- ‘We serve the business builders’- Kok
The partnership, Director, Partners, Accountants and Alliances, Sage Africa & Middle East, Laurica Kok, said in an interview with correspondent, is strategic and will help expose Sage’s products to a broader market.
“ACCA is a renowned organisation within our business circle. It is a strategic alliance for us; it is a journey that exposes our products into a broader market which they hold the audience hub. I also see it as a very good fit. Sage is passionate about the accountants. Globally, ACCA holds that connection for us. It is also a partnership that will help drive the message for Sage to be seen as one-stop-shop for accounting solutions; it will impact their profession and businesses.
“Through this partnership we are growing Sage ‘ambassadors’, those who would tell others better about our products in accounting environment”, Kok comments.
According to her, Sage supports business from start-up or entry level to the enterprise level. “Secondly, Business builders are seen across segments; specifically, we can offer accounting, payroll, payment systems as consolidated application. “Thirdly, business model for us is just to serve the customer; empower the community and the environment the customers find themselves in. That is the differentiator for us in the market. We work, in our region, with partners that support that vision.
Relishing the importance of the partnership, Head of ACCA, Nigeria, Mr. Tom Isibor, described it as massive.
“Like I said earlier, five years ago, we started a research which clearly shows what the accounting of the future should be, what competencies, behaviours, skills do you need to have to be able to distinguish ourselves from other profession and make ACCA as a preferred qualification.
“The basic is digitalisation. Sage is global powerhouse in terms of building and delivering accounting software and solutions. We believe they can give us that perfect solution we have been looking; also fill the skills gaps of our members, make them more work ready and more preferred accountants in the market. Thus, it is all about building capabilities, capacity for our members.
“For instance, the Sage University promises to give us access to up our skills. We also look forward to this platform supporting our student-members and others searching for places for industrial (training) attachments.
“The other opportunity which is also very big to me, is giving back the society in terms of what the Sage community believes in; the corporate social responsibility (CSR) is huge. I also see an opportunity that ACCA and Sage can exploit on. In this environment, there is so much to give back to the society. So, we are just at the door-step.
On why ACCA chose to partner with Sage, he said, “If you are choosing a partner, you must have similar DNA. That is the critical element for me and for us in the Nigerian office; to have an organisation that shares our values, professional in its approaches and on ethical grounds. If you look at Sage’s story, it has been around for 36 years. Look at the business turnover, the number of countries they operate and the very customer-centric. They provide solutions that solve critical accounting needs.
How Will the Partnership Impact Entrepreneurs in Nigeria?
Director, Sage Enterprises, West Africa, Mr. Fidelis Isiekwuene, responds “First, technology is shifting; before now, software companies make software available for accountants for use. But, accounts could only implement processes based on the extent provision of the solution. In today’s world, it is a different case. This is customer-focused. Technology companies, on daily basis, are innovating on how to make the works of the accountant easier.
“The present business world tends to query you, ‘what makes you different from others?’ A C-level executive, for instance, who is jumping from one city to the other, trying to make money for the Company, does not have time to sit down and begin to look at the intricacies of the entries; he wants to see everything at a glance.
“He wants to be able to see the business report, no matter where he is. This is where the innovations around SMAC come in- Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud. So, he shouldn’t be tied down to a place before he could see the feasibility of the business. He wants to collaborate with the team, on the go. He wants to use ‘Sage Pegg’ as a communication tool, because just like every time you are sending WhatsApp messages, people respond real time. Also, you should be able to talk to your colleagues and get answers real-time”.