To celebrate international youth day, The Accountant and International Accounting Bulletin asks professionals aged under 35 to share their thoughts on the profession: why they qualify as accountants, whether it was challenging and, now that they are in, how they see the profession and where it is going.
My name is Jaenre Blignaut, I am 34 years old, married to Nedine and we have 2 beautiful kids. I was born in the Old Western Transvaal and relocated to the South Coast at age 15. I completed my matric in Amanzimtoti and started my articles immediately after school at De Witt & Saestadt on the South Coast. I qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2008 and started my own practice during 2009.
I love my family, the outdoors, sports, chess and a good read.
I picked this profession because I always excelled in maths, accounting and business economics at school, and wanted to become a financial director of a listed company and experience the rush of growing a business “empire”.
I completed my degree and honours through UNISA. The honours was awfully difficult as I was also working at the time and had to balance work, studies and life but I am proud to say that I paid for all my studies from the meagre salary I earned as an article clerk.
The Profession is continuously evolving as globalisation, technology and legislation impacts the audit and accounting landscape. I believe the profession is extremely over legislated and compliance and “red tape” will eventually lead to more and more accountants going into commerce rather than the profession.
In terms of difficulties, as with any industry, the ability to attract quality clients was one of the major challenges when setting up my firm. Other challenges included obtaining and retaining skilled staff.
I believe that SAICA’s training environment is fairly well managed and does cater for prospective accountants.
Substantial parts of our work will become automated in the foreseeable future and our role as accountants will eventually revolve around managing these integrated automated systems, providing high level advice and reviewing of technical information.
Our generation will embrace the evolution of the industry and to a large extent be involved in the shaping/ design of the various automated systems which will ultimately result in automated reporting of financial results.