Full house at SAIPA virtual 2021 Accounting iNdaba

The South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA) held its 2021 Accounting iNdaba on 2 and 3 November. It was the second time the annual conference was hosted as an entirely virtual event.

“I am very pleased that the continuity of the programme and confidence evident in our staff presenters demonstrated that we have mastered online conferencing and are leveraging our experience to great effect,” said SAIPA Chief Executive Shahied Daniels.

Theme

This year, the iNdaba theme was The Accountancy Revolution: Infonomics and Sustainability.

“Infonomics is realising and monetizing the value of information by extracting its strategic meaning to inform effective decision making and operational planning,” explained Daniels. The effects of this process feed into and assure the sustainability of the organisation.

Daniels noted that the theme aligns with the Institute’s development of its Competency Framework through its Centre of Future Excellence (CoFE).

“4IR, digital transformation and business automation point to an impending reset of the accountancy profession, and we are preparing our Professional Accountants (SA) to master infonomics and drive value creation throughout the enterprise,” said Daniels.

Speakers

Notable speakers who took the stage included Professor Thuli Mandosela and her colleague, Khulekile Msimanga; future strategist John Sanei; and well-known motivational speaker, Vusi Thembekwayo.

They were joined by Emma Sadleir, a legal expert in social media law; Professor Hanli Smuts; Professor Jonathan Jansen; SAIPA tax specialist, Ettiene Retief; tax expert, Jashwin Baijoo; Dr Ansia Storm; Dr Helena Strauss; and Senior Business Rescue Practitioner, Stefan Steyn.

Panels

Discussion panels were held on both days. The first, facilitated by SAIPA’s Professor Rashied Small, included guests Alta Prinsloo, CEO of PAFA; Saadiya Adam, Senior Professional Manager: Standards at the IRBA and IESBA Board Member; and Robert Zwane, Senior Executive: National Projects at SAICA. The discussion revolved around ethical dilemmas faced by accountants.

The second addressed the role of the Professional Accountant (SA) as Chief Value Officer (CVO) and the need for integrated thinking for business sustainability. The panel comprised Keitumetse Lekaba, Raj Dhanlall and Professor Rashied Small, with Khaya Sithole facilitating.

Ethics

Throughout the iNdaba, ethics was a key point of concern.

“Ethics is at the core of everything we do and forms the foundation upon which future-ready Professional Accountants (SA) will be trained for their emerging role as Chief Value Officer,” said Daniels.

He insisted SAIPA remains committed to developing ethics-based solutions for the eradication of corruption and financial crimes at all levels of society.

Awards

On the first day of the conference, participants in several SAIPA programmes were awarded in recognition of their outstanding achievements. They included winners of the Tax Thesis Competition and the Accounting Thesis Competition, top scorers in the National Accounting and Maths Olympiad (NAMO) for schools, and the top graduates of SAIPA’s Professional Evaluation (PE).

“We are inspired by the innovative work and determined efforts of each winner, and proud to associate the name of the Institute with their accomplishments,” said Daniels.

Closing

Attendance remained at 100% throughout, dropping only slightly in the closing hours to 98%.

Daniels thanked the members and guests for the energy and enthusiasm they brought to the proceedings. “I especially wish to thank our platinum sponsors, Standard Bank and Xero, and our gold sponsor, Sage, whose support for our community and initiatives made this amazing event possible,” he said.

Other sponsors included Syspro, Draftworx, Camaf Medical Scheme, Bridgement, PPS, CaseWare Africa, Adapt IT, University of Johannesburg, VKN Financial Services, and Wolf Pack Information Risk.

“We look forward to hosting an even better iNdaba next year,” concluded Daniels.