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CEO in focus Albert Folorunsho: Championing growth of indigenous audit industry

With over 20 years of professional experience in Taxation, Insolvency Practice and Management Consulting, Albert Folorunsho, the Managing Consultant and Cofounder of Pedabo Professional Services is one of the leaders that have put Nigeria’s audit industry on the global map.

Folorunsho, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, and an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria has led Pedabo Professional Services, an indigenous tax, audit and advisory firm from a two-man company to a multimillion naira company.

Born on the 10th of October 1967 in Iffe-ijumu in Kogi State of Nigeria, Folorunsho obtained an OND from The Kaduna Polytechnic in 1987.

He started his professional career as an Accountant with the National Commission for Museums & Monuments in 1988 as an Assistant Executive Officer, level 6. Folorunsho worked there for two years during which he was introduced to ICAN exams and became a Chartered Accountant at 22 years of age, before leaving as Accountant1.

In 1992, the founder moved on to join the tax and audit firm of Babington Ashaye & Co., where he trained and became a Senior Manager. In the seven years, Folorunsho worked at the firm he gathered working experience as both the Head of Tax unit and the Insolvency Department.

Having agreed with his friend and partner, Ajibade Fashina, the CEO founded Pedabo Associates Limited on 1st November 1998. His hunger for knowledge led him to further his studies; after setting up the company, Folorunsho went ahead to obtain his first degree from Ambrose Alli University where he studied Business Administration and later a Master of Banking and Finance from the University of Ibadan.

Folorunsho is the current dean of the International tax faculty, where he is a Fellow; the CEO is also a Fellow of the Business Recovery and Insolvency Practitioners Association of Nigeria (BRIPAN), where he is currently a Treasurer.

After his qualification as a chartered accountant in 1990, Folorunsho started lecturing taxation at Mayo Associates Limited and later Safe Associates before he joined 12 wise men to form Wyse Associates Limited where he is still lecturing Advanced

Taxation for ICAN and Business Taxation for ACCA exams.

In 2008 Folorunsho decided to expand his tax knowledge in the area of International Tax, he registered with the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) of the United Kingdom and he obtained an Advanced Diploma in International Taxation (ADIT) and currently an international affiliate of CIOT UK.

Under the leadership of Folorunsho, Pedabo has over the years continued to grow stronger in its capacity to deliver an array of more specialised tax, audit and financial consulting services to its multi-sectoral clientele, many of whom are clear leaders in their fields.

The company assert with pride that it expects Pedabo to be mentioned in every list of top 10 professional accounting firms in Nigeria, and certainly expect to be ranked in the top 3 list of indigenous firms. A feat that has been achieved with conscientious dedication and continued development in the quality of services delivered over time.

With a combined experience of over 100 years of professional practice, Pedabos’ partners have been active participants in recent developments of the practice of taxation in Nigeria, working closely with regulatory authorities.

Folorunsho was a member of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme ( VAIDS) steering committee which carried out studies on countries that have implemented similar programmes in the past, like

South Africa, Turkey, Indonesia and India before the structure was finalized in Nigeria. The committee was also involved in training the Community Tax Liaison Officers used in propagating the programme.

Pedabo’s work for clients and the tax authorities have contributed to the shaping of the tax regulatory framework in Nigeria. Its automated audit approach and methodology is robust, scalable and enables the audit firm to deliver high quality, efficient and value-added audit services to its numerous clients.

The indigenous firm takes a lot of pride in its automated audit methodology which is periodically reviewed by member firms within its global network, Morison KSI; a network that is represented in over 88 countries by 158 multidisciplinary members, with a cumulative revenue of over $1b.

Pedabo has begun to live its vision of becoming one of the leading professional services firms in Nigeria with its over 200 clients in the past year alone. The company has provided dedicated services to its clients through retainers in; tax consulting – corporate and personal income taxes, Transfer Pricing, Country by Country Reporting, management of PAYE and FIRS Audits, statutory audits, internal audit set-ups and periodic reviews, accounting services (dedicated and outsourced) and payroll management;

The Lagos- based auditing firm has also provided its clients with one-off services that includes: Financial (Business & Project) Due Diligence, Forensic Audits, Actuarial Valuation, Business & Portfolio Valuations, IFRS Conversions and Impact Analysis, Business Restructuring, Asset Certification, Reporting Accounting, Advice & Representation for government schemes, such as; Pioneer Status Incentives, NOTAP Registrations, Road Infrastructure & Tax Credit Scheme, to mention a few, Specialised Financial Management Trainings – from accounting, tax appreciation and management to IFRS Implementation and Compliance, and; Several specialist services tailored to your business to meet your financial and regulatory objectives.

According to Folorunsho, Pedabo’s commitment as a firm remains to continue to develop capacity and provide exceptional timely service, even now that it has over 120 man strong with over 60 percent of its personnel professionally qualified and poised to deliver cutting edge professionalism on all of its assignments.

Speaking on the success of Pedabo, the company said it has been massive; haven started with just one staff and growing that number to over 115 employees with an office in Lagos, Abuja and a representative office in Ghana, the company said it has reported huge growth over the years.

The surge in the number of Pedabo’s clients was evidence that the company has achieved many of its dream and aspirations. According to the firm it is now seen as a viable competition by the top four international firms. For instance, transfer pricing was considered exclusive to the top four but Pedabo is also an expert in that space and that has given it a big break.

“The company represents most of its clients in all the states of the Federation and FCT and has managed tax for banks with branches all over the Federation. Its clients include major companies in telecoms, construction, insurance, regulatory and every sector of the economy and this is a company that started off with some clients that were small,” an industry expert who has grown with the company said.

According to industry sources, Pedabo is gradually becoming a household name in tax, audit and advisory services in Nigeria and it has grown with a number of clients that were paying them N50,000 some 20 years ago but are now paying us as much as N5million.

Folorunsho is of the opinion that the strength of Pedabo’s lies in the fact that the company is always available for its clients at all times and to equip staff with knowledge. “I have time for all my clients both big and small, as we are just a phone call away and we try to meet our clients’ needs, coupled with the fact that we have a very good relationship with our clients, the tax authorities and other regulatory authorities.”

The CEO who enjoys listening to good music has been a lecturer in Tax Management for the past seventeen years at Wyse Associates Limited, a leading accountancy tuition house. He also lectures Business and Advance Taxation in the same school for students preparing for the ACCA examinations.

Having passed and awarded the prestigious Advance Diploma in International Taxation by the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) of UK, with specialization in UK taxation and European Taxation. He is an international affiliate of the CIOT, with wide experience in international taxation and advisory involving cross-border structuring and transfer pricing.

He has been involved in all aspects of taxation practice varying from International Tax Advisory, Transfer Pricing Planning and Implementation, Oil and Gas Taxation Management to name a few. He has also handled several Insolvency assignments for banks ranging from Debt Recovery, Liquidation and Receivership Management.

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