SERVICING GENERATIONS

And always exceeding expectations

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In 1995, at the age of 29 years, Roshan Morar opened the doors to his company, Morar Incorporated Chartered Accountants and Registered Auditors. His vision embraced a single practice in his hometown, Pietermaritzburg, with the idea of perhaps later opening a satellite office in Durban.

Twenty-five years later, Morar Inc is a national company with eleven branches.

Today, Morar Inc has an office in each province of South Africa and two each in KwaZulu-Natal and North West, 12 directors, 227 employees and the prospect of taking his brand into southern Africa. He can also proudly reflect on having more than 30 clients who have walked the journey with him from the time when Morar Inc constituted only himself and three employees.

More significantly, among those clients are several companies where Morar Inc is now servicing the second and even third generation of family-owned enterprises.

At the time of founding the business, it was considered a risk to open an office, in light of the number of established accountancy firms already operating in the city and the natural reluctance among business owners to switch their regular accountants, who performed a critical service to their companies. Yet, his move has paid dividends beyond his initial expectations.

From the outset, Morar Inc has concentrated on black-owned businesses, many of which are small- and medium-sized family-owned enterprises. Inherent in that outlook has been the approach that no client was too small, and today, these businesses remain an important focus of the company’s auditing and tax services work.

With the advent of democracy in 1994, opportunities arose for Morar Inc to provide services to all three spheres of government and to the office of the Auditor General.

Morar says the concept for expanding the business beyond his initial vision happened in the early 2000s when he identified the prospect for growing young black professionals through the firm. He recognises he could have grown the business faster, but that would have come at the cost of losing the personal touch—an issue that would clash with his fundamental ethos for respecting and valuing his employees and co-workers.

Standards for success

“The boundaries for success are limitless and the future promises growth heights, not previously imagined, without compromising our vision and values.

“Our culture is built on the collaboration, flexibility and innovation required to perform at the highest levels and exceed expectations—and that means continuously adapting to maintain our service standards,” Morar says.

Into that thinking is the deep-seated belief in empowering employees with learning and development, secure in the knowledge that “our people are our brand”. The company actively engages in identifying opportunities to provide training to young accountants and last year secured the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) accreditation, an international qualification offering young students an array of opportunities within the accountancy field.

Morar says the driving force behind Morar Inc is assisting organisations to maximise their performance so as to achieve their goals and become leaders in the markets in which they compete. A proudly Level 1 broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) national professional services company with the majority ownership being in the hands of historically disadvantaged South Africans, delivering on those goals demands developing and implementing smart financial and business solutions to boost clients’ productivity and efficiency.

“Our philosophy is based on providing seamless and consistent service, regardless of where our clients are located in South Africa. We honour our values because they serve as the moral compass for our actions, while quality remains the key to our success by ensuring clients receive the best possible service,” he says.

Morar grew up with an entrepreneurial edge. His parents owned a small shoe retailing business that ensured he had commerce flowing through his blood. Having studied at the University of Natal Pietermaritzburg (now the University of KwaZulu-Natal), he had completed his articles with small accountancy firm Gouws and Strauss. The size of the business meant he was exposed to learning opportunities beyond those he would have experienced in larger firms. One of these opportunities was managing client accounts far earlier in his career than colleagues completing their articles elsewhere. It also exposed him to entrepreneurial businesses, cementing his future pathway.

Originally, Morar Inc offered traditional accountancy services—accounting, auditing, and tax. Nowadays, the firm is a multi-disciplinary consultancy practice that provides internal and forensic audits and acts as an information technology consultancy. The in-house software development unit is utilised by both the company and its clients.

Opportunities: abound and abroad

“Opportunities are rapidly emerging for small- and medium-size accountancy firms as the world experiences growth in areas like cybercrime and companies seek to protect their data,” he says, indicating that the proposed legislation on audit rotation, whereby companies will have to change their auditors on a regular basis, will also open up new growth prospects.

Another area in which Morar anticipates new markets will come from the alliance the firm has formed with Allinial Global, the US-based international accounting firm association of legally independent accounting and consulting firms.

Morar says the approach from Allinial Global to join the association means Morar Inc now has access to the experience and knowledge of every other member organisation through the transfer of excellence surety. The company also has access to global expertise when addressing clients’ business challenges as alliance members share education, marketing resources and technical knowledge across a wide range of services and sectors.

From the viewpoint of South African companies, the alliance enables them to easily trade internationally knowing their needs can be met in different regions through another Allinial Global affiliate. This is specifically relevant as multinational companies look to springboard into Africa by using a South African platform and as local companies expand beyond the borders.

Breaking new boundaries

“In this regard, Morar Inc is helping to drive the African agenda in terms of providing services across the continent and standardising the quality of work. Our motto is ‘global quality, African solutions’ and Allinial Global offers the opportunity for Morar Inc to showcase its services within an international association of accounting firms,” he explains, adding that the alliance also means the company brings its clients international, innovative strategies and techniques to enhance productivity and growth.

Over the years the company has fine-tuned its client base to specifically target the financial services and IT sectors, recognising the opportunities afforded by niche areas of business. Yet, ensuring clients have a sustainable business growth environment demands learning about every element of that business and cultivating meaningful relationships, built on constant contact. Only then does Morar believe the auditors can identify any problems and capitalise on the successes, to assist clients along their business pathways.

Morar says the company’s expansion over the last decade only happened thanks to the hard work and loyalty of employees and directors. Without that support from his team members, Morar Inc would not be on the threshold of breaking new boundaries while still remaining sustainable and relevant. He anticipates expanding into southern Africa while concentrating on the niche areas in South Africa. His eyes are set on a 50% increase in employee numbers as Morar Inc works towards securing its JSE accreditation that will allow the company to audit listed entities.

Lasting legacy

The long-term goal envisions further strengthening the senior management team to ensure employees can take advantage of the opportunities the 25-year foundation has forged. In that way, he believes they can build on the legacy he has founded.

Outside the workplace, Morar remains a family-orientated man at heart. He married Jyoti—a union also celebrating a silver anniversary this year—and they have one son, Jasveer. More significantly, he thanks and honours his late parents for the values and ethos they instilled in childhood that fashioned the young man he became and the entrepreneurial inspiration of today.

“Morar Inc continues to surpass all expectations as we always strive to provide quality financial business solutions to our clients. Our contribution to our success has been critical and our personalised approach has been the consistent hallmark of our working relationship,” he concludes. 

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