Hard work and diligence are essential to success, but they require internal motivation. That internal motivation is vision.



FirstPlace Assurance & Advisory

Tumelo Makgakga, 30, is an entrepreneur who is a qualified chartered accountant and a registered auditor and tax practitioner. He is one of the youngest members of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants task group for the implementation of quality management standards.

In July 2020, Tumelo took a leap of faith, right in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, and resigned from his management position at a big four accounting firm to start his own company. FirstPlace Assurance & Advisory specialises in working with small, micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs).

Many SMMEs are struggling to get good financial coaching and support from accountants, often because they cannot afford decent accounting services. Being a qualified chartered accountant with years of experience and having been exposed to working with JSE listed and multinational companies and his passion for business, Tumelo knew that this is a problem he is well equipped to tackle.

Tumelo’s vision is to see local businesses grow to reduce the rate of SMME failures, ultimately reducing the unemployment rate in the country. By starting the accounting firm, Tumelo now employs other young professionals and, together with his team, are helping many SMMEs with financial coaching, compliance, and migration from manual processing of records to digital and cloud-based accounting tools.

  • BCom Accounting, University of Johannesburg
  • BCom Accounting (Honours), University of Johannesburg
  • Qualified chartered accountant (SA)
  • Registered tax practitioner
  • Registered auditor

 I am currently one of the youngest members of the SAICA Task Group for the implementation of Quality Management Standards – This task group is responsible to provide guidance to the accounting profession on the correct implementation of new accounting and auditing standards.

I grew up in Venda and was raised by a single parent who did her very best to raise me and my siblings. Obviously, in such circumstances, there will always be challenges, but even in that, I learned that I have to work hard to build a better future for myself. This is something I believe I have done and continue to do without forgetting where I come from.

Be yourself and stop caring so much about what other people think.

I would like to see a decrease in the youth unemployment rate. One thing I am passionate about is job creation, which is why I started FirstPlace Assurance & Advisory. I did this not only to create jobs myself but to also help business owners and entrepreneurs build sustainable businesses so that they can also create jobs. This can help decrease the very high youth unemployment rate we have in South Africa.

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