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a day in the life of tapiwa mutanha, finance business partner

Tapiwa Mutanha knew from an early age that he wanted to be a chartered accountant one day. We got to know him a bit better and found out what his job entails.

You’ve only got a few minutes to explain to someone you’ve just met what you do. What do you tell them, including your title and what it means? Think of this as your elevator pitch!

I’m a finance business partner in the credit division at Capitec. A finance business partner is basically an accountant who works closely with a specific business unit. In my case, it’s the credit division. I provide analyses to help with decision-making, for example, regarding budgets and forecasts.

How long have you been at Capitec?

I’m going into my second year at Capitec.

What’s the first thing you do when you get to the office every morning?

I check my task list. I run a daily task list and when I get in, the first thing I do is check the list from the day before to see if I had done everything. If there’s a task left over, I add it to my list for the day and use it as a starting point. I always arrange my task list according to priority. I’ll tackle the first task, and only then have breakfast and a cup of coffee. After that, I put my nose to the grindstone!

Tell us about a typical day at the office.

Every day differs depending on which period we’re in. At the moment I’m busy with year-end reporting, which is a hectic time for our division. From next week things will start to slow down a bit as we move into forecasting. It picks up again when it’s time do the forensic analysis, which I present to the directors.

Where do you fit in within Capitec? And who do you report to?

Tasneem is my direct manager but I also report to Anbann Chetti who is the head of accounting.

What are your go-to tools for getting your job done efficiently and effectively?

I have a to-do list, which is always on my desktop so that I can see at a glance exactly what needs to be done. I also use a task list on my email to help manage my day. It’s definitely a lifesaver, especially during the very busy periods.

What type of skills do you need to be good at what you do?

Apart from excellent advanced Excel skills there are quite a few skills you need to have as an accountant. You definitely need to have a head for figures and to be analytical, organised and adaptable. Discipline and hard work will also take you far.

What are you most excited about in your role?

Month-end is always an exciting time for me. It’s a good way to test your limits and a lot of people want things from me at the same time. I have to keep it together. It helps to tell myself, “Ok, I need to do this.” And deliver. I’m also excited because I still have much to learn from Capitec, especially in the credit division.

What did you study?

I completed a BCom (Accounting) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and then did my honours.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Growing up it wasn’t uncommon to want to be a doctor or a teacher if your mom was a nurse, like mine was. But I fell in love with accounting in Grade 9 and knew that’s what I wanted to do.

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