See full profile: Fourways Accountant - Jess Carrington
Were you always planning to be an accountant and why?
No, I had no idea what I wanted to do when I left school. I only realised how much I enjoyed working with numbers when I was working for a NPO as a receptionist and they asked if I would assist with the day to day data capturing of the accounts. I eventually moved on to work in the finance department for an international telecommunications company. This is where my passion really sparked. I had a fantastic manager and mentor, which definitely helped. It was here that I decided to formally study financial accounting. It has been a slow and steady process, studying correspondence while working full time and now running my own business but I have treasured every step of the way. At the best of times and at the worst of times, I wouldn’t choose to do anything else.
When meeting with clients do they mostly come to your own premises or do you mostly go their theirs?
What is your preferred mode of communication with your clients?
Email, Phone, Face to Face, Skype, WhatsApp
Have you ever done an online video call with a client?
What do you love most about accounting?
I enjoy analysing and evaluating financial information.
I love being able to educate and train my clients on how to utilise the information provided to make informed business decisions.
It is always exciting to see businesses flourish when they are provided with useable and understandable financial information that helps to improve their business decisions.
Would you recommend accounting as a career for school-leavers, and why?
There are parts of the job that can be routine and mundane and even sometimes frustrating but if you enjoy compiling, evaluating and analysing financial data, then yes definitely.
You can survive in this field with just a qualification but to truly thrive I would recommend that you truly be passionate and love this type of work, it gets you through the mundane and frustrating days.
What qualities should South African business people be looking for in their accountant?
> Ethical; > Integrity; > Open and honest communication; > Someone that can be more than just an outsourced, someone that can become part of your team.
What is the biggest challenge facing accountants today?
> Constant changing legislation; > Government corruption; > Lack of understandable information provided to the general public regarding compliance and record keeping requirements;
What aspects of accounting do you focus on most?
> Ensuring clients are compliant with all related legislation; > Client education and training regarding related legislation and compliance.
Describe your average client:
Sole Proprietors/Start-ups/Small Enterprises with 1 to 20 employees.
How far away from your premises is your furthest client?
I am based in Fourways, Johannesburg and my furthest client is based in Amanzimtoti, Durban.
From your accounting experience, if you could cite one of the biggest reasons SME's in SA fail, what would it be?
General lack of understanding of related legislation and what is required to be compliant.
What accounting software do you like best?
Sage One Business Cloud
What other software, online services or apps do you use?
CaseWare Cloud & SmartPractice
Do you think the coming wave of automation in the next few years will steal some accounting jobs and why/why not?
Not necessarily. Perhaps the need for data capturers and junior bookkeepers will be reduced, since even current automation systems have made it possible to reduce the amount of hours for manual data capture. For example, automatic bank feeds and applications that automate data entry by accurately capturing, analysing and posting invoices, receipts, expenses & statements into the preferred accounting solution. I think that qualified accountants and tax practitioners will still be required to evaluate, analyse and interpret the financial information. As well as to educate and inform the client thereof.
What is your opinion on Bitcoin?
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Reading; Hiking; Studying; Research
What is the most interesting thing on your bucket list?
I don't have a bucket list...
What has your experience been on FindanAccountant?
See how our other local South African accountants have answered the above questions.