ACCA SA has held its annual graduation evening for new members at the Hyatt Regency in Rosebank, Johannesburg.
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Chairman of ACCA SA Network Forum, Chama Kamukwamba, extended a warm welcome to ACCA?s 22 new members and to ACCA?s guest of honour and global CEO, Helen Brand, who was visiting South Africa.

ACCA fellow and Lead Independent Non-executive Director of Harmony Gold Mining, Fikile De Buck, was the keynote speaker.

?This is a different arena where the rubber meets the road. This is where all that you have learnt in class gets tested in the real world of work. This is where your endurance is tested. This is where there is no room for error, where you function in a global arena and where everything that you do can be scrutinised at that level. It is also within that global arena that one can make a name for oneself,? she told the new graduates.

She further advised: ?You need to learn to be open to correction. Submit to your seniors; there is something that they can teach you which you cannot learn in a classroom. Be prepared to learn. Make sacrifices. Be prepared to go the extra mile.?
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New graduates were reminded of the importance of Continuous Professional Development (CPD): ?Ten years down the line, you will find that things are totally different. If you have not caught up you will find yourself irrelevant.?

Global CEO Helen Brand observed that the value of accountants emanates from their ability to take an objective and ethical approach that delivers public value. ?If the profession is seen to fail to act in a way that protects the public interest, then its value to business is actually lost,? Brand said.

She noted that with the global economic crisis continuing, accountants are increasingly at the forefront of operations. ?You are in the right place at the right time because you are in high demand.

The market in South Africa is developing and opening up to multinationals, which shows a demand for skills and professional accountants. You will always be needed as a profession, but this does not mean you can be complacent. You need to be proactive in upholding your reputation and ACCA?s.?

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