Meet our #SAIPAproud memberLynné Smit
Meet Lynné Smit, Chairperson, Hex River District Association and Professional Accountant (SA) Professional Tax Practitioner (SA)
What attracted you to the accountancy profession?
When I was in grade 2, my parents started with a general dealer shop. As children we had to help serve the customers especially calculating their shopping lists and working out their totals. It was then checked by our parents and we later assisted with invoices and accounting procedures. We saw the event of “the books” given to the auditors every year as a big occasion, waiting patiently to see if we did our “jobs” correctly. I became fascinated by the part that the Auditors played in our business, that is what attracted me to the accountancy profession.
What inspires you about your work?
People and service delivery is what inspires me every day. My clients are special and serving them to the best of my ability and making a difference in their lives is what makes me love accountancy. You grow with your clients. Most of us started without computers and all the modern technology. It gives me such pleasure to see how their businesses grew over the years, and the way my older clients embrace new technology and adapt to change.
Who inspires you, and why?
There are so many! Since I joined SAIPA I was overwhelmed with the passion that people have for the Institute. Management, Board members and volunteers are passionate about the Institute and it is contagious. I personally feel that what SAIPA does is not just to the benefit of their members but for the accountancy profession locally and globally as a whole.
Tell us about your biggest challenge, and how you overcame it?
My biggest challenge is that I am disabled. All over South Africa people and institutions have become more accessible for the disabled. People are very supportive and is always willing to lend a helping hand. My husband and daughter assist me when I must travel or attend meetings. My clients accommodate me with special ramps that they build to make the businesses easily accessible. At work colleagues support and accommodate me by providing special parking and facilities. SAIPA always accommodates me and assists with facilities and assistance to attend meetings. It really is not a challenge for me anymore.
Tell us about the highlight of your journey as a professional in accountancy?
There are several highlights in my journey as professional accountant. The first was to qualifying as a Professional Accountant (SA). Another highlight was my involvement with voluntary work as District Chair of the Hexriver District as well as being part of the Western Region Committee. Our vision and mission are to serve our members and the Institute.
In June 2019 I as appointed as a Board Member representing the Western Region of SAIPA. Being part of a well-equipped and smooth-running operation and having the opportunity to learn from great leaders in the accountancy profession is really a privilege.
How enabling has your working environment been?
My employers are very supportive in my journey of 38 years with them.
What disappoints you about the profession?
It is disappointing that Accountancy as school subject is not promoted enough. Teachers must be reskilled to adapt to the changes that takes place and make Accountancy practically more interesting to their students. It is my personal view, but Accountancy must be a compulsory subject to all students. It will teach students the basic principles to make a success of any business and more people would be skilled to become successful entrepreneurs.
What would you like to change?
I would like to see that trainees be treated fairly as some businesses have unreasonable expectations. They take into consideration that a lot of them are busy with their studies, and that the exorbitant work engagements takes away from their study schedules.
I would also like to see more tolerance from SARS regarding due dates to alleviate stress.
What is your vision for the profession?
My vision is an accounting profession free from corruption and scandals. We must be proud to be a member of the accountancy profession and stand for integrity and good values. Standardized procedures and systems throughout the entire accountancy profession. Globally all accountants must adhere to the same rules and regulations.