CANDICE PADAYACHEE is the forensic director for KPMG. She maintains primary responsibility and oversight of the Forensic Division in the Durban region, leading a multi-disciplinary team and engaging the firm's key clients.
Candice is an admitted attorney of the High Court, and holds a master's degree in Advanced Labour Law (Cum Laude) from the University of KwaZulu- Natal (Pietermaritzburg).
She was raised in Pietermaritzburg and began her career as an associate at a leading KwaZulu-Natal law firm, but was soon drawn to forensics. This interest was fuelled primarily by her passion for seeking justice and ensuring that as a country and as a community, ethics and right practice remain in place. Her view is that "fraud, bribery and corruption severely impact peoples' lives." She added, "It is so rewarding that the work KPMG Forensic does, actively infiltrates these economic crimes."
Candice particularly specialises in fraud risk management, forensic investigations, compliance management, and litigation support. "I am fully competent in the investigation process throughout the phases of preliminary considerations, planning, and gathering of information, analysis, reporting and closing. This includes the concept of embedding forensic technology in investigations."
She provides holistic management solutions to clients in the public and private sectors. Candice has a proven track record with business development and an established client portfolio, having assisted various organisations in a manner consistent with regulatory requirements and the organisation's business needs.
A passion for seeking the truth
Getting to where Candice is in her career involved a combination of things inside as well as outside her control. She remarks, "Clichéd as it may sound, my career required lots of hard work and sacrifices, both on my part and that of my family." Candice says that she has benefitted from the support of people around her, especially from her husband and two children, her parents, wider family and friends who have been the biggest supporters in her career progression.
She adds that 'tremendous colleagues and mentors at KPMG' encouraged her to pursue her dreams, and they also gave her the feedback she needed to develop her strengths and focus on the things that are important to her. Candice recognises the contribution of her team in achieving positive results. She believes that success in forensic requires a passion for seeking the truth and an objective mind to get the relevant facts.
An inspired leader
Candice feels inspired by many people. Firstly, her grandmother, a professional nurse who made many personal sacrifices to assist those around her. She illustrated that, in the end, there was great reward in one's dedication to willingly assist others. This encouraged Candice's passion and desire to study further and in her wanting to assist people for the greater good.
Secondly, Candice is inspired by her female professional colleagues, especially the former director of Forensic at KPMG, who became her mentor. She demonstrated the place and need for a strong female leader, according to Candice. "She could lead with strength and fierceness, but also with kindness and compassion. She was dedicated to the growth of young leaders." And this, in turn, inspires Candice to help develop young leaders.
She says that women often need a different approach to men to be successful in business, as they have different dynamics and relations to deal with. "As a woman you need to work hard, focus on the contribution you bring to the table, make sure you raise your voice when you need to be heard. Being a woman, being a mother and being a wife bring different challenges in business."
Work-life balance requires structures
Achieving a work-life balance is interesting for Candice. "It has become a buzz word in a busy world, yet means different things to different people", she remarks. For her, to achieve such balance requires a conscientious focus on structure. Together with her husband, they have set boundaries for family time. Her two young children require her attention after her workday and have a full homework schedule. She says it is important to set hours aside for her family and make sure that she is fully present during that time.
Family holidays are important and help create good memories that are essential for the children to have. Candice is proud that her children know her as a working mother, and she hopes that her example will help them believe that they can aspire to be anything that they are passionate about.
Live to fulfil a purpose
If she could, Candice would advise her younger self to believe more in her own abilities and "tune out the self-doubt". She would also assure herself that, "You already have everything you need in you", and that God is with her and ready to take her on journeys she could not even imagine.
Candice is pleased by her accomplishments but admits that she looks back with some disbelief at times. She wants to continue to live in a motivated way that fulfils her purpose in life. At a personal level she wants to grow her leadership abilities, grow in the firm, and grow as a person in every way. "I feel that I am still young, that most of my journey still lies ahead and there are exciting things to come," she concludes.