Stephen Ntsoane, Assurance Leader at EY South Africa, has received special recognition for his contribution to the South African professional services industry. The Special Commendation in the Big 4 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.

“Stephen is undoubtedly a great asset, both for the company he works for and the profession to which he belongs,” the judges remarked. “It is impressive that at a fairly young age he has been tasked with heading the Assurance division which is the heart-beat and DNA of the organisation. He takes mentorship seriously, believing in story telling as a means to mentor young professionals within and outside of EY. His story is one of perseverance, from humble beginnings in Soweto studying through multiple universities and obtaining experience through a couple of firms to becoming a chartered accountant and partner of one of the world’s most recogniseable audit brands.”

Watch Stephen Ntsoane’s acceptance speech below: