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Women in accounting: meet Mimi Greyling BAP (SA)

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Though she grew up on a farm in Louis Trichardt, Mimi Greyling GTP(SA) BAP(SA) was destined for a future far away from farming. She was drawn to accounting from a relatively early age and enrolled at University of Johannesburg (then Rand Afrikaans University) to study B.Com Accounting.

During her third and final year, tragedy struck and Mimi was involved in a car accident that caused brain and spine injuries, leaving her with memory loss. She had to stay out of school for a year to recover. As the saying goes, “Good things come by accident,” and Mimi met a man who was to be her husband on the night of the accident.

Despite a tough recovery, she was able to obtain her degree in three years. She then started her career as a bookkeeper, and during her spare time she did bookkeeping for the local farmers. After working for some years, Mimi then lost her job. This was another turning point in her life, paving the way for her to start her own accounting practice. Some of her first clients were from the farming community she grew up around.

She then acquired her General Tax Practice Certificate GTP(SA) with SA Institute of Tax Practitioners (SAIT) in 2013. With the need to offer her clients more services, she then did research and chose SA Institute of Business Accountants (Saiba) as her professional home and Business Accountant in Practice BAP(SA) as her professional designation. This allowed her to offer services such as auditing, payroll, business registration and compilation of financial statements.

Mimi says her practice differentiates itself from others by providing a highly personalized service. Looking after clients’ wellbeing and giving them value for their money is her primary focus. She hand-picks her employees to ensure that they are well skilled to serve her clients’ particular needs. Having only female employees she says that she understands how difficult it can be to balance home and a career. Her practice uses a decentralised approach with virtual platforms, allowing her employees to work from the comfort of their homes yet remain in communication with each other.

“I like to remain in communication with clients and to be informed about what they are doing in her business. I don’t have a book and bill kind of relationship. I give them advice to take their business forward and equip them with necessary business knowledge because the growth of their business brings growth to my business and I like keeping a high standard of services to my clients.”

Unlike most practices, Mimi says that the lockdown was a blessing in disguise because it helped her obtain many new clients. Having a decentralised system and accounting software tools allowed the team to perform all necessary services from auditing to tax submissions. She meets with clients by way of virtual meetings, which allows her to keep on top of her clients’ needs.

Today, her clients and target market are mostly farmers in and around Louis Trichardt. This makes it easy for her to help them with their businesses because she knows how farmers work. She has also been able to learn from other practice’s mistakes, which has helped her grow her client base. She says she is the face of the company; which means that her clients speak to her. With this, she avoids having to cycle clients through different employees and make them repeat their concerns or problems.

She also says that her clients are not just a number. They are made to feel special and, just as important, she gives them peace of mind.

During difficult times Mimi keeps her faith grounded. And sharing an office with her husband, an investment specialist, which makes their office a one-stop financial shop. She handles the books for her husband, and in cases where financial advice and investments are concerned, she sends them to her husband. 

Outside her career, Mimi loves the outdoors and spends time with her husband and three boys. She is also involved in giving back to the community. She gives free financial assistance to local churches and helps them manage their books. She is also a part of a financial committee servicing local primary schools.

Like Saiba, Mimi is very much invested in having a happy and satisfied client base because a happy client will recommend you to someone.