Kagisho Moikwatlhai joined our 2013 CA(SA) training programme after graduating from the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 2012. He gives us some insight into his first three months on the programme and emphasises the importance of being proactive.
"It has just been three months since I joined Standard Bank Group and my experience so far has been filled with many learning curves.In my current rotation, I am working for the Group Internal Reporting department which is responsible for collating the financial results of all the different business units across the Standard Bank Group. In this department I hope to attain accounting competencies such as preparing and evaluating financial statements and reconciliations.
One of the first tasks I was asked to perform was to cast certain sections of the 2012 financial statements, an arduous process which can make a banker run a mile! Despite this, I realized that there is more to casting than simply adding up numbers. It requires one to ask the question of whether the numbers make sense. Casting also helped me understand the relationship between the different sections of the financial statements.
One of my main challenges during this rotation was having to learn and understand a number of abbreviations and terminologies used throughout the bank. I found that this stimulated my willingness to learn and encouraged me to read up more on banking matters.
"Most recently, I have been seconded to a department within the bank called the Tutuwa Community Investment Fund. The aim of the fund is to provide unsecured micro finance to established informal businesses. During my time at this department I was able to attain further accounting competencies. I was also exposed to a different side of banking and with this, I learnt to appreciate financial reporting which is not based on conventional International Accounting Standard based frameworks.
"I enjoyed my time at this department as I had the wonderful opportunity of interacting with some of the clients through telephone communication. Understanding what Mrs Cele or Mr Mthombeni was querying about their accounts was a mission but I realized the importance of communication skills and being able to convey a message clearly. These are some of the professional skills which I can boast that I have experienced and continue to improve upon.
"As I prepare to end my rotation at the Group Internal Reporting department, I reflect on what was required of me, and in a word, I can say one needs to be proactive. This rotation has offered me much more to learn than what is expected of me from SAICA. It has given me a great starting point to my career, an opportunity to learn from my mistakes and to take pride in waving the blue flag."