Prof Ben Marx heads accounting department UJ

Popular auditing lecturer Prof Ben Marx has taken over from his long-serving colleague Alex van der Watt as head of the accounting department at the University of Johannesburg. “I am very excited to be leading the best accounting department in the country and to work with its great, hard-working staff,” said Ben, who has also been a member of the panel of judges of the CFO Awards for the last four years.

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Pictured: Prof Ben Marx handing out a CFO Award in 2015 to Sasol CEO Bongani Nqwababa, who led a finance transformation project as CFO of Anglo American Platinum

While Alex van der Watt will take up a role at the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), Ben will finally step up to the plate after no less than ten years in a deputy role. "Nation building is very important for us at UJ," says Ben, who lauds the transformation at the department. UJ is known to have the lowest differences in success rates between black African and white passes when compared with other universities at SAICA's Initial Test of Competence (ITC).

Ben emphasises he is not going to be wrapped up in meetings now in his new role as HOD:

"I love teaching and I don't think it would benefit the department if I would become a full-time manager."

Both Ben and Alex also play an important role at private company APC, which presents courses to prepare for SAICA's Assessment of Professional Competence (APC).

Ben's ongoing role as judge in the panel of judges of the annual CFO Awards is an exciting addition, also for students, he has noticed:

"It is important to bring the classroom into practice and the other way around. It is nice to be part of the CFO Awards and to sit on a couple of boards and bring that experience back. Of the CFOs of listed companies, 80% are registered CA(SA). We like to believe we are educating future CEOs, CFOs and ministers of finance."