See full profile: Jeffrey's Bay Accountant - Marina Wilbraham
Were you always planning to be an accountant and why?
Yes, I audited my dolls' house and naturally excelled in Accounting and Mathematics at school. My dream was to be an artist, but I have found a way to balance the two.
When meeting with clients do they mostly come to your own premises or do you mostly go their theirs?
I mostly go to my clients
What is your preferred mode of communication with your clients?
Email, Phone, Face to Face, Skype, WhatsApp
Have you ever done an online video call with a client?
What do you love most about accounting?
To use accounting as a means to identify business improvements.
Would you recommend accounting as a career for school-leavers, and why?
Accounting forms the premise of any business and provides the cornerstone of business acumen. Studying accounting does not mean that you have to become an Accountant. It gives you the ability to understand a business and translate its transactions into a universal language.
What qualities should South African business people be looking for in their accountant?
Accuracy, meticulous attention to detail, identification of risks, understanding of compliance and statutory requirements and the ability to explain finances to any audience.
What is the biggest challenge facing accountants today?
The regulatory environment and translating data into wisdom.
What aspects of accounting do you focus on most?
I focus on getting the details in order (bookkeeping, payroll, compliance and taxation) and then analysing the reports to pinpoint trends and business improvements. I have a strong skill set in strategy development and how to link a strategy to the financial aspects of the business. My focus is on small and medium-sized enterprises and understanding the owner's needs.
Describe your average client:
A business owner that is passionate about his or her reason for starting and running the business but need someone that can assist with all, or certain aspects of the finances and human resources.
How far away from your premises is your furthest client?
1 100 km
From your accounting experience, if you could cite one of the biggest reasons SME's in SA fail, what would it be?
Insufficient cash flow planning, lack of a longer-term strategy and plan, inability to translate dreams and plans into a business language.
What accounting software do you like best?
What other software, online services or apps do you use?
Quickbooks, Pastel, Payspace, depending on the client's needs and readiness for technology.
Do you think the coming wave of automation in the next few years will steal some accounting jobs and why/why not?
Yes, it will, especially transactional and routine roles that is paper-based. But Accountants should upskill to understand the impact of their work and how it relates to financial planning and analysis or business controlling. One of the roles of an Accountant in a small and medium enterprise is to identify ways in which productivity can be increased and to lead the process of automation in order to focus on other value-adding aspects of a job.
What is your opinion on Bitcoin?
I have no opinion.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I am an artist, cyclist and mother of three dogs.
What is the most interesting thing on your bucket list?
Finish an abstract painting
See how our other local South African accountants have answered the above questions.