Pirates in the sea of SARS

Members of the public are randomly emailed with false “spoof” emails made to look as if they were sent from SARS, but are in fact fraudulent emails aimed at enticing unsuspecting taxpayers to part with personal information such as bank account details. Examples include emails that appear to be from returns@sars.co.za or refunds@sars.co.za indicating that tax payers are eligible to receive tax refunds.

Members of the public are randomly emailed with false “spoof” emails made to look as if they were sent from SARS, but are in fact fraudulent emails aimed at enticing unsuspecting taxpayers to part with personal information such as bank account details.

Examples include emails that appear to be from returns@sars.co.za or refunds@sars.co.za indicating that tax payers are eligible to receive tax refunds.

These emails contain links to false forms and false websites made to look like the “real thing”, but with the aim of fooling people into entering personal information such as bank account details which criminals then extract and use fraudulently.

Please note these are scams and SARS taxpayers should take note of the following:

  • Do not open or respond to emails from unknown sources.
  • Beware of emails that ask for personal, tax, banking and eFiling details (login credentials, passwords, pins, credit / debit card information, etc.) as SARS will never ask taxpayers for such information in an email.
  • SARS will not request your banking details through the phone, email or websites.
  • Beware of false sms’s.
  • Beware of “spoof” emails or notifications from your bank.

See an example here.

To report or to get more information on phishing, please send an email to phishing@sars.gov.za or call the Fraud and Anti-Corruption Hotline on 0800 00 2870.

Common payroll problems and solutions I Online support

There’s more to running an efficient modern payroll and HR environment than paying your employees on time and printing payslips. An automated payroll solution can help you to save time and money by reducing the paperwork associated with your weekly wage and monthly salary runs. Here are five ways to use your payroll software to run a more productive and efficient business.

There’s more to running an efficient modern payroll and HR environment than paying your employees on time and printing payslips.

An automated payroll solution can help you to save time and money by reducing the paperwork associated with your weekly wage and monthly salary runs. Here are five ways to use your payroll software to run a more productive and efficient business.

1. No-sweat tax submissions

South African tax regulations and labour laws are complex, and getting more so all the time. In addition to PAYE, you also need to account for UIF, the skills development levy and the employment tax incentive. And the environment changes every tax year.

Make sure you choose a package tailored for the local tax and regulatory environment-it should take care of all the complex calculations you need to do so that you can file submissions to SARS on time. It should also feature automated updates to ensure you always process on the latest software and legislative version. This will ensure that you avoid censure or fines by SARS as a result of filing tax returns late or getting the sums wrong.

2. Close gaps for fraud and errors

Payroll is one of the biggest expenses for any business. That means that payroll fraud or errors can cost you dearly. Use the information from your payroll system to keep tabs on payroll transactions and impose checks and balances on the payroll environment.

A good solution will also feature options such as bank account and ID number verification from within the system so that you can reduce the opportunities for fraud as well as the possibility of paying money into the wrong bank account by mistake.

3. Better planning

A payroll system isn’t just about automating a business process – it is also a management information system. You can use the data from this system to understand employee performance, see how your human resources are contributing towards profitability, and plan for your anticipated future workforce needs and costs.

4. Empower employees

Modern payroll solutions usually offer optional employee self-service modules. This can be a boon for a busy small business owner or manager because it takes care of a lot of the distracting and irritating day to day admin.

Employee self-service lets employees apply for leave, submit travel claims, download old and current payslips, and update their personal details online or via their smartphones. The payroll software is updated automatically so that you don’t need to manually recapture leave or travel claim forms.

5. Streamline HR management

Once you implement a payroll solution, you should also consider adding HR functionality. An HR module for your payroll package should help you to manage processes such as performance reviews and disciplinary procedures correctly and accurately. This will help you avoid costly CCMA cases or having to pay compensation for wrongful dismissal.

Check out Sage One Payroll

Simple online accounting and payroll for SME’s by Sage

Entrepreneurship and the further development of small businesses are essential in ensuring South Africa’s economic growth and future success. Sage South Africa has always been passionate about assisting small businesses to be successful and operate efficiently, by providing software solutions to help businesses do just that.

Entrepreneurship and the further development of small businesses are essential in ensuring South Africa’s economic growth and future success. Sage South Africa has always been passionate about assisting small businesses to be successful and operate efficiently, by providing software solutions to help businesses do just that. In keeping to this objective, Sage South Africa has announced that it will be launching Sage One on 4 August 2014. Sage One is a simple, secure and affordable online accounting and payroll solution, developed specifically for small South African businesses.

Sage has more than 5 years’ experience in the online accounting and payroll space, with Sage Pastel My Business having been launched in 2009. This was later complimented by a payroll component with the arrival of Sage VIP Liquid Payroll and Sage Pastel My Payroll Online. Sage’s online business software has been well received by the South African market, with both small business owners and accountants enjoying the benefits of a cloud based solution. Sage has built on this solid South African foundation, and applied global insights gleaned from the Sage One businesses in Europe and the US, to bring Sage One to South Africa.

Says Sage CEO of Africa, Australia, Middle East and Asia, Ivan Epstein: “Sage Pastel Accounting, Sage Pastel Payroll & HR and Sage VIP have enjoyed strong traction in the South African SME market with their cloud-based business solutions. As the next step in Sage South Africa’s continued investment in the cloud, we are now consolidating these offerings under the Sage One brand name.

We are proud to bring to market a simple, secure and flexible online accounting and payroll solution. For small businesses owners, financial knowledge is key, and having crucial business insights available at your fingertips gives you greater control and confidence to achieve business success.”

“Because Sage One Accounting is online, you can simply log in from wherever you are and start working,” says Steven Cohen, Managing Director of Sage Pastel Accounting. “You can access your data from the cloud, which means that your data is available online, anywhere, anytime and that you’re always working on the same data as your accountant or colleagues. This gives you a new level of flexibility in the way you run your business.”

The Sage One Accounting mobile apps put your customer and accounting information in the palm of your hands. Log on from wherever you are to view customer information, record notes, search for customers and contact them directly from your device. Find your way to your customer’s offices using map links and process quotes and invoices – all on the go.

Many small South African businesses are employers and as such need to comply with the legal requirements regarding salary payments and SARS compliancy. “Sage One Payroll gives you the peace of mind that your employees will be paid in accordance with the requirements of legislation and statutory bodies such as SARS,” says Anton van Heerden, Managing Director for Sage VIP and Sage Pastel Payroll & HR. “With our solution, your payroll expands and shrinks as your business grows, enabling you to add as many employees or pay cycles as you like.”

Sage One Accounting and Sage One Payroll are purchased separately and used with separate log-ins. However, they are also closely integrated to save you the time and effort spent manually recording your payroll journals in your accounting application. This ensures ongoing compliance and increased accuracy.

In addition, your accountant can work online on the same data at the same time as the business owner. Any accounting based questions can be sent directly via the software to your accountant. This time-saving feature ensures ongoing communication between the business owner and accountant.

Other benefits of the Sage One Accounting and Sage One Payroll for SMEs include:

  • Ease of use: Templates and wizards make it easy to set up common tasks and processes. The interface is written in plain English for non-finance professionals, so no accounting or payroll experience required.
  • Priced for SMEs: Flexible and affordable pricing that won’t break the bank.
  • Secure: The software is hosted in a secure data centre, where your data is locked down, always backed-up, and secure from information security threats.
  • Free support:  Telephone and email support mean that help is there when you need it.

Four ways the cloud will help your small business

As an SME, you know that you need solid computer systems such as payroll and accounting to effectively grow and manage your business. Yet the newest technology can seem prohibitively expensive when you’re just starting out. This where cloud computing can help you to enjoy the benefits of technology while freeing you from many of the costs and complications. 

As an SME, you know that you need solid computer systems such as payroll and accounting to effectively grow and manage your business. Yet the newest technology can seem prohibitively expensive when you’re just starting out.

This where cloud computing can help you to enjoy the benefits of technology while freeing you from many of the costs and complications. Cloud computing is about consuming computing as a service rather than a product that runs on a system on your premises. Here are four ways the cloud will help you succeed:

Work anyplace and anytime

When you choose to run your accounting or payroll system in the cloud, you can work nearly anywhere you have an Internet connection available. That means you can check on your financials and keep business running smoothly, even when you’re spending a day dashing from meeting to meeting.

And on nearly any device

Your accounting or payroll package is no longer tied to one licensed computer when you opt for a cloud application. If your hard drive crashes or your computer is stolen, it will not be a problem. Simply log in through nearly any device with a modern web browser – including your tablet – and you can keep working as if nothing happened.

Enjoy peace of mind

Keeping a technology environment running smoothly involves a lot of drudgery. You need to do backups to make sure that you don’t lose any data if something goes wrong. You must patch your applications software with the latest security updates as well as install new versions as they come along.

And you need to maintain your server hardware. With cloud computing, these tasks all are the service provider’s job. You can keep focused on running your business rather than on running your IT.

Pay as you grow

If you decided to install and run software at your own premises, you’ll need to pay upfront for the licences. Depending on your needs, you might need to invest in servers and other infrastructure. And you may need professional help getting all of this technology up-and-running.

With the cloud, all you need to do is sign up for a service on a website and pay a modest fee for it each month. If your business grows and someone else needs to use the software, adding them is as easy as signing up for a new user name. The best part is that you get to keep your capital so you can invest it in growing your business.

Five reasons why your small business needs Sage One Payroll software

At Sage One, we’re committed to providing businesses with the software support they require to have successful enterprises that run both smoothly and effectively. In essence, it’s all about efficiency. Sage One’s Payroll system will revolutionise the way you manage your business’s payroll process, helping to streamline the entire procedure so that you can stay on top of earnings and deductions with as little fuss as possible.

At Sage One, we’re committed to providing businesses with the software support they require to have successful enterprises that run both smoothly and effectively. In essence, it’s all about efficiency. Sage One’s Payroll system will revolutionise the way you manage your business’s payroll process, helping to streamline the entire procedure so that you can stay on top of earnings and deductions with as little fuss as possible. Here are five reasons why investing in Sage One Payroll online software is ideal for small businesses.

It’s accessible

What could be more convenient than being able to access your business’s payroll information anytime, anywhere? With Sage One Payroll this becomes a reality as business owners and managers can access their payroll information 24/7 – all that is needed is an Internet connection. This is particularly helpful if you’re constantly on the move. All the necessary data is stored in the cloud so you can literally login from wherever you are and get to work. It couldn’t be simpler.

It’s simple

Sage One Payroll is all about making your life as a business owner easier. Once you sign up and add your chosen employees, you can start processing in as little as five minutes. Confusing payroll jargon is non-existent and standard reports, available in a range of formats, make understanding payroll simpler and easier than ever before.

It’s secure

Security and the protection of sensitive information is often one of the main concerns for businesses when it comes to online products and systems. With Sage One Payroll, your data is backed up on a daily basis, with all information being encrypted and stored in such a way so as to make access only possible for those with the correct password. The system gives you peace of mind knowing that all the important information is kept safe and secure.

It’s affordable

Sage One strives to deliver quality products at affordable prices. With Sage One Payroll you essentially only pay for what you use. There are no upfront software costs and you can decide when employees get paid. Utilising an impressive software product shouldn’t have to mean having to reach too deep into those pockets.

It’s fully supported (and so are you)

Should you run into an issue with the software or get stuck somewhere along the way, there is a knowledgeable and capable support consultant waiting to assist. You have three assistance options: telephonic, email or live chat. The support is free and the team of trained consultants are on stand-by to try and provide answers and solutions to your queries. The live chat option (available during office hours) allows you to speak to a consultant in real time, meaning you can get advice faster and easier, without the hassle of having to wait for an email reply or in a lengthy phone queue. Choose the option that suits you best.

Everything about Sage One Payroll has been designed to make things simpler, easier and more efficient for you, the business owner. That way, you have more time to focus on the things that require more of your attention, ensuring you are able to run your business better. Sign up to receive a 30-day free trial demo – it’s almost guaranteed you won’t be disappointed. Let Sage One make a difference to your business.

 

Featured image: http://www.pastelpayroll.co.za