CPA Profile
Estée Bekker

CPA Profile
Estée Bekker
A black and white headshot portrait photograph of Estée Bekker grinning
Title: Qualified Financial Accountant
Company: The Kenworth Group, South Africa.
Qualifications: Post-graduate diploma: Professional Accountant in Practice

Bachelor of Commerce: Majoring in Cost and Management Accounting

Professional Memberships: CPA, SAIPA, SAIBA

Why did you decide to start out in a career in accountancy?
I started out my career in the medical field working in the operating theatres at the local hospital. It is there where I met my husband, a paramedic, and soon we were married, and I gave birth to my son.

The hours required by the medical field proved to be too much with a small baby who needed his mother. I decided to leave the profession altogether and move over to the finance industry. But being the determined person I am, I decided that if I am going to make this change, I am going to do it thoroughly and to the best of my ability. When my son was 12 weeks old, I started my accounting internship whilst studying for my degree online.

Why did you choose CPA Ireland as your qualification route?
In 2021, my husband received a job opportunity that we simply could not pass up. He took the job and moved to Ireland in March 2022. This happened to be just before I took my SAIPA board exams in June 2022 which was a very stressful time. I started to look at what my options were to follow him over on my own work permit.

For an accountant to go over to Ireland on a critical skill employment permit you must belong to a regulatory body in Ireland.

I discovered that SAIPA enjoys a Mutual Recognition Agreement with CPA Ireland. I was absolutely thrilled and after passing my SAIPA board exams I followed the steps to join CPA Ireland (which included a course on Irish tax and Irish law). I thought that CPA Ireland would simply be my ticket into Ireland, but I have since discovered that CPA Ireland is so much more. SAIPA is like family to me, and I could have never imagined I would find the same in CPA Ireland.

Every person I have had contact with at CPA Ireland has been amazing, so supportive, so friendly, and so professional. I am truly, completely, and fully SAIPA & CPA Ireland proud. What an absolute honour to belong to both these prestigious bodies.

Two women are sitting at a table chatting where one of them has a laptop in front of her and the other has a notebook in front of her
Please provide a brief history of your career.
My accounting career started at a wonderful firm in my hometown, Taxco Accountants and Tax Consultants, where I completed my internship. I arrived a shy young girl, fresh out of the medical field, and the partners there not only trained me, but guided me and supported me into becoming the accountant I am today.

After successfully completing my internship, I found a wonderful role in the finance department of a large firm specializing in construction, residential and commercial letting as well as retail. I completed my degree, did a post graduate diploma, and went on to successfully complete my board exams and become a full member with SAIPA as a professional accountant in practice.

What one word describes what your CPA qualification has given you?
My future.
What has been your biggest career achievement?
My biggest career achievement has most certainly been my acceptance, all the way from South Africa, as a full member with CPA Ireland. And then of course to actually find work in Ireland. I was very fortunate to have found a role with a firm which is situated less than 4km away from the rental which my husband has already secured for us. Currently my critical skill permit is in process and I am sorting out the last few things before my son and I leave for Ireland.
What or who inspires you most in business?
I am inspired by people in business who have succeeded despite all the many roadblocks that were in their way. To get where you want to be or to succeed you must sometimes struggle through very trying times and often you must simply not accept the word “no”.

If I had to stop every time someone told me “No” I wouldn’t be where I am today. Determination and perseverance are absolutely the key to success and people who manage this are extremely inspirational to me.

What advice would you give to those recently qualified or currently studying for their CPA qualification?
Know your worth. Believe in yourself and believe in what you deserve.
How do you unwind?
I have a big passion and love for horse riding. It is the activity I consider “me time”. I also unwind by spending time with my family, even the four-legged family members. I also love to indulge in a good series on Netflix.
What traits do you admire in others?
I often admire traits in other which I struggle with personally – people who only see the best in others… who are patient… and who are always positive.