“It happened by accident, a very fortunate accident…” Brigitte Kisting recalls, as she reflects on her academic journey in accounting. Today, she is a qualified chartered accountant (CA), who has worked as an Associate Director in two of the largest and most renowned audit firms in the country. Not having many options after school due to finances, the tables surely turned on Kisting when she obtained a bursary to study accounting, and as she recalls, “everything fell into place after that”.
Recently appointed as Chief Internal Auditor at Nedbank Namibia, Kisting’s vision in her new role is for internal audit to become an invaluable partner to the business. She grabbed the opportunity to work for the green bank due to the vast mentorship opportunities among peers in the field as well as the opportunity to make her mark in building the internal audit capacity.
Growing up, she dreamt of becoming a journalist but destiny took Kisting on a different course. The desire to rise above her circumstances and make a difference led her down the fascinating CA path.
”The fact that there are so many different career opportunities truly fascinates me about this field, it transcends the traditional roles,” Kisting highlights. This is illustrated by her role with Nedbank Namibia, where she evaluates accounting, financial, credit and other operational activities, as an independent appraisal function.
She believes that chartered accountants can make vast contributions to the success of a business, given their qualifications, skills and experience – and successful businesses contribute towards our economy. The stereotype that chartered accountancy is dull and boring could not be further from the truth. Nedbank Namibia has shown that chartered accountants are highly valued and seen as strategic financial advisors, especially in the complex business environment today. Obtaining sound advice from a qualified CA enables businesses to carefully navigate the uncertainty in a fast-changing world. Apart from being known for their professional expertise and strong work ethic, being a CA allows you to immerse yourself in what it means to make and ensure a business remains successful.
CA qualifications are recognised globally, so you will be in demand at home and abroad.
Kisting obtained her undergraduate accounting degree from the University of Namibia and went on to complete her CTA, by distance learning through the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. After completing her articles and qualifying as a CA, she then went on to specialise in forensic investigations and disputes. Her academic and professional journey has exposed her to many remarkable chartered accountants in Namibia, who she looks up to. She particularly values those who have succeeded despite difficult circumstances. A reading enthusiast and a traveller at heart, Kisting yearns to spread her wings and live, and work abroad for a couple of years. However, before she ticks that item off her bucket list, Kisting is working hard to leave behind a legacy at Nedbank Namibia, where she anticipates strengthening audit value within the organisation.
Kisting encourages female Namibians to follow in her footsteps and become trailblazers in the field. “It is one of the most empowering things you can do for yourself, it takes hard work, but once you are on the other side, it is more than worth it.” Strong words of advice indeed!