Take a moment to imagine your stereotypical tax practitioner: possibly a grey suit, conservative manner and serious expression, meant to communicate a disciplined approach to life. Then, take Charmaine Prout, Managing Director of Chartered Tax – outspoken, flamboyantly stylish, always with a sparkle somewhere (mostly on her nails!).
But don’t be fooled. Beneath this unconventional exterior resides a very savvy businesswoman, one who, in a very short period of time, has brought tremendous value to our Chartered Wealth Solutions clients.
It’s a family matter
“My son-in-law, Devlin Ross, has worked at Chartered Employee Benefits for six years. He had been urging me to engage with Chartered Wealth Solutions regarding my personal financial planning. In the process, it became clear that my tax business and Chartered would be a great match,” explains Charmaine.
“Within this business are three generations, and they extend the family caring to their clients.”
Together with her family, Charmaine had established her tax and accounting practice 35 years ago, and her clients include a range of businesses and individuals: restaurant-owners, doctors and dentists, garages, swim-schools, car dealers, farms, emergency medical services … spanning locations from Gauteng to Nelspruit to Cape Town.
Within this company are three generations: Charmaine’s mother, Lucy Groenenstein, manages reception and administrative tasks, bringing a motherly warmth and welcome to the office; Lucy Nel, Senior Bookkeeper, is Charmaine’s sister, and also, according to Charmaine, her anchor and her sage; Charmaine’s daughter, Tannith Ross, started her High School teaching career in Maths and Science, and is now also a Senior Bookkeeper and Junior Tax Consultant; Janine Urwin recently joined the company as General Assistant and Charmaine’s PA.
Their Office Assistant, Siphilisiwe Ncube, has become a member of the family, so long has she been working for them. The relationships within the family are reflected in the caring service that they extend to their clients.
Each brings an attention to detail and commitment to serving their clients with excellent service and extensive expertise. “We have up-to-date tax knowledge and vast experience with a variety of clients,” Charmaine comments, “and Chartered clients had been asking for tax services as part of their financial planning.” And the rest, as the cliche runs, is history.
Chartered Family focus
Working with clients from Chartered Wealth Solutions has resulted in mutual benefit for both planners and tax practitioners. “Imagine how much more holistic planning can be with knowledge from both a financial planning and a tax perspective,” says Charmaine. “We go through their financial affairs for a second time, from a tax perspective, and this often facilitates a client’s greater understanding of their ownRetiremeant™ plan. We help bring order to their finances.”
The serious implication of not having up-to-date tax affairs becomes obvious in Estate Planning. The new tax legislation requires you to have all your tax affairs in order before an Estate can be wound up, and this can cause mammoth delays and administrative wrangles. “Now we are working with Chartered Legacy & Trust, rather than having to rely on a variety of different legal companies. We meet once a week with Kerryn and her team, and so have shortened the process for our clients considerably,” adds Charmaine.
She also loves the fact that clients are being empowered to understand their own tax. “A client received a large inheritance, and, suddenly had to register for tax – daunting but we took her through the process step-by-step.”
The reason why we are such a natural fit with the Chartered Family,” concludes Charmaine, “is that we share values, with the end goal of serving the client with excellence.” Clients have appreciated the service offered by Chartered Tax. You can read the testimonials from appreciative clients in this newsletter.