Vianca Pretorius, an assurance partner at audit and advisory firm BDO, has received special recognition for her contribution to the South African professional services industry. The Special Commendation in the Woman Professional of the Year category was granted by the SA Professional Services Awards sponsored by Sanlam and W. Consulting.

Professionals from various organisations were set to gather at a gala dinner in Montecasino Ball Room on the evening of 19 March 2020 to honour the best amongst them. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the SAPSA Awards were indefinitely postponed. The organisers of the event have subsequently undertaken to progressively announce the winners for the 2019/2020 edition prior to hosting a gathering for all finalists and guests. This marks the fifth edition of the Awards following a rigorous process of determining winners through strict criteria.

Janette Minnaar, the chair of the adjudication panel explained how the winners were determined.

“Individuals were judged based on a host of attributes including demonstration of leadership skills, changing of paradigms and innovation within the bounds of available resources. We also conferred a number of Lifetime Achievement Awards to deserving recipients who had served their professions faithfully for many years,” said Minnaar.

The firm awards were based on the following criteria – business growth, customer service, technical excellence, contribution to the community, contribution to the profession, transformation record and commitment to ethics and professionalism. The criteria were not equally weighted, a strong showing in one category was sufficient to put the firm above the rest.

“Vianca is undoubtedly a great asset, both for the company she works for and the profession to which she belongs,” the judges remarked. “It is impressive that at a fairly young age she has been tasked with acting as the sign off partner for several listed engagements. She has an impressive CV having been a finalist for Young Professional Awards from SAICATop35 and SAPSA and having furthered her academic knowledge by obtaining two Masters degrees in Taxation and IFRS. Despite being an audit partner with an impressive portfolio, Vianca exhibits a caring attitude for development of other staff listing her heading up of the learning and development of her firm as the most memorable of her career.”

Watch Vianca Pretorius acceptance speech below: