As managing director, Peterson Khumalo CA(SA) is creating a solid foundation at Khumalo and Mabuya Chartered Accountants (KnM). They started the firm in 2014 with a staff complement of three and ten years later they have more than 50 permanent employees and 10 directors.

Peterson’s vision is now set on conquering Africa through KnM and becoming the largest black-owned firm doing business in the entire continent in the next 100 years. He also sees KnM as a vehicle to realise the African child project. This project aims to provide a home to future corporate leaders on the African continent without looking down on their African values.’

‘We are the leading emerging employer of black professionals in South Africa,’ Peterson believes. We asked him to elaborate.

Tell us about KnM?

KnM is a thriving audit, tax and advisory firm emerging as one of the leading black-owned financial services firms in South Africa. With its head office in Johannesburg, KnM’s domain is firmly rooted in its African authenticity, while embracing a global multicultural view. From its humble beginnings in 2012, KnM has evolved into a force to be reckoned servicing clients from across the private and public sectors, permeating through its vast and highly specialised advisory and audit service offerings, captained by some of the most seasoned specialists in the country. As of 2023, KnM employs a total of 150 permanent and contracted employees with 10 directors, looking after clients across all provinces in South Africa.

What was one of the benefits of being a finalist of the Top 35-under-35 competition?

Business can be a lonely journey. Be authentic, open-minded and sincere, and know that you are only as good as the clients you serve.

What are the most important business lessons you have learned in the past ten years?

Building a company is not a walk in the park − t needs total dedication. You cannot know everything. As the company grows, it needs experienced, skilled and seasoned professionals to contribute to building the firm. A thriving firm is a living being that needs constant nurturing.

How did your outlook change on business and life in the past ten years?

Your relationship with your business should not negatively affect your private life and vice versa. One needs to nurture both and pay equal attention to both.

Did you achieve all the goals you set for yourself in the past ten years?

I think I exceeded my own expectations.

•My first goal was to establish a training office and recruit trainees, which we achieved. Currently we employ 15 trainees completing their articles.

•The second goal was to participate on the AGSA panel, which we achieved.

•The third goal was to expand our footprint nationally by 2030, where we are still on track.

•The fourth goal was to employ 100 fulltime and part-time employees by 2025, which we have achieved. We employ over 50 fulltime and 100 part-time employees and senior associates combined.

What are you most looking forward to in the next ten years?

Breaking existing economic barriers on the back of structural exclusion of black- owned firms in the private sector, and expansion of the firm domestically and in foreign territories.

My one piece of advice to young CAs(SA) about being a CA(SA) is …

The CA landscape has changed over the years. Being a CA is no longer the end-all-be-all these days. Find your purpose and invest in skills that set you apart from the majority. With 12 years’ experience in the entrepreneurial space, it is evident that Peterson is enjoying what he does. Another evidence to highlight this is the expansion of services they offer at KnM which now include asset management, forensic audits, technology advisory, transaction advisory and actuarial services. One of the things that gives him great joy about his firm as an accredited SAICA Training Office is giving a young graduate a chance to learn and grow as a qualified CA(SA). ‘This is one of the most rewarding feelings of satisfaction and that is what primarily keeps me motivated,’ he concludes.