Remotely managing a training office full of SAICA clerks

Accountants and auditors have been known to be predictable and set in their ways.

Then came COVID-19 and the various lockdowns and suddenly everything changed. CAs have been trained with the new regulations to be adaptable in every business environment, but the recent series of events tested every aspect of our professional being. Many of us are still struggling to adjust to the drastic change of working from home when needed.

A SAICA “training officer” refers to an individual who is a CA(SA) and who is responsible for performing the functions and duties ascribed to a training officer in terms of these regulations of which the most important is supervising, managing and training clerks, which can be very challenging in these circumstances.

In SAICA’s webinar series, Leadership in a time of crisis, SAICA invited Organisation Development (OD) Consultant and founder of Smarter EQ, Paolo Giuricich, to share his advice on how to acclimatise to working and leading remotely.

Remote working offers a very good opportunity for leaders. “It’s time to let go and trust your colleagues,” says Giuricich. “If you’re a micromanager, let go of the small tasks that others should be handling, and rather start to take care of the emotional state of your team.”

This is all good and well, but very difficult to implement. It requires multi-tasking in every aspect of our profession, communicating and supervising clerks in modern technological ways, while still monitoring their progress effectively.

These circumstances also gave us the opportunity to use amazing online, remote applications, programs and tools to assist us in operating efficiently. Microsoft Teams became the replacement for verbal communication and brought numerous advantages with it. Working fully online has increased security, back-ups and online training. Remote working means working outside of a traditional office environment and in a new-age modern working environment. Using clear communication guidelines and strictly setting expectations have made this possible.

Remotely managed clerks have gained so much experience and earned responsibility for managing their own time and productivity. This earned them various competencies advancing them in their SAICA articles and exciting them for the modern age world that lies before them with endless opportunities.

We now know that we can operate fully efficiently remotely, or at the office and this we have adapted, improved, and developed in every possible professional manner.

Article by J Botha
Director (BVSA and LGE)
BVSA Chartered Accountants (Pty) Ltd

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