We’re so incredibly proud to announce that Emily Phiri will be joining the Company Partners family! Emily will be opening her own Company Partners Accounting Franchise in Randburg, Gauteng, on the 1st of July.
We’re pretty lucky to have Emily Phiri establish a Company Partners Accounting branch in Gauteng. This Zambia-born Accountant has a CV that’s nothing short of impressive:
In her 2 decades in accountancy, she’s ventured into almost every industry in South Africa – from IT to Hospitality.
In her former position at SAB, she pioneered the position as Business Performance and Finance Manager for Africa and even shared involvement in a foundation where the chairperson had been now-president Cyril Rhamaposa.
To give you a good idea of who our latest Franchisee is, we spoke to her about making the leap to entrepreneurship, how her family feels about accountancy and what her vision is for her Gauteng-based Company Partners Accountancy Franchise.
Welcome to the family Emily Phiri! Tell us a bit about your personal background?
Well, I grew up in Zambia and moved to South Africa about 20 years ago.
I’ve been married for 22-years and I have two children – and I’m turning 47 this year! I’ve been an accountant for about 20 years in multiple industries and now it’s time to do something for me.
Why did you want your own Accounting Firm?
What made me want to set up my own thing was the fact that I could manage my own time.
I’ve always wanted to work with orphans and after being retrenched, I took a sabbatical and bought a small flat to look after abandoned children. I thought it’d be easy after registering an NPO, the red tape is crippling. I also realized you can’t look after abandoned children without money.
An accountancy firm gives me the opportunity to do both so I can still raise kids that need parents and work.
Now I can go to adoption homes 2 -3 times a week.
My husband is also an accountant. He focuses on lecturing and pastors a church, so we’re using accounting as a way allow us to do what we’re passionate about.
Why specifically Company Partners’ Accounting Franchise offering?
The offering that I could not resist was the fact that it comes with clients – with starting a new business, the main hurdle is breaking into the market, getting the first few clients, and then it grows with word of mouth.
I saw Company Partners as an opportunity that enables me to cross that hurdle, having 20 people you can start off with, and then obviously working like crazy to make sure that doubles, triples.
And obviously the brand you guys already have, the footprint, I didn’t want to start from scratch, why reinvent the wheel when there’s someone else’s wheel you can use.
What are you most excited about in terms of running your own Accounting Franchise?
We know economics, accounting, and business strategy. The key is tapping into that and making it work.
When you’re an accountant you specialize, but when you run your own business you can put ALL your knowledge to good use. I can’t wait to put to use what I’ve been sitting on for years!
Take us back, how did you first become an accountant?
To be absolutely honest, I was bullied into it by my mother! I wanted to be a pediatrician. But I eventually liked all the areas of business I was exposed to, so I’m grateful she bullied me into it – and now my son is doing it too!
What do you love most about your work?
I’m a people’s person, so doing work for small kind of enterprises allows me those personal relationships. I don’t like being cooped up in the office, I love getting out and understanding the businesses of companies that I have to provide the services for.
Any advice for other accountants unhappy with their current jobs?
Firstly, for someone who doesn’t like what they’re doing, the first option would not be to abandon ship; it would be to make it work. If you don’t like where you’re at, there’s no guarantee you’re going to like the next phase your in.
You have to sit down and establish: “What is it about this phase that I don’t like and can I do something about it? If I can fix it, fix it and make it work, and if I can not, I must make sure wherever I’m going I won’t take that thing with me.”
And lastly, what is your long-term vision for your Company Partners Accounting Franchise?
So obviously I won’t be working from my living room. I intend to be out of this space!
And then, there’s a lot of accountants that have also been laid off in the accounting space of mine. My vision would be to see those accountants reintegrated and I see myself as the tool to get them reemployed.
I’d like to use word-of-mouth and my connections at places like CIMA, CIPA to get access to companies looking for slightly bigger accounting firms.