Helena holds a Masters degree in Forensic Accountancy from the North West University (Potchefstroom Campus). She also obtained the BCompt and BCompt Honours degrees from UNISA, and has completed SAICA articles. Helena is a registered Professional Accountant (SA) and Tax Practitioner. She has more than 19 years experience in accounting, external and internal auditing, and more than 4 years forensic audit and investigation experience.
Mrs Kurland holds membership of three professional associations in South Africa namely the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA) (Full member), the Institute for Internal Auditors (IIA SA) (Full member) and the Association for Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE SA) (Associate member). She is also registered with the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) (Level A).
She started her career as a bookkeeper at Head Office level of Saffer & Company and managed the accounts of four branches. Mrs Kurland later moved to the Rolling Stock Division of Dorbyl Limited where she managed the full accounting function. In 1999 she started her articles and completed it at Octagon in 2003. She became audit manager and managed the large group company audits.
Helena prepared monthly management accounts, including ratio analysis, for many clients. She prepared and processed the (monthly) correcting journal entries as well as the final year end journal entries raised during the audits. In addition, Helena prepared annual financial statements according to GAAP/IFRS and prepared and submitted the annual tax returns for companies, trusts, body corporates, NPO's and individuals.
Mrs Kurland pioneered the Internal Control Reviews for various clients and obtained in-depth knowledge of internal control reviews during this time. She developed internal audit programs and procedures through the identification of risk areas within corporations, and executed the internal audit assignments. She prepared comprehensive reports for management after every assignment. Helena followed up on the implementation of corrective action and where needed, assisted management with the implementation thereof.
She was seconded by Octagon Chartered Accountants to a forensic investigation firm (at the time an audit client of Octagon) where she obtained valuable practical experience in, inter alia, forensic investigations, forensic audits, expert witnessing and employee profiling.
During this time she got involved in a large-scale investigation at the Department of Minerals and Energy. She acted as an expert witness during the disciplinary hearing, resulting in the employee being dismissed.
On her return to Octagon, Mrs Kurland started up Octagon Forensic Accounting. As managing director, she was responsible for the marketing, client liaison, administration and investigations.
She was, inter alia, involved in an investigation at the Auditor General South Africa regarding possible tender irregularities, as well as an investigation at Northam Platinum Limited concerning possible land claims by (indirectly) affected parties. Helena wrote an Accounting Policies and Procedures Manual for the Hatfield VW group, and acted as Assistant Manager on behalf of the Auditor General during the statutory audit of Transport Seta (TETA).
As director at Dawn Advisory Services, she was yet again responsible for the marketing, administration and investigations of the new Forensic Services division. She also wrote a Standard Operating Procedure Manual and a Monitoring and Evaluation Policy for the CIDB.
After leaving Dawn Advisory Services, Mrs Kurland started working as an independent contractor and Kurland Accounting Services was born.