Prem Govender runs her own accounting practice, Mosswick Investments, a company that was started by her late father 56 years ago. Besides servicing her regular client, she also does accounting and tax work pro bono for several welfare, religious organisations and schools.
“I live by the mantra that we need to give back to the communities in which we operate, and I am actively investing in the mentorship and empowerment of women within my business," Govender says.
As the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (Saipa) eastern region chair (KwaZulu-Natal) and eThekwini district chair, she says one of her goals is to encourage more females to join the accounting profession. "To succeed in this goal, I need to be a role model."
Govender encourages her employees to pursue further qualifications, learn different parts of the accounting industry, and stay abreast of legislation. As a mother, she says she knows how hard it can be for women with young children to balance work life and the demands of a household, which she says may makes her naturally more empathetic and willing to help make their lives easier whenever she can.
“I never say that the women work for me, but rather that they work with me. I’m never too busy to explain something they are having difficulty with, I regard them as my equals and nobody gets reprimanded in front of clients. If an error creeps into someone’s work, I take responsibility because the buck stops with me,” says Govender.
Differentiating your business in KZN
“Despite our province boasting two of the largest ports in Africa, we are still seen as ‘the poor cousins’ because we don’t have a large financial hub. Despite much potential, local industries in KwaZulu-Natal often face financial hardships due to a lack of direct investment,” says Govender.
Accounting firms in KwaZulu-Natal, and across South Africa, are plentiful, which is why Govender has focused on training her staff to provide a high level of service.
“What has helped us to differentiate ourselves in the region is our high level of service and attention to detail,” says Govender.
Govender concludes by saying that all business owners should be investing in mentoring the women within their businesses.
“We need to take them under our wing, mentor them and teach them everything we know. This needs to be done with kindness and compassion but mostly with enthusiasm and passion.”
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