Andersen Global announces the official opening of its Kenya operations

08 October 2018 Consultancy.africa

Following the addition of a local member firm Nexus Business Advisory to its network in April this year, Andersen Global has begun to operate in the Kenyan market through its presence in Nairobi. The Kenya practice will be headed by Managing Partner at Nexus Business Advisory Phillip Muema.

A combination of political stability and economic diversification has made the region of East Africa the most lucrative market for investment on the continent – a scenario that global accounting and advisory firm Andersen Global has recognised since its establishment in 2012.

The firm began its operations in East Africa through the addition of Ligomarc Associates to its global network, based in Kampala, Uganda. The addition was made very early in January this year, following which the firm has continued its expansion across Africa, particularly in the Eastern region.

Andersen Global announces the official opening of its Kenya operations

In April this year, the firm added Nairobi-based Nexus Business Advisory to its global network, expanding its East African presence into the substantial Kenyan market. Nexus is a boutique advisory firm specialising in the tax and advisory domains, which has been operational for over 25 years.

Nexus Business Advisory was founded by tax expert Phillip Muema, who has previously been a Partner & Head of Tax at Big Four accounting and advisory firm KPMG Kenya, where he worked for over 15 years. Muema is now the Managing Partner at Andersen Global in Kenya, which is now officially operational.

Muema has also joined the Andersen Global Advisory Council, which works on meeting the constantly evolving challenges facing the firm across the globe. He said of Andersen’s new operations, “Our doors are open to provide seamless tax and business solutions to all our clients regardless of location.”

Chairman at Andersen Global and Chief Executive Mark Vorsatz said of the operations, “The launch of Andersen name and trade mark in East Africa is the next step in expanding and strengthening our presence in this key market.” The Nairobi office is expected to act as the hub for the entire Eastern African operations.

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Technology is essential to simplifying the tax compliance process in Nigeria

03 April 2019 Consultancy.africa

Despite increasing pressure on public coffers and the expanding need for tax collection, inefficiency and a lack of user-friendly mechanisms are posing a major barrier to paying taxes in Nigeria, according to Head of Tax at global professional services firm PwC Nigeria Taiwo Oyedele. He posits technology as the solution to this problem.

As one of the largest economies in Africa, Nigeria is increasingly progressing towards higher degrees of economic prosperity, although the government is struggling to benefit from this growth in the current scenario. According to Oyedele, the country’s “revenue to GDP ratio” is at the lowest end of the global spectrum.

Oyedele attributes this high rate of default to the difficulty that Nigerian citizens face in paying their taxes, something that is simultaneously acting as a barrier to other government efforts to solve the problem. “It is a contradiction: you need tax money but you make the process very difficult,” he says.

Currently, the use of digital applications to pay taxes is among the payment options. Oyedele recommends that technology should be made the sole avenue through which tax is collected and administered, thereby making the process of calculation, payment, and filing for returns more efficient.

Technology is essential to simplifying the tax compliance process in Nigeria

In addition, using technology is expected to reduce the costs of paying taxes in the long run, due to what Oyedele terms as “cost of compliance.” “It is actually the money the taxpayer pays that doesn’t get to the government. So, both the taxpayer and the government have an objective to reduce that cost,” he said. 

Oyedele was speaking at the Tax Academy Clinic, and urged tax authorities in the country to enforce reforms in the system. These would be over and above the reforms introduced under the previous Minister of Finance, who initiated the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration to reduce default rates.

Technology is the key according to Oyedele, and he pledged that PwC would support in the process of integration. “In the past, getting your tax clearance certificate used to be like rocket science.When you need it to buy a plot of land or get a contract, getting the TCC is difficult. With technology now, one should be able to get that immediately,” he said.

“We know that these platforms are not perfect yet; so, our role as PwC, helping so many people to pay their taxes and also paying taxes ourselves, is that once we identify what the problems are, we get the stakeholders to come together to see how we can fix the problems,” he added.