Remain compliant with Nigeria’s fast-moving regulatory environment: Automate your payroll

Many business managers and entrepreneurs think of running the payroll as a simple matter—what could be hard about paying your employees the right amount of money on payday and giving them a payslip? But the Nigerian regulatory environment is becoming more complex and the payroll is at the centre of compliance.

Income tax regulations are changing and tax authorities are looking closer at whether employers are meeting their obligations. They also seek to ascertain if the right earnings are declared and whether the right taxes and statutory deductions are included in payroll calculations. It has become increasingly important to ensure that your annual returns are filed and submitted promptly and accurately to the relevant tax authorities.

Failing to comply– whether through deliberate evasion, late payment of payroll taxes or underpayment as a result of a miscalculation – is a major business risk. If you make a mistake when calculating statutory deductions such as Pay-as-You-Earn (PAYE), National Housing Fund (NHF), Pension Fund and National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), you will face fines and penalty interest. It may also be bad for your business’s reputation.

Because compliance is complex and the risks of non-compliance are high, Nigerian businesses are concluding that spreadsheets and other manual methods are no longer sufficient to meet their changing payroll needs. Instead, they are looking to automated solutions to keep records and do payroll calculations, which will enable them to meet all their payroll compliance requirements.

Benefits of automation

Payroll automation software—with solutions available for businesses from start-ups to mid-sized companies and larger enterprises—will take care of calculating the complex formulas for the various deductions, generating compliance reports, and keeping accurate records. That makes it easier to perform accurate calculations, file submissions on time and generate reports and electronic payslips.

Automation saves hours of manual work for the person responsible for payroll administration. It also ensures that your employees receive accurate, on-time payments and payslips, which helps keep your workforce happy.

Automation makes it easier to keep track of changes to tax regulations that impact on payroll tax calculations and various changes in legislation. The software is constantly updated to align with the latest tax laws and tables, so you don’t need to update your spreadsheet formulas or learn to make new manual calculations when changes are made or required. This reduces the risk of human error.

Combating fraud

Payroll fraud is one of the most common white-collar crimes (http://APO.af/CmUxko) in the business world; what’s more, erroneous payments can cost your business. A robust payroll solution puts tight financial controls in place. It helps to reduce these risks by giving managers better visibility into transactions, providing an audit trail, and providing a set of controls, checks and balances that help to prevent errors and fraud. It closes many of the gaps where fraud and human error can sneak in.

Nigerian business builders and entrepreneurs don’t go into business to manage admin and red tape, which is where automation makes a difference. Our vision is to make tasks such as payroll administration invisible by 2020 so that you can focus on business strategy, workplace satisfaction, customer satisfaction, and other areas of your business that give you a competitive advantage.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Sage.

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DelMari@IdeaEngineers.co.za

About Sage:
Sage (www.Sage.com) is the market and technology leader for integrated accounting, payroll, and payment systems, supporting the ambition of entrepreneurs and business builders. Today, business builders measure success in strong relationships, partnerships, and communities. It‘s why Sage helps drive today’s business builders with the most intelligent and flexible cloud-enabled software, support, and advice to manage everything from money to people. Daily, more than 13,000 Sage colleagues in 23 countries work with a thriving global community of over 3 million entrepreneurs, business owners, tradespeople, accountants, partners, and developers to champion the success of business builders everywhere. And as an FTSE 100 business, we are passionate about doing business the right way, supporting our local communities through the Sage Foundation.

Sage – the market and technology leader for integrated accounting, payroll, and payment systems, powered by the cloud and supporting the ambition of the world’s entrepreneurs and business builders. Because when business builders do well, we all do.

For more information, visit www.Sage.com.

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IntelliMali, NSFAS and Walter Sisulu University Brief Committee on R14 Million Payment

The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training, Ms Connie September, has called on all entities involved in the erroneous payment of R14 million to a student to take full responsibility.

All four entities involved – IntelliMali, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), the Walter Sisulu University and the Department of Higher Education and Training, briefed the Committee on how the money was erroneously paid to one student, and what steps had been taken.

“We need to know if this money derives from money that is appropriated by Parliament and not raised privately. If this is the understanding, then we need to know what the Public Finance Management Act says about public finances,” Ms September said.

The institutions must review the entire payment system and ensure they stick to the highest ethical standards and accountability required when handling public finances, she said.

The Committee heard that the institutions involved had followed procedure and the error is now the subject of forensic investigations by an audit firm and the police.

The Committee expressed concerns about systems at IntelliMali and said the student should not be the only person held to account for the transgression. “The entities are all talking about the fact that there are loopholes in the system. You need to meet with the business community and inform them that they cannot be accessories to fraudulent activities. It is still not clear how merchants allow an Intelli card, that does not have cash, to be used for purchases amounting to over R800 000,” Ms September said.

She said the Committee was concerned about what appeared to be a gross abuse of the system.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.

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Urgent action needed to address infrastructure deficit in Africa, says ECA’s Mofor

Africa needs modern and sustainable infrastructure if the continent is to transform its economies and attain development aspirations as framed in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Africa’s Agenda 2063, says Linus Mofor of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

In a presentation on alternative sources for resilient infrastructure investment and climate finance, Mr. Mofor, a Senior Environmental Affairs Officer in the Africa Climate Policy Centre (ACPC), said infrastructure is essential to the continent’s economic development, adding an estimated US$ 100 billion is needed annually to address the infrastructure deficit in Africa.

The presentation was prepared for the just-ended U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Standing Committee on Finance (SCF) 2017 Forum that was held in Rabat, Morocco.

“For us climate resilient infrastructure is one that performs well in both today’s and tomorrow’s climate. As such integrating climate resilience in infrastructure development represents a dividend but one that comes with an upfront incremental cost which is recovered over the life of the project,” said Mr. Mofor, adding his reflections were in the context of the Africa Climate Resilient Investment Facility (AFRI-RES).

AFRI-RES is a joint initiative of the ECA, the World Bank, the African Union Commission and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

Agenda 2063 emphasises “world-class integrative infrastructure that criss-crosses the continent” as a key requirement for attaining the new African renaissance.

“Yet, the continent still suffers from a chronic infrastructure deficit in all sectors, as well as poor quality and expensive infrastructure services compared to other parts of the world,” said Mr. Mofor.

He said the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), endorsed by the continent’s leaders in 2012, lays out an ambitious long-term plan for closing Africa’s infrastructure gap, including through major increases in hydro-electric power generation and water storage capacity.

Mr. Mofor said the infrastructure deficit in Africa presents both an opportunity and a challenge.

The challenge, he said, is how to use limited public resources to close such a huge gap and do so fast enough to meet increasing demand, and ensure that investments made today do not become stranded assets due to adverse impacts of climate change.

“The opportunity lies in adopting a new climate economy approach to meeting Africa’s development agenda, that is one in which economic growth and sustainability are seen as two sides of the same coin,” said Mr. Mofor.

“As such, Africa can take a late-comer advantage and learn from the experiences of other global regions to leapfrog and build climate resilient infrastructure.”

Mr. Mofor said the limited existing infrastructure in Africa is already being severely impacted by extreme events associated with climate change.

In 2015 the World Bank and the ECA published results of a study on Enhancing the Climate Resilience of Africa’s Infrastructure (ECRAI).

The study found that failure to integrate climate change in the planning and design of power and water infrastructure could entail losses of hydropower revenues of between 5 and 60 percent and foregone revenues in the range of 15 to 130 percent of the baseline value.

“The results of the ECRAI study called for the urgent need to support African countries and project developers in building quality infrastructure that performs in both today’s and tomorrow’s uncertain climate, hence AFRI-RES came into being,” said Mr. Mofor.

AFRI-RES aims to strengthen the capacity of African institutions and project developers to integrate climate information and services into the planning, design, and implementation of infrastructure investments to enhance their resilience to climate variability and change in selected sectors, particularly energy, water, transport and agriculture.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

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South Africa to host the extra-ordinary double Troika Summit in Pretoria

President Jacob Zuma, as the Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), will convene a SADC Double Troika Summit of Heads of State and Government on 15 September 2017 in Pretoria.

The Double Troika Summit is held as a result of the recent political and security development in the Kingdom of Lesotho where, among other things, the Commander of the Lesotho Defence Force, LT General Motsomotso was assassinated.

The summit will be briefed on the report of the Ministerial Fact Finding Mission to the Kingdom of Lesotho conducted by the rogue elements fingered in the Phumaphi Commission of Inquiry Report in order to chart a way forward on the necessary support to the Kingdom of Lesotho.

The Extra-Ordinary Summit is in line with the functioning of SADC where the Chair usually becomes the host of meetings during the period of chairship.

President Zuma is expected to be joined by Heads of State and Government from the Kingdom of Swaziland, Republic of Angola, Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of Namibia.

The Summit will be preceded by Ministerial meeting in the morning of the same day.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Presidency.

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