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Career auditor’s investment in data software pays off

Wednesday October 29 2014

Managing director Grande Afrique Consulting, Godfrey Mwika speaks to the Nation at his office in Nairobi on October 28, 2014. PHOTO | ANTHONY OMUYA

Managing director Grande Afrique Consulting, Godfrey Mwika speaks to the Nation at his office in Nairobi on October 28, 2014. PHOTO | ANTHONY OMUYA  

Godffrey Mwika stepped out of a high flying corporate job after working for 10 years with various top brands to set up a consulting firm that leverages on technology to tackle challenges facing businesses in the modern world.

In 2012, the career accountant and auditor with certification in accountancy, auditing and information systems quit his job to set up Grand Afrique Consulting, an outfit whose core business is provision and use of cutting-edge technology to access, audit, investigate and manage data in organisations.

“Throughout my employment, I realised that one of the biggest challenges facing businesses today is data management, especially with the advent of technology and phenomenal growth in the size of transactions,” Mr Mwika told Money.

If a business cannot fully understand and control all its data, that is, how it is acquired, processed, stored, released and applied in making decisions, then it cannot adequately handle business risks such as fraud as well as wastage of resources, he added.

Data management, he said, is key to impartial audits, risk management, performance measures and fraud management by all institutions.

GOING IT ALONE

“There was a big gap in the market and I jumped onto it after realising the potential,” he narrates when asked why he opted for the business.

Since 2001, Mr Mwika has worked for several multi-national and blue chip firms including PricewaterCoopers as a senior associate auditor, a risk consulting manager at KPMG, head of audit and risk at Bata Shoe Company-Kenya, a senior manager in audit and risk at Mumias Sugar Company, an ICT divisional director at AH Consulting in Uganda as well as head of audit and risk at Sovereign group limited.

Throughout his career, Mr Mwika worked in risk management, ICT consulting, internal and external audit departments, business process reviews as well as fraud investigations all over Africa.

The experience he gathered over the period by handling different clients is what he says motivated him into going it alone.

“I realised there existed computer software to help institutions and businesses easily handle challenges related to these areas but no one seemed to exploit the area well,” he said.

Armed with about Sh1.5 million savings, Mr Mwika set up shop, carefully assessed the right software and approached several international program developers who later worked out dealerships and partnerships with his firm as the licensed regional business leader.

“Curently, we have established business partnerships with global leaders in specialised software including ACL Services Limited (Canada), CQS GRC Solutions (South Africa), Pentana Limited and Ideagen Plc in the United Kingdom, OMS Solutions in India and Imacert in Dubai,” he said.

His biggest clients, he says, are financial institutions, media houses, telecommunication companies and manufacturing firms seeking to manage losses through efficient data management systems.

Other clients are drawn from insurance, agriculture, real estate, hospitality and healthcare sectors in what Mr Mwika believes underlines how institutions have been battling challenges brought by inefficient data management.

“We have an aggressive marketing team but the bulk of the business we get is through client referral which means there was a huge need in the market,”  explains the employer of eight permanent staff.

Once purchased and installed, depending on the software, an institution is able to perform extensive data analysis in aspects such as sales, expenses, procurement and inventories among others.

SEALED LOOPHOLES

ACL software, for example, can access any type of data from any source or format and perform limitless analytics at very high speeds and with 100 per cent accuracy and completeness, he says.

A single user licence, one that can only be installed on one computer in an organisation, is sold at Sh170,000 which is renewed on annual basis at an agreed fee while the ACL audit exchange licence for continuous auditing costs Sh720,000.

“ACL Software Solutions alone has over 70 users in Kenya drawn from government institutions, private sector, NGOs across all industries. There are over 15,000 ACL users globally and 98 per cent of Fortune 500 companies globally use ACL. This is indeed a good company to be in,’’ Mr Mwika notes.

Through the analysis, the software easily records suspicious transactions and or entries thus providing room for faster intervention and easy detection of fraud.

“The clients we have offered these technological solutions have admitted to having sealed so many loopholes through which they were previously losing money from their system as well as piece together waterproof evidence for prosecution of criminals,” he notes.

The firm also does human resource consulting and offers specialised software to manage individual staff information about each employee in organisations.

The proprietor is currently working with various government agencies keen on leveraging on technology to seal loopholes exploited by rogue state officials to perpetrate graft as has been noted in public procurement fraud and ghost workers.

 At two years old now, the firm employs 8 permanent staff, all of whom were direcTly picked from university and taken through an induction procedure to align them with the unique needs of the company. It has also opened an office in Kampala, Uganda.

“Our next phase is targeting SMEs and medium enterprises with reasonably priced technological solutions in relation to the size of their business,” explains Mr. Mwika.

Grande Afrique Consulting has also see growth in its fraud investigations work, business restructuring, internal audit work, business process reviews, ICT consultancy and a number of other service lines in its management consulting arm.

‘He however is reserved on the firm’s monthly turnover but judging from the expensive address in Nairob’s Central Business District in which the firm’s offices are headquartered, Mr Mwika seems to have  got his business right.

ABOUTGRAND AFRIQUE CONSULTING

  • Owner: Godfrey Mwika

  • Year of established: 2012

  • Capital: Sh1.5m - personal savings.

  • Specialisation: Provision and use of cutting-edge  technology to access, audit, investigate and manage data flow in organisations.

  • Partnerships struck: ACL Services Limited (Canada), CQS GRC Solutions (South Africa), Pentana Limited and Ideagen Plc in the United Kingdom, OMS Solutions in India and Imacert in Dubai.

  • Clients: Financial institutions, media houses, telecommunication companies and manufacturing firms besides companies in insurance, agriculture, real estate, hospitality and healthcare industries.

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