An accountant with an entertainment background had a vision to make accounting accessible for all.
Hardly surprisingly, Mark Samowitz, CEO and founder of Accounting Made Easy, is passionate about getting people engaged with finance in innovative ways.
“We are training people to understand finance. Moreover, we empower employees to talk the language of finance and accounting. As a company, we are committed to making finance accessible and logical to everybody.”
He says that he and his team used the recent Finance Indaba Africa event as a platform to engage with finance people and show them the benefits of demystifying accounting for all people inside the organisation.
Having spent almost four years in New York as a full-time musician and entertainer, Samowitz is not your typical accountant. In fact, his background in entertainment has shown him how people love to go on a journey. This gave him the idea of making a journey part of financial training, so he developed it further and Accounting Made Easy was born.
“Generic training is a thing of the past. Businesses want it tailored for their requirements. To this end, we provide a one-day course and build hundreds of products around that completely customised to fit client needs.”
Samowitz says the business is all about making finance understandable for non-financial employees. Even though he admits that there are many competitors in the market, he says Accounting Made Easy differentiates itself by removing the fear associated with finance training.
“Traditional training is lecture-based, relies on cumbersome textbooks, and uses a methodology reliant on off-by-heart learning. We throw the model on its head and use a game-based approach. Essentially, we turn accounting into a board game that is a facilitated guided discovery learning process. It is learning through doing as opposed to learning by being told. Fundamentally, we disrupt accounting training.”
Once staff have completed the one-day course, Accounting Made Easy returns to the company and runs a customised follow-up session addressing company-specific data such as ratios, financial reports, transactions, and so on.
“People do not think it is possible to cover the fundamentals of accounting in a one-day course. Many financial people are resistant to the idea, but once they see it in action they are astounded. If someone told you that you can travel to Cape Town in two hours, but your understanding of transport is limited to cars it is impossible. Once you see the plane as an alternative, so too does your viewpoint change. The same applies to our training.”
Samowitz is happy to report that CFOs have been blown away by the discovery and experiential approach to accounting training.
“We make the training undeniable and clear for companies. To date, we have worked with 100 JSE-listed companies covering banking, insurance, and mining. We are doing huge things for non-financial managers and Finance Indaba Africa will see us taking this awareness to the next level.”