Good governance achieved through constant, diligent work

Eastern Cape auditor-general business executive Shereen Noble
CRUNCHING NUMBERS: Eastern Cape auditor-general business executive Shereen Noble
Image: Supplied

Proper good governance does not happen overnight — it takes municipalities and its employees working on it on a daily basis, every single day.

In Women’s Month, Eastern Cape auditor-general business executive Shereen Noble spoke on what it took for municipalities to receive clean audits as well as offering words of inspiration for those wanting to become chartered accountants.

Born in Butterworth, Noble, 45, graduated from Nelson Mandela University (formerly the University of Port Elizabeth) and started her career at Deloitte in East London before being seconded to the AG’s office in 2003.

“I’m responsible for looking after the provincial office and for auditing all the government money coming through to the Eastern Cape.

“I manage a team and we work on the same principle as normal auditing firms but we audit public funds.

“We look at how public funds are spent and give thorough recommendations and follow up with the political and administrative leadership to try to influence them for better practices,” she said.

Noble said the environment she worked in was ever-changing as they dealt with different things most of the time.

In the AG’s 2018/2019 financial year audit, only one municipality of the province’s 39 received a clean audit outcome.

“What’s important in governance is to have proper good-governance controls that are exercised daily.

“Every single employee needs to do what he or she has to do daily. They should focus on preventive controls and focus on accountability.”

She said the AG’s office in the Eastern Cape was the largest producer of black chartered accountants in the province, and it also had the largest chartered accounting training office.

“When you can develop skills for the province and country within government, it is exciting,” she said.

It is a position that comes with its own challenges. Noble said her biggest challenge so far was finding the balance between her roles as mother, wife, daughter and friend.

“We have so many roles to fulfil, and in the beginning I spent a lot of time on my career. But then I realised I had other roles, and that’s where organisation and prioritisation came into play,” she said.

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