Speaking to the manager - lessons from a former audit senior

April 17, 2023
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Speaking to the manager - lessons from a former audit senior

2022 was one hell of a roller coaster. It was a shock to my system but a great year all-in-all. 

It started with me finding out I had failed my third attempt at APC. After all the mayhem that was that attempt, I had a second chance and found out I passed (ABSOLUTE ELATION!). 

My life and career finally got on track after 11 years of studying. I was off to the races.

My thoughts behind making the move

It's definitely needed in my journey to become a well-rounded, well-experienced CA who could fit in at any firm. Having done my articles at the Auditor-General SA (AGSA), my experience is mainly in the public sector. But coming to the end of my audit senior contract, I started to broaden my knowledge base. 

The AGSA gave me a lot of experience, but I needed to get in with the private sector as public sector auditing is too niche of a market. 

So off to LinkedIn I went:

I applied to so many places that I lost count!

Having received rejections, I started to get hopeless that I would get pigeonholed into this one thing ...

... But Accensis decided to give me a chance to do what I had hoped to achieve: more experience and, most importantly: management experience.

It was a difficult choice to make. Although it was exactly what I wanted and needed for my career. Thoughts like the following were running through my mind constantly:

-       Was this a wrong choice financially? As a CA now, I could be in line for an Assistant Manager position at AGSA, which would mean more money. I also had a year left on my current contract.

-       Will I be seen as disloyal to the firm that gave me my experience? Reputation is such a significant factor.

-       Do I have the experience for this? Am I prepared for the responsibility, as this could hurt my reputation if I'm not ready?

-       What if I leave and do not make it there? Will I be able to find another job?

Although these thoughts were running through my mind, after speaking to my now former manager at the time, he gave me excellent advice:

 "A year from now if you stay here you'd have a year more experience but if you go out there you will have a year of managerial experience which is highly sought after". 

The decision became clear then. It was time to move on. 

An audit manager I became.

Things I've learned since the move:

-       I am smarter than I thought; I have the knowledge and capability. Sometimes I have yet to determine whether I am knowledgeable in a particular area, but once I start talking about it, the words flow. (It's shocking sometimes)

-       Articles and exams did prepare me for this. There is a steep learning curve, but so far, from the prep these last 4/5 years, I've been able to manage it.

-       I never noticed it, but I did mature. Being in this position has truly matured me for the better. Anything I think of or deliberate on - I start to think holistically.

-       My mental fortitude has surprised me. I knew I was reasonably chilled, but that has helped me not feel overwhelmed through the busy times.

-       There is always something that needs doing. You're never at rest during your office time; it keeps you on your toes and thinking constantly.

-       Management admin burden is a lot. I needed more time to be ready!

-       As a trainee and senior, sometimes the accountability trait doesn't always hit home. As a manager, when you sign off on something, it becomes yours, so the seriousness or severity of situations becomes real.

Would I change anything?

Hell no! This is what I have been working towards for 11+ years (really long I know), I have to do this for myself! I got into this industry and career path to not end up being mediocre. 

I want more for myself. 

Accensis took a chance on me. It's time I took a chance on myself!