What do Chartered Accountants (CAs) do? Exploring career options post-articles

We recently hosted a webinar titled “What do CAs Do?” which aims to shed light on the diverse career opportunities available to Chartered Accountants (CAs) in South Africa and abroad. The session featured a panel of successful CAs who shared their experiences and insights on navigating the job market after completing their articles.

If you missed it, you can watch the recording below or read a summary of the key points in this article.

Who is Blue Recruiting?

Blue Recruiting is a specialist finance and data services recruitment consultancy. Closing out articles, and moving into the “real world” can feel like a daunting task as a SAICA trainee. The goal of this webinar is to help newly qualified and soon-to-be qualified CAs make informed career choices that align with their personal and professional goals. The webinar provides clarity on the various roles CAs can pursue and first-hand advice from seasoned professionals that have been through the experience themselves.

Insights from Graeme Marais, Blue Recruiting Director

Director of Blue Recruiting, Graeme Marais, is a CA himself who founded Blue Recruiting alongside James Hobson, an experienced recruiter, a little over 10 years ago. Graeme realised there was a gap in the market in placing newly qualified Chartered Accountants post-SAICA traineeship (often referred to as articles).

Reflecting on his own career journey, Graham believes that the first step post-articles does not define one’s entire career. Graham has had an eclectic path, which included working as a game ranger and a strategy consultant before founding Blue Recruiting. His primary advice is to avoid placing undue pressure on oneself to have everything figured out immediately.

Panelist experiences

Lethu's journey: From South Africa to the UK

Lethukuthula Mathebula, completed her articles at Deloitte in South Africa in 2020. This was during the peak of COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in her taking up a remote role as an Assistant Manager for Deloitte Birmingham. Post-pandemic, she moved to EY in the UK. She now works in business risk consulting and internal audit, which she finds more engaging and aligned with her interests.

  • Transition to EY UK: Moved from Deloitte South Africa to EY in the UK.
  • Exploration and growth: Although her initial role in auditing was not entirely satisfying, it helped her refine her long-term career goals.
  • Current role: Now in business risk consulting and internal audit, finding it more engaging.
  • Her advice to others: Be open to change and seek roles that align with your passion.


Farrah's transition: From Financial Manager to Head of Finance

Farha Jhetam transitioned from audit trainee at KPMG, where she completed her articles 2021 to a Financial Manager role. She then joined a smaller agency, Mscsports as Head of Finance. She highlighted the differences between working in a large corporate environment and a smaller firm.


  • From KPMG to Mscsports: Farrah’s current role as Head of Finance involves a variety of responsibilities, including financial reporting, cash management, and operational audits. 
  • Growth and responsibilities: She quickly transitioned from Financial Manager at KPMG to Head of Finance, involving diverse financial responsibilities.
  • Work environment: Although there are advantages to working for a large corporate or firm, she personally highlighted the benefits of working in a smaller, passionate team.
  • Advice: She stressed the importance of finding a job that matches one’s interests and the value of working in an environment where people are passionate about the industry.

Suné's transition: From Bloem to London

Suné Kassimatis completed her traineeship at EY in Bloemfontein in 2020 and then worked as an Assurance Supervisor before taking up an opportunity through Blue Recruiting to join BDO in the UK. She shared her experience of moving from South Africa to the UK, highlighting the challenges and opportunities she encountered along the way. 


  • Transition to BDO UK: Moving from a big firm like EY to BDO was a significant change. Suné found BDO to be less structured than EY, which allowed her more freedom to contribute to how things were done.
  • Exploration and growth: She is currently exploring a secondment in the audit quality department at BDO, which would involve setting up BDO’s methodology.
  • Cultural adaptation: Adapting to the working culture in the UK was a key part of her experience, and she encouraged others to take similar opportunities to broaden their horizons.

Zoë's path: From ABSA to Sustainable Finance

Zoë Masilo shared her diverse experiences within the financial services sector, from completing her articles at ABSA to working in various roles before moving into consulting at Monocle Solutions. Her journey highlights the versatility of a CA qualification and the opportunities available within different segments of the financial industry.

  • ABSA experience: Zoë rotated through financial control, management accounting, internal audit, and credit analysis.
  • Sustainable finance role: Zoë eventually settled in sustainable finance within the investment banking sector, where she structured loans and bonds with environmental, social and governance (ESG) components.
  • Transition to consulting: She now works at Monocle Solutions, specializing in implementation consulting within the financial sector.
  • Advice: Zoë’s advice is to learn continuously, network extensively, and align your career with your personal values and interests.

Tshifhiwa's journey: From Asset Management to Private Equity

Tshifhiwa provided insights into his journey from asset management to private equity, a path that many CAs aspire to but find challenging to navigate. Starting his career at KPMG, Tshifhiwa quickly realized that auditing was not his long-term goal. He strategically positioned himself for a move into finance and ultimately private equity.

  • Early positioning: Tshifhiwa invested in personal capacity and learned financial modeling early on.
  • Asset management role: He gained experience managing institutional and retail investors’ money.
  • Transition to private equity: He later joined Norfund, focusing on buying and selling businesses.
  • Development focus: Emphasises development outcomes like employment creation and renewable energy.
  • Advice: Tshifhiwa’s advice is to continuously upgrade your skills and leverage networks for career advancement.

Liron's unique journey: From Corporate Finance to Startups

Liron Leiboff provided a unique perspective, having transitioned from corporate finance at Nedbank to sales and marketing roles in startups. He emphasized the value of gaining broad business experience and the importance of being adaptable. Leon’s journey reflects the potential for CAs to explore non-traditional roles and the benefits of working in dynamic, fast-paced environments.

  • Initial role: Liron started in corporate finance at Nedbank and later moved into consulting.
  • Exploration and growth: He took on various roles, including sales and marketing, in startups.
  • Current role: Recently, he started a position as Group Financial Controller at a private equity-backed business.
  • Advice: Be adaptable, explore different roles, and leverage your broad business experience.

Tips for newly qualified CAs

  • Network extensively: Building a strong professional network can open doors to various opportunities. Engage with stakeholders, attend industry events, and leverage platforms like LinkedIn to connect with potential employers and mentors.

  • Pursue further education and certifications: Consider additional courses or certifications to differentiate yourself in the job market. Areas like data analytics, ESG, and financial modeling are highly sought after.

  • Stay open to diverse opportunities: Don’t pigeonhole yourself into a specific role or industry. Explore different sectors and job functions to find what truly excites you.

  • Leverage recruitment agencies: Partnering with specialist recruitment agencies like Blue Recruiting can provide valuable insights and access to exclusive job opportunities.

  • Prepare for the long haul: Understand that the job search process can be lengthy and involve multiple interviews. Stay resilient and persistent, and don’t be discouraged by initial rejections.

Looking for opportunities in finance or data services in South Africa or abroad?

View our job search page for available opportunities or contact us to chat to one of our experienced recruitment consultants.