Payslips are among the most important documents people receive, yet few pay enough attention to them, says Nicolette Nicholson, director at the South African Payroll Association (SAPA). “Too many people just see their payslip as confirmation that their salary has been paid and they can relax,” she says. “In fact, it’s an extremely important document and it’s worth checking it carefully to make sure it is accurate. Mistakes could cost you dearly in the long run and you are responsible for making sure the payslip is accurate. “Everybody should file all the payslips they ever receive and keep them forever!” Nicholson continues that a payslip is first and foremost the irrefutable record of a person’s work service for any employer. It provides factual proof of the jobs he/she have held and what they were paid. It’s also the receipt for work performed and should be carefully compared with the letter of appointment, contract or other official documents to ensure that a person’s work is being properly rewarded. Also confirm that the correct employer name and address appears on the payslip. Payslips typically have four main types of information: the fixed salary or contract of employment; the variable income for things like overtime; the deductions area, which would include statutory and personal deductions; and the statistical area, which includes annual and sick leave, job description and so on. Job descriptions are often omitted to avoid potential conflict between employees, Nicholson notes, but this is not good practice. Deductions A particular point to notice is that personal deductions cannot exceed 25% of a person’s gross pay, and businesses have the responsibility of protecting their workers’ interests here. This means, for instance, that a company’s payroll department has the obligation to act on statutory deductions and in the case of an emolument order to contact the attorney if the garnishee exceeds this ceiling and guide the employee to make . . .
There is a name given to those who have spent their working years bringing up their children while caring for their ageing parents – the sandwich generation. This generation is juggling enormous personal responsibility alongside concerns about retirement and the fear that they have not saved enough. As they now approach retirement age and face the challenges around finances, it is the time to make solid plans for the future and to take advantage of recent government tax reforms in order to save and be secure. “The sandwich generation includes those who are close to 50 and who are only starting to save now because earlier in life they had to take care of kids and ageing parents,” says Nicolette Nicholson, director at the South African Payroll Association (SAPA). “It will require immense self-discipline for them to prepare for their retirement effectively while they are still working. They need to be aware of how their retirement plans are structured and how to read their payslips so they can be more money savvy.” Recent changes to retirement taxation came into effect on 01 March 2016. The impact of these amends has yet to be felt by employees and many are unsure as to what they are, how they can benefit from them or what they mean in the long term. The reform has changed the deduction limit for retirement fund contributions to 27.5% of taxable income limited to R350,000.00 per annum. The original limit was 7.5% for pension contributions and 15% for retirement annuities and did not take both individual and business contributions into consideration. The new limit does and the impact on payslip and person can potentially change the way they save. Analysing the payslip Employees need an active retirement annuity (RA) to benefit from the reform and this makes today the ideal time to take advantage of the change and start saving. “For example, a person earning R20,000 per month can now get an RA for approximately R775 per month and the nett salary will be . . .
By: Rashied Small, Education, Training and Membership Executive, South African Institute of Professional Accountants As technology gets smarter and takes over more and more of the work we typically deem “skilled”, are professionals like accountants at risk of being replaced? The short answer is “No”. The long answer is “It all depends on the professional accountant’s attitude”. Let’s begin by taking a step back to understand the nature of this trend. The author Martin Ford has written extensively on this subject, and his recent book, The Rise of the Robots, contains a lot of food for thought. The main point that should concern professional accountants is that the ongoing drive towards automation is no longer just a threat to low-level jobs, particularly those that already rely heavily on machinery—think driverless cars, automated mining and agriculture and so on. More troubling, professional work is at risk too. The trouble is that the vast processing resources of the cloud are making it both possible and affordable to develop machines that are not just programmed to be smart via algorithms, but that can learn from their past mistakes. For example, this machine learning is making it possible for software to write news items—already, says Ford, top media outlets like Forbes are using software to generate a news story every 30 seconds. Another example is software called WorkFusion, which can almost completely manage the execution of complex projects. Oxford University research in 2013 suggested that nearly 50 percent of US jobs are susceptible to full automation, and a Parliamentary Report to the House of Lords in 2015 put the figure at 35 percent for British jobs. PwC has warned that accounting is the professional discipline most likely to be automated in the next 20 years. Nothing new There were those who predicted that the advent of the adding machine, and then the growing number of accounting packages, would make the professional . . .
By Martha Chauke Is there a right way to lose money? Or should we ask whether there is a right reason to lose money? Both questions get a big fat YES! They are right ways and reasons to lose money. Provided you are aware of the wrong ways and reasons too. Let’s face it, there are countless challenges that come with being a millennial and money is at the top of this list. Before we delve into how to lose money in the right ways and for the right reasons. Let’s look at a few key-points from the economic review of our beloved country: According to the recent World Economic Outlook (WEO) by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) South Africa is now the third-largest economy on the African continent. Surrendering its second place to Egypt and Nigeria remains in the number one spot. The rand weakened from an average of R8.20/$ during 2012 to an average of R12.74/$ in 2015. On Tuesday, 17 May 2016 at 13:03 the rand was trading at R15.68 to the dollar. The rand remains below successive support levels suggesting a continuation in the rand’s depreciation. In a Bloomberg survey 12 out of 13 economists expect Standard & Poor’s (S&P) credit rating agency to cut SA’s sovereign debt rating to sub-investment grade (junk status) by the end of the year. Despite the recent price rally Brent crude’s break below the key $30 support level in February suggests a continuation of the weakening long-term trend to a downside $25 target. Gold has broken its recent downtrend by rising decisively above the $1 100 resistance level. An extended break above $1 250 is needed to confirm the end of gold’s bear market. The JSE All Share index is up +12% from its lows in early January and appears dramatically over-priced on a price-earnings (PE) multiple of 21.2x around 40% above its 14.8x long-term average. View/download the full Overberg Market Report - http://www.overberg.biz/pdf/Overberg%20Market%20Report%2010th%20May%202016.pdf South Africa is . . .
"BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD". AppEasy is pleased to announce the launch of their new website. Johannesburg,Gauteng,South Africa(April 20 2016)-APPEASY, a cloud based platform for sharing credit information has launched a new website www.appeasy.co.za. It is aimed at making credit information free. The company's mission through the APPEASY platform is to make credit information free and more freely available. Typically credit information is stored and kept by large information service providers, these service providers were setup a long time ago when things were quite different. Now APPEASY allows the payment providers to create a payment history about their customers at absolutely no cost. The new website allows consumers to update their information, submit credit applications, receive notifications of new credit applications and monitor changes to credit score and payment history. It allows credit providers to quickly and easily receive credit application, and view customers credit scores and update customer payment history and habits. The site is a tremendous value to everyone, increase to credit information means increase to availability to credit which equals to improving people's lives. The company website contains additional information www.appeasy.co.za CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Comtel Communications, a Cape Town based Telecommunications Company have launched Unlimited Calling, a fixed-line product for both residential and business clients. This new offering is an addition to the company’s services that include Fibre & Wireless Connectivity, Hosted PBX & VoIP, and rolling out Open Access Fibre Networks into Multi-Tenant Developments and Neighbourhoods. As the name suggests, clients are able to make as many calls as they like during a month at a fixed cost. Greg Cooper, Chief Operating Officer at Comtel Communications, says that they have kept their monthly fixed rate to a minimum in order to benefit homeowners, SME’s and corporates. Existing clients qualify for even further discounts depending on their packages and lines. Clients with Comtel Fibre, for example, qualify for a 10% monthly discount on the unlimited calling fixed rate. Adds Cooper, “With the explosion of Fibre roll-outs across the country, an ever increasing number of clients are having access to unrivalled speeds and quality. It’s an exciting time for both clients and service providers!” Remember the days when you waited until after 8 to call a loved one overseas and then kept it to a minimum to save on call costs, or when you’d make sure the call was ‘reverse charges’? Comtel offers unlimited calls to most international destinations, and to any National mobile number and fixed-line operator in South Africa (i.e. Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, Telkom, Neotel, etc.) Existing clients can be set up remotely within 24 hours and approved new clients who qualify for the service will be able to get dialing in 10 working days or less, as per the standard installation. Those protracted international conference calls no longer need to be cut short, and your teenager can get another 5 000 words in to the friend she saw a few hours ago at school, without breaking the bank. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
A new board of directors has taken control of Treoc International Limited following the resignation of Founder Coert Coetzee from all directorship and management positions. The new and highly experienced team has been appointed to restructure and position Treoc International for future growth. Treoc, the prominent property education group, with head office in Somerset West, Cape Town, has been at the forefront of property, Trust and wealth education in South Africa for more than a decade. The new Board is made up of CEO Ryno Venter, CFO Johannes Maree, Chairman Jacques Magliolo and non-executives Philip La Grange, Dr. Bruce Malumane, Marianne Snyman and Munya Shamuyarira. Coert Coetzee, who recently indicated his desire to step aside from heading up the company in any way, publically said: “Treoc must adapt to the new corporate governance structures of South Africa. This is a critical time for Treoc and to achieve its true growth potential Treoc needs ambitious and highly diligent CEO and CFO, with strong support of a new Board; one which meets all King III corporate governance criteria.” Ryno Venter, who has accepted the position as CEO, is a highly qualified legal professional with previous senior positions and vast experience in heading up complex legal Trust structures in the property industry. Treoc is one of the largest private companies in South Africa which administer trust structures for private clients. Coetzee commented: “We are very grateful to Ryno for his input as CEO, and more especially the pivotal role he will play during the forthcoming re-positioning of the group.” The appointment of non-executives was rapidly followed with the appointment of King III sub-committees. The new chairpersons of the committees have started their duties in establishing corporate goals in the audit, remuneration and risk fields. Venter says: “We are absolutely delighted to have people of such high calibre joining us at Treoc. All the directors . . .
There is now very little doubt that in the year ahead the banks will be forced to be more careful than ever before in the granting of mortgage bonds, says Dawn van Alphen, CEO of the Cape based bond originators, Bond Magic. “Faced with rising interest rates and an economy that is very close to being in a full-blooded recession as well as with consumers countrywide finding it more and more difficult to meet their commitments, the banks are conscious that the risks attached to loans of all kinds have increased significantly,” said van Alphen. “They will, therefore, be checking even more scrupulously a whole range of factors relating to the applicant, including the security of his employment: the extent of his debts and other commitments,, his credit records of the last five years or more and, perhaps the most crucial of all, the percentage mortgage bond that is required. Any evidence of reckless or irresponsible spending will make the securing of a loan still more difficult.” “In the coming year 100% loans may well be restricted to First Time Home Buyers and very few will qualify for sub-prime loans. The vast majority of borrowers will, in fact, find themselves paying0,5% to 2% above prime –and any applicant whose accounts show that, after paying his bond and meeting his other commitments, he has very little surplus cash will probably have to scale down his loan requirements.” In these conditions, said van Alphen, “although this sounds self-serving”, the role of the bond originator will be more crucial than ever—especially if, as every good originator does, he or she deals with ALL the banks (to get the best available deals). "It is important to realize that origination companies like Bond Magic offer a FREE prequalification service to potential home buyers. This ensures that the applicant avoids any disappointment in the feedback from the banks and. it significantly increases his chance of obtaining a mortgage bond. The originator, who is highly . . .
It is now widely accepted in the residential property sector that interest rate levels set by banks on mortgage loans are likely to rise by 75 basis points before the end of this year (2016) with the result that most mortgage loan borrowers will be paying 11% - or more - on their mortgages. Jacques du Toit, Economist and Strategist for the ABSA Home Loan division, has recently predicted that this will “dampen levels of activity in the housing and mortgage markets” — and he went on to say that nominal house price growth will probably slow from +/- 6% last year to around 5% this year. John Smyth, CEO of Multi-Net Mortgages, has commented that although many spokespeople for the property sector have gone on record “regretting” the likely rise in rates, history has shown that housing can continue to sell fairly steadily at interest rates considerably higher than 11%. “In 1988 and 2002 when for some time rates were around 15% sales continued to be satisfactory. It was only when they went above 18% that the market began to under-perform. One is forced to conclude that the country’s macro-economic outlook is the real determining factor in house sales. So long as people are being employed and earning annual increases and bonuses they continue to buy homes and to appreciate the wisdom of this sort of investment.” “Regrettably”, said Smyth,” reports now indicate that in an increasing number of cases SA consumers are experiencing financial strain and quite frequently starting to fall behind on debt payments. This, it appears, is likely to lead to slower sales on all fronts—including housing. However, I do not believe we are in a crisis situation: as I have said often before, the slow- down in the market will not in my view be too serious because, as those of us at the coal face can testify, there is a strong desire in a growing number of our people at ALL income levels to become home owners and many will find ways of doing this.” “Those who determinedly make . . .
Countless individuals continue to question the real benefits behind being a law abiding, tax paying citizen of this country, when a multitude can hardly make ends meet on a monthly basis. This shouldn’t come as a shock to many with everything that’s going on in the economy. The rand is not doing great, our favourite friend on the rise sin tax is not helping much and of course we need sugar tax to stay healthy and fight obesity in the opulent parts of South Africa before it spreads to the poorer parts of the country. No matter how you look at it, there’s something for everyone to complain about and not that much to be ecstatic about. Pick yours! The increasing interest rates, price of electricity and food costs are enough to bankrupt a newly graduate with no form of savings to tap in. The sad reality is, that’s the majority of this class of person. At the beginning of every year, numerous entry-level jobs are filled with new graduates with little or no backup plan; just a new qualification and a desperate need for employment to kick-start their prosperous futures. It is not long after starting their first jobs when they realise, that this way of life, might just be harder than they thought. New income earners also have many “social needs” to satisfy, so that they can be or form part of the young, successful and educated generation of the republic. This is their future. The need for a reliable set of wheels, which is justifiable for many since various occupations require travelling; a convenient and safe place to live; work-appropriate outfits and a social life with like-minded individuals all make up this natural phenomena. Unfortunately, all the above must-have “social needs” come with very attractive price-tags and soon after accumulating one or all of these, young people enter into the adult world of debt. Simple and easy, or so it seems. This leads to bad credit ratings among the youth when faced with the simplest of financial difficulties and . . .