Basil & Alred: Assurance, Tax & Advisory
Since opening its door in 2011 Basil & Alred has grown to become one of the leading professional services firms operating in Tanzania. Offering full-service assurance, tax and advisory expertise, with a team led by partners of some 40 years cumulative experience in public accounting spearheaded by Godfrey Mramba the Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer chiefly responsible for tax advisory and corporate development.
Prior to founding Basil & Alred, Godfrey was the Managing Director and Vice President of Coeur Tanzania Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Coeur d’Alene Mines Corporation (Coeur), one of the largest Silver Miners in the World. Where he spent seven years as Managing Director before transferring back to his native Tanzania to take charge of its Tanzanian subsidiary. Prior to Coeur, Mr. Mramba had worked as an auditor with Ernst & Young in the United States. Working extensively with mutual funds, wealth management firms and venture capital funds as well as across a range of clients in the technology, food and manufacturing sectors.
Offering: assurance services across internal control attestation services and all other assurance related services. Basil & Alred’s professionals will examine and vouchsafe a company’s financial statements through forensic financial and internal control audits.
Focusing not only on financial statement related processes, but also on the more granular business drivers such as associated risk and their concomitant effects on financial statement accounts. Better enabling their client’s management teams to gain a clearer picture of their organisation’s financial performance. On advisory services whereby Basil & Alred conduct special assignments based on a client need and not limited to a special purpose audit, financial due diligence and internal process review. Assisting companies faced with challenges such as M&A activity or strategic threats such as competition, fraud or technological changes that pose a systemic risk to their operations.
As well as in offering core advisory services in areas such as revenue assurance, performance improvement and risk management. All better enabling and equipping their clients with a more effective means to forge an enhanced depth of understanding and more thus effectively manage their business risks and improve business processes and operating efficiency. Whilst of course assuring the validity and clarity of their business information. Specifically encompassing Internal audit & control and IT applications.
On the taxation side, with international attitudes to taxation constantly shifting and with governments around the world continually instituting new tax regulations. Tax authorities are becoming increasingly adroit in tax code enforcement and collection. Basil & Alred’s professionals therefore offer a range of services designed to tackle this more onerous paradigm. Including, tax compliance services, (helping their clients comply with the law in various jurisdictions) and across value added tax (VAT), pay as your earn (PAYE), as well as corporate, individual and withholding taxes. Basil & Alred can also be prevailed upon to prepare monthly, semi-annual and annual tax returns.
The firm also offers a comprehensive “health check” which entails a detailed review of the various taxes that an individual company is required to comply with including; excise duty, corporate tax, employee taxes, withholding taxes and value added taxes, stamp duty and even skills & developments levies.
All of which will assist companies in identifying areas with any potential tax risk. Thus reducing potential tax exposure and thereby avoiding undue penalties. All designed to identify potential strategic tax planning opportunities that a company can take advantage of and optimizing an entities overall tax position. Mitigating any nasty surprises. Particularly in the event of a Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) audit. All of which helps their clients to proactively manage tax risk, enhance compliance. Whilst further reducing exposures and future compliance costs.
Advantages of Basil & Alred
In terms of some of the major advantages of going through a local Tanzanian firm such As Basil & Alred for tax consultancy. As opposed to one of the more established major multinational “big four” firms. The value proposition is simple and compelling and as CEO Godfrey Mramba stressed, “We all have the big firm experience, but we do it better and for less. It does not mean that we are cheap, rather that you get more value for your money. We know the country and we are not as large as some of our colleagues. Which means you get a better turnaround time.”
Whilst he also emphasised their relative accessibility, “We are also available. If you were to call me, you could reach me quite easily compared to some of our colleagues in the bigger firms. So you can reach me as the managing partner easier than reaching a managing partner at a much bigger firm and because they are dealing with much more. So that is our advantage. Quick turnaround, same service, but our service is superiorly delivered, and value for money.”
The firm also has a range of domestic expertise and market knowledge pertaining to local laws in Tanzania, such as on the hot-button issue of why the implementation of VAT between Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania should be postponed. They are frequently called upon to pass comment and provide commentary in the media.
Believing in this case that most of the concerns regarding the application and possible implementation challenges will be taken in to account before the Finance Act, 2016/17 is ratified. Or in another cause celebre on the downside of proposed new tax measures proposed the 2016/2017 national budget. On which salient issue Godfrey Mramba has opined, “It is my hope that the Parliament will debate the budget constructively to engender a revision or improvement in taxation After all, the goal is to widen the tax base and collect more taxes by creating a taxpayer friendly regime.”
As Godfrey Mramba characterised his firm’s ethos, “It is the way in which we do our jobs, the attention to detail that we offer, and the knowledge and the involvement that we have at a senior level in Tanzania.” With a long-term vision is to becoming a regional firm Basil & Alred have to be considered the partner of choice in the East African region.