When Determination and Desire meet – an ACCA Member Success Story

Zaheera Mahomed qualified as a Member of ACCA in January 2017 – in Just under four years. Zaheera not only worked through the course modules, but held down full time employment at a multi-national. We asked Zaheera to share some of her insights and guidance below:

What is your current job title, can you tell us a bit about what you do?

Acting Head of Finance – South & Southern Africa.
ACCA_Profile_ZaheeraMahomed_BLOG

Why did you choose to follow a career in accounting?

I was keen to understand how businesses make money and operate. I am a detailed person, finance was the better career option suiting my skills.

What is it about the world of finance that attracted you to it?

The influence that finance has on a business especially in terms of helping deliver business strategy. Using the numbers to tell a story and provide insight into business decisions – past, present and future, resonated with me.

Why did you choose ACCA?

The ability to link my passion for reporting and planning together with fueling my commercial enthusiasm.

How did you find out about the qualification?

Research and discussions with professional peers as I wanted to find the balance between finance and business and not just controls and reporting.

Did you self-study or did you study through a learning provider?

Self study.

Were you working full time?

Yes, working full time with a large portfolio of responsibility.

How long did it take you to complete all your ACCA exams?

It took me 4 years to complete. I received exemptions for 7 of the foundation subjects. So I had to complete 2 foundation and 5 professional level subjects.

What kept you motivated and pushing on?

I wanted a globally recognised qualification and ACCA met my requirements to have the best of both worlds in terms of content (finance plus entrepreneurial components) so my excitement to have found this, fueled my determination and desire to just go for it!

Do you have any study tips for ACCA students, what resources did you utilise to prepare for exams?

I used BPP study material. My advice is to really want it, stay disciplined, dedicated and focused on the end goal because at the end, becoming an ACCA Member is simply fantastic.

Those 4 letters elevate how people respond to you and it also comes with a sense of confidence to allow you to tackle the professional environment head on. This qualification engages you to understand business in a complete context not just the financial aspects.

Where do you see your ACCA membership taking your career in the future?

Since the qualification is globally recognised, I am currently working for an incredible multi national and cementing my experience as a Head of Finance for the biggest market in my region. These things together will be my platform to pursue international opportunities.

What is your dream job?

To work with the CEO in formulating strategy and being involved with the delivery. I want to be a board member and I am currently looking for Non-Executive Director roles to begin this journey.

50 Drivers of change & The 7th annual public sectors conference

The global economic and business landscape is changing with unprecedented speed and uncertainty. Accounting professionals will be expected to look beyond the numbers and collaborate, think, behave more strategically and lead in decision making.

 

There is global consensus that public sector finance needs to adapt in the face of a changing economic landscape. With modernising economies, digital influence and evolving economic sectors, Africa’s public sector finance is confronted by 50 key drivers of change.

 

These 50 drivers of change undertaken in a global study by ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accounts) will have the biggest impact on public sector finance leading into 2026. Financial skills not yet practiced will come into demand under requirement and forever change the face of the public sector accountant.

 

THE KEY FOCUS

Unpacking the study at the recently held ACCA 7th Global Public Sector conference in Johannesburg, industry guests and members showcased practical examples of how these 50 drivers of change will influence public sector finance. Manj Kaler, Head of Public Sector ACCA, gave insight into the drivers and by which order they will begin to influence finance industry.

 

Overarching the drivers and theme of the conference is the increase in demand for integrated reporting in the public sector finance.Integrated reporting will require accountants to shift away from financial analysis to business accountancy, focusing on swift action and financial literacy beyond a spread sheet.

 

The public sector is as complex as it is diverse” – Report: 50 Drivers of change in the public sector

 

Unpacking the above influencers, through a panel discussion, Bukkie Adewuyi – Director, Sizwe Ntsabula Gobodo, Xolisa Dlanga – Senior Financial Analyst, Office of the Accountant General and Martin Turner – former president, ACCA – focused on the importance of transparency and accountability. Citizens now demand accountability more than ever, with a strong focus on aligning public sector finance to presidential term successes. More so in Africa, governments are starting to feel the strain from public backlash from corrupt accountancy and mismanaged public sector finances.

 

CITIZENS AND INTRINSIC VALUE

Presenter Patrick Kabuya, Senior Financial Management Specialist – World Bank Group, highlighted two main goals for the Group particularly in Africa, they are; to end extreme poverty, and to promote shared prosperity. The rise in active citizenship in Africa reiterates these goals, holding intrinsic value to transparent and accountable public servants.

 

Sound management of our public finances is a cornerstone of our development plans.” – Pravin Gordhan – Minister of Finance

 

Countrymen and investors want change. Unpacking this social uprising and other drivers of change, the recent study by ACCA draws on Professor Mervyn King’s King IV principles of integrated reporting ; independence from political influence, performance targeting and variable remuneration based on outcomes.

 

ACCA surveyed over 1,000 senior executives, ACCA members and members of other professional accountancy bodies working in public sector organisations and carried out 12 in-depth round table discussions across 11 countries, including South Africa (around 300 participants) to populate the report.

 

The report is structured in two sections, the first introduces the ranking of 50 drivers of change (split into eight domains of relevance) that are expected to impact the public sector in the next five years and beyond. The second section assesses the impact of the drivers on the future public sector landscape.

 

KEY FINDINGS

  • The overall top, critical, driver of change is: level of economic growth, followed by: quality and availability of the global talent pool.
  • The public sector finance function is also experiencing challenges of its own from changes in technology to greater commercial focus and big data.
  • Professional accountants in the sector will need strong set of skills to meet the challenges including strong technical skills, communication skills, professional judgement, vision and leadership skills. Hence it is most important to invest in nurturing and training students.
  • The ability to make linkages, explore perceived economic growth strategies in order to realise visions and plans of national governments.

Read more on economic policies and public finance http://bit.ly/2o9xnl7

Saloshni Govender – Top Achiever: P2

Well done to Saloshni for being our top achiever second time around!

Which ACCA resources did you make use of to prepare for the P2 exam?ACCA_StudentProfiles.jpg

I used the material provided on the ACCA website (past papers, notes etc) as well as other material from research on the internet etc, and also study material I obtain from friends also study through ACCA.

Please share tips on pre-exam nerves…how do you stay calm?

 I keep telling myself before a paper just to take each paper as they come and give my all to the one that I am writing and forget the rest.

For study tips visit http://bit.ly/2nEPxxu

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