Congratulations on choosing the path to becoming a Chartered Accountant and holding the prestigious title of CA(SA). You have probably envisioned your first career move would be to receive a Training Contract at a reputable audit firm. As a new graduate, you’ll need to start creating your own personal career map and make a conscious decision to find a Training Office that understands your needs as a young professional. Your decision should most importantly be based on finding a Training Office that can train you to become a competent future CA. Making smart career decisions based on clear understanding of your professional goals and what skills you would like to obtain from your Training Contract will set a great foundation for your career endeavour. So what are the benefits of working at a medium sized audit firm as opposed to a larger firm?

Conducting your articles at a medium sized firm gives you the opportunity for diversity in the size of client and industry portfolios. As a young professional it is imperative to get the exposure from a variety of work which allows for you to find your niche in the market. By the end of your training contract, you will not only be able to offer a range of services to perspective employers but also be able to choose a comfortable path that best suits you, in an industry that you enjoy. Being able to adapt to different industries and having a diverse portfolio of clients allows for you to become more competitive within the industry as you start your career as a newly admitted CA. When working at a medium sized firm, you have the opportunity to continuously learn a variety of skills during your training experience rather than being boxed into a mould.

A great benefit of working at a medium sized firm is that, during the course of your Training Contract, you will have direct access to clients and have the ability to build genuine connections with your clients. You are also able to learn the intricate art of retaining clients through providing quality client service. You will be given direct access to Directors and Managers who will take an interest in your development and support you through gaining your professional competencies to becoming a CA and, in the process, find yourself a mentor that will be able to guide and groom you through your journey.

When choosing your preferred Training Office, it’s important to find a firm that would not only take you through the learnership programme but also provide you with good quality training and a work environment where you are not just a number but a key contributor to the successful completion of an audit. At a medium sized firm, you are provided with a work environment where you can create close relationships with your colleagues, where you work hard together but also enjoy taking part in various organisational and social activities.

When choosing your next career move, know that you are the captain of your own life. Start making decisions that are best suited to your personal goals and not by following trends. Grasp the knowledge and experience required by working for a medium sized firm that has the ability to transfer technical skills, as well as sufficiently groom the soft skills that are crucial as a young professional. Wherever you choose to start you career, each person’s experience may be different. You must remember that your attitude, tenacity and zeal for your career endeavours will ultimately drive you to successfully complete your Training Contract, and working for a medium sized firm will give you a holistic view of the profession.

Phelokazi Nyangane

Manager: Human Resources, Johannesburg

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