HR Manager’s Column – Episode 4: I got the qualification, what now?

Insider tips from our Head of HR and Training

If you have achieved your ICB qualification, congratulations! But this is only the first step. What are you doing to enhance your employability? When recruiting staff, the employer will look at more than just your qualification, they will be trying to see if you have the required competencies to fulfil the role, and also whether you will be a good fit to the company culture and values, how can you show this?

a. Job shadowing/Volunteer experience: `

We understand not everyone will have working experience straight after studying, but what have you done to gain exposure to the working world during or after your studies? In your CV you should list any job shadowing or volunteer experience you have had.

b. Leadership roles during school:

If you were ever a class representative or prefect in school, list this in your CV too! This says a lot about your leadership ability.

c. Extramural activities:

When you are not working or studying, how do you spend your days? What are you passionate about? Are you a nature-lover or book worm? You can note that too!

d. Any additional courses:

What are you doing to improve your professional development? If you have noticed that your admin skills are not very good, why not do a course to learn new skills? There are many online sites which offer short courses to improve skills, such as Linkedin Learning or Udimy, and this shows employers that you are invested in your own development. If you are also a member of our sister company ICBA, then you will have free access to our webinars which you also help your continuous professional development (CPD). Being a part of a membership body such as the ICBA also shows your credibility to employers so if you are not yet a member, check out the website today!

HR Manager’s Column – Episode 3: The day of the interview

Insider tips from our Head of HR and Training

a. Dress to impress

It is important to look your best on the day of the interview, even if the company does not have a formal dress code, you want to stand out from other candidates. Look professional!

b. Arrive early

Anticipate traffic and the worst-case scenario, ensure that you arrive at least 15 minutes early to the interview. This also gives you a chance to have a look around and get an idea of the company culture, how do the staff interact? How does everyone behave? Being on-time also makes a good first impression.

c. It is ok to be nervous

Nerves are expected at an interview, arriving a bit early and being very well prepares can help a lot. This is why I suggest making all your notes in your notebook, so that even if you are a bit nervous, you can refer to your notes. Take a deep breath, it is ok!

d. Preparation is everything!

Have I mentioned this enough?

e. Remember to smile and show good body language

Again, you want to make a good and lasting impression, ensure that you show good body language and a positive attitude before and during the interview.

HR Manager’s Column – Episode 2: Interview preparation

Insider tips from our Head of HR and Training

If a company has requested an interview with you, congratulations! This means that they have seen something in your CV that they like and would like to know more about you. But this is also an opportunity for you to get to know the company!

Preparing for interviews is very important and something that the company will be impressed by, this is something that can set you apart from other candidates. Get a notebook ready to take some notes on the following, and take the notebook with you to the interview! You can refer to the notes you have made during your discussion which will show the company you are well prepared.

Firstly, do your homework on the company:

  • Ensure you have a good understanding of their business: the goods and services they offer (have a look at their website, Facebook and other social media pages and make some notes for yourself)

Secondly, make sure you have a good understanding of the position you are applying for:

  • Ask for a copy of the job description before the interview if possible
  • Go through the job description (or google a job description of a similar position if not available) and make some notes on the duties: if it involves customer service, why would you be good at fulfilling the function? What prior knowledge or skill would help you in the role? It is important to think of this before the interview as you will be more prepared to answer questions relating to why you have the potential for the position.

Thirdly, make sure you prepare some questions to ask your interviewer:

  • This helps to show you are well prepared but also will help you get more information about the company and position.
  • Try to stay away from questions relating to terms and conditions of employment, i.e. salary or working hours, the company will bring this up when the time comes.
  • Have a look at this link for some great questions to ask your interviewer: https://biginterview.com/blog/2011/08/best-questions-to-ask-end-interview.html

Lastly, you need to be prepared to answer a few questions, here are some examples of questions I typically ask candidates:

  • Tell me a bit about yourself?
  • What do you know about our company and why do you want to work here?
  • What do you know about the position and why do you think you have the potential for the position?
  • Tell me about your previous positions and the experience you have gained?

I can go on and on but you get the idea, if you would like to prepare some more questions you can also google some examples, here is a link for more info: https://fitsmallbusiness.com/best-interview-questions-for-employers/

HR Manager’s Column – Episode 1: CV tips and Applying to job ads online

Insider tips from our Head of HR and Training

This is very important as it is the company’s first impression of you, so you need to make sure it is a good one!

1. CV layout

I like a CV which is concise and to the point. Try to keep it 1 – 3 pages maximum. I do not think that you need to include copies of all your certificates, ID documents, etc. I would suggest stating your qualifications in the CV and that your transcripts or certificates are available on request.
Nowadays, there are many websites where you can download CV layouts for free, simply google free CV templates and choose a template which appeals to you, here is an example: https://www.freesumes.com/free-resume-templates-for-ms-word/
I also like a CV which has a small professional photo of the candidate, take note, professional! I think that a CV stands out when I can see the person who is applying for the position, then you are not just another piece of paper.

2. What to cover

In general, a CV should include the following information:
a. Your personal details, i.e. name, date of birth, nationality, your residential area, drivers license if applicable, languages, and most importantly, contact details!
b. Short bio/introduction of the self, experience and intention. For example, I am an X professional who has recently completed my X qualification. I have experience working in the X industry and am passionate about X.
c. I would then suggest listing your working experience, starting from the most recent. Ensure you include the company details, your title and a breakdown of your duties, the period of service and any achievements while in the position.
d. Next, I would suggest listing your education, starting from your highest qualification down to Matric, where applicable. You should also list the period or dates that you studied and the name of the institution where you obtained your qualifications.
e. Skills: list the soft skills and technical skills which you possess, i.e. do you have great communication skills? Computer skills? If so, which computer programs or platforms? i.e. MS Office and maybe you have been trained on a particular payroll software package T list that here!
f. References: it is important to list contacts which potential employers can contact regarding your experience and performance. Ideally, this would be your direct supervisor at your employer or a leader in your community, i.e. Principal from your school, who can vouch for your character and work ethic. Sometimes school leaders will help by writing you a reference letter to send to prospective employers, this helps to support your credibility.

3. Please, no spelling mistakes!

Spell check, spell check and spell check again. And once you have spell checked for the last time ask someone you trust to read through your CV to ensure your writing is free from any errors. Remember, this is the company’s first impression of you, and you want to make it a good one.

4. The importance of truthfulness and evidence

I believe very strongly about this section, and this is not only about the implications of lying on your CV (which you should not do!) but more specifically, being able to back up statements on your CV with concrete facts and justifications. For example, if you say you have great time management skills, why? If someone asked you why in the interview, would you be able to explain? You should be able to!
For every statement you make on your CV, you need to be able to back it up with a story or explanation as to why you say so. If you cannot, then maybe it should not be on in the first place.
Therefore, if you list multitasking or interpersonal skills on your CV, make sure you make some notes in your notebook about times during your studies or previous work experience which you needed to multitask or demonstrate your interpersonal skills to get the job done. A good way to do this is by explaining what was the situation or problem, what did you do that demonstrates your skill, and what was the outcome.

5. Applying to jobs online

a. You often need to create profiles on these platforms, a (professional) profile picture will make your profile stand out!
b. Ensure the information you insert matches your CV and is kept up to date
c. Make your cover letter personal to the position you are applying for, i.e. if you are applying for a customer service position, rather than stating I am applying for the position stated I the advert (which I see quite often) take two minutes to write that you are interested in the customer service position, and why, from the information you have read in the advert, you believe you are a great candidate for this position. The cover letter needs to catch the recruiter’s eye and I can easily spot the difference between a cover letter which is copy and pasted, vs one which the candidate has personalised to the position.
d. It’s tough out there! You may need to apply for 20 jobs before you get called for an interview, be prepared for this and keep trying. Do not give up!
e. If you have applied for positions online ensure you check your emails daily and keep your phone on you, if a recruiter tries to contact you and you only respond a week later, it may be too late.

South Africa Trims Repo Rate to 6.5%

The South African Reserve Bank cut its benchmark repo rate by 25 bps to 6.5 percent on July 18th 2019, as widely expected. It was the first rate cut since March last year. Policymakers noted that inflation expectations continued to moderate and said that they will continue to focus on anchoring it near the mid-point of the inflation target range. The Committee added that future policy decisions are highly data-dependent, sensitive to the assessment of the balance of risks to the outlook.

Excerpts from the statement by Governor Lesetja Kganyago:
The inflation forecast generated by the SARB’s Quarterly Projection Model (QPM) is for headline inflation to average 4.4% in 2019 (down from 4.5%). The projections for 2020 and 2021 remain unchanged at 5.1% and 4.6%, respectively. Headline CPI inflation is expected to peak at 5.4% in the first quarter of 2020 and settle at 4.5% in the last two quarters of 2021. The forecast for core inflation is lower at 4.4% in 2019 (down from 4.5%), 4.7% in 2020 (down from 4.8%) and is unchanged at 4.5% in 2021.
Since the May MPC, the rand has appreciated by 3.3% against the US dollar, by 2.4% against the euro, and by 2.3% on a trade-weighted basis. The implied starting point for the rand is R14.30 against the US dollar, compared with R14.40 at the time of the previous meeting. At these levels, the QPM assesses the rand to remain slightly undervalued. While the rand has benefited from improved sentiment towards riskier assets, it underperformed its emerging market peers due to idiosyncratic factors.
Domestic growth prospects and fiscal risks rate high among investor concerns. GDP contracted by 3.2% in the first quarter, reflecting weakness in most sectors of the economy. The sharp quarterly decline was primarily caused by electricity shortages and strikes that fed into broader weakness in investment, household consumption and employment growth. Based on recent short term indicators for the mining and manufacturing sectors, a rebound in GDP is expected in the second quarter of 2019. Continued low business confidence remains a concern for the MPC. The Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index averaged 46.3 points in the second quarter, remaining below the neutral level. The RMB/BER Business Confidence Index remains unchanged at 28 points. The SARB’s composite leading business cycle indicator continued to trend lower.
The SARB now expects GDP growth for 2019 to average 0.6% (down from 1.0% in May). The forecast for 2020 and 2021 is unchanged at 1.8% and 2.0% respectively. The MPC assesses the risks to the growth forecast to be balanced in the near term but remains concerned about longer-term risks. Investment prospects will continue to be limited in the absence of structural reforms. The escalation of trade tensions could have further negative impacts. While some cyclical factors constrained recent GDP growth outcomes, the Committee remains of the view that current challenges facing the economy are primarily structural in nature and cannot be resolved by monetary policy alone. Implementation of prudent macroeconomic policies together with structural reforms that raise potential growth and lower the cost structure of the economy remains urgent.
The overall risks to the inflation outlook are assessed to be largely balanced. Demand-side pressures are subdued, wages and rental prices are expected to increase at moderate rates and global inflation should remain low. In the absence of shocks, relative exchange rate stability is expected to continue.
Against this backdrop, the MPC unanimously decided to reduce the repurchase rate by 25 basis points to 6.5% per annum with effect from 19 July 2019. Monetary policy actions will continue to focus on anchoring inflation expectations near the mid-point of the inflation target range in the interest of balanced and sustainable growth. In this persistently uncertain environment, future policy decisions will continue to be highly data-dependent, sensitive to the assessment of the balance of risks to the outlook, and will seek to look-through temporary price shocks.
Source: https://tradingeconomics.com/

What could your job title be?

SAIBA opportunity

SAIBA has been given an awesome opportunity by Fasset to fund 35 candidates to obtain the BAP (SA) designation.
Are you:

  • a potential BAP (SA) candidate who has some of the qualification and some work experience required?
  • employed in the accounting field as a SAIBA or other professional body member?
  • a Commerce Graduate from a recognized tertiary institute in South Africa, (BCom, BCom, BAcc, BTech or National Diploma)? Tertiary institute means a University or University of Technology. This includes CTA or Honours students.
  • missing one of the SAIBA subject requirements for the designation:
    • Accounting III
    • Auditing II
    • Tax II
    • Management Accounting II
    • Corporate Law II

If you answered yes to any or all of the above, click here to find out how you can participate in this potentially life changing programme.

 

Milpark offering ICB graduates special deal

If you have a National Diploma Financial Accounting NQF6 qualification from ICB, you may apply for entry into the below registered qualifications at Milpark.

Milpark special for ICB Students:

The exemption fee is usually R1 050 per module, this has been reduced to R400 for the full parcel of exemptions for ICB students under this current progression route.

A maximum of 50% of the credits of the completed qualification may be transferred to another qualification.

For further information on this option please go to:

Designation: What is it and why does it matter?

In a society where there are so many people in the job market, and new people joining every year, it is nice to set yourself apart from the rest.  There is a certain sense of pride in receiving acknowledgement for the hard work it’s taken to achieve a certain level of competence.

A professional designation does just that – it is an official endorsement from a professional body, like the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers and Accountants, of your skills and experience.  It is that additional element you can add to your CV or business card that gives you bragging rights of your expertise.

As a Professional Body for finance professionals and office administrators, the ICBA award designations for people who hold recognised, registered qualifications and relevant work experience – while working to improve the perception and professionalism of our field.

We’ve rounded up some reasons why you need a Professional Designation:

  1. Having a designation gives you a sense of pride

It’s a great feeling when someone else acknowledges your skills and level of competence. Not only does this give a sense of pride, but with that comes a feeling of confidence in your ability in handling challenging situations.  You’ve learned the skills, but having the confidence to apply them and show your worth is a game changer.

  1. Having a designation shows a commitment to your role and your organisation

You take your career seriously and you want to show any company you’re currently a part of (or applying to be a part of) that you mean business.  Having a designations shows your commitment to your career and your future and gives greater work performance, making you the shining star in any organisation.

  1. Having a designation sets you apart from the crowd

Competing in the job market you need something that makes you stand out in the crowd, that something that distinguishes you from other staff members.  Having a designation shows dedication to your job and your plans to continue developing and growing as a professional, making you the better candidate in an interview room.

  1. Having a designation ensures your knowledge and skills are current

 In order to be awarded a designation – and maintain it going forward – you will need to have a commitment to lifelong learning.  Having a designation ensures your knowledge and skills are current and valid in a constantly changing workplace.

  1. Having a designation is recognition of your accumulated training

Being awarded a designation is support for the range of industry skills and knowledge you have acquired through a combination of education and experience.  By continuing your education and adding to your skills through formal training or continuous professional development, your designation can change and constant recognition is extremely rewarding.

If you’re interested in standing out from the rest – join the ICBA today and receive your designation!

VAT ADMINISTRATION CD COURSE 50% DISCOUNT SPECIAL

FOR this week ONLY !

VAT Administration CD Course

The VAT Administration Video Course is designed for individuals, staff and financial management that are required to calculate and submit VAT returns for a business, and have no or very little understanding/knowledge of how VAT really works.

The objectives of the training CD are:

  • Registrations – Supporting Documents and Forms to fill in VAT Categories
  • How to fill in the VAT201 form
  • Invoices – what are they supposed to look like?
  • E-Invoices – how am I supposed to store them?
  • Connected Persons
  • Accrual Basis / Invoice Basis compared to Payment Basis
  • The 10-Day Rule
  • Exceptions to the general time and value of supply

R 425.00
– Above on SPECIAL this Week Only!

 

 

OTHER SELF-STUDY COURSES AVAILABLE:

Basic Accounting to Trial Balance (Online & CD Available)
Trusts, Wills & Estate Planning (Online & CD Available)
Financial Statements (Online & CD Available)
Business Valuation (Online & CD Available)
Financial Administration (Online Only)
Financial Statements Ratio Analysis (Online Only)
Compromise & Deferment – Arrear Taxes (Online Only)
Manage Cash Flow & Profit (Online Only)
VAT Application Process (Online Only)
Company Registration & CIPC Procedure (Online Only)
Imports into South Africa (Online Only)

R 850.00 – per course

Access log in codes provided
Delivery cost included on all CD courses
CPD points certificate issued on completion of course

BOOK ONLINE