Assurance Leader Stephen Ntsoane is passionate about touching lives

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Assurance Leader Stephen Ntsoane is passionate about touching lives

Jun 6, 2024 | Strategy & Leadership

Stephen Ntsoane was born and raised in Soweto, Johannesburg where he matriculated at Fonsluminis High School. He went on pursue a 3-year National Diploma in Cost and Management Accounting at Technikon Witwatersrand. Navigating his way to a Chartered Accountancy qualification, he did a 1-year bridging course at the University of Johannesburg (previously RAU) and completed CTA at the University of Kwa-Zulu- Natal through distance learning.

He started his career at EY as a junior accountant in 2001, and in 2004 joined a medium sized firm to do articles and went on to work as an Audit Manager. In 2009, he returned to EY as Senior Manager, was promoted to Associate Director in 2012 and made Partner in 2014. He was appointed as Assurance Leader South Africa in July 2018.

‘It is a huge responsibility, a great honour and privilege to lead a practice that I consider to be the heart-beat of our firm.  Our firm broadly draws its DNA from our Assurance practice that has been built over the years by my predecessors whom I admire greatly. My ambition is to leave the business better that I found it with our values further entrenched and a business that continues to afford all our people equal opportunities and great EY experiences,’ Stephen says.

Stephen describes his management style as collaborative, as he likes to engage with people.

‘I want people to develop, so our environment must provide flexibility and people must be allowed the space to express themselves. I lead through influence, so it is a persuasive style in the main. I would say I am a strategic and cautious leader at times. Given my engaging persona, this provides me with the flexibility and agility to respond to circumstances as they require,’ he states.

Touching lives

Stephen is passionate about the opportunity to touch people’s lives daily and his role provides an opportunity to do that. He is always excited about the opportunity to inspire staff and most importantly the opportunity to provide exceptional service to clients. Not living up to the trust bestowed on by clients, people and communities would keep him awake at night.

Stephen is also invested in mentorship. ‘I encourage informal mentorship, I believe in story telling – when you share your career journey with others, you provide an opportunity for others to validate their strengths and identify areas of development. I never want to take away the human element from mentorship, I want the next person to relate to my story. I personally have mentors that are inside and outside of EY,’ he explains.

Lately, Stephen has assumed the role of Chairman of the SAICA’s Assurance Leaders Forum which serves public interest.

‘The forum seeks collaboration with various stakeholders influencing changes in our policy framework which include actions to strengthen the profession including engagements with regulators and other players in the financial reporting ecosystem. We need to take actions that will retain SAICA as the number one accounting profession globally. The Assurance Leaders forum exists to share knowledge and to impact the profession as a whole. As an audit profession we are determined to restore trust; my encouragement of the broader profession is to engage with their leadership to understand their contribution to the Assurance Leaders Forum and to unite the profession around quality, ethics and independence,’ Stephen concludes.

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