The CA programme at UP had the privilege of hosting the chairperson of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) Board, Vincent Mohau Motholo, on Friday, 18 August 2023. Motholo, who is currently the chief financial officer (CFO) of the University of Cape Town, completed his BCom (Accounting Sciences) at UP and as such, it was even more special to engage with him at his alma mater.
During lunch, Motholo had the opportunity to interact with UP’s CA Programme Manager, Prof Madeleine Stiglingh, and a number of UP staff involved in the programme. The interactions focused amongst others on the new redesigned UP BCom (Accounting Sciences) curriculum that was rolled out on first-year level in 2023. He was also able to hear first-hand from a few students who shared their experiences of and reflections on the new BCom (Accounting Sciences) degree, its focus being equipping the CA of the future with the pre-requisite technical knowledge and professional values, attitudes and acumens, that will be expected of them moving forward. Anecdotal evidence from the feedback is that the newly designed programme has succeeded in equipping students with a solid context and skills set that empowers the UP students to better understand and master their technical content.
Greg Plant, Andrew van der Burgh, Prof Madeleine Stiglingh, Vincent Motholo, Dr Alet Terblanche and Tania Tomes with the PGDAS class of 2023.
The highlight of the chairperson’s visit to UP was undoubtedly his presentation to the Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting Sciences (PGDAs) students. In his presentation, which was delivered with great passion, Motholo addressed a key navigational marker in the accounting and audit profession, namely ethics. Our UP PGDAs students interacted enthusiastically during the address. As one student eloquently put it in responding to one of the chairperson’s questions, “our ethics are our moral compass”. Referring to a number of corporate scandals in the South African business landscape, Motholo unpacked the ethical dilemmas taking centre stage in these different scandals. He also provided a few very relevant ethical dilemmas affecting trainee accountants in the workplace. The key “take-away” from the presentation was Motholo’s profound statement that a lack of ethics in the accounting and audit profession undermines public confidence in the profession and threatens the relevance of the profession.
Vincent Motholo presenting to the PGDAS class of 2023.
The Q&A session at the end of the presentation left one with a sense of reassurance. It was inspirational to listen to the students, as they posed some hard-hitting questions. Not only was it evident that these young graduates are aware of their responsibility to be responsible citizens in the local and global business in future, but their passion to champion ethics in the public sector too.
Prof Stiglingh emphasised that the CA programme at UP takes ethics very seriously. “As a key professional value, ethics plays an important role across all the modules in the programme. With our programme’s mission statement being ‘to launch ethical influencers who reimagine and co-create the future’, we strive to deliver UP graduates with strong moral compasses into the workplace, who will indeed be able to ethically influence the landscape in which they will operate, and indeed be change-makers. The first evidence of this evolution was indeed confirmed during the passionate interactions of our students during the closing moments of the presentation!” she commented.