Tag Archive: Karen Schmikl


The Women of Softline VIP

We hope you had a great Women’s Day yesterday. We’re very fortunate to have some extraordinary women in our team. Read a bit about the women of Softline VIP below…

Anja Hartman-Weitz

Anja is the HR Director of Softline VIP, part of the Sage Group plc, and she is responsible for the Human Capital within the company with a specific focus of maintaining Softline VIP’s status as an employer of choice.

Success is a responsibility to set an example in all aspects of life, not just at work. It means that you must be satisfied with the influence you had and the contribution you made at the end of each day.  I strongly believe that you need to be true to yourself and treat all people with the same kindness and respect.

My advice to young women starting their careers, is to pursue your dreams and never give up. You are what you repeatedly do, so be passionate and focus on excellence. It is challenging to be a working mom and you need to aim at striking that ‘perfect balance’. What works for me is to focus 100% on what I am doing at that moment, should it be at work, in a meeting or at home with the kids.

I am inspired by her mother who has been a big influence on my life. I am one of four children and my mom has always been there for us, supporting and helping wherever she can regardless of the circumstances. Due to her continuous encouragement and inspiration she made me believe that I can achieve anything I want.

I love entertaining and spending time with family and friends.  What could be better than having the people you care about, sitting around a table with good food, wine and laughter.

 

Jenny Venter

Jenny is an Organisational Development Specialist at Softline VIP, part of the Sage Group plc, and she helps clients to overcome any human capital challenges.  To Jenny, being a successful woman in business means valuing relationships, being an expert at what you do and delivering on your promises.

My advice to young women, starting their careers, is to realise that their priorities and what they want from a career and from life will change as the different stages of their lives will.  Learn as much, and achieve as much as you can while you are young so that you have a skills set and track record that provides you with the mobility to craft and redesign your career in a fashion that will accommodate your lifestyle and personal needs.

I believe that you need to keep your priorities straight in life, loved ones are more important than work. Live with integrity, be kind, use your head when you are following your heart and have faith, especially when things go wrong. Don’t ever take your health for granted, take care of it.

I am also inspired by my mom.  She is a living example of someone who has endured all that life could throw at her with incredible resilience, while retaining her faith and her ability to love and care for others.

 

Sandra Swanepoel

Sandra is the Sales Director at Softline VIP, part of the Sage Group plc, and she is strategically involved in the management of the business as a whole.  Sandra is responsible for business development of new markets by growing Softline VIP’s market share across all market segments.  

Our business follows a direct sales model, which means that our consultants spend a great deal of time in face to face contact with customers daily. Our products are sold in South Africa and Africa at large to any size business ranging from small to large enterprises, with some businesses utilising our HR and Payroll packages to pay thousands of employees.  Our products help employees to reach their full potential, which is a very rewarding achievement when you see how they grow with the company.

A balanced life is key no matter what. It is important to always invest time in your family, health and finances in addition to your employees and career.  I strongly believe that you should search for that one thing that makes you want to get out of bed every morning and then invest your time and efforts to become the best at it.

You need to walk the talk and to put energy into everything that is important to you. My mother is my inspiration and at 83 she still runs her own business. She loves it!

 

 

Monika Roode

She is the National Call Centre Manager at Softline VIP, part of the Sage Group plc and she is in charge of the call centre and support operations. 

Success does not happen overnight, it takes a great deal of hard work, lost sleep and sacrifices. It is however important that you set realistic goals for yourself and to measure your journey against these goals.  As Charles Swindoll said, Attitude is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than what people do or say. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill.

My inspiration is Audrey Hepburn, an academy award winning actress and humanitarian. Apart from being a very modest, beautiful and a legendary actress she also devoted much of her life to UNICEF. She worked in some of the most profoundly disadvantaged communities in Africa, South America and Asia making a huge difference in many people’s lives.

It is vital to stay true to youself and your values and to try as far as possible to maintain a good work-life balance.

 

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”
 Audrey Hepburn

 

Karen Schmikl

Karen is the Business Manager for VIP Liquid Payroll at Softline VIP, part of the Sage Group plc.  Karen manages Softline VIP’s online payroll product, Liquid and also oversees the legislation department.

You need to have passion for what you do in order to make a success of it, you also need to believe in yourself and do the job well.  I am sure there are still corporate cultures and industries where women have a tough time, but we are very privileged to be working for a great company that respects you for your competencies.  Set yourself a goal of what you want to achieve and go for it without losing focus of it.  Don’t ever sacrifice who you are or your principles.

I value people who stand up for their beliefs and do what is close to their heart.  I also have a great deal of respect for someone who is strong, someone who is able to survive and rise above her circumstances, such as Anne Frank and single moms.

It is important to live life with honesty, commitment and integrity. All the while, maintaining your life and work balance. From a work perspective I enjoy creativity and the satisfaction that comes from designing something from scratch and seeing it come to fruition.  From a personal point of view I love the outdoors, hiking, camping and gardening.

By Karen Schmikl, Legislation and Liquid Product Manager at Softline VIP, part of the Sage Group plc. 

Karen Schmikl

Karen Schmikl

When Softline VIP launched its first online payroll system, Liquid, we never dreamed the uptake of the product would be so astonishing.  One year later, we have 900 clients that have signed up to Liquid, servicing around 8 200 employees.  Liquid is experiencing tremendous growth for a young system and serves as a good example of the increasing shift in the industry towards an online mindset.

At the heart of Liquid’s design, was the development of an online payroll system that is user friendly.  We wanted to make sure that the user did not need a trainer or a consultant, negating the need for human intervention to a large extent.  The fact that a score of clients signed up – online – without even contacting Softline VIP, speaks volumes for the product.

I believe that online offerings will be playing an increasingly larger role in all markets across the board.  The cloud is however far from replacing desktop applications and greatly compliments any desktop offering at present.  The demand is certainly there with clients increasingly showing interest in the use of desktop solutions in the cloud.  A solution that provides more accessibility and something that is not bound to a desk that can be used from anywhere, fits the description of what the market wants.  New technology, such as the launch of HTML5 will further enhance this thinking by making online offerings platform friendly, further mobilising the market to use any device, anywhere.

The beauty of using an online solution is that you don’t need to be a technical IT guru to use the programme, you simply log on.  You actually need to be more tech savvy to load a software programme on your desktop machine or laptop.  Some of our users find themselves in rural areas and having access to a consultant or IT support is challenging, whereas an online offering eliminates the need.  Connectivity does however remain a concern with many outlying areas only having access to 3G, if at all.  Despite the fact, many still prefer an online solution as it makes financial sense.

If you had to look at an online offering purely from a software perspective, you would however be forgiven to think that it is the more expensive option.  But when you consider the bigger picture, it may not necessarily be the case.  Users do not have to worry about antivirus programmes, upgrading hardware, loading software, the running of a datacentre or making back-ups.  It is part and parcel of an online offering in addition to a telephonic support centre for added peace of mind.  It just makes financial sense, making it the ideal vehicle for SMEs who do not have the initial cash flow to afford the software infrastructure needed.

A year ago, very little people knew about online payroll systems.  The enormous growth that we have experienced with our online payroll solution, clearly indicates that the market is considering different ways of doing their business.  The demand for online solutions will continue to accelerate, slowly but surely closing the education gap and the fear of the unknown.

By Karen Schmikl, Legislation Manager at Softline VIP, part of the Sage Group plc.

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Quite a few changes were made during Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan’s Budget Speech on Wednesday, 22 February 2012 that will have a direct impact on payroll administrators across South Africa.

Medical Aid

The most noteworthy is a change in the taxation of medical aid contributions from March 2012.  Payroll administrators will have to ensure that their payroll systems are updated as from 1 March 2012 to reflect the changes stipulated. Not implementing these changes in the first period of the new tax year will result in incorrect PAYE, SDL and UIF contributions.

Medical tax credits replace the medical aid cap amounts used over the past few years.

  • Individuals who are 65 years and older still have the benefit of a medical aid tax deductible deduction, subject to no limit.
  • Employees who are younger than 65 however, no longer have the benefit of a medical aid tax deductible deduction. They do however qualify for a monthly medical tax credit (MTC).
  • The MTC will be deducted from the tax calculated for the employee for each month the employee contributes to a medical scheme, reducing the employee’s tax due each month.
  • The MTC is calculated in relation to the number of beneficiaries on the medical aid – the values are R230 for the main member, R230 for the first dependent and R154 for each additional dependent

The result of this change is a more equitable benefit for all individuals who belong to medical aids. Lower income employees will ‘see’ a greater tax benefit than higher income employees when comparing February and March tax amounts.

Tax Tables

The tax tables for individuals and special trusts for the year ending 28 February 2013 were updated.

Taxable Income (R)  Rate of Tax (R)
0 – 160 000 18% of taxable income
160 001 – 250 000 28 800 + 25% of taxable income above 160 000
250 001 – 346 000 51 300 + 30% of taxable income above 250 000
346 001 – 484 000 80 100 + 35% of taxable income above 346 000
484 001 – 617 000 128 400 + 38% of taxable income above 484 000
617 001 and above 178 940 + 40% of taxable income above 617 000

The tax rebate amounts have also been changed.  The primary tax rebate amount has been adjusted to R11 440, while a secondary rebate for persons of 65 years and older is pegged at R6 390.  A tertiary rebate for persons of 75 years and older is set at R2 130.

The adjustment to the tax threshold amounts, effectively nullified Standard Income Tax on Employees (SITE) limits.  Below the age of 65, the tax threshold has been set at R63 556; Ages 65 to below 75 now have a tax threshold of R99 056; while Ages 75 and over have a tax threshold of R110 889.

Subsistence Allowance
An employee is entitled to receive a subsistence allowance when the employee is obliged to spend at least one night away from his or her usual place of residence.  The value of the deemed allowance or advance where the accommodation is in the RSA has been amended to R303 per day for meals and incidental costs and R93 per day for incidental costs only. The schedule of rates for accommodation outside the RSA will be gazetted towards the end of the month.

Travel Allowance

Travel allowance costs have also been adjusted.  The SARS deemed rate per kilometre increased from R3.05 to R3.16.  The fuel and maintenance cost values have furthermore been amended and it is advisable to recalculate the value of all employee travel allowances from March 2012.

Value of the vehicle (incl. VAT) Fixed cost Fuel cost Maintenance cost
 (R) (R p.a.) (c/km) (c/km)
0 – 60 000 19 492 73.7 25.7
60 001 – 120 000 38 726 77.6 29.0
120 001 – 180 000 52 594 81.5 32.3
180 001 – 240 000 66 440 89.6 36.9
240 001 – 300 000 79 185 102.7 45.2
300 001 – 360 000 91 873 117.1 53.7
360 001 – 420 000 105 809 119.3 65.2
420 001 – 480 000 119 683 133.6 68.3
exceeding 480 000 119 683 133.6 68.3

The changes lined out in Finance Minister, Praveen Gordhan’s Budget Speech will have far reaching effects on any payroll system.  It is advisable for employers to take note of these changes and to confirm that they are being applied to their payroll system in order to keep the company current and up to date with legislation.