Archive for September, 2012

Ons dienste en die koste daaraan verbonde

“Hoeveel sal ‘n oudit kos?”

“Hoeveel gaan julle ons vra om ‘n stel finansiële state op te stel?”

“Hoeveel vra julle vir ‘n belastingopgawe?”
    
“Ons ouditeure is te duur – hoeveel gaan julle  ons vir ‘n jaar vra?”

Hierdie is vrae wat gereeld aan ons gevra word en daar is geen eenvoudige antwoord op die vrae nie.  Uit die aard van die saak is daar baie veranderlikes wat in ag geneem moet word alvorens ons ‘n aanduiding van ons kostes kan gee en hierdie skatting kan eers gemaak word nadat ons ‘n behoorlike begrip van die kliënt se behoeftes en omstandighede verkry het.

In ‘n tyd waar die meeste kliënte besonder bewus is van kostes, is dit vir ons belangrik om te verseker dat ons kliënte behoorlik ingelig word oor wat hulle vir ons dienste moet betaal terwyl hulle steeds gerus kan voel dat hulle waarde vir hulle geld kry.  Daar word deurlopend meer belasting-, statutêre- en ander vereistes aan besigheidsentiteite, werkgewers en belastingpligtiges gestel en dit is vir ons erns om te verseker dat daar aan hierdie vereistes voldoen word.  Hierdie voldoening gaan vanselfsprekend gepaard met koste-implikasies en dit is gewoonlik kostes waaroor nie ons of ons kliënt beheer het nie.

Die kostes vir die dienste wat ons lewer word wesenlik op een van twee maniere bereken:  Eerstens op grond van die tyd wat ons bestee aan die uitvoering van die werk; die uurtarief word bereken op grond van die vlak van ondervinding en akademiese kwalifikasie wat vereis word van die persoon wat die diens lewer. Tweedens is daar ‘n aantal dienste wat gelewer word teen ‘n standaardtarief per diens.

Net soos ons kliënte wil ons ook ons faktureringstelsel so eenvoudig moontlik hou, nie net omdat dit maklik verstaanbaar is nie, maar ook om ons, sowel as ons kliënte, se administrasie te vergemaklik.  So, byvoorbeeld, sou net een faktuur vir ‘n jaar se diens vir ons ideaal wees maar omdat ons in sommige gevalle gediversifiseerde dienste aan ‘n kliënt lewer is dit nie altyd prakties moontlik nie.

Die doel van hierdie artikel is om ‘n bietjie meer duidelikheid aan ons kliënte te gee oor die aard van die verskillende dienste wat ons lewer en die koste hieraan verbonde. Hierdie oorsig is nie noodwendig algemeen van toepassing op alle kliënte nie maar ons vertrou dat u wél die dienste wat ons aan u lewer, hier sal vind.

1.    Oudit- en oorsigdienste

Oudit- en oorsigdienste word gewoonlik op ‘n jaarlikse basis gelewer en ons koste in hierdie verband word hoofsaaklik bereken op grond van die tyd deur die ouditspan bestee en, waar van toepassing, reis- en verblyfkoste.

In die geval van kleiner oudits vind fakturering plaas nadat die oudit afgehandel is. Andersins geskied dit soos ooreengekom met die kliënt, in welke geval dit kan behels dat ons ‘n deposito vra alvorens ons met die werk begin of, as alternatief, dat interim-fakture gelewer word namate spesifieke dele van die oudit gefinaliseer word.

Gesien ons professionele aanspreeklikheid met die uitvoer van ‘n oudit kan ons verantwoordelikhede nie deur ‘n kliënt beperk word nie. Dit is gevolglik moeilik om vooraf ‘n akkurate aanduiding van kostes te gee omdat die omvang van ouditwerk in die loop van die oudit kan verander.

2.    Opstel van finansiële state

Die koste verbonde aan die opstel van finansiële state word bereken op grond van die tyd bestee deur die persone wat die state opgestel en kwaliteitsbeheer toegepas het.  Fakturering vind gewoonlik plaas nadat die opdrag uitgevoer is.

3.    Belastingdienste

Daar is verskeie belastingdienste wat ons aan kliënte lewer. Die mees algemene diens is die voltooiing en indiening van voorlopige belastingopgawes en die reël vir betaling van voorlopige belasting, asook die voltooiing en indiening van jaarlikse belastingopgawes en die instandhouding van die kliënt se eFiling profiel.

Ons probeer sover moontlik standaardtariewe toepas vir hierdie dienste en ons kliënte ontvang aan die begin van die jaar ‘n faktuur vir die jaar se belastingdienste (uitgesonder die voltooiing en indiening van die jaarlikse belastingopgawe, aangesien dit tydgebonde is en gewoonlik saam met die finansiële state gefaktureer word). Die aanvanklike faktuur sluit al die werk in wat verbonde is aan die voorlopige belastingopgawes, die instandhouding van die eFiling profiel en die nagaan van die belastingaanslag.

Enige belastingwerk wat buite die omvang soos hierbo vermeld onderneem word, word by afhandeling van die opdrag gefaktureer op ‘n basis van tydkoste aangegaan.

4.    Sekretariële dienste

Die meeste sekretariële dienste, d.w.s. dié van toepassing op maatskappye en beslote korporasies, word gefaktureer teen ‘n vaste koste gekoppel aan die diens wat gelewer word. Fakturering geskied na afhandeling van die opdrag.

Ander sekretariële dienste wat gefaktureer word teen ‘n vaste tarief na afhandeling van  die diens, is die volgende:

a.    Die verskaffing van dokumentasie ten einde te voldoen aan die vereistes van die Financial Intelligence Centre Act;

b.    Die uitreiking van ‘n B-BBEE-sertifikaat vir entiteite met ‘n omset van minder as R5 miljoen (of soos vereis deur die         spesifieke bedryf);

c.    Die uitreiking van solvensiesertifikate, aandeelhouers- en direkteursbevestig ings en ouditsertifikate (gewoonlik van     toepassing op eiendomstransaksies).

Ons stuur ook aan die begin van elke jaar ‘n rekening vir sekretariële dienste (hoofsaaklik vir die veilige bewaring van dokumentasie), aan ons kliënte.

Alle maatskappye en beslote korporasies moet jaarliks ‘n opgawe by die CIPC indien, welke taak ons in die meeste gevalle namens ons kliënte verrig. Ons koste in hierdie verband is ‘n vaste fooi per indiening.

5.    Rekeningkundige verwerking van transaksies en maandelikse bestuurstate

Ons kostes vir die rekeningkundige verwerking van transaksies op ‘n maandelikse- of twee-maandelikse basis, die opstel van bestuurstate, en gewoonlik die berekening van die BTW-aanspreeklikheid en die voltooi en indien van die nodige opgawes, word in die reël gebaseer op die tyd bestee aan die werk.

Aangesien die aktiwiteite nie van maand tot maand wesenlik behoort te verander nie, is dit vir ons moontlik om na so drie of vier siklusse ‘n reëling te tref vir ‘n vaste koste vir die dienste.

Fakturering vind gewoonlik plaas aan die einde van die periode waarop die dienste van toepassing is.

6.    Statutêre registrasies

Indien ons namens ‘n kliënt enige statutêre registrasies onderneem, bv. registrasie as ‘n ondernemer vir BTW-doeleindes, of as ‘n werkgewer vir die doeleindes van werknemersbelasting, werkloosheidsversekering of vaardigheidsontwikkeling, word die kostes teen ‘n standaardtarief gefaktureer nadat die diens gelewer is.

7.    Bestuurskonsultasies

Konsultasies geskied op die basis van die tyd bestee, bereken teen die uurtarief van die persoon wat die diens lewer en word gefaktureer na afhandeling van die opdrag of soos onderling ooreengekom met die kliënt.

8.    Salarisadministrasie

Die lewering van salarisdienste op ‘n maandelikse basis vind gewoonlik plaas teen ‘n bedrag waarop vooraf ooreengekom word en word bereken op grond van ‘n tarief per werknemer per maand.

Hierdie dienste sluit gewoonlik in die byhou van die verlofregister en die uitreiking van maandelikse salarisadviese aan werknemers, asook die sesmaandelikse- en jaarlikse rekonsiliasies.

Fakturering vind maandeliks plaas. Kliënte wat van ‘n debietorder gebruik maak vir vereffening  kry ‘n betalingskorting omdat ons administratiewe las op hierdie wyse ligter gemaak word.

9.    Trustregistrasie en -administrasie

Ons het ‘n standaardkoste vir die opstel en registrasie van ‘n trustakte en die diens word gefaktureer nadat die opdrag uitgevoer is.

In gevalle waar ons as professionele, onafhank-like trustee optree, hef ons ‘n jaarlikse fooi aan die begin van die jaar wat, na gelang van die omvang van die aktiwiteite in die trust en ons betrokkenheid as trustee, bepaal word.  Hierdie fooi sluit ons dienste in vir die bywoning, en hou van die notule, van een trusteevergadering per jaar.

Enige dienste wat gelewer word bo en behalwe    die dienste wat deur ons jaarlikse rekening gedek word, word gefaktureer op grond van die tyd bestee aan die uitvoering van die werk.

10.    Boedelbeplanning, -bereddering en  -administrasie

Ons koste vir boedelbeplanning word gewoonlik met die kliënt ooreengekom gegrond op die kompleksiteit van die beplanning. In gevalle waar daar bloot ‘n testament opgestel moet word en nie enige konsultasietyd van die direkteure benodig word nie, kan die diens selfs gratis gelewer word.  In gevalle waar ‘n direkteur by die beplanning betrokke is, word die koste bereken op grond van die tyd wat bestee word aan die werk.

Die vergoeding vir die bereddering van ‘n bestorwe boedel word statutêr vasgestel op 3,5% van die bruto waarde van die boedel.  Ons vra selde die volle vergoedingsfooi en kom gewoonlik vooraf met die testateur/testatrise oor die tarief ooreen, gewoonlik by wyse van ‘n bepaling in die testament.  Sou die testateur/ testatrise reeds oorlede wees en ons as agent optree vir die eksekuteurs, sal ons onderhandel oor die vergoeding, gegrond op die aard, omvang en kompleksiteit van die boedel.

Die voorgaande oorsig kan uiteraard nie klinkklare antwoorde verskaf op die vrae wat aan die begin gestel is nie maar ons vertrou dat u wel ‘n goeie begrip kon kry van hoe ons te werk gaan om die kostes vir u as ons kliënt, regverdig te bereken. Elke versoek om ons dienste word op meriete beoordeel binne die raamwerk van wat hierbó uiteengesit is en as u enige onsekerheid het is u welkom om met die direkteur wat met u sake werk, in verbinding te tree. U is natuurlik ook welkom om ons te skakel sou u enige vrae oor ons standaardtariewe hê.

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Our services and the costs involved

“What will an audit cost?”

“What will you charge us to compile a set of financial statements?”

“What do you charge for a tax return?”

“Our auditors are too expensive – what will you charge us for a year?”

These are questions that are frequently asked of us and there are no simple answers to them. In the nature of things there are many variables that must be taken into account before we can give an indication of our costs and this estimate can only be made once we have gained a proper understanding of the client’s needs and circumstances.

In a time when most clients are particularly aware of costs it is important to us to ensure that our clients are properly informed of what they have to pay for our services and can rest assured  that they are receiving value for their money. Business entities, employers and taxpayers are continuously being confronted with more tax-, statutory-, and other requirements and we are serious about ensuring that these requirements are complied with. This compliance obviously has cost implications which neither we nor our clients can control.

The costs for the services we render are essentially calculated in one of two ways:  Firstly it is done on the basis of the time we spend on executing the work; the hourly tariff is calculated based on the experience and academic qualifications required of the person providing the service. Secondly, there are a number of services that are provided at a standard tariff per service.

Just like our clients we also want to keep our invoicing system as simple as possible, not only because it is easier to understand, but also in order to facilitate our administration as well as that of our clients. Thus, for example, only one invoice for a year’s service would suit us ideally, but because in some instances we also provide diversified services to a client, this is not always possible.

This article aims to provide our clients with a little more clarity about the nature of the services we render and the costs involved.  This overview is not necessarily generally applicable to all clients but we trust that you will nevertheless find here the services that we provide to you.

1.    Audit and review services

Audit and review services are usually provided on an annual basis and our costs in this regard are largely calculated based on the time spent by the audit team and, where applicable, travel and accommodation costs.

In the case of smaller audits invoicing is done after completion of the audit. Otherwise it is done as agreed with the client, in which case it could involve our asking for a deposit before the work commences, alternatively that interim invoices are issued as specific parts of the audit are completed.

Considering our professional accountability in the execution of an audit, our responsibilities may not be limited by a client. It is therefore difficult to provide an accurate indication of costs in advance since the extent of the audit work may change during the course of the audit.

2.    Compiling of financial statements

The costs associated with compiling financial statements are calculated on the basis of time spent by the persons who compiled the statements and exercised quality control. Invoicing is usually done after completion of the assignment.

3.    Tax services

We provide various tax services to our clients. Most common are the completion and submission of provisional tax returns and arranging for the payment of provisional tax, as well as completion and submission of annual tax returns and maintenance of the client’s eFiling profile.

We attempt as far as possible to charge a standard tariff for these services and at the beginning of the year our clients receive an invoice for the year’s tax services (excluding the completion and submission of annual tax returns since this is calculated by the time spent and is usually invoiced together with the financial statements.) The initial invoice includes all the work associated with the provisional tax returns, maintenance of the eFiling profile, and checking of the tax assessment.
Any tax work undertaken outside the scope of the work referred to above is invoiced at the conclusion of the assignment on the basis of the time costs incurred.

4.    Secretarial services

Most of the secretarial services, i.e. those applicable to companies and close corporations, are invoiced at a fixed cost linked to the service provided, and invoicing is done at the conclusion of the assignment.

Other secretarial services that are invoiced at a fixed cost upon conclusion of the service, are the following:

a.    The provision of documentation in order to comply with the requirements of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act;

b.    Issuing of a  B-BBEE certificate for entities with a turnover of less than R5 million (or as required by the specific industry);

c.    Issuing of solvency certificates, shareholder- and directors confirmations, and audit certificates (usually applicable to property transactions).

At the beginning of the year we also send an invoice for secretarial services, mainly for the safekeeping of documentation, to our clients.

All companies and close corporations are required to annually submit a return to the CIPC. In most instances we do this on behalf of our clients. The charge for this is a fixed fee per submission.

5.    Accounting processing of transactions, and monthly management statements

Our costs for the accounting processing of transactions on a monthly or bi-monthly basis, drawing up of management statements, and usually, the calculation of VAT liability and completion and submission of the required returns are, as a rule, based on the time spent on the work.

Since the activities are not likely to change in essence from month to month it is possible for us, after about three or four cycles, to arrange for a fixed cost for the services.

Invoicing is usually done at the end of the period to which the services apply.

6.    Statutory registrations

Should we undertake any statutory registration on behalf of a client, e.g. registration as a vendor for VAT purposes or as an employer for the purposes of employee tax, unemployment insurance or skills development, the costs are invoiced at a standard tariff upon conclusion of the service.

7.    Management consultations

Consultations take place on the basis of time spent, calculated at the hourly tariff of the person providing the service, and are invoiced after completion of the assignment or as mutually agreed with the client.

8.    Salary administration

Provision of salary services on a monthly basis usually takes place at an amount that is agreed on beforehand and is calculated on the basis of a tariff per employee per month. These services usually include maintaining the leave register and monthly issuing of salary advices to employees, as well as six-monthly and annual reconciliations.

Invoicing is done monthly. Clients who use a debit order for payment receive a payment discount because our administrative burden is reduced in this manner.

9.    Trust registration and administration

We have a standard charge for the compilation and registration of a deed of trust and the service is invoiced after completion of the assignment.

In instances where we act as a professional, independent trustee we charge an annual fee at the beginning of the year. This fee is determined in proportion to the extent of the activities in the trust and our involvement as a trustee, and includes our services for attending, and taking of the minutes of, one trustee meeting per annum.

Any services provided over and above those covered by our annual account is invoiced on the basis of time spent on executing the work.

10.    Estate planning, execution and  administration

Our charge for estate planning is usually agreed with the client on the basis of the complexity of the planning. In cases where a will must simply be drawn up without any consulting time required from the directors, the service is provided free of charge in certain circumstances. Where a director is involved in the planning, the costs are calculated on the basis of time spent on the work.

The compensation for execution of a deceased estate is fixed by statute at 3,5% of the gross value of the estate. We seldom charge the full compensation fee and agree in advance with the testator/testatrix on the fee, usually by means of a clause in the will. Should the testator/testatrix already be deceased and we act as agents for the executor, we will negotiate the compensation based on the nature, extent and complexity of the estate.

Inevitably, the above overview cannot provide absolutely clear answers to the questions raised at the start, but we trust that you will have gained a good idea of how we set about fairly calculating the costs for you as our client. Each request for service is evaluated on merit within the framework set out above and if you have any uncertainty you are advised to get in touch with the director who deals with your affairs. You are, of course, also welcome to call us should you have any questions about our standard tariffs.

A surprise visit to London and the Paralympics for one of our staff

Neasa May, one of our first-year clerks, was a participant in the Educational Development Programme of the Erinvale Care and Help Organisation (ECHO) during her graduate studies and, at the time of joining Aucamp Scholtz Lubbe, she also joined ECHO’s Committee.

Recently an exceptional opportunity came her way when, as one of two beneficiaries, she received a gift of air tickets, accommodation and other assistance made by an ECHO supporter to enable her to visit London for ten days during the period of the 2012 Paralympic Games. She says that she was “just totally bowled over” when she was given the news.

Before leaving for London on August 31st an overjoyed Neasa spoke about her forthcoming first overseas visit and also expressed her gratitude to her sponsor, to ECHO, and all who further contributed and assisted towards realisation of  the event. She also thanked ASL for their support and granting of the time off to take up the wonderful opportunity offered to her. Neasa and her fellow recipient, Lezahn Julius, were given tickets to attend a number of the track events at the Paralympics and returned home exhilarated by their experience.  One of several highlights was seeing a fellow participant in the ECHO programme, Hilton Langenhoven, receive a silver medal in the 400m (T12) event. To add to Neasa’s enjoyment of the Paralympics, Hilton arranged for her and Lezahn to visit and view the facilities of the Olympic Village where they also met and spent time with some of the other South African athletes.

The sporting side of the visit was supplemented by other memorable occasions: An excursion to the city of Winchester and its historical cathedral with one of ECHO’s supporters; attendance of the Tina Turner musical Soul Sister in London; and visits to some of London’s must-see tourist attractions such as the Tower of London, the London Eye and Madame Tussauds.

All of us here at ASL share Neasa’s elation at the very special opportunity she was granted. We are sure that our readers will join us in wishing that her experience in London will be a constant source of joy and inspiration to her in the future.

Ons verjaardagviering en die vrou daarin!

Ongeloof.  Opwinding.  Aanvanklik versigtige teëkanting.

Dit was oorwegend die drie reaksies wat ontlok is deur ‘n uitnodiging aan ons personeel met die gepaardgaande versoek dat almal hulle vir die geleentheid vrolik en vroulik in pienk moet uitdos, met die klem op vroulik.

Die rede vir die uitnodiging?  Aucamp Scholtz Lubbe (voorheen Philip Marais & Kie, toe Pieter Aucamp Ingelyf en daarna BGR Aucamp Scholtz) se 14de verjaardagviering op 1 Augustus 2012, maar terselfdertyd ‘n viering van Vrouedag wat ‘n week later sou plaasvind.

Nadat daar met huiwering verneem is of die “pienk en vroulik” op ALMAL van toepassing is, het kinderlike opwinding posgevat en is daar oorgegaan tot deeglike beplanning vir die besonderse aand.   Party van ons het die uur wat ons vroeër kon huis toe gaan om gereed te maak vir die funksie, beter benut as ander. Dit neem tyd om ‘n totale transformasie te ondergaan, veral as daar aandag gegee moet word aan borsgleufies en pruike. Terme soos “1 minute make-up” het met hierdie geleentheid net ‘n vae begrip gebly. Daar is met groot konsentrasie vooraf geoefen hoe om met hoëhakskoene regop te bly, party meer suksesvol as ander!   Sommige het op die nippertjie tou opgegooi en besluit dis makliker om die fokus te plaas op sluimerende wimpers as op (on)vroulike voete. Die logika van hierdie noodgedwonge besluit is later die aand bevraagteken met ‘n bekommerde “maar gaan ek nie my eie wimpers verloor as ek die vals wimpers aftrek nie?”

Die geleentheid was baie besonders en die feit dat almal geesdriftig deelgeneem het, het beslis tot die sukses daarvan bygedra. Elsabé Aldrich se motiveringspraatjie oor aspekte van vrouwees het groot byval gevind en het die gaste meer as een keer in onbeheerste lagbuie laat uitbars.  Na ‘n aand van prettige samesyn het “Melanie, Johanna en Pertronella” weer “Malan, Johan en Pieter” geword en is die doel van die geleentheid met groot sukses bereik: Ons het uitbundig verjaarsdag gevier en tegelykertyd waardering gegee vir vrouwees.

Dit was voorwaar ‘n aand wat ons nie gou sal vergeet nie en wat ons met gretigheid laat uitsien na elke volgende verjaardagviering van ASL!

SARS cheque payments and other payment rules

Taxpayers are reminded that, as reported in our July Newsletter, banks no longer accept cheques exceeding R500 000 in value. They will also not accept so-called “split cheque” payments, i.e. two or more simultaneous cheque payments intended to make up a single amount of R500 000 or more.

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) therefore advises taxpayers who need to make payments that exceed R500 000 to SARS, to use either SARS eFiling or Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). Note that on eFiling, only the Credit Push facility will work if payment is in excess of R500 000 as the Debit Pull facility is limited to R500 000 per day.

Alternatively, arrangements can be made with your bank for a special transfer to SARS or you can approach us to assist with making payments.
It should also be remembered that SARS does not accept cheques exceeding R100 000 in value in respect of PAYE, UIF, SDL and VAT/Diesel, nor does it accept a single cheque payment for two or more kinds of tax (eg PAYE and VAT together); each kind of tax must have it’s own cheque payment.

All requirements related to payments to SARS are fully dealt with in SARS’s Reference Guide to their payment rules which can be accessed by going to the SARS website at sars.gov.za and entering payment rules in the search box at the top of the home page or by clicking here.

You are welcome to contact Christa Marais or the director responsible for your affairs for further information or assistance in this regard.

SAID-tjekbetalings en ander betalingsreëls

Belastingbetalers word daaraan herinner dat, soos in ons Julie-nuusbrief berig is, banke nie langer tjeks vir bedrae groter as R500 000 aanvaar nie. Hulle aanvaar ook nie twee of meer gelyktydige tjekbetalings wat ten doel het om die plek te neem van ‘n enkele betaling van R500 000 of meer nie.

Die SAID beveel dus aan dat belastingbetalers wat betalings van meer as R500 000 moet maak, SARS eFiling of Elektroniese Fondsoordrag (EFT) gebruik. Let daarop dat op eFiling slegs die Credit Push-fasilitiet vir betalings van meer as R500 000 gebruik kan word aangesien Debit Pull beperk is tot R500 000 per dag.

As alternatief kan u reëlings met u bank tref vir ‘n spesiale oordrag na die SAID of u kan ons nader om met betaling behulpsaam te wees. Daar moet ook onthou word dat die SAID nie tjeks ten bedrae van R100 000 of meer aanvaar met betrekking tot LBS, die Werkloosheid-versekeringsfonds (UIF), Vaardigheidsontwikkeling-heffings (SDL) en BTW/Diesel nie. Hulle aanvaar ook nie ‘n enkele tjekbetaling vir twee of meer tipes belasting (bv. vir BTW en LBS gesamentlik) nie; elke tipe belasting moet sy eie tjekbetaling hê.

Al die vereistes ten opsigte van betalings aan die SAID word volledig behandel in die SAID se Reference Guide wat hul betalingsreëls uiteensit. Die gids kan op die SAID-webtuiste gevind word deur te gaan na sars.gov.za en payment rules by die soekfunksie bo-aan die tuisblad in te sleutel of deur hier te kliek.

Skakel gerus met Christa Marais of die direkteur verantwoordelik vir u sake indien u meer inligting of ondersteuning in hierdie verband verlang.


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