partners, in front of the audience.
UJ is the first university in the country to offer the Accounting Studies course. At the same time, it is new to UJ, being offered for the first time in 2012. The course is designed to support the SAICA Competency Framework as it relates to Pervasive Skills (ethics and professionalism, personal attributes and professional skills).
Prof Grietjie Verhoef, Professor of Accounting and Economic History at UJ, says the course was designed to develop a more well-rounded student and a more critical thinker.
“South African CAs are increasingly required to understand, assimilate, summarise and contextualise vast amounts of business information – and the theory covered during typical accounting subjects has historically not covered this subject of learning,” she says.
BDO Marketing and Business Development Director, Russell Fox, says the firm chose to partner with UJ because it believes that the Accounting Studies course helps nurture and grow young people who are just starting out in this profession. “We saw from the high quality of the assignments that there is real talent out there and we are proud to be helping develop and support it,” says Fox.
BDO is the fifth largest accounting firm in South Africa, with some 700 staff members spread across four offices countrywide. It is part of the international BDO network and as such offers employees career opportunities across the globe.
Says Fox: “As a mid-tier auditing firm, BDO prides itself on offering a distinctly different alternative to clients. The nature of the firm and its partners are such that personal relationships are of paramount importance – BDO aspires to be a trusted business adviser rather than just an “tick box” auditing firm.”