Erick Liebenberg, managing director at The Core Group. 'Since the first day of my articles, I realised that the standard debits on the left and credits on the right would not be enough to keep this ADHD brain occupied. I have since sought ways to do things differently,' says Erick Liebenberg CA(SA), founder, owner, and managing director at The Core Group Association and winner of this year’s Small or Medium Practice Difference Makers award.
Making a difference is of utmost importance
‘As a difference maker, I have made a significant impact in my professional career through my innovative and strategic approach to problem-solving,’ says Erick.
Some of his professional highlights include serving on SAICA’s Free State Society of Chartered Accountants for ten years and as president of the society in 2007. Erick was also featured in Steve Pipe’s book titled The World’s Most Inspiring Accountants as well as being profiled in Accountancy SA Magazine.
‘I have demonstrated a unique ability to identify opportunities and gaps in the market. Having one foot in practice and the other in the IT world, I have developed creative solutions that drive growth and success in our practice and for other practices. I love and use technology to work differently and continually challenge the status quo.’
The Core Group Association is an association of legally independent professionals with a significant impact on the way more than 90 audit and accounting branches nationwide are running their audit and accounting practices.
‘Early in my career, I realised that it is only possible for small and medium practices to survive and compete with larger firms if they trust one another and share knowledge and resources,’ Erick explains.
‘I made it my business to know and understand small and medium-sized practices’ unique needs and challenges, offering tailored solutions that drive their success.’
By providing strategic guidance, implementing efficient systems, and fostering a culture of innovation in a trusted environment, Erick has helped practices thrive, create employment opportunities, and contribute to economic growth. ’It is good to participate positively in a community, but it is better to uplift a community to the next level of efficiency, quality, and performance.’
The organisation Erick created is represented in 91 cities and towns in South Africa, including about 1 200 employees and 200 practitioners and senior managers. ‘This, again, represents about 35 000 key individuals in South Africa that buy what we offer because of a very close trust relationship between partner and client.’
Many branches play a material role in their local environment regarding schools, orphanages, shelters, and career guidance. ‘As part of my service delivery, I assist them with the necessary tools the association offers.’
Early in his career, while serving on SAICA’s Free State Society of Chartered Accountants, Erick learned that there is no sense in attending any form of meeting without making a difference in that specific meeting. ‘This applies to most aspects of life. Making a difference is of utmost importance. It justifies my presence and involvement. I believe in the power of positively impacting people’s lives.’
As a CA(SA), Erick contributes to the growth and success of individuals, businesses, and communities by making a difference in small and medium-sized practices. ‘Hopefully, this will lead to a more prosperous society and a better quality of life for everyone involved.’
Receiving the Difference Makers award has been a humbling and gratifying experience for Erick. ‘It reinforces my belief that the work I do is meaningful and valued. It serves as motivation to continue striving for excellence, knowing that the efforts of individuals are recognised and appreciated. This recognition encourages me to inspire others in the profession to embrace their role as difference makers and positively impact their spheres of influence.’
He believes the award acknowledges individual professionals’ efforts. ‘It also highlights the importance of the collective impact we can make as a profession. I am honoured to be a part of a community that is dedicated to driving positive change and making a lasting difference in the lives of individuals and businesses.’