Yemen Newsletter - Spring 2018

YEMEN

By Mohamed Alqubati, Managing Partner of Moore Stephens Yemen

 

BUSINESS AS USUAL

This is a story of 30 people who found hope and achieved success, despite the difficulties and hardships of conflict in Yemen and who have inspired many more people since. The background is a mid-size auditing firm of 30 people who through adversity and loss of hope resolved that they only have one choice to makeTo stand together and for each other. During the last three years, this group of men and women, from all over Yemen have stood together, to demonstrate their love for their country and each other, whatever the circumstances. 

Although they have agreed on many issues, and disagreed on others, they always find a way in order to maintain the life and hope of each other.  They realized that together and as one team, they could survive through the darkest days.  The success they have achieved was far above their expectations and represents a big success story for Moore Stephens Yemen

 

HOW IT WAS ACHIEVED?

To achieve this success the team had to change their business and work models and they have adopted changes in the way the firm operates. They changed the salary structure of the company from a fixed cost model to a variable cost model. In this model employees accept equal minimum wages covering 50% of the individual fee income, and the remaining 50% is shared in a partnership model between team participants.  As a result of this change 98% of the full salaries of every team member was paid. 

The team has found growth opportunities in Africa. Even though difficult, there was joy when the first money transfer from Djibouti office arrived in Sana’a to help cover in Sana’a office costs.

In Sana’a the team was successful to attract new clients including some UN agencies and donors. The team, with the help of Moore Stephens International won a big assignment for the audit of a major UN agency Implementing Partners (IPs) as part of the aid and humanitarian efforts in Yemen. The success achieved in this assignment, was one of the factors considered later, by this UN agency globally to award many assignments to Moore Stephens International, in London for the audit of this agency’s IPs in many countries.

During this period and until now, lots of lessons have been learned by each member of this team. Their knowledge and effectiveness has improved significantly, each one becoming a ‘star’ and having a story to tell. A story of hard work, suffering, laughter, crying, love, fear, action and drama. A story of people losing loved ones, but finding new loved ones. 

 

CONTINUITY

The chapter is still being written.  Exposed every day to adversity, but strengthened by team work, the team invested time, efforts, determination and whatever is left of money.  The team started a new business line offering Third Party Monitoring (TPM) services, starting with a major World Bank financed project for Emergency Crises Response, implemented by IPs of a UN agency.  To perform this assignment, the team used expertise from people around, some local and some from outside. 

The expertise together with the number and togetherness of the team has grown.  The team has ensured that humanitarian projects are delivered properly to the Yemeni people.  Another achievement was to do the TPM activities of another major humanitarian project implemented by another UN agency, for Emergency Cash Transfers. In this major humanitarian project (financed by the World Bank, and other donors), the team has monitored that the objectives of the project have been achieved. 

By now, the team has helped more than 1.5 million people, the beneficiaries of this raw-model UN agency implemented project. 

With every day passing, these star team members continue to write success stories, provide many assurance and TPM services to many UN Agencies including UNDP, UNICEF and UNOPS and International donors. The drive that keeps them going, is their love for Yemen and their wish to alleviate the suffering in the country.

 

I tried my best to give the reader an overview about this story, which changed my life as well as the lives of many others. I am really proud to be writing about this story, and I am really happy to be part of it. I am thankful to God and to all of you who made this story a “Success”