Everywhere people are already starting to think about the holidays in December and everything that goes with that. If you are that lucky I want you to spare a moment of thought for those who might not be as lucky as you are. Those who have been retrenched, dismissed or those who lost loved ones.
Welcome to all our recent joiners to the newsletter. We are greatful for all your comments, articles and information you share with us. We can all contribute to educate, enlighten, and encourage South Africans to keep the shoulder to the wheel, and bite on to what ever you can so we can beat this past two years ressions, job losses and now even the VERY STRONG Rand.
Please make sure that you hand it your taxes in time, as the deadline are looming for the middle of November 2010. The same for all the employers, who has to finalise their midyear PAYE re-cons with SARS. Good Luck with that. If you need any help, pleas give us a shout and we can see how we can assist.
This week we discuss:
1. Employee Wellness for Small and Medium Size Companies
2. Surviving a SARS Audit
3. Time Tracking Open Source Software
4. Occupational Health Care
Have a great week, and may all your plans materialise and make you lots of money.
Employee Wellness for Small and Medium Size Companies.
(By Barbara Louw : Aquilla People Solutions)
Your employees are a precious asset to your company, because you spend a lot of time and money to develop and train them. Health and safety legislation requires both employers and employees to maintain a safe working environment. Drug and alcohol abuse, mental health concerns and other concerns can affect the safe working environment.
Every company should have policies and procedures for dealing with unacceptable working behaviour; ill health due to stress and depression; loss and trauma in the workplace and substance abuse and addiction in the workplace.
The aims of such policies are to deal with troubled employees in order to:
- Retain the employees
- Responsible way of managing diversity of problems
- Encourage them to seek help
- Refer them for help
- Restore health and productivity
- Limit absenteeism
- Act as a safeguard in decision making
- Safeguard clients and fellow employees
- Prescribe the steps that should be followed
- Ensure standardization of care and uniformity of action
- Can be marketed as a job benefit to prospective employees
These aims clearly show that employers can not be all things to all people. Policies assist you to communicate to your employees in such a manner that you are not misunderstood when addressing problem hampering productivity, employee moral and client service.
Many people assume that Employee Wellness Programmes are very time consuming and very costly. Aquilla Advisors can help you to draw up your own, unique Employee Wellness Programme and show you how to utilize existing community resources.
Our process to set up you programme would include:
- An initial consultation meeting with main stakeholders
- Clarification of covering (eg. permanent employees, independent contractor and part-time employees.
- Needs analysis
- Stakeholders analysis and participation
- Draw up policy statement
- Access to the programme (eg. self access, formal referral and link to disciplinary process
- Alignment with legislation
- Discuss transfer of knowledge and skills
- Clarify expectations
- Our facilitators will design your programme to include and explain
o Appropriate policies and procedures
o Delivery mediums
o Administration and management
o Review and sustainability
- Final meeting with the facilitators to summit your programme to you for management for ‘sign off’.
29 October 2010
Interim PAYE reconciliations
26 November 2010:
Non-provisional: Individuals and Trusts
31 January 2011:
Provisional: Individuals and Trusts
Deadline for Postal submissions/SARS Drop box
SARS Audit survival kit – 5 tips
(Extracted from Fleet Street Publications)
The flip side of the simplified tax return process is an increase of audits. In fact, now more than ever, your business is at risk of being audited. Don’t be caught unawares! Here are five tips to help you ensure that when SARS comes a-knocking, you are prepared.
Tip#1: Put everything in writing
Request that all questions and requests from SARS for additional information or documents are submitted in writing. This prevents misunderstanding and documents the proceedings and time lines. If the auditor asks for additional documents that weren’t requested in the original letter of notification and intent to audit, you have the right to a reasonable time in which to prepare these.
Tip#2: Put your family to work
SARS looks for certain red flags that represent common mistakes made by uninformed or misinformed taxpayers. One such red flag is the family members you have on your payroll. If your spouse and children work for you, make sure they actually do some work!
Where family members on your payroll perform no work, SARS can disallow the business expense claimed on your business books. Furthermore, it may still deem these employees taxable on the income received, even where your expense claim was disallowed.
Tip#3: Proactively prevent any misunderstandings
Once your audit has been completed, insist on a pre-assessment meeting with SARS. This is your opportunity to clear up any misunderstandings or errors before the assessment is raised. Keep your letter of finding issued by SARS and use this when drafting your objection or appeal. It will prove invaluable.
Tip#4: Your annual statutory audit isn’t enough
Merely having your financial statements audited annually does little to reduce your risk of tax compliance failure. To survive a SARS audit unscathed, have regular checks in place that help ensure all your documentation is in order and accessible and that all your calculations are 100% correct.
Tip#5: Lower those red flags
SARS delights in catching you fair and square, particularly when you make it so easy by flying numerous red flags. Make sure these red flags don’t bring you down:
- Stock values;
- Year-end adjustments to stock;
- Related manufacturing and purchase accounts;
- Comparing Vat to turnover and business expenses; and
- Private use of company vehicles.
These areas are a significant risk to you. SARS will review them in detail. SARS auditors may even attend your stock takes! Focus on ensuring everything is above board and accurate. If you don’t, SARS certainly will.
Are you struggling to track your time you spend on projects , clients and other time consuming activities?
Track your time with some simple open source time tracking software. Timecult , Actitime, and TimeTracer are but a few. You can then record your activities and accurately give feedback to your manager or bill the client in a cheap and cost effective way without spending large amounts of money.
This is a low cost product you can introduce as a benefit to your staff and volunteers, with tremendous benefits to your organisation.
Thank you for sending in your questions. Please continue so, and we will answer them as best possible in our Q&A section.