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 On the career path that is the CA (SA), your training office is the universal first important step before the trail forks into a number of different directions – and perhaps you have landed up in a training office that doesn’t quite fit into the big picture that you have mapped out for yourself and you can’t quite see how it’s going to get you back to the path that you need to be on.

There’s no need to worry if you’re not currently sitting in a cubicle at one of the Big Four and instead find yourself in a small office in a place like Mokopane, Limpopo. It doesn’t mean the death knell of your career is ringing. In fact, it could prove to be the greatest opportunity you will get if you open your mind to the possibilities and embrace just what it is you are there to do: learn and grow.

Even if the training office you are in is your first choice and you are climbing the ladder precisely as you planned, it never hurts to get some perspective to help you make the most of your time as a trainee.

Possibly the most important fact you can come to terms with as a trainee – and the sooner you realise it, the better for your future – is that the training environment you find yourself in does not limit your career in the slightest. The only factor that could limit your career is a failure to take advantage of the teachings, guidance and mentorship offered to you.

SAICA puts in place stringent training regulations to ensure that every accredited training office fulfils its objective of turning out competent and professional CAs (SA). An organisation – whether in commerce, industry, public practice or the public sector - will only be granted accreditation if it can adequately demonstrate that it is economically sustainable and, with public practice organisations, includes a client base large enough to provide the necessary competencies and experience to you as trainees.

“The most important criterion for accreditation is the ability to deliver the appropriate range, depth and quality of training and experience, and no organisation will be excluded from accreditation solely on the grounds of sector,” SAICA’s Training Regulations state. This means that whatever training office you are placed in is able to offer you with all the possible training, support and experience that you will need to become the CA (SA) you are working towards.

Ultimately your success is your responsibility and will depend on the amount of work and commitment that you put in to your years as a trainee: make the most of it and in all likelihood you will find yourself in just the position you envisioned when you began the journey.

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