Here we are, at the start of a new year. From all of us at Sync Accounting we wish you the best
for 2017. May your dreams & wishes come true and may you be blessed with good health.
The year 2016 was, in more than one way, a difficult year for many. The slow economic growth
has made it hard to make ends meet. Unemployment keeps rising, which is sad. Even for us it was
tough as we lacked enough hands to effectively handle all our client’s needs.
On the other side of the coin many clients have done well. There are still many opportunities out
there for entrepreneurs to be successful.
Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning,
studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or
learning to do. Quote from the soccer star Pele
Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue
that counts. Winston Churchill
Together we will make 2017 a great year!
WHAT IS HAPPENING AT SYNC ACCOUNTING
During 2016 Tania decided to move closer to her children in Pretoria. It was a big blow to us as she
has been with us for many years. Este Wessels was appointed in a half day position. In December
she gave birth to a lovely boy and we wish her & her husband many years of joy. We are looking
forward to her return soon.
This year Daniel Piscaer joins us as our very first trainee accountant. He is fresh out of university
(studied Accounting at UJ) and we look forward to seeing him grow and contribute to our
Our team consisting of Zandri, Martin, Tinkie, Este, Samantha & now Daniel are here to look after
We made a substantial investment in our IT infrastructure during the past 6 months, both
hardware & software. We have implemented a new client database system that we now use to
maintain your information as well as preparing the tax returns for submission to SARS. Also
implemented is a cloud back-up system to prevent data loss & improve security. Our website was
also reworked & updated.
We have a resident certified financial planner, Alicia Barlow. She is accredited with Sanlam. We
find that her functions complement our work and client needs and she has already added huge
value for some of you.
Below you will find several interesting & relevant sections to update you.
FROM THE DESK OF ALICIA
No denying 2016 was a challenge – we have emerged from it a little tougher than before. A good
start to 2017 was the realisation that the back of the drought is broken. When driving back from
the South Coast it was heartening to see lush mealie lands, waving grasslands and KZN’s rolling
green hills again. This bodes well for downward pressures on our inflation and interest rates.
Let’s make 2017 a year in which to protect our money; enhance and protect our income; and
boost our long-term savings. Who do you trust to guide you through turbulent financial waters?
Let it not be the best sales team but a personal Certified Financial Planner (a designation awarded
by the International Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.- CFP®). CFP’s write
gruelling qualifying exams and we have high ongoing educational requirements to retain our
accreditation. Most importantly, we have fiduciary responsibility, which means we must always
act in our clients’ best interest.
MATTERS TO FOCUS ON IN 2017:
- Consider those close to you who are less likely to have access to decent financial
advice: Consider your loved ones, friends and people working for you – are they perhaps
financially vulnerable? I am an employee benefit expert, let me help them and review their
benefits (risk insurance, retirement planning, educational funding, emergency plans,
investments, medical aid, etc.). Let none of us fall for the best sales pitch trap.
- Build on what we achieved in 2016: Whatever we achieved in 2016, we will do better this
year. Let’s review your risk profile, adjust your plans to a changing world. We sat tight in
2016, it may to time to expand horizons.
- Let not the doomsday sayers distract us:in 2016 the rand was the second best
performing currency in the world. In 2016 money in a South African bank earned 6.5%; in
the US -10.92% and in the UK -25.96%. Did you expect that in gloomy SA? The social and
economic problems that we face in SA are not unique, they are part and parcel of a current
(up to date!) international package of problems. But, there is no limit to mankind’s
capacity for innovation and freethinking people are continuously coming up with
audacious solutions and inventions. There is always a plan to be made, a way around
things and money to be made, honestly! Let’s do it.
Thank you for your support and I look forward to working with you in 2017. I wish you and your
loved ones the best in 2017, and always.
Alicia Barlow CFP®. Alicia@syncbs.co.za
NEW THRESHOLDS AND B-BBEE STATUS LEVELS FOR EMES AND
The Amended Codes of Good Practice have been issued under section 9 of the B-BBEE Act (Act
No 53 of 2003, as amended) per Notice 1019, Gazette No 36928 of 11 October 2013 as amended
by Notice 407, Gazette No 38765 of 6 May 2015 (the amended codes). The amended codes came
into effect on 1 May 2015 in accordance with Notice 444, Gazette No 38799 of 15 May 2015.
Under the amended codes, the annual total revenue threshold for Exempt Micro Enterprises
(EMEs) has increased from R5 million to R10 million, and a Qualifying Small Enterprise (QSE)
qualifies within the R10-R50 million bracket.
EMEs (including start-ups) and QSEs could qualify for higher B-BBEE Status Levels, depending on
their black ownership:
- An EME or QSE with 100% black ownership qualifies at a Level One.
- An EME or QSE with more than 51% black ownership qualifies at a Level Two.
- If black ownership of an EME is below 51%, it qualifies at a Level Four.
- If black ownership of a QSE is below 51%, it is required to be measured in terms of the QSE
scorecard to confirm its B-BBEE Status Level.
It should be noted that an entity tendering for work which will take them into the next size
measurement category will require a B-BBEE certificate rated on that size entity. For example, if
an EME were to tender for a contract worth R12million, it would be required to submit a QSE
A significant change for EMEs is the removal of the requirement to obtain a B-BBEE verification
certificate to confirm its B-BBEE status level (as well as for QSEs in certain circumstances). The
amended codes make provision for confirmation of an EME’s B-BBEE status level via a sworn
affidavit confirming the entity’s annual total revenue and black ownership (Par. 4.5 of the mended
Code Series 000 Gazette No 36928 as amended by Gazette No 38765).
A sample of an affidavit for an EME can be found on the DTI’s website:
The CIPC has also been granted authority to issue certificates to EMEs, but only on initial
registration of a start-up entity, i.e. the status that applies to an enterprise for the first year
following its formation or incorporation (section 6, Start-up enterprises in the Amended Code
Series 000 Gazette No 36928).
Sworn affidavits are also applicable to QSEs with a black ownership of at least 51%.
Sworn affidavits can only be issued by a Commissioner of Oaths, so we can do that for you.
The application of the amended codes and the basis for measurement are provided in Statement
000 of the Amended Code Series 000 Gazette No 36928 as amended by Gazette No 38765, and
can be summarised as follows:
Note: BBBEE Certificates – we may no longer issue these certificates. However, we can prepare & issue the
sworn affidavits for you. Speak to us.
PHISHING & VIRUSES
Each year we see the prevalence of phishing & viruses increasing.
Several of our clients were “scammed” – either with a “phishing” email or a mail enticing them to
enter their personal banking details. One unfortunate client had all her data encrypted and
Be vigilant. Scammers are professional and come hidden in cleverly constructed emails/sms. An
email that “surprises” you must be approached with caution. DO NOT click on any link or open
any attachment if you are not 100% sure of the origin of the mail.
WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN YOU ARE UNSURE;
- SARS will never send you a mail to “confirm” a refund and ask you to go to eFiling or
bank site to confirm your details. Any SARS correspondence must be referred to us.
- Your bank (or any bank) will never ask you for your personal information & online
banking details via email/sms.
- An attachment with .exe or .zip file type must never be opened.
- Scam emails & websites will look like the real deal – never access your online banking site
via a link sent to you. Bookmark the login page as a favourite in your browser and always
go via this.
- A website that is supposed to be a secured site, e.g. your online bank, eFiling, credit card
payment sites, etc. must have a “https//” prefix, the “s” indicating it is an
encrypted/secured site. Check it before you enter any details.
- Viruses can enter your computer via an email attachment. Be very careful which
attachments you open.
- SARS will never send you a mail to “confirm” a refund and ask you to go to eFiling or
- Invest in a good anti-virus & malware program on each PC, Laptop & Server
- Keep regular back-ups of your important data & systems – either on an external hard
drive or in the cloud