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44: Marthie Claasens

Founder and CEO: Protect-A-Director
Being an auditor could be regarded as a high-risk occupation these days, Marthie Claassens provides some insight as to why our pool of auditors is dwindling.
24 February 2020

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CIARAN RYAN:
This is CFO Talks and I am very happy today to welcome Marthie Claassens, the founder and chief executive officer of a company called Protect-A-Director, which is exactly what the company does, it supports auditors and directors with technical challenges they may face and it keeps them safe. There aren’t many other bodies that are actually doing that in the market. Previous to that, Marthie was an inspector at the Public Accountants and Auditors Board, which has since become the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors. Marthie, welcome.  

MARTHIE CLAASENS: Thank you. 

CIARAN RYAN: Now, you were involved in helping draft some of the recommendations - and I know this from your CV – you were involved in drafting some of the recommendations for the King Code on corporate governance. Tell us a little bit about some of the issues that you were trying to solve in doing that?

MARTHIE CLAASENS: Well, the King Code had a very long history, there was first King I and then King II and III, and King III was issued in 2009, by 2016 a lot had changed in the world, the global economic crisis, the pressure on the environment, the rampant transparency caused by social media. So the world just realised that if businesses do not start to do business in a sustainable manner, they will not survive. In Africa we are still in a situation where businesses do not outlive individuals, we don’t have old companies. There are a few, Naspers is one, but it’s not common, for instance, in Africa, that businesses become older than people. In the world we have seen very large corporates collapse, which people thought would never collapse, so age is not necessarily an indication of sustainability nowadays. The corporate governance code was required to be rewritten, to say what are the needs of the future, what are the views of current consumers, what are the pressures put onto the world by stakeholders because up to the late ‘90s, early 2000s, there was a lot of focus on the shareholders, their needs, their financial return. So it was time for the world to say that if we want to sustain businesses, there must be a better way to do business, and in a way corporate governance is to say doing good business is good business, of course there’s an investment that comes with it and your uber capitalists don’t always see that, they want to see short-term returns, where the corporate governance codes took very much a longer view on returns, on how will we sustain, still meeting the shareholders’ needs for financial returns because if there’s no money, there’s no business. 

CIARAN RYAN: Just to interrupt you there, sustainability has come to mean something a little bit different over the years…

MARTHIE CLAASENS: It has. 

CIARAN RYAN: When people talk about sustainability, they say are you ‘green’, what’s your carbon footprint, right? 

MARTHIE CLAASENS: Yes, that has become one of the areas but, really, what has happened as well is that since 2009, since code III was issued, the integrated reporting framework was also issued and there they recognised that there are six capitals that keep any business afloat, of which nature is one. So it’s not about being green, it’s about being balanced in managing, in taking from these six capitals and putting back. Financial capital is one, the environment is one, society is one and then human resources is another one, so it’s really balancing all of these. One can’t over-invest in the one and neglect the other ones. Of course, you must also invest in proportion to the type of business that you are in, we can’t all be just green, there are other capitals that are more prevalent in our business. 

CIARAN RYAN: Milton Friedman, the economist, his notion that your only responsibility as a director is to your shareholders…

MARTHIE CLAASENS: [Laughing] 

CIARAN RYAN: Which is very much nineteenth century…

MARTHIE CLAASENS: Crucified by now. 

CIARAN RYAN: Crucified, ja. 

MARTHIE CLAASENS: Well, the notion of shareholder supremacy has been rising for about 100 years and essentially corporate governance is quashing that to say, the directors were never responsible to the shareholders, they were always responsible to the company, which is a separate legal entity. But shareholders started confusing themselves with the company, they are mere role players in the company. Yes, they are financial contributors but so are lenders, so are people with accrued leave. 

 

Only five people become auditors in SA each year 

 

CIARAN RYAN: Let’s talk about Protect-A-Director, just explain how this came to be, you are there to support auditors and directors with technical challenges that they may face, and to keep them safe. What do they need to be kept safe from? 

MARTHIE CLAASENS: It’s really probably the most risky job to be an auditor and probably a close second to that is to be a non-executive director. The auditing profession, and I cannot quote exact figures at the moment, but a few years ago when I had a look, there were about 45 000 to 50 000 CAs, the numbers may be slightly out, of which only 4500 are choosing to be auditors. Now, CA is the qualification you need to register as an auditor. In South Africa in the period round about 2005 to 2015, the auditing profession, not the CA profession, the people who chose to become auditors grew by only five a year, the net growth. Our whole economy is serviced by 4500 registered auditors, of which only about 2500 of them choose to sign off audit reports, that is something.  

CIARAN RYAN: Why do the others not choose to sign off audit reports?

MARTHIE CLAASENS: It’s extremely risky because you can be charged with unprofessional conduct because an auditor is supposed to express a view on a set of financials when the auditor wasn’t present the whole year when the transactions happened, where someone decided to debit and credit. The auditor essentially walks in in theory to a complete set of financial statements and then it’s a very limited time to present an opinion on someone else’s work, so it’s very, very high risk to have a reasonable view on this. You have auditing standards that now exceed 1000 pages, just the standards on auditing, you have a code of ethics that 300, 400, 500 pages long, you’ve got legislation, you’ve got proclamations, there are so many things. If an auditor misses one thing, he or she can be charged with unprofessional conduct. 

CIARAN RYAN: That means what to their careers? 

MARTHIE CLAASENS: That means a media frenzy, it can mean being penalised financially, it can mean a complete destruction of your reputation, it can mean extremely high legal costs.

CIARAN RYAN: Tell me something, what kind of person becomes an auditor, given those kinds of risks?

MARTHIE CLAASENS: A naïve person [laughing]. No, to all my auditor clients out there I am an auditor myself. I think auditing has a value and there is definitely a value in auditing, but auditors haven’t really capitalised on the value yet. Risk and reward must match. Now, what we have seen in the past is that auditors, especially the smaller firms, many of them have been involved in the accounting, the advisory and the tax work of clients. Many private clients come to auditors and they want all that, they actually don’t want the audit, compared to clients who just want to audit, they don’t want to get involved. But what has happened over the years is in order to ensure the independence of the auditor, which is one of the cornerstones of an auditor, is to remain independent, auditors had to be more hands off when it comes to accounting, when it comes to tax, for that specific client. So you say who would become an auditor, I think there are people who would love to give assurance and, yes, at the moment only the mistakes of auditors are hung onto the flag pole but how wrong would financials be if there were no auditors and I am worried about the rate at which the audit profession is growing that it may be a profession that is dying. So despite all the problems, despite all the blame that the auditors take…

CIARAN RYAN: Sorry, just to interrupt you again, only five people per year in South Africa are becoming auditors? 

MARTHIE CLAASENS: The net growth. 

CIARAN RYAN: The net growth. 

MARTHIE CLAASENS: So that’s after deaths, emigrations, cancellations and struck off the roll, the new editions, that was in the period round about 2005 to 2015, the net warm bodies added to the profession was 50.

CIARAN RYAN: Wow, that’s pretty shocking. 

MARTHIE CLAASENS:  Then after 2015 a new level of qualification was introduced, now it takes another 18 months after you are a CA to become a registered auditor, so that’s a new barrier to entry. So this very dwindling rate was before the new barrier to entry was imposed. This dwindling rate was before all the corporate scandals, before state capture, before all the audit firms that suffered at the hands of state capture. So why would a young person want to do this, because what they can earn in the corporate sector is quite a lot at that age, there is a time when to be an audit partner exceeds the revenue you can earn as a young professional in commerce and industry but it takes a few years. But young people look at this and say, nine years and then I face all these risks? I read the newspapers and I don’t read about directors who get crucified the way that auditors get crucified, yet it’s the directors’ financial statements, it’s not the auditor’s financial statements.

CIARAN RYAN: Okay, so come back to protecting these poor endangered species…

MARTHIE CLAASENS: [Laughing] They are. 

 

Providing support, verification and skills for auditors 

 

CIARAN RYAN: What do you do, how do you do that? 

MARTHIE CLAASENS: I have a network of people who have strong auditing and IFRS knowledge, a little bit of tax knowledge, ethical knowledge, and we research and follow all technical developments and then we keep them up to date because given that the numbers are so low, these people really work very hard, the auditors, not all of them have time to research and develop technical tools. So what I would do, my network of people and I, we would develop technical tools, we would present training, we would give practical advice, we would review their audits and show them where they have gaps in their documentation, where the financial statements are maybe materially misstated, where they have missed something and their clients have missed something. So we obviously try and do this proactively to help them catch a mistake before they sign off, we sometimes write technical opinions for them, especially where there’s an integrated matter where auditing standards, the code of ethics and legal requirements all get blurred, sometimes you need someone to untangle it for you, put it into a technical opinion and take a view because the auditor must also be seen to be proactively looking to consult, to make sure he or she is right when they sign that audit report. The risk to them, of course, is that investors rely on that audit report, and if an investor makes a mistake they can turn to the auditor and say, but you’ve said these financial statements [indistinct].  

CIARAN RYAN: I think people in the general public look at the auditor and you are supposed to have checked every aspect of that business and you missed it. Steinhoff, these companies that failed and it’s your fault. But in actual fact they are only looking at a tiny sample. 

MARTHIE CLAASENS: They are looking at a sample and the sample is usually determined by risk, the sample is influenced by the materiality that the auditor decides on because an auditor doesn’t make an absolute conclusion, the auditor doesn’t give absolute assurance, the auditor gives the highest level of assurance available in the market, which is reasonable assurance, and the auditor does say, free from material misstatement, so there can be mistakes. The auditor also makes a statement in the audit report that although they have looked at internal controls, they have not necessarily tested the internal controls and there can be things, because internal controls remain the duty of  directors, there can be things that they’ve missed because it just didn’t simply form part of their focus. I do agree that there is probably a huge expectation gap between what the public thinks an auditor does and what an auditor actually does, and sometimes even what an auditor is supposed to do. So in my line of work and I’m an auditor but I see many a time a gap between auditors who practice what they think they should do and what the standards think they should do. So I do see that. 

CIARAN RYAN: Let’s talk about your previous life before you were at Protect-A-Director…

MARTHIE CLAASENS: When I was still normal? 

CIARAN RYAN: [Laughing] Ja, so you were involved in doing practice reviews, you’ve done about 600 practice reviews, and I guess you better explain what that is, what were some of the typical mistakes that you were finding or the gaps in understanding amongst the auditors, where was the danger? 

MARTHIE CLAASENS: I think the danger was when auditors came a bit too close to their clients, you must get close enough to understand the client and the business but you mustn’t get so close that you can’t see anymore that they are making mistakes.

CIARAN RYAN: No golf days together?

MARTHIE CLAASENS: You can but it mustn’t impair your objectivity. It’s been frowned upon more recently, ten, 15 years ago it was quite expected that you would attend the golf day if a client invites you. Nowadays it’s not so much about only being independent but also the perception of independence. You would find different kinds of mistakes, in your bigger firms with very big technical support teams and structures, international support, you occasionally find one big blunder that everyone has missed and it affects a set of financial statements that’s listed, and you realise that these financial statements have been wrong forever. On the smaller audit firms, you would get that there’s a very low level of technical support, they wouldn’t even be aware of all the standards that exist and their documentation would be weaker because they know their clients so well. Whereas your bigger firms would sometimes have stronger documentation because they don’t have such a close relationship. I find sometimes in the small audit firms that a small auditor could explain a lot of things to you but there’s the joke in auditing to say what’s the three D’s of auditing and that’s document, document, document. So as an inspector or practice reviewer, you could never rely on what you were told, you could only rely on what you could read. 

CIARAN RYAN: You know what’s frightening to a lot of people, and I think a lot of the analysts who look at the stock market missed this as well, take Steinhoff for example, where you have this over-financialisation of the company, so basically you’re not really looking at a retailer anymore, you’re looking at something which is like an investment. 

MARTHIE CLAASENS: It’s a serial investor. 

CIARAN RYAN: It’s a serial investor and so they’ve got all of these what they call SPVs or special purpose vehicles, which are there to ringfence risks, so it’s a place where you put your junk, it’s the garbage bin, basically, and how an auditor can pick up on that because sometimes you can have thousands of these in a company. The economist, Michael Hudson, has written quite a lot about this as in what is the value that all this financialisation brings to an economy, and we are actually overstating GDP figures because of it.  

MARTHIE CLAASENS: It’s quite possible. 

CIARAN RYAN: Just talk about that for a minute, the over-financialisation of a company. 

MARTHIE CLAASENS: I think it comes to something called the complicated international financial reporting standards. Yes, we have IFRS to standardise corporate financial communication, if we want to call it that, but it is highly complex, it’s highly open for interpretation, and if you have very creative accountants and very dominant CEOs, like we’ve had in Steinhoff, it’s quite possible to create smoke and mirrors. Probably to any person who wants to understand what happened in Steinhoff but who doesn’t have to be a CA, I’ve read a book called, well, it’s in Afrikaans, Steinhoff en die Stellenbosse boys, written by James-Brent Styan.

CIARAN RYAN: The Stellenbosch mafia? 

MARTHIE CLAASENS: The English name was Steinhoff: Inside SA’s biggest corporate crash by James-Brent Styan. There he explained how Steinhoff essentially created all these intangible assets, that when it imploded it was just hot air. 

CIARAN RYAN: It was just intangible. 

MARTHIE CLAASENS: It was just intangibles, which was very high-risk anyway for any auditor, any intangible asset because you can’t see it, valuations are subjective. When you audit any asset, there are four things an auditor must be able to prove, that it exists, that it’s properly valued, that it’s the property of that entity and that all assets are included.

 

Goodwill and intangible values can trip up auditors 

 

CIARAN RYAN: This is one of the big debates in the accounting profession at the moment is how do you treat goodwill. There is an argument that Coca-Cola, the value of that as a brand, the intangible value of that is huge, therefore, why should it be written down to zero. Of course, a lot of companies are applying that, again, in a very, very subjective way. I think the standard way is a straight-line depreciation, you write it off over 20 years…

MARTHIE CLAASENS: Not really anymore, nowadays fair value is the concept, that you should write it down to its fair value. How the clever people come up with the calculations, that is, firstly, management’s responsibility, the auditor – and it comes back to you asking me why would someone want to be an auditor – an auditor must then go and have a view on the appropriateness of that valuation. That’s tough. Auditors are allowed to call on experts. So Coca-Cola wouldn’t write off their, let’s call it not only goodwill but the intangibles…

CIARAN RYAN: But if you go a little bit further, companies like Steinhoff that are involved in a lot of acquisitions, they are doing dozens per year or they were, the goodwill component that arises as a result of that is where you can get tripped up as an auditor. 

MARTHIE CLAASENS: You can get tripped up because it’s highly manipulative and it’s highly subjective to estimations. Estimations are usually a significant risk to auditors, it’s not a given significant risk, it’s not a compulsory one, but auditors are expected to treat estimations with a high degree of scepticism and then bring in their own experts or rely on management experts but there are different hoops you jump through if you decide to rely on the management expert. There are still a lot of things that you must test yourself as an auditor, you can’t just rely. I still sometimes see in the auditing profession that the moment an expert, whether it’s an actuary or a corporate financier or an environmental expert, for a mine, for instance, where the auditor sees that it’s been an expert and the person has been in the market for a long time, when they see that then they easily think, okay, then I can rely. Then me and my network of people would bring them back and say let’s go to the auditing standards, before you can rely on that work there are still a few things that you have to establish – credibility, the source data that was used, the person’s independence towards the entity and so on. 

CIARAN RYAN: You’ve probably read the report by Sir Don Brydon, who was previously the head of the London Stock Exchange…

MARTHIE CLAASENS: I didn’t unfortunately.

CIARAN RYAN: So basically, what he’s saying is that we should liberate the audit profession from accounting because you have different kinds of audits that are coming into play, for example, environmental and safety audits and all that sort of thing. What’s your view on that?

MARTHIE CLAASENS: To liberate the financial audit as well?

CIARAN RYAN: Ja, in other words, it would have its own separate regulatory body, its own set of standards. At the moment it’s kind of a subset within accounting, that’s what he’s saying. 

MARTHIE CLAASENS: I don’t agree with that, but I haven’t read it, because the auditing profession has always been the regulated portion of the whole build up. I think what is maybe confusing is you need to be an accountant first to become an auditor.

CIARAN RYAN: What about an environmental auditor? 

MARTHIE CLAASENS: Well, that would be something different as well, it depends on the levels of assurance they give. I think auditing per se is to look at someone else’s work and to come to a conclusion on their work. Accounting differs very much, an accountant decides what to record, when to record it, how much to record. So an accountant is there compiling whatever the auditor must have an independent view on. So liberating the auditing profession I think in a way it has happened in the financial audit sector already because our code of ethics expects such a high level of independence and objectivity. We cannot pass journals for a client, we cannot, we cannot compile their financials. There are certain small tweaks here and there for a non-public interest company or voluntary audits but now I am talking about the real audits, the auditor stands back completely from the financial statements. The auditor must be hands off, the auditor cannot even pass a journal but in order to audit a financially compiled product, which is a set of financial statements, the auditor needs to have all the knowledge the accountants have. But the auditor has been liberated, according to my view, from the financial statements, from the accounting, but you need the base knowledge because how can you express a view on the accounts if you don’t understand accounting.

 

Understanding IFRS 9, 15 and 16

 

CIARAN RYAN: We are running out of time here but there are a couple of questions I just want to fire at you and if you can give me fairly quick answers on these. There have been some adjustments to the IFRS standards, such as IFRS 16 and IFRS 9, which deal with revenue recognition and with leases, these are just two examples of how the accounting profession is trying to catch up with the changing demands of users of financial statements. Are these helpful changes, in your opinion? 

MARTHIE CLAASENS: They are, I think they represent a closer truth to control. What worries me about all these standards is that they are so complex, if you have five CAs in the room you can get five different answers. That’s the problem, the average user of a financial statement, a pension fund beneficiary or your grandmother who has ten shares in Shoprite, if the CAs battle to understand it, how will they. So maybe the big investors can detangle it with technical teams. I used to make a joke, before IFRS there was Generally Accepted Accounting Practice, GAAP, and I always had this standing joke where I said I have never met the people who so generally accepted these things, I never knew where the name came from because whenever you addressed it to a technical crowd they would not agree. IFRS 16, of course, now so many leases are going to get onto the balance sheet of the lessee, it’s going to impact their cash flow statement, it’s going to impact their EBITDA figures, it's going to impact their balance sheet. So there are so many things that come with IFRS 16. IFRS 9 is extremely complex, you have companies in South Africa now who specialise in IFRS 9 only, they call themselves IFRS 9 consultants or whatever the name is. The point is there are companies who only consult on IFRS 9 and one component of it being expected credit losses.  

CIARAN RYAN: IFRS 9 dealing with revenue. 

MARTHIE CLAASENS: IFRS 15 is revenue, I’ll tell you about IFRS 15 just now but IFRS 9 is the one where accounts receivable, the financial instruments are all in and you are supposed to now do an expected credit loss on your receivables, not just a current loss. So there are companies that specialise in one component of IFRS 9. Now, if you can’t afford these technical experts what do you do. IFRS 15 is the revenue standard, so maybe that’s a good one to talk about because what’s very interesting is that in the USA, which obviously does not subscribe to IFRS, the world’s biggest economy does not subscribe to it, they had 180 different articles on how to measure revenue.

CIARAN RYAN: Where in the US?

MARTHIE CLAASSENS: In their accounting profession, it had 180 different small standards on how to deal with revenue. 

CIARAN RYAN: This is a frightening…

MARTHIE CLAASENS: It’s a frightening number, we had three, we had IAS 11, IAS 18 and IFRS 13. Now they have all basically come together in IFRS 15. But let’s put this into perspective, over the last decade in the US roughly one in eight listed companies restated their published financial statements with revenue recognition errors being the dominant cause of restatement. 

CIARAN RYAN: Revenue recognition. 

MARTHIE CLAASENS: One in eight. 

CIARAN RYAN: I think Tongaat is a good case in point in South Africa because there the revenue recognition, the land sales, which is always a very, very difficult thing to track, when is it actually a land sale and, of course, they managed to fudge that. I think also the valuation of their stock, they grow sugarcane and there was a great deal of beautiful creative accounting built into that. So it’s getting more complex, which means from an auditors point of view…

MARTHIE CLAASENS: It’s getting more risky. 

CIARAN RYAN: It’s getting more risky. 

MARTHIE CLAASENS: In a way I do think that the IFRS 15 standard is complex but it’s quite exact what you should do. IFRS 15 in a strange way was a merge of all the US 180 different ways of recognising revenue, and then the three standards we have had, this is one of the standards where the two, the non-US and the US have worked together to start following it. IFRS 15 now wants you to recognise revenue as you earn it contractually, which is a good principle, as soon as you meet your performance obligations you recognise it. But what we see in practice is that people still battle to distinguish between when I have invoiced and when I have earned.

CIARAN RYAN: Right and, of course, what the investment analysts are doing and what the banks are doing is they are really looking at cash. A bank would look at it from the point of view of can this company repay the debt, they’re asking for a loan, can they repay it. So they would look very much at cash and they won’t necessarily look at revenue recognition or accrual. The investment analysts will also deconstruct and reconstruct the accounts for their particular needs. Again, it’s very much a cash-based thing. It just strikes me that the whole world of accounting has moved away from its origins to a point where we are relying on an element of fiction. 

MARTHIE CLAASENS: It is quite possible. I don’t think it’s the intention of the standards but it is open for interpretation because the US is extremely rule-based, whereby the rest of the world, who follow, say, the British way, is more professional judgement and the moment you leave professional judgement open, it’s up to someone to interpret it, and then at least hopefully the auditor will come and have a different view if there is creative accounting in there. But the auditor can’t catch everything, especially if there is a deliberate misstatement by management, as in the Bosasa inquiry, as Angelo Agrizzi said, no auditor was ever going to catch us. They just knew how to do it. If you are out there to mislead as directors or management, you will be able to do it. 

CIARAN RYAN: Yes, Bosasa, for people who are not in South Africa, it was the locust of a huge fraud that was perpetrated against, with the connivance of people in government, but it was a multi-billion rand fraud that was involved in providing services to our prisons for the main part, and it involved huge amounts of cash and bribes to secure contracts. We’re pretty much out of time, what books do you recommend?



Recommended books and Netflix series 

 

MARTHIE CLAASENS: I would definitely read Steinhoff: Inside SA’s biggest corporate crash by James-Brent Styan. Then there’s a good book by Judge Mervyn King called The Auditor Quo Vadis.

CIARAN RYAN: It’s not a light read though, is it? 

MARTHIE CLAASENS: It’s not a big book, it’s not a heavy book, I think it’s not too heavy, it’s palatable and it’s a rather thin book. It just means auditor, where to from now. Then there’s a book by a guy called Tobie Wiese, which is the second edition of Corporate Governance in South Africa, where he compares South Africa to other countries, which is always interesting to see. The I do sometimes read and listen to things that Peter Goss says, he’s very unapologetic in his way of disruption. He takes on all the conventional corporate governance ideas and shakes them up a bit. So you do not necessarily accept everything that the King Code says and so on. But it’s important, and I don’t know how much time we have…

CIARAN RYAN: We don’t have much at all. 

MARTHIE CLAASENS: I’m going to give you one nugget, I want directors just to be aware about the legal repercussions of not complying with corporate governance because I think for a long time corporate governance has been the step-cousin to corporate law and that’s not the case anymore. One of the director’s duties is to act in the best interest and with care and skill. We are aware that there were quite a few legal cases already where the judges referred to the King Code as the standard of care and skill. So if directors think corporate governance is a nice thing to do, if you can’t beat them, scare them, it’s not a nice thing to do anymore, it’s been linked to the law and directors may find themselves having to answer to a judge for not complying with good corporate governance. 

CIARAN RYAN: Wow, okay, last question, what do you do in your spare time?

MARTHIE CLAASENS: I don’t have much spare time but, of course, there’s Netflix.

CIARAN RYAN: Netflix, what are you watching? 

MARTHIE CLAASENS: I like anything Nordic…

CIARAN RYAN: Like Game of Thrones? 

MARTHIE CLAASENS: No, not fantasy Nordic but detective series in Finland, Denmark or Sweden. 

CIARAN RYAN: Are you watching I am a Killer? 

MARTHIE CLAASENS: I’ve seen a bit of that. 

CIARAN RYAN: It’s a bit too heavy for me. 

MARTHIE CLAASENS: It’s a bit heavy. You must watch Trapped, that was very good, it was about these people being stuck in this little town close to the Arctic and then one or two murders start to happen, and no one gets murdered there ever. 

CIARAN RYAN: Is it a true story?

MARTHIE CLAASENS: I don’t know, I hope not. Then I have got daughters, so I must teach them maths and take them for ice cream. 

CIARAN RYAN: Young daughters? 

MARTHIE CLAASENS: Sixteen and 11, yes, I must teach them about life, and then I work, I am a consultant. We are overworked. 

CIARAN RYAN: Overworked, underpaid but happy. 

MARTHIE CLAASENS: Yes, no and no [laughing].

CIARAN RYAN: We are going to have to leave it there. Marthie Claassens, the founder and CEO of Protect-A-Director, thank you so much for coming in. 

MARTHIE CLAASENS: It’s been a great, great pleasure. 

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