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Nelia van den Heever: the noble accountant

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No town is too small for a thriving accounting practice. That’s the lesson Nelia van den Heever learned when she relocated from Pretoria to Kuruman, a small mining and farming town in the Northern Cape.

Just a short distance form Kuruman is the legendary town of Hotazel -yes, it actually exists and like the name suggests, is not for those who like a milder climate.

Moving from Pretoria to Kuruman may seem like a bad business move, but van den Heever sees it differently: She is seen as a dependable and professional accountant in this small community, and she solves problems for those having to deal with SA Revenue Services, and other regulatory bodies. She has also made herself indispensable for her community work.

“For me, helping people is one of the most important things, I always think of how I can make someone realize their importance and I aim to do just that around this small town,” she says.

How it started

“Being a financial accountant for big companies allowed me to gain the necessary experience to serve my clients better and be the ‘everything in one accountant’. Starting my practice was the greatest decision I’ve made. Even the coming about of my practice’s name was definitely from God: Tabitha was a woman in the bible who helped her community and that is exactly what I am doing, so hence the name Tabitha Accounting.”

Beyond helping her clients, van den Heever is passionate about helping and she invests much of her time helping non-profit organisations (NPOs). She is director of Fabulous Girl Charity foundation, Kuruman Animal Welfare and Skooner Kuruman, and offers her accounting and financial expertise to all of them.  

Help people is what she is about, and this extends to her employees.

“I want to see my employees grow and further their careers and I will be the one helping them to do that. I am planning on helping them through school. I have one employee who doesn’t have tertiary education and I am going to assist her to get her degree. I have two more employees I am assisting to finish their studies and then graduate.”

The range of services required in Kuruman are much the same as elsewhere in the country: bookkeeping, UIF registration, payroll, company registrations tax and business profiling. “To add a cherry on top, we work as outsource accounting providers for clients who cannot afford full-time accountants. So we do our best to meet the needs of our clients.”

How has Saiba assisted you thus far?

“Firstly, I would like to thank SA Institute of Business Accountants (Saiba) for the Accounting Weekly newsletters that they send to us weekly. The newsletter is very informative and I can easily catch up with what I’ve missed during the week. Also, the material on their website (including Saiba Academy) comes in handy, with different webinars and learning material my disposal anytime. I don’t have to go looking for webinars or attend, I can do that in the comfort of my own home anytime.

“With Saiba Academy I have become an Independent review specialist and, as I have mentioned, I assist NPOs, so the course has enabled me to be more helpful to these organisations.  

“I want to do the business rescue course because it has a big market. For my employees, I want them to join Saiba as members so that they can also get the knowledge and access to resources as I do.”