Archive for September, 2013


Spokesperson at the Sage Pastal Payroll Press Launch

Philip Meyer- Sage Pastel Payroll & HR

We live in an era where most individuals, everyday use their smartphone to call, sms, WhatsApp, Facebook you name it.

Many experts in the industry believe that global mobile internet usage is projected to overtake desktop by 2014, meaning that globally individuals will access the internet from their smartphone more than using their desktop.

Philip Meyer, technology director at Sage Pastel Payroll & HR says that the importance of applying mobile technology cannot be overestimated.

According to a South African Network Society project done at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2012, over seven out of ten Internet users use their mobile phones to go online and more people have Internet capable phones than own computers.

“Seeing that more people in South Africa have Internet access from their smartphones and other mobile devices, we first developed an Android application because it is highly popular globally and was clearly the most logical deployment,” says Meyer.

Sage Pastel Payroll & HR developed a hosted, web-based tool enabling employees to manage and maintain their own information online called Self Service.

Self Service enables employees to make applications for leave, salary advances, loans, bursaries or other financial assistance, online, no matter where they are in the world as long as they have an internet connection. Employees can view their previous months’ payslips (Self Service online only), update personal information, submit their travel claims and more.

Due to mobility taking over globally, Sage Pastel Payroll & HR kept up with the technology change by taking the Self Service functionality and making it a mobile application. The application enables employees to apply for leave, submit travel claims and update their personal details online or via their smartphone, anywhere, anytime.

For Payroll Administrators and Business Owners, there is no manual capturing of the employees’ request forms. Once approved on the smartpone, the desktop payroll software is updated automatically.

“The application is unique in that it is the first mobile payroll application developed by a South African company enabling employees to apply for leave, submit travel claims and update personal details anywhere at anytime.”

According to Duncan Alfreds from News24, an international survey by research firm Gartner has revealed that Google’s mobile operating system overtook Microsoft’s Windows as the most common operating system in 2012. Android will soon become the most globally dominant operating system, research has revealed. Gartner adds, “As mobile becomes the growing segment in consumer devices, we see the installed base of devices growing but also a shift toward Android.” (Source – News24, April 2013)

Meyer says the mobile application is available in a mobi site environment and applications for iPhone and Blackberry smartphones and Windows Mobile are now being developed.

“The mobile application eases the pressure on HR departments, allowing them more time to concentrate on important areas such as staff wellness, efficiency and training instead of wasting hours on capturing leave forms, dealing with HR data-related queries or distributing payslips. It also makes services more accessible to sales and services employees who are frequently out of the office visiting clients,” concludes Meyer.

For the latest legislative news, connect with Sage Pastel Payroll & HR on Twitter (Payroll News), Facebook or LinkedIn.

All designated employers who employ 50 or more employees or whose turnover value exceeds the annual thresholds must submit Employment Equity reports this year.

Employers may deliver printed reports to their nearestLabour Centre before 01 October 2013. Manual submissions may not be emailed, faxed or sent via regular post.

Employers who choose to submit electronically will not only enjoy the convenience of capturing and submitting the EEA2 and EEA4 forms online but they will also have until 15 January 2014 to make sure their Employment Equity reports for 2013 are submitted.

The purpose of the Employemnet Equity Act is to Advance Economic Development, Social Justice, maintain peace and the democratisation of the workplace by fulfiling the primary objectives which are promoting equal opportunity and fair treatment in employment through the elimination of unfair discrimination. In addition the Employment Equity Act is  implementing affirmative action measures to redress the disadvantages in employment experienced by designated groups to ensure their equitable representation in all occupational categories and levels in the workforce.

Philip Meyer, technology director at Sage Pastel Payroll & HR says that it makes sense to submit online. “Employers should rather opt to register online at www.labour.gov.za to ensure they have enough time to prepare and submit their annual Employment Equity reports. Online users have the luxury of capturing information and saving their data online until the report is complete and ready to submit.”

Meyer adds that the EEA2 and EEA4 forms have to be submitted together or the Department of Labour will reject and return the submission. Employers who cannot submit their Employment Equity reports must let the Department know in writing. Employers who make use of payroll and HR software solutions should find it easy to complete the annual Employment Equity reports. Technology allows companies to capture data once and only tweak employee data and numerical goal plans when changes occur. They can also generate the EEA2 and EEA4 returns in the correct format with the correct information already collated and categorised.

Once submitted, the forms cannot be changed or amended in any way but guidance on how to complete the forms correctly is available on the Department of Labour website, according to Meyer.

Copies of the forms have to be retained for company records and to present to Department of Labour inspectors should they visit the company to check on compliance.

To read more about designated employers, go to http://www.southafrica.info/services/rights/employmentequity.htm

For the latest legislative news, connect with Sage Pastel Payroll & HR on Twitter (Payroll News), Facebook or LinkedIn.

 

All RSA companies are required to submit their SARS interim PAYE reconciliation that is due from 01 September – 31 October 2013, including their employee tax certificates and EMP501 reconciliations for the period 01 March to 31 August 2013.

Employers also need to ensure they make use of the latest SARS e@syFile software release, which they can download from the SARS website, www.sars.gov.za. Without downloading the software companies will not be able to successfully submit their interim PAYE reconciliations and transfer the data electronically to SARS.

Philip Meyer, technology director at Sage Pastel Payroll & HR, says legislation dictates that each and every employee in a company must be registered on the SARS database with their own tax number. Therefore individual income tax reference numbers must be reflected in the SARS interim PAYE reconciliation. If one or more tax certificates do not include the tax reference number, companies will receive an error notification in e@syFile and will be penalized.

Companies using an automated payroll software solution can obtain employee tax reference numbers via bulk ITREG functionality and the e@syFile Employer system to simplify the reconciliation.

Another important requirement for companies is to comply with new legislation pertaining to employees making use of company vehicles leased by their employer. Meyer says the fringe benefit value is the rental contract plus the fuel cost for the month. However, the rental contract must be classified as an operating lease.

“New source codes were also introduced in the event that the employer pays a lump sum to the family of a deceased employee. The first R300 000 of the lump sum is tax free but the portion exceeding R300 000 is taxed by way of a SARS directive and the lump sum must be reported against code 3922 and the PAYE on the lump sum must be allocated to code 4115.

Meyer adds that companies can receive step-by-step assistance from a SARS Contact Centre agent through the SARS Help-You-eFile, a service innovation introduced by SARS to give companies access to SARS contact centre agents online.

“Use of a reputable payroll software system will result in a smooth interim PAYE reconciliation, as the software will automate the reconciliation process for the company. Some payroll solutions require only that users load their employees’ information and payslips. Therefore no manual calculations are required so that companies simply upload the file to e@syFile.”

For the latest legislative news, connect with Sage Pastel Payroll & HR on Twitter (Payroll News), Facebook or LinkedIn.