Home Community How Saiba member Jean Marais took his firm international

How Saiba member Jean Marais took his firm international


MaraisWilkinson and Co, an accounting practice specialising in corporate finance, taxation, auditing services and independent contractors, recently merged with one of Dubai’s most revered names in accounting, Affiniax, the first stage in an international expansion for the merged operation.

Wilkinson and Marais

Jean Claude Marais, one of the directors of MaraisWilkinson and Co, is a proud member of Saiba and shares some of his insights for other members looking to expand their practices internationally.

Marais and Wilkinson nurtured a dream to “go international” that led ultimately to the merger with Affiniax. Marais says the merger was made easier by the firm’s already extensive list of international clients.

About Affiniax Partners

Affiniax Partners is revered as one of the top professional firms in Dubai, with offices in Abu Dabi, India, and Bahrain. The firm specialises in the following accounting services:

• Audit/Assurance

• Tax Advisory/Compliance

• Company Secretarial Services

• Consulting/Business Advisory

• Corporate Structuring/Advisory

• Risk/Quality Management

• Corporate Finance

Affiniax holds memberships in two of the biggest accounting bodies in the UK, namely the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). These memberships make it possible to serve clients across international borders.

Despite being a South African-based partner, Affiniax South Africa has reached clients across Africa in countries like Tunisia and Botswana. Holding an anti-money laundering membership, Affiniax Partners assures strict adherence to the letter of the law when it comes to transacting across borders.

What motivated MaraisWilkinson to merge with Affiniax?

Marais says the merger was motivated by the desire to tap the international market and build an international brand. Another motivation: offer affordable rates to clients who need international accounting services.

Challenges of being an international firm

One of the key challenges to overcome is the is the need to abide by international laws and regulations.

Legal scrutiny is a prerequisite for cross-border cash flows, something that has long been part of the firm’s business ethos, and will serve it richly in the far broader marketplace in which it now operates.

The focus in South Africa

Marais is a proud member of Saiba, which he sees as a vital organisation empowering small businesses to grow and specialise without impossible requirements that take years to achieve. He wants to extend the same empowering virtues to his client, while offering training and business opportunities to CIMA clerks.

The future

Affiniax Partners is expanding to the UK, and will soon open an office there. Marais also wants to collaborate with Saiba member firms in all fields of accounting.

He offers the following words of advice for Saiba members. “To grow your business, you need to network with individuals, get specialists to serve your clients for a more professional experience and quality work. If you are unable to get specialists then outsource, that saves you time and money but allows your firm to grow and offer different services that result in the growth of your company.”