JOHANNESBURG - A young businessman has perfected the art of infusing contentious tax compliance with financial education so much that his colleagues envy his expertise.
Mikel Moyo, 26, exploited his skillset by employing it as a springboard to entrepreneurship, and in the process carving out a niche for himself in the industry.
He is managing partner at Mphato and Associates, a 100 percent black-owned tax consultancy firm headquartered at Sandton in Johannesburg.
He describes himself as an entrepreneur, financial planner, tax practitioner and a public speaker on finance.
“I’m a big believer of financial literacy because I just feel that in this country we don’t really know money, you know what I mean?” he says, during an interview with Business Report.
Moyo graduated with a BCom honours degree in financial planning from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) in 2014. He says getting into the industry started as a hobby to him as he used to assist his godfather Abram Mphato run the tax consultancy firm.
After graduating he joined JSE-listed financial services group Liberty, where he worked as a financial planner.
“I left in 2016 to join Mphato and Associates. That’s how the merger between financial advice and tax compliance came about,” he explains.
Moyo is currently studying towards a qualification as a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) through the US-based CFA Institute.
He was thrust into the spotlight during his student days at UJ for his blog and social media videos on financial planning.
“A lot of guys in the industry didn’t like that, they said I was taking business away from them, but I said I’m doing this to empower people,” he recalls.
“Just because you know something doesn’t mean you have to keep it to yourself. So, what if you don’t make money from it? It’s OK!”
In 2015, a monthly US business magazine, Fast Company, took notice of what Moyo stood for and listed him as one of the Top 20 Under 25 Disruptive Entrepreneurs of South Africa.
Moyo, who matriculated from Northcliff High School in 2009, speaks passionately about his firm.
“I’m involved in the running of the business 100 percent - on a daily basis! The company is doing very well and has been realising growth year-on-year,” he says.
“We’ve got lots of clients from government, a whole lot of government institutions are doing business with us,” says Moyo, sounding rather pleased with himself.
He says their services are all about making sure that their clients were tax compliant, especially with the tax season currently underway in the country.
We make sure that all our clients file their returns on time. We also advise them on their tax affairs, their current lifestyle affairs, etcetera.”
He continues: “Look, SARS is on a name and shame campaign and there’s a criminal record attached to that. That’s the last thing you want because you can’t let your entire life be jeopardised by something that could have taken you 30 minutes to do.”
In partnership with the Black Management Forum, Moyo says he would be visiting the forum’s student chapters in universities across the country until September.
“I’d be doing consumer financial education,” he says. Besides that, his company has also embarked on a “big marketing drive” in order to entrench itself in the industry.
“I see myself as an entrepreneur because I’m that someone who will work 100 hours in a week in my own business, as opposed to working 40 hours a week for someone else.”
Moyo says there is not glitz and glamour in entrepreneurship. “It’s all about hard work. People who see us in newspapers and magazines don’t know about the hard work that goes into that,” he says.
- BUSINESS REPORT