Accountants Online Global Limited was formed towards the end of the year 2007; it started as a face book group under the name “Accountants on Face Book” which was an open group then later converted to a secret group which is only accessible to members.  The desire to change the name was necessitated by the fact that we preferred to run from our own platform.

The founder of this group Mr. Vincent Ombati Mbaka cleared his CPA in the year 2003. The driving force behind forming the group was due to the problems he encountered in his quest to look for a job and also the organizations he had the privilege to work for.  These problems caused him to look for simple solutions which stemmed from normal day to day routine duties within the accountancy profession to the more complex issues.

“My quest to look for a job was not an easy walk in the park.  I was not privy to information on how to go about job hunting.  I remember going through the directory that I actually got from one of the public phone booths that were common back in the day.  I went through it from A to Z including the yellow pages and religiously applied for the jobs and no single call came through, to either confirm receipt or even a chance for interview. I changed the tactics and started with regions within the city of Nairobi starting from Westland’s down to Eastland’s and finally industrial area and that did not did not bear fruits either.  I then approached companies whose location I knew, including auditing firms.  At this point I had given up; my shoes had taken a new shape due to tarmarcking.  Using public service transport was not an option due to lack of funds.  I remember before acquiring my first job I contemplated suicide, I even made it to Kenya international conference centre (KICC) to and was ready to take a leap because I could not understand why a fully qualified CPA graduate could not find employment, paradoxically the profession was highly valued at the time.  I had a change of heart and had a very hard time explaining to the security guards how I had evaded their radar.  I received my first call for an interview that very day and as they say the rest is history.”

In the work industry I remember I continued to experience problems because I was had more qualifications than my supervisors and managers.  I recall being asked to “refer to my notes” whenever I had a query.  And this is what led me to the birth of this lovely group so that members can share their experiences.  The essence of all this was to form a network that will help members of the group get online and quick solutions and also get different opinions with regard to the day to day challenges in their work places and on a wider scale discuss and get views on the emerging issues within and around the profession.

The first members were former classmates and friends from the commercial colleges, namely; Vision institute of professionals, Strathmore College now Strathmore University and the Kenya College of Accountancy presently KCA University. 

The group had less than 100 members by end of the year 2009, by this time the network involved members from countries within the African continent and beyond.  We had about 15 members in Ghana where three of our initial members were working as expatriates for Price Water Coppers.  We had several others members in Uganda, Republic of Southern Sudan, South Africa, Cayman Island just to mention a few.  Our discussion within the group went beyond Kenyan boundaries; slowly we started looking for internships and job placement, all stemming from our members who had started growing in number.  Currently we are proud to say that we have successfully managed to assist more than 3,000 members secure jobs and some internships. The group presently has over 8,000 members.

This increase has been accessioned by the job we have been doing, the level of assistance we have been offering to our members and the positive interaction on our face book wall “ACCOUNTANTS ON FACE BOOK”.  We receive more than 100 requests to join the group daily. 

The group has twice nominated one of its members for a position in ICPAK Council.  During the election, they emerged 3rd out of the 10 contestants in 2012.  This year, they still rallied behind the same candidate and clinched the position.  This goes to show that there is serious influence within the group.  With representation in the governing body of ICPAK, the group in future will be a pace setter within the industry

There is need to diversify the functions of the groups to encompass more issues that are relevant to the members.  Mentoring young accountants in the profession, refresher courses to keep up with present market trends, assisting members with internships, job placements in the country and abroad, financing the registration with our governing body at a reasonable interest rate, participating in corporate social responsibilities activities etc.

This group will surely change the lives of many of its members by making sure that they have a head start and above all bring sanity and integrity in the profession.  We need to assist CPA finalists who are not registered by our governing body get on board hence they will be regulated and to operate within the limits of our code of conducts for accountability.