The Daily Herald presents RS Accounting and Consulting that will provide a St. Maarten-based notary and lawyer for legal services on Saba. Since about one year legal services were scarcely available to Saba residents, with attorneys often meeting their clients in person only during court-day sessions. Businesses and individuals had to travel to St. Maarten for any document that needed the service of a recognized notary. Because of the sporadic minimal clientele on tranquil Saba and the prohibitive transportation cost between the islands, such businesses are not sustainable as independent entities.
RS Accounting and Consulting managers recently opened their new enlarged office in Windwardside in the same building as the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the local Royal Bank of Canada branch. The new office will become the island’s hub for both financial and legal services. Civil law notary Meredith Boekhoudt and attorney- at-law Jairo Bloem of Bloem and Associates, both from St. Maarten, will provide services at RS Accounting and Consulting office. Richard Scholten opened the accounting company on St. Maarten in 2001, opened a Saba branch later and expanded to St. Eustatius in September. Originally from the Netherlands, Scholten settled on St. Maarten in 1996 arriving as a Dutch ministry consultant working at the tax office. After three years, the St. Maarten government offered him a financial technical assistant position and soon after he opened his private business. In September 2006, Scholten’s company took over the accounting business managed by Gied Mommers on Saba. One year before the transition on 10-10-10, work started on an accounting “clean-up” on the islands, said Scholten. The overwhelming demand meant he required full-time help. He met Bettina Schroeter, who impressed him with her professionalism and her willingness to learn. Scholten says he hired her as an assistant in 2010 and “she had proven herself as not just being capable but also indispensable.” By the end of her first year with the company, Scholten offered her a partnership. Schroeter actually became majority shareholder. ”Both the partnership and the business are flourishing,” Scholten said. Schroeter arrived on Saba in 2003 from Germany. She started working in the tourism industry, quickly learnt Dutch and terminology to grasp the new accounting system and taxation regime. She enjoys catering to the actual business needs of each client and provides a customized approach and attention which earned her a reputation. Schroeter said that since the constitutional transition “even the most educated individuals are overburdened and confused by the new tax regulation.” Individuals and businesses seek her support on income-tax return, payroll administration, quarterly tax payments, annual budgets and even employee immigration and naturalization services. Many of her clients seek to avoid the frustration of dealing with these departments individually and put their trust in her instead. The same trend is visible on Statia where Scarlet Chittick manages the RS Accounting office.