Bean Counting Day 2015 – Turning the tide on skills shortage
The skills shortage in South Africa’s financial sector has reached critical level, with industries like the accounting sector being among those hardest hit. With this in mind the School of Accounting Sciences on the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University (NWU) recently hosted a very successful Bean Counting Day.
This year saw the third rendition of this career networking opportunity. According to the organisers of the event, prospective accountants should take advantage of opportunities such as Bean Counting Day to spend time with industry professionals and ask questions like “What do you know now that you wish someone had told you when you first started out?, “What are some of the biggest challenges you had to overcome in building your career?”, or “How did you obtain important experience within your organisation?”.
Industry giants such as ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), the Auditor General SA, BDO (a regional association of accounting firms with over 60 partners and consultants), Guarantee Trust Corporate Support Services, KPMG (a global network of professional financial services firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services), Mazars, Nkonki East Gauteng Inc, PKF Westrand, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, SAICA (South African Institute of Chartered Accountants), Teach South Africa, RSM Betty & Dickson (Johannesburg) and Octagon Chartered Accountants attended the event.
According to Prof Heleen Janse van Vuuren, Director of the School of Accounting Sciences, government, business, academic institutions and communities all have a role to play in addressing the ongoing skills challenge in the accounting profession. According to the National Development Plan (NDP, 2010-20130), accounting is viewed as not only a scarce skill within the public service delivery arena but also a vehicle to overcome poverty and inequality and ultimately reduce unemployment.
By means of initiatives such as Bean Counting Day accounting students are introduced to prospective employers and the reality of the accounting industry. According to the organisers the event aims to also inspire and motivate students to focus on their studies and by doing so enhance their employability within this highly competitive market.