Meet our #SAIPAproud member

Estée Bekker

Estée Bekker: From hospital worker to international accountant

SAIPA member Estée Bekker wasn’t always working in the accountancy industry. Starting out working in a medical setting, Estée met her husband at the hospital in which she worked. Soon, the two were married, and Estée gave birth to her son. With a new-born baby to take care of, the rigorous hospital hours proved too much, and she left the profession altogether.

Driven to pursue a new career path, Estée started her articles at age 30 with a 12-week-old baby to look after. Even without a baby, this would have been a big adjustment, as she was entering the profession at an older age than those doing their articles alongside her. However, despite the challenges, Estée rose to the occasion, joining a wonderful firm that supported her along the way while studying online in her free time. After finishing her articles and then her degree, Estée accepted a position at another firm in 2020.

Looking to give herself the best chance at succeeding in her Professional Evaluation, Estée wrote to SAIPA to join the Project Achiever programme. This was the experience of a lifetime, and she learnt an incredible amount during the course. But plans change, and in the middle of this opportunity, Estée and her husband decided to emigrate to Ireland. Her husband went on ahead to find a place to stay and get settled, and Estée stayed behind to complete the Project Achiever programme, recognising its value in her career journey.

Committed to doing her absolute best, Estée did extra classes and dedicated herself to the Project Achiever programme – and her hard work paid off when she passed her Professional Evaluation.

As a SAIPA member, Estée knew that the Professional Accountancy Organisation had Memoranda of Understanding with several international accountancy bodies, including CPA Ireland. With the MOA in place, all that was required of her to join CPA Ireland was a SAIPA membership certificate, a letter of good standing and two references – all in all, a very smooth process. To get up to scratch with local accountancy practices, Estée completed two online courses, one in Irish Law and one in Overview Of Irish Tax. After following all the steps, completing all the application forms and paying all the fees, Estée was accepted as a CPA Ireland member, an incredibly proud moment in her life.

Now that she is a CPA Ireland member, the doors to finding work have been opened. As a SAIPA and CPA Ireland member, Estée is eligible for a Critical Skills Permit, allowing her to apply for residency for herself and her family after just 2 years.

Estée knows that SAIPA opened these doors for her through comprehensive accountancy readiness programmes, our affiliation with international bodies and so much more. She says that being a part of the SAIPA family changed her life for the better, and her message to anyone in accountancy is: it might be hard, but don’t give up – it’s so worth it!

We are very proud of Estée and wish her and her family nothing but the best on their new journey in Ireland.