Dear All Clients and Friends of the Firm,

After a very happy 8 years we are unfortunately moving from 6 Abrey Road due to changes in our office
requirements. Fortunately however, we are not moving far, just across the road to Unit 2, Block Coral, Abrey Eco Park, 5 Abrey Road, Kloof.

As you all know by now we have embraced a hybrid work model, which I believe is the fancy terminology for how we are currently structured. Forced into this during COVID, I must say that, for us, it’s a move which has only given Pro’s with no real Con’s. Interestingly, worldwide, as companies try and reinstitute the old work models, they are coming up against some serious resistance and are facing mass resignations from employees who are not prepared to give up their new found family values and the like.
Post Pandemic has spawned many new schools of thought of which our work model is only one. Being new, we are constantly tweaking how we do things, are constantly investing in technology to assist and spend a fair amount of time doing research on the matter. We therefore invested a lot of time into how we work, and it was high time we matched this against where we work.

Abrey Eco Park gave us a blank canvas to work with and we had to create a space which utilised a hotdesk concept, allowing people to come and go as they need, in a communal yet productive environment. We had to create private spaces for management where necessary and most importantly ensure a suitable space to consult with yourselves.

Whilst I buy into most technology you will never convince me that a virtual meeting surpasses personal contact. Perhaps that’s just my age showing.

Tasked with this mandate, Shireen and Tanya got to it and enlisted Charmaine Leff from Design Angle for interior design guidance and then got our old friends at Norvo Construction to do the project. Ben, Dhevan and Mitch I think rue the day they said yes to this and were no doubt prematurely aged by Shireen and her crew over this process.

There is a good reason that after offering some preliminary useless advice which was largely ignored, my sole contribution was protecting the boardroom table much to everyone’s disgust. In a spirit of conciliation I begrudgingly agreed to allow it to have a facelift whilst manfully weathering the ageism insults.

Last shoutout to Quintin O’Neil from Pandowave for both his company’s painting of the new offices as well as touch ups on the old. I am sure he is frantically rewriting his T’s and C’s after Shireen spotted him and had him and his staff carting stuff across the road to the new offices. You learn quickly it’s easier just to agree with Shireen than argue with her.

Anyway, long story, we move in tomorrow, Wednesday 07 September, to start another chapter in MRM’s long history, in what will be the fifth premises in my 30 years with the firm.

We will be open for business from Thursday 08 September and hope to see you all there soon for a chat. I have heard a rumour that there is a new coffee station. In closing I will take the opportunity to update everyone on a few other MRM changes. We have been blessed with a stream of new work from various sources and we thank you for all the various referrals received this year. Aside from the fact that new business is always appreciated, to me it reinforces my belief that the firm is on the right track and that our service levels are meeting expectations. On top of the new business, it has been apparent that you all spent too long over lockdown plotting your new assault on the economy and must say none of you are allowing me to embrace my inner laziness this year.

All of this has meant we have been restructuring/staffing up to try and ensure we continue to keep up to our own high expectations. This is still a work in progress as we are being discerning with our hiring and are not finding the job pool to be as full of good applicants as one might expect.

Many of you would have met and dealt with Tammy by now, and she is doing a great job shuffling the trainee accountants around to produce the unreasonable deadlines which seem to have been imposed by the banks this year. Caroline, who most of you are familiar with, indicated she wanted to branch away from taxation and pursue an accounting qualification so we have transferred her to the accounting pool to boost our numbers. As part of the deal she continues to manage the firm’s statutory department as she did in the past. We will be again hiring more trainees for the 2023 year, if anyone has children or friends in Matric who want to pursue a career in accounting, we would be delighted to assess them to join us. As Devasha sadly waved goodbye to Caroline, she welcomed Kallyn Govender to replace her. We realised that we needed further feet in the tax department thanks to our friends at South African Revenue Services and bought in our third dedicated Tax Administrator in the form of Kendra Van Rooyen, who just started with us on Monday.

Moving across to our Bookkeeping department, let me start by congratulating Derane on the birth of her baby girl on 01 September , coming into the world at a healthy 3.1 kg’s. Derane has taken a small break to get her life readjusted but will be back working shortly. An advantage of our current work model is that we are all fully functional from our homes and it becomes easier to juggle work with personal commitments. I am sure you will all forgive her if she is not ‘available on demand’ for the next few months however. We are expanding the capacity of her department and have welcomed Kerishma Moodley to her team as a Junior Accountant.

As many of you know we have been pushing Xero Accounting Software as a NextGen business management tool, and am pleased to see how many of you have migrated across this year. The conversions and training have obviously put extra strain on Derane and her team as they try to do this as well as keep on top of the monthly accounting cycle. It was with much pleasure that an innocent cup of coffee with the firm’s old friend Jimmy Shankland resulted in him starting with us on 01 September to head up our Business Advisory Department.

I worked with Jimmy about 20 years ago when we commercialised Eureka Books, and Jimmy was both Eureka’s Training Officer as well as heavily involved with the final specifications. Jimmy is a registered SAIPA Accountant and has been so for probably as long as I. After we shut the commercial side of Eureka down Jimmy went into business consulting for himself and was heavily involved in Management Advisory Services, Restructuring and services of that ilk. He could never really shake his passion for software however and started testing Xero 7 years ago, when it was still in its infancy. It was Jimmy who alerted me to Xero about 5 years ago, and must admit, at the time, I had never heard of it.

Jimmy has just returned from XeroCon in London, and through his tenaciousness over the past years is probably one of the most learned Xero consultants in the country. He has in depth knowledge of most of the third party supportive add ons to Xero as well as extensive knowledge in conversion, implementation and training. It’s due to all of the above that we are delighted to welcome him on board, or back on board I should say. He is taking all things Xero onto his shoulders as well as performing a valuable support service to Deranes department and will be taking up a bit of the slack on that side whilst she is on maternity leave.

Jimmy is slightly older than me, so for the first time in a few years, I am not the oldest in the firm. I am told by my most complimentary staff however that he ‘dresses young’, whatever that means, so I am still the de facto village elder. Jimmy is available to consult with any of you should you be considering changeover, or just want more information, or just want to see his parrot shirt. You can reach him on or 082 579 9339.

Our last department under pressure is our Outsource Payroll Department, Taryn and Ameel are spinning out under an influx of new payrolls so we have adverts for some administrative support staff advertised. Again, if anyone knows of anyone looking for this type of entry level position, please feel free to put them forward to us.

So I think I mentioned in a previous circular that my business resolution for 2022 was ‘No Change’. In the ninth month of the year I think it’s been broken so many times it’s in tatters and a good reason for me not to make any resolutions in 2023.

In closing, I thank you for putting up with all of this. We are always mindful to try and minimise any disruptions to yourselves but having so many new staff in training has its challenges. I have every confidence that once the great people we have added to our MRM family find their feet we will be emerging even stronger and better armed to support you all in your quest for world domination.

As always, well done for those who made it to the end, pour yourself a Bells. I hope to send a circular out again in a month or two more pertinent to yourselves and not all about us. Scary to think that it will be a pre‐xmas letter, only about 12 weeks to the silly season again.

All the best as always,
Chris and Shireen