Sumaya West

Corporate Governance & Auditing (CGA)

Subject Head: Corporate Governance and Auditing

“You don’t need a big idea, you need big how’s” – Dan Brown

My alma mater

University of Cape Town (UCT)

Personal and professional goals

I believe that when my personal goals are aligned with my professional goals, then anything is possible! Personally, I aim to lead and embrace all my roles with empathy, sincerity and authenticity. Wearing many hats, often at the same time, as a wife, daughter, mother and academic challenges these characteristics. As long as my professional goals align to my moral compass, then any goal is achievable.

A relevant achievement or accomplishment – including professional and other qualifications

I believe that my biggest professional and personal achievement was overcoming the deep disappointment of failing my first ITC examination. The mental and physical strength needed to get through that period was enormous, but I conquered it by passing both ITC (second sitting) and the PPE examination in the same year. My other personal achievement was completing my Masters degree with two young children and juggling a full time academic career as an Auditing lecturer and Section Head.

Other achievements:

  • Successfully graduating Honours students, specializing in Higher Education Studies
  • Successfully designing and implementing tutor training programmes at the College of Accounting (UCT)
  • Previous member of the CFAS (Committee for Auditing Standards) at the IRBA
  • Departmental representative – UCT Senate
  • Member of UCT’s NGP (Next Generation Professoriate) Programme
  • Previous team member of the UCT ITC Board Course
  • Active involvement in transformation initiatives in the profession
  • Member of UCT’s Faculty of Sciences Readmission Committee
  • External examiner to Milpark, UWC, Unizulu and Walter Sisulu University
  • Key advisory role in Auditing curriculum design and development at Unizulu and Walter Sisulu University
Overview of qualifications, skills and areas of expertise
  • CA(SA) – SAICA
  • Masters in Higher Education Studies (UCT)
  • CTA (University of Kwazulu Natal)
  • Bachelor of Commerce (UCT)
Why are you proud to be a part of the CA Connect team?

To be part of a dynamic, high performing team is a daily reminder of how blessed I am! This is a unique team that genuinely cares for students and its staff – celebrating, empathizing, learning, growing and achieving, touching the lives of thousands. Bigger things are yet to come!

Which of the CAC Values appeal to you the most and why? (Real, Care, Learn)

Real – I believe that being “real” allows me to show up as myself, be an authentic role-model to those close to me, to students and colleagues, without compromising my personal beliefs. Being “real” allows me to “care” deeply and authentically, and to “learn and relearn” in a safe, supportive environment like CA Connect.

Explain if and why education has the power to change South Africa?

The accounting education landscape is broader that content delivery. As an academic, I strive to lead and teach with empathy and sincerity – this extends far beyond the curriculum. This enables students to believe in themselves, build confidence, unlock potential and grow to be great future leaders in the profession and in South Africa.

What does the CA(SA) qualification represent to you?

The CA(SA) qualification DOES NOT represent technical knowledge only. It represents a learning journey where sacrifices were made by the individual, their families and communities. It provides a platform for growth, opportunity and transformation of the mind.

If you think of the word “successful,” who is the first person that comes to mind and why?

My definition of success is not confined to the conventional understanding of “academic or financial success”. I think of my late father as embodying the true meaning of success – he may not have achieved the financial freedom as many others, but he was successful in his relationships with his family and those close to him. He too led with the sincerity, authenticity and respect – these are the characteristics I aspire to when teaching, to ensure that our students are successful human beings first before being successful professionals.

What does the future of education look like to you?

Flexible, catering to individual needs, facilitating critical and integrated thinking

If you had to define the role of a “teacher”, what would it say?

The following quote embodies the role of a teacher:

  • “A teacher is born, but a great teacher is made great by his/her changes”
  • Great teachers respond and adapt to the changing environment to align with common goals. This is seen as CA Connect responds to the changes in education and the South African landscape.