How Makosi is changing the accounting and auditing professions
Makosi is the brainchild of South African Chartered Accountant (CA) Darren Isaacs, who came up with the idea of providing a home for fellow accountants looking to fast-track their careers on a motorcycle trip through Africa at the beginning of the 2000’s.
“At the time, I was a fresh CA trainee. I know what it’s like to go through years of hard work to become a CA. It’s a tough course and once you’re qualified you tend to hit a career cap pretty quickly. Traveling by bike has opened my eyes to a wider world…”
Shortly after completing his motorcycle trip, Isaacs was on a plane to New York. Ahead of him were the uncertainties and excitement of life in a new country.
“I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do, but I didn’t know if it would succeed or not.”
Makosi was born in 2006 and today employs over 1,500 accountants in 12 countries.
It partners with accounting firms around the world to provide high-quality, variable-term workforce solutions, including audit, assurance and consulting services.
He’s some serious bookkeeping muscle, but to hear Isaacs speak, Makosi is just getting started. He is looking for the best accounting talent in South Africa, with a compelling proposition: the ability to work with international clients, virtually or on temporary assignment, and break the career ceiling that so many CAs experience.
“Makosi is not about encouraging brain drain or emigration or anything like that,” says Isaacs. “But we recognize that accountants who want to advance their careers do better if they have international experience under their belt. That’s what we offer. We bring the future of work to SA and [the] accounting profession. »
The #1 problem facing accounting firms today
Finding and retaining talent is the number one problem facing auditing and accounting firms today, says Isaacs. “The big resignation, where professionals quit their jobs, usually as part of a process of reprioritizing their life goals, has meant even more opportunity than ever for South African audit professionals. and accounting. This will impact how they chart their career course and assess job opportunities in the future.
Makosi is revolutionizing the accounting and auditing market by providing an alternative career path for accountants, giving them the opportunity to grow and making auditing a sought-after career again.
Rather than competing with large accounting firms, Isaacs sees Makosi’s service as complementary.
“One of the biggest companies used 250 of our employees because there is staff attrition before peak season, and sometimes companies win contracts and grow and aren’t sized enough for that extra workload says Isaacs.
“Auditing and accounting firms are beginning to recognize the changes taking place in the profession and that they need to change the way they operate. They need to consider creative solutions, such as in-demand talent, supported by an agile and variable workforce. As an on-demand talent provider, we can help them navigate the category we helped create. »
The big resignation
The Great Resignation has dramatically reshaped the accounting and auditing professions, with fewer professionals willing to pursue conventional careers in professional services firms or even as corporate employees. This is where Makosi hopes to recruit quality talent and put them to work in a way that matches the lifestyle priorities of South African accountants.
It’s not just CAs that Makosi hires – it’s also looking for management and cost accountants, as well as people with a strong IT background.
The company recognizes that many accountants cherish the prospect of working abroad to flesh out their CVs and gain essential international experience.
“We currently serve 12 different countries, and before Covid we offered six-month overseas engagements before reassigning staff to SA. There are still lingering mobility issues due to Covid, but as travel opens up we see incredible opportunities for hybrid and nomadic work delivery and that’s really exciting for the journey as a CA says Isaacs.
The accountant of the future
The days when accountants did the tedious job of posting numbers in ledgers are coming to an end. Software and artificial intelligence (AI) to automate these processes are plentiful and readily available. Accountants will need to earn their fees by helping clients interpret numbers and better understand the true drivers of business profits and costs.
The need for auditing services will never go away, but it will become more automated.
For example, there has been much debate about using blockchain technology to validate transactions in real time, which would make audit opinions more accurate and reliable.
“We see far more audits than any of our clients will see, and it gives us insight into businesses across a range of industries and how to improve efficiency,” adds Isaacs.
“We are seeing thousands of audits, and that allows us to start focusing more on automation and technology. We have a technical team of 35 people – some in the Philippines, some in Cape Town – working on the ways to improve the efficiency and timeliness of our services using technology.
Accounting teams of the future will need to include a liberal sprinkling of digital workers. Makosi is already considering new revenue streams, from technology solutions to line items such as accounts receivable, cash in hand and asset management.
“Accounting firms are human enterprises. We believe that by delivering a compelling employee experience – one with impact, purpose, meaning and sustainability – we can solve some of the systemic resource issues facing the industry.
“We’re also in the process of becoming a licensed training office, so we can hire trainee clerks and train some of the best accountants in the world,” says Isaacs.
Presented by Makosi.
Moneyweb does not endorse any product or service advertised in sponsored articles on our platform.