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See full profile: Mbombela Accountant - Vincent Berends

Were you always planning to be an accountant and why?

Yes. I wanted to use my talents and skills for the benefit of others, and not just one employer, but especially those individuals who took risks and stuck their necks out to become entrepreneurs and business owners, not being part of the unemployment statistic, but providing a solution to unemployment, poverty and skills development.

When meeting with clients do they mostly come to your own premises or do you mostly go their theirs?

I cater for whichever is more convenient to my clients. Sometimes a client wants to come to my office, and other times a client would request that I go to them. It all depends on my clients needs and preference.

What is your preferred mode of communication with your clients?

Email, Phone, Face to Face

Have you ever done an online video call with a client?


What do you love most about accounting?

Every problem perceived as a problem by a client, is merely a puzzle that needs solving and therefor every problem has various solutions. The fun part is finding the solution within the guidelines of the applicable laws, that best fits into the client's strategy.

Would you recommend accounting as a career for school-leavers, and why?

Only if the school-leaver has a strong sense of serving others, perseverance and is willing to put in the hours required to meet targets and deadlines.

What qualities should South African business people be looking for in their accountant?

Someone with integrity, who is dependable and in the relationship for the long-term. Someone who listens attentively and helps them achieve their goals by thinking like an entrepreneur.

What is the biggest challenge facing accountants today?

Unethical competitors and unethical business practices of clients' competitors. This has and is still hurting the profession as these unethical competitors that has been exposed, resulted that prospective clients are afraid of trusting another/new accountant. Just so, unethical business practices of clients' competitors make it difficult for clients to remain legally competitive and we as accountants sometimes need to guard our clients not to fall into that same business practices of their competitors.

What aspects of accounting do you focus on most?

Business advisory, business structuring and tax planning

Describe your average client:

Owner-manager businesses, from very small (doing everything themselves) to having management teams with staff that report to the business owner

How far away from your premises is your furthest client?

240 km

From your accounting experience, if you could cite one of the biggest reasons SME's in SA fail, what would it be?

Creating an expectation and living up to that expectation that a business owner is successful shortly after starting up - living like a millionaire from the income of a company that barely generates a million Rand in annual turnover. SME owners are mostly impatient (they want results now), not willing to work extremely hard for at least the first 3 years from starting up and not seeing the importance of paying a professional, qualified business advisor to help them reach their goals.

What accounting software do you like best?

Sage Pastel Partner

What other software, online services or apps do you use?

Receipt Bank, Sage Online, Psiber HR

Do you think the coming wave of automation in the next few years will steal some accounting jobs and why/why not?

Only from those accountants who does not embrace automation and use it to their advantage

What is your opinion on Bitcoin?

It is not sustainable and will never replace tangible currency

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Reading anything that feeds my mind with information that can better my professional abilities and personal life; spending time with my family; giving my time and sharing my experience and knowledge with students

What is the most interesting thing on your bucket list?

Reading anything that feeds my mind with information that can better my professional abilities and personal life; spending time with my family; giving my time and sharing my experience and knowledge with students

See how our other local South African accountants have answered the above questions.