by Stephen Miller
To summarize for those who may not know what I came here to do (it’s okay, no one ever really knows what an accountant does anyway), my goal is to develop an accounting service practice that will be used to train local accounting professionals and ultimately have them take over the business. To further prepare the next generation of Rwandan leaders, Bridge2Rwanda developed B2R Services, a for-profit entity that is used for experiential and on-the-job training. Right now, B2R Services has three main functions: Accounting, Consulting/Advisory Services and a Training Center. The purpose of all three functions is to create opportunity and jobs here in Rwanda.
Our accounting services practice has been officially functioning as of August 1, though there were months of preparation leading up to our launch date. We currently have two clients: a large coffee exporter and a U.S. based non-profit that does work in the northern area of Musanze. We have two people on staff, myself and the ever famous, ever hard-working Sosthene. An accounting and finance major out of a Kigali university, Sosthene has been working full time with Bridge2Rwanda since early 2012 and has been a great employee. He is pursuing his accounting certification and is in the process of taking his exams now. While he has been assisting with the accounting of Bridge2Rwanda over the past months, he is excited about the creation of the accounting services practice, as it means he will be gaining much needed experience to obtain his certification.
To this point, my job has been many things: a learning experience, hard work, and a lot of excitement. Not only are we trying to offer the high quality services to our current clients, we are also trying to build capacity to take on more clients and set a vision for our team. Next up is our first ‘training program,’ which will go from October through January. We have hired two trainees, who will go through training with Sosthene. We hope to make this training program an annual experience, hiring more trainees each year as we grow our practice.