Changes to Audit Standards, improving shareholders confidence

Sandra Olivier - Wednesday, April 29, 2015

keybord job search The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) has released its new and revised Auditor Reporting Standards. The new standards are the most significant changes the profession had seen in 20 years. These changes are aimed at boosting the investor and shareholders confidence in the financial statements of a company. It took more than three years of development to put together the new requirements that are aimed at improving transparency and clarity regarding the processes and thinking involved in the audit.

Some of the new requirements include:

  • Auditors need to communicate in their report what they consider the key audit matters to be and what they did to address them in the audit.
  • Auditors need to focus more on issues of concern, including disclosure in the financial statements.
  • Audit opinion would be at the top of the report and no longer at the end. The name of the audit partner must be noted in the report and an expanded list of the auditor’s responsibilities.

The new standards are effective for audits of the financial statements of listed entities for periods ending on or after December 15 2016.

Auditors and companies will need to prepare ahead of implementation, as some changes will require careful navigation. The new standards will be as new to management, audit committees, and users as they are to auditors.

Whether the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA), or any other auditing firm performs an audit, audit readiness has its benefits. With improvements in planning, communications, and data quality, a company can reduce the headaches and often lower the costs associated with a yearly audit.

Here are some tips on making this process as smooth as possible:

It’s always a good idea to get team members with prior audit experience to help facilitate the process. Their past experience and insight into what information auditors normally request and spotting potential problems beforehand can really assist in the process.

Access to Information:
Some of the biggest challenges during an audit is data records that are inaccurate or incomplete or difficult to access. It’s important for finance departments to prepare all data before the audit process to save time and prevents unnecessary time wasted.

Reviewing prior year audit reports
The starting point for any audit will be reviewing the audit report from the previous year. If the client has not addressed recommendations from the past year, the auditor will once again focus back on those issues.

Do you have experience in Auditing? Are you looking for the next big break in your Finance career? Communicate Personnel is a specialist Finance recruitment company that can help you find your next job opportunity.

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Credit: by Stuart Miles

What To Look For In Your Next Hire

Mallisa Watson - Friday, April 24, 2015

Hand Pointing Outstanding WordHiring a new employee can be an exciting and challenging experience. When you are in the position to make the final call on who to hire, there are so many things to take into consideration.
Do they have the required qualifications? Are they enthusiastic? What skills do they have? As you critically consider the individual’s answers, there is another question that you need to ask yourself: Will they fit in? Behind all the degrees and certificates (which are just as important), is also a real human being with values.

When it comes down to searching for a new employee, it can be a time consuming exercise and a little daunting to know what exactly to look for. That is why you need to partner up with a prominent recruitment agency that can help you through this process. Apart from specialized skills needed for a role, you need to think about what character traits might be the most important, and how do you go about identifying them. Below you’ll find just a few of the reasons why personality is just as important as skills and experience in a job interview.

Some of the main character traits to look for in your next hire.

Leadership is an important quality employers seek, as the strong personality of a leader and willingness to lead others is a priceless asset needed in teamwork environments. A candidate with the ability to follow is valuable, but a candidate with only the ability to follow, not lead, is a candidate that will only maintain, not further your success. Identifying this quality in an individual can be done in different ways, one is in an interview setting, an employer might ask a question such as, “explain a situation in a previous position where you were asked to lead, and how you did so.”

Innovative people
"Creativity is not the finding of a thing, but the making something out of it after it is found." Creativity in the work place and amongst employees is key to keeping ideas and work fresh as well as innovative. A creative mind creates and chases new opportunities while a predictive mind continues to think inside of the box and doesn’t overachieve. Recognizing creativity won’t be easy as pie though, there are certain personality traits that are signs to a creative mind. Someone with good communication skills and problem solving can have the creative capacity to communicate with others and work creatively with his team to solve a problem.

The workplace can sometimes create a stressed environment where expectations to produce can cause an unconfident employee to burn out. Especially in leadership roles, employees are expected to handle stressful situations with utmost confidence. Confidence in themselves and their abilities gives that employee the mental tools they need to approach a challenging task. When trying to identify a possible hire’s level of confidence, ask questions about their achievements and what they are most proud of. How they answer the question can give you a clear idea of the things they take pride in and are confident about in themselves. A strong individual will take pride in their work and the accomplishments they have made in their career.

Once you are positive that you’ve found a potential fit for your company, have a checklist for reassurance.

The checklist:

Are they flexible? Like most businesses, we tackle different things every day. Some days it’s market research, other days we work with business development and budgets. The best thing a person can do is be prepared, but they need to be flexible when circumstances change.

Are they willing to learn? Supporting a wide range of clients and working in a constantly evolving space means a candidate should be ready to learn. An inquisitive person is a huge plus, and it’s even better when they ask a lot of questions and do their own research.

Are they dynamic? When you have your own established company, you cannot afford to employ a person who is not looking to grow out of their current position. Look for someone who is always finding something to do next.

Are they enthusiastic? To get the best results, you need to make sure the person you’re planning on hiring is passionate about what they are doing. Having motivated employees in your company will have them and your business striving for success.

So, how do you choose through the stacks of resumes to find these individuals, the ones that will help you move from good, to great, to remarkable? Leave your comment below; we’d love to hear from you.

For additional help in finding candidates for your company that represent all of these qualities and more, talk with one of our specialist recruitment consultants today.

Communicate Personnel is a recruitment agency with consultants specialising in finding Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Freight jobs and Supply Chain jobs. Check out our vacancy page and apply now! 

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Credit: by FrameAnge

Saldanha port expansion into oil and gas on the cards

Sandra Olivier - Tuesday, April 21, 2015

freight linerThe Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) is planning to spend R9.7 billion to develop its oil and gas infrastructure at its port of Saldanha Bay. This project is aimed at enhancing the deep-water port's ability to service the offshore oil and gas industry.

Situated along the West Coast about 120 km (72 miles) from Cape Town, Saldanha is South Africa's deepest natural port. Its geographical proximity to a slew of new oil and gas finds on either side of the continent is seen as giving it an edge over other repair hubs in Europe, Singapore and Dubai.

About 120 oil rigs passed SA’s coastline annually. Most were unable to obtain services in Saldanha as the port was not equipped to meet the demands from the sector. These new developments will allow oil exploration firms to save millions by having their rigs repaired in South Africa, rather than towing them to Singapore, which could take up to 100 days for a rig that rents out for around $500,000 a day.

The construction of the new rig repair for berth 205 will accommodate two rigs at a time. The Mossgas Quay wall will be expanded from 38 metres to 500m with the depth of 8.5m. Both the projects will be commissioned in 2018.

An offshore supply base will also be built to serve as a one-stop shop to supply oil rigs with their basic needs, such as food and materials, and waste collection.

The projects will create an estimated 6,300 new direct jobs and 25,200 new indirect jobs, and contribute an estimated R4.74bn to gross domestic product.

Custom Control Area
As part of this project, the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone is developing this area as a Custom Control Area. This is seen by many as a key draw card for companies to use this port. The benefits of creating this as a CCA or Free port includes:

  • Companies operating within the zone will be relieved from import duties on manufacturing assets, as well as any goods for storage and raw materials used in the manufacturing process.
  • Investors will also be exempt from export duties on goods exported from the CCA to a foreign country and on services rendered within the IDZ.
  • In addition, no value-added tax will be payable on goods imported for use in the construction and maintenance of the CCA’s infrastructure, or on land acquired or rented in the CCA, or on the electricity and water supplied.

This project and the new developments are sure to attract companies and investors that are looking to use Saldanha Bay to position themselves for Africa’s longer-term offshore growth prospects.

The development of ports and projects like these by Transnet will help to facilitate the needed growth in the Freight and Supply Chain industries. If you are a candidate looking for a new job, we can assist. Communicate Personnel is a specialized Freight and Supply Chain recruitment agencies, which can help you in finding Clearing and Forwarding Sales jobs, road freight, courier, warehousing, logistics, production jobs and more. Check out our vacancy page and apply today.

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How to bounce back from retrenchment

Sandra Olivier - Friday, April 17, 2015

keybord job searchIt was in 2009 that retrenchments in South Africa became a reality for many employees, and while our economy didn’t suffer as badly from the 2008 global economic downturn, retrenchments still continue in 2015 on a smaller scale. If you’ve been retrenched, we’ve got some strategies for you to use, to help you bounce back from being retrenched.

1. Tell everyone
Telling everyone you’ve been retrenched sounds counter-intuitive, especially when a retrenchment can hit you right in the self-confidence. However, telling people about your retrenchment can serve two purposes: firstly, it can relieve you of a lot of the stress that comes from being retrenched; knowing that you’re not alone in this experience. You may even help other “retrench-ees” to open up about their own work situations and find mutual support.

Secondly, telling people you’ve been retrenched is a great starting point for networking yourself and your skills. Instead of: “Oh no, poor me, I’ve been retrenched”, the narrative can sound more like: “Now that I’ve been retrenched, my broad skills range and vast experience can be invested in a company with a vacancy for which I’d be perfect.”

2. Review your budget and finances
It’s necessary to take care of business first, so now’s the chance to review your budget (which means perhaps tightening your belt a bit on the spending and ensuring your money only goes towards the bare necessities like home and car loans, retirement annuity, medical aid, and existing investments, etc.). If you’ve been contributing towards UIF during your employment, then you have up to six months from the date of your retrenchment to apply for UIF claims, which will certainly help to keep money worries at bay while you…

3. Make the job hunt your new full-time job
It might be tempting to fall into the trap of waking up late (because you can) and staying in your PJs all day (because you can) while you browse the internet for potential new jobs. Instead, to keep your confidence up and feel like you have a sense of purpose, treat your job hunt as you would an eight-hour work day: shower, shave, dress up, and be at your computer by 08:30 to work on finding a new job. Arrange meetings with recruiters and see them as business meetings – be punctual and professional.

Take the opportunity to really review and polish your CV, using it to communicate the job you want. That being said…

4. Reflect honestly on your career
If you’re able to keep a positive mindset, you’ll likely treat your redundancy as an opportunity instead of a tragedy. Be 100 % honest with yourself: was your last job the job you always wanted? Or have you secretly been wishing for a job in a different industry? What do you really want to do with your life? A redundancy is the perfect (and exciting) opportunity for change – if you’re willing to see it that way.

5. Embrace the change – upskill
If you do decide to change your career, the upside to retrenchment is that you’ll get a retrenchment pay-out. This doesn’t mean you can avoid the realities of your life by going on a cruise in the Mediterranean or buying a new car. It means that you can afford (the money and the time) to upskill in order to make a proactive shift into your new career.

6. Get a recruitment specialist involved
No one knows the employment landscape in your industry better than a recruitment agency that specialises in it. Approach the relevant agencies and provide them with your newly polished CV as well as a well-articulated motivation letter for why you’re the perfect candidate for the job you desire. Keep your interview skills fresh and talk about your accomplishments and your passion for what you do. There are companies out there that need you – involving a recruitment agency will make it easier for you and your new employer to find each other.

Need a hand in finding a new job?  Communicate Personnel is a recruitment agency with consultants specialising in finding Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Freight jobs and Supply Chain jobs. Check out our vacancy page and apply now! 


Salaries, do you really understand what you earn?

Sandra Olivier - Tuesday, April 14, 2015

arrows choice shows options alternativesWe all get very excited at the end of the month when payday is finally on the horizon. It’s after all what we work for every month, that all important pay cheque. When asked how much we earn, almost all of us can tell you the amount of money that ends in our bank account, but very few of us knows the difference between total Cost To Company, Gross, Basic or a Cash package.

Many times the confusion around earnings and exactly how your salary is structured only becomes known when you start looking for a new job or are trying to negotiate your salary. As a result, many jobseekers mistakenly accept a job offer before carefully considering the salary package on offer.

The reality is very few companies in South Africa structure their salary packages in the same way, so it’s important to ensure you are very clear on what you are currently earning and what you would like to be earning at a new job.

Here are the key terms explained to help you out:

Basic Salary:
Your "Basic Salary" is the amount you earn before any additional benefits such as medical aid, pension, and allowances are added to your salary. Your basic salary is the section of your salary that is fixed every month and would not include any bonuses or 13th cheque.

Cost to Company:
This is a term used to calculate the total cost to the Company to employ you, in other words all the costs associated with your employment contract. This could include company contributions to Medical, Pension/Provident, UIF, SDL, group insurance etc.

Net Salary:
This seems to be the one that people have the least problems with, as everybody is very much aware of the money that is paid into their bank at the end of the day. Nett salary is also referred to as “take home pay” – the amount of money that you take home every month.

The process of deducting or withholding tax from remuneration as it is earned by an employee is referred to as Pay-As-You-Earn. All employers are required to deduct Employees’ Tax from their salaries. The amounts deducted must be paid by the employer to SARS on a monthly basis. This is calculated by your employer using the latest tax tables. Depending on what you earn, you will pay SITE and/or PAYE tax.

It is compulsory to pay 1% of your gross earnings into the governments Unemployment Insurance Fund. Your employer also has to pay 1% of your gross earnings, making the total contribution 2% each month.

Medical Aid
Some larger companies have medical aid schemes for their staff. If you join, you qualify for the Medical Scheme Fees Tax Credit. This is a fixed monthly amount that increases according to the number of dependants and is taken off after you calculate your taxable income.

Besides your salary and leave, there are a number of other benefits that companies offer that can add real value. The Top Employer Institute's 2014 certification programme recently identified the most popular benefits that are offered by some of the top employers in the country.

-          Flexible working hours
-          Learning and development programmes
-          Travel opportunities
-           Day Care or Crèche facilities

When you are scouting out a potential employer, make sure it’s the right fit for you. Understand your salary breakdown and know what’s your worth. If you want to be happy with your job, benefits will matter as much as (if not more than) salary in the long run, so make sure you find out exactly what a new company would be able to offer you before you make a final decision.

If you need assistance in your job search, Communicate Personnel are waiting for your call. We represent some of the top candidates out there. Contact us today to become part of this elite group. Communicate Personnel is a recruitment agency with consultants specialising in finding Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Freight jobs and Supply Chain jobs. Check out our vacancy page and apply now! 

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Previous posts

  1. Changes to Audit Standards, improving shareholders confidence Sandra Olivier 29-Apr-2015
  2. What To Look For In Your Next Hire Mallisa Watson 24-Apr-2015
  3. Saldanha port expansion into oil and gas on the cards Sandra Olivier 21-Apr-2015
  4. How to bounce back from retrenchment Sandra Olivier 17-Apr-2015
  5. Salaries, do you really understand what you earn? Sandra Olivier 14-Apr-2015
  6. The Work Balancing Act: How to get it right? Sandra Olivier 10-Apr-2015
  7. Things You Should Never Do At A Job Interview Mallisa Watson 07-Apr-2015
  8. Can You Develop and Strengthen Your Emotional Intelligence? Mallisa Watson 02-Apr-2015
  9. Where Are The South African Water Engineers? Mallisa Watson 31-Mar-2015
  10. Do you have these personalities in your office? Sandra Olivier 27-Mar-2015
  11. Where have all the Developers gone? Sandra Olivier 24-Mar-2015
  12. Does age matter? The benefits and challenges of seasoned employees vs millennials Sandra Olivier 20-Mar-2015
  13. Chartered Accountancy A Changing Profession Mallisa Watson 17-Mar-2015
  14. Fast Track Your Job Search Mallisa Watson 13-Mar-2015
  15. Qualification Fraud: What you need to know Sandra Olivier 10-Mar-2015
  16. Expect the unexpected: Counter offers Sandra Olivier 06-Mar-2015
  17. Steps For Successful Supply Chain Collaboration Mallisa Watson 03-Mar-2015
  18. Benefits South African companies offer and what to look for while job hunting Sandra Olivier 27-Feb-2015
  19. Construction On The New York Of Africa Has Finally Begun Mallisa Watson 24-Feb-2015
  20. Challenges executives face while job hunting Sandra Olivier 20-Feb-2015
  21. Millennials: Reshaping The Workplace Mallisa Watson 17-Feb-2015
  22. How To Successfully Navigate Those Tricky Interview Questions Sandra Olivier 13-Feb-2015
  23. IT trends: Move over BYOD here comes CYOD Sandra Olivier 10-Feb-2015
  24. How To Keep Your Valued Employees Mallisa Watson 06-Feb-2015
  25. Importance of the World Economic Forum for South Africa Sandra Olivier 03-Feb-2015
  26. How to quit your job without burning bridges Sandra Olivier 30-Jan-2015
  27. Does South Africa have a plan for electricity? Mallisa Watson 27-Jan-2015
  28. How to ace your job interview and get what you want Sandra Olivier 23-Jan-2015
  29. The Career Advice you Probably Didn’t Get Sandra Olivier 20-Jan-2015
  30. Are you a job hopper? Find out how this can help or hurt your career Sandra Olivier 16-Jan-2015