Richard Tagg, who completed his degree in Accounting at Rhodes University, recently passed his Public Practice Exam and is now doing his articles at Ernst & Young.
1. Why did you choose a career in auditing?
I initially did a degree in Information Systems, but did not feel like doing honours. Rhodes University was good times, and I was not ready to leave, so in order to stay for an extra 2 years, I did accounting. It was between law and accounts, and I felt more comfortable in my accounting ability.
2. What impressed you most about Ernst & Young?
Quite honestly, it was my first offer. All my friends went to KPMG, but I do not regret being at Ernst & Young for a second; going as far to say that through discussions with my friends, Ernst & Young would have been my 1st choice. What impresses me most is the flat hierarchical structure, where it is easy to chat to the partners/executive like I would to someone who is a mate; there are no inflated egos at the firm.
3. Now that you have passed you PPE exam, where do you see your career taking you?
Very good question – I haven’t made a decision just yet, I guess I am just trying to get through the year. I definitely would like to take full advantage of Ernst & Young’s JIT programme, I think working overseas will give me tremendous advantage.
4. When was the first time you heard about Ernst & Young?
I learnt about Ernst & Young from graduate recruitment at Rhodes.
Learnt of the other big 4 from TV (KPMG – rugby; PWC – cricket rankings; Deloitte – Golf sponsorship).
5. What do you enjoy most about your chosen career?
I like the feeling of accomplishment in now being recognised by a professional body like the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA).
6. What advice would you give to a high school graduate looking to take a career in auditing?
Times are tough and there is a lot of hard work, but the end is very satisfying; as much so as the hard work and long nights are all worth it. It opens up more doors than you can imagine.
7. What experiences have you gained during your time at Ernst & Young?
I have been through many long nights and stressful days but in the process I have made many friends. The job is definitely character building, but the quality of people makes it easier.
8. Diversity at work, how would you say Ernst & Young best encapsulates this statement?
Everyone bringing their strengths from their different backgrounds to create a stronger team.