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‘Accounting profession needs flexibility to help economy’

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AO & FA Consulting has said its entry into the financial sector will add value to Nigerian economy.

With a pool of experts and experience in telecommunications, banking, information technology, and manufacturing, the firm aspires to a leadership position in the financial advisory industry.

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Speaking with The Guardian at the official launch of the firm, the co-founder, AO & FA, Olawale Abiola, said: “The purpose of starting at this time is because the best time to plant a tree should have been yesterday but another best time is today. We came together because we have something that will benefit the Nigerian and global economy.

“The purpose of coming together is to plug into the opportunity. We see opportunity in Nigeria. We had a consulting firm in 2007 but as a side hustle. But we now have a lot of experience for a great institution to help Nigeria’s economy grow.

“One of our aims is to solve the unemployment problem in Nigeria. Our average age when we became chartered accountants was 24. And at that time, we were like talents that were wasting but we knew talents would solve Nigeria’s problems. In the firm, we have employed fresh graduates and trained them.

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“People see us as an audit firm, but we are not an audit firm. We are not tie-and-suit accountants, we are free thinkers who look at problems and apply the right principles to solve them. So, our short-term goal is to solve the immediate problem and help our clients to achieve their goals and later move from assisting our clients to expansion.

“Our long-term goal is to become the best financial consulting firm in the world.”

On Nigeria’s economy, he said: “The economy is so vast that it should solve the problem of unemployment and as a firm, we recognise that opportunity. In 2007, we discovered that there are so many business opportunities in Nigeria, we have our colleagues including my own younger sister who was traveling out of the country but I decided to stay in Nigeria, not only because I love ‘amala’ , but because of the enormous opportunity in the country and what we are trying to do is to ensure that such opportunity is looked into and taken.

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“Accounting profession is very rigid to a level. What we are coming to do is to introduce a good level of flexibility to our profession and add values to the economy.”

Speaking at the programme, founding partner, Banwo & Ighodalo, Femi Olubanwo, said, “This is the time Nigeria economy needs to be nurtured and go in a different direction. AO & FA coming into space at this time is quite a welcome development and I hope they will be able to push their brand.

“Auditors need to modernize their ways of doing things. They must adopt technology rather than the old ways of auditing where we have auditors sit down for three weeks compiling a long note. Auditors have been slow to modernize but we hope AO &FA do things differently.

“Auditors do not manage perception well, people still see them as being stingy and people who are more about not spending.”

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