Chad Prins was one of the University of Johannesburg (UJ) students who took part in the KPMG International Case Competition in Dubai in April this year after winning the national round of the competition.
At the 2015 International Competition, the Accountancy@UJ team was evaluated on their level of insight, innovation and enthusiasm when they are presented with a case study on which they needed to provide strategic intelligence. For each round of the competition, the participating teams had three hours to carefully review, identify and analyse key business issues in order to develop gripping recommendations in a professional presentation to the judges.
Following the release of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants’ (SAICA) January 2015 Initial Test of Competence (ITC), UJ contributed a transformative 22 percent of African black passes in the 2015 ITC. UJ’s leadership position in transforming the accounting profession in South Africa is further substantiated by the fact that UJ consistently achieves the lowest difference in success rates between African black and white passes compared with other universities.
The national results confirmed UJ as a national leader in teaching and producing candidate Chartered Accountants with the University being the biggest contributor of first time African Black candidate chartered accountants in the country.
Prins, who resides in Mondeor, south of Johannesburg, shares the experience he gained in the Dubai exposure:
With regards to my contribution to the team, I really represented the optimistic ways of the team. I always encouraged my teammates in any way possible. I was also heavily involved in usually setting up the quantitative analysis and taking a holistic approach to ensuring that both the quantitative and qualitative factors were really intertwined in the best way possible.
In winning the national round, I really think what made us stand out from the other teams was the sleekness and confidence of our team members. When we presented there was always this air of exuberance with us, which would usually mean the client would be willing to trust and implement our recommendations.
I think when it comes to what I have learned in such a competition, to limit to an email reply would be such injustice. Above all else, I think the greatest lesson I had learned during the competition was really personalising our recommendations to the clients’ requirements and that there is such a vast amount of factors that you will never be aware of, but nonetheless, this cannot hinder your approach, you have to really trust in your ability as an individual, but moreover, have confidence in your teammates’ abilities as well.
I think we could not win because our recommendations weren’t as personalised to clients’ requirements.
Regarding my career going forward, I think we confine ourselves to this small reality, when there are so many opportunities for growth and expansion in the world. We shouldn’t be afraid to try, even if failure is the result. However, it is indeed the essence of this failure that acts as a catalyst for future success. This is the mantra that I will apply to my career going forward, not restricting myself to my fears, but rather embracing every opportunity with both hands.
UJ Accountancy education standards are indeed among the best in the world. We were one of the youngest teams in the competition, competing against teams who had MBA graduates and we held our own as a team. I think that speaks volumes of the education system in the UJ accountancy department, the UJ accountancy department personalises its approach to best suit the students to ensure that its graduates are not only the best in South Africa but in the whole world.
UJ has been pivotal to my academic growth, I prefer UJ as a better institution for accountancy. The lecturers have so much insight and knowledge and above all else always try their best to ensure every student will one day have the opportunity to achieve the wonderful honour of obtaining the CA (SA) designation.
Going forward, I would like to obtain my Master’s degree in taxation and thereafter I look to facilitating great investments and expansion in South Africa, providing advice on our complex tax laws as there is currently a great need for this both nationally and internationally.
My message to students inspired by my success is that they should never be afraid to dream no matter how absurd or impossible your dream seems. It takes one decision and a step to change your life, but with endurance of course.