SAIPA Accounting iNdaba 2019 - DAY 3

Last day of SAIPA Accounting iNdaba focuses on 4IR-era skills

South African Institute of Professional Accountants
26 August 2019

The 15th of August was the third and final day of the South African Institute of Professional Accountants’ (SAIPA) Accounting iNdaba 2019. The theme of the event was “The Future-Ready Professional Accountant in the 4th Industrial Revolution”, its aim being to inform practitioners about the impact of 4IR on the Profession and how they can prepare themselves for the coming changes. The last day focused mainly on the education and training aspects of the journey toward digital readiness.

“We need to completely rethink our learning environment from top to bottom in order to remain relevant as a Professional Accounting Organisation as well as its members,” said Professor Rashied Small, Executive: Education and Training at SAIPA.

Future-ready skills
The first session of the day was presented by Professor Small who examined how 4IR would affect the accountant’s job prospects. He described what skills would be required of the Professional Accountant in this new era of digital trade and industry and how SAIPA’s initial professional development (IPD) and continuous professional development (CPD) programmes would evolve to address that need.

The Institute’s Future-Ready Competency Framework will promote technical, business, human and professional competencies. Progress will be achieved through ongoing competency gap analysis; developing and implementing competency capacitating programmes; monitoring and evaluating various competencies and their relevance; and inspecting, reviewing and evaluating compliance with the programmes.

To support effective IPD, SAIPA will continuously review and update its competency framework; collaborate with accredited service providers to implement the framework; monitor and evaluate these service providers; develop relevant competency assessment methods; and monitor and evaluate the competence of its members.

Professor Small also asserted that the future-ready Professional Accountant must be supported by an environment in which they as individuals can take responsibility for developing their skills. In addition, employers must provide time and support for training. Educators must focus on competency-based curricula and schools must focus on integrating technology into learning, while instilling in students the desire to think, learn and reason. This approach will allow the Profession to reinvent itself.

“Those who will succeed are those who learn faster than the rate of change and faster than their competitors,” he concluded.    

Other presentations
Presentations were also made by Silindile Kubheka, the Acting Accountant General at National Treasury and Mandi Olivier, Senior Executive for Professional Development at the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), who explained her institute’s SAICA 2025 CPD initiative. IAASB Board Member, Imran Vanker, then reviewed the importance of quality management to improving trust in the Profession. The final events of the day comprised two panel discussions. The first, moderated by Shaleem Karwa, surveyed the professional accountancy organisation (PAO) landscape while the second saw Professor Small engage experts on strategies for addressing 4IR in education. 

More to come
SAIPA thanked its sponsors for supporting the event, especially its main benefactor, Draftworx. “We were pleased to see that the Draftworx presentations were well attended and are delighted to host a software vendor whose products are very relevant to our members’ work,” said Small.

SAIPA’s Accounting iNdaba will return in 2020 as a platform for evaluating technological developments that impact accounting and to discuss solutions for all Professional Accountants, regardless of their designation.