Assured Bookkeeping named 2012 Small Business Of The Year, Runner-Up

Assured Bookkeeping wins external recognition

Assured Bookkeeping wins external recognition

2012 has ended on a high for Assured Bookkeeping, with us being awarded 2012 Small Business Of The Year, Runner-Up at the Nedbank / Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business Awards.

It is fantastic to have received external recognition for what we do but we will not become complacent. We will continue to provide clients with the same first-class service that our they are used to and which their testimonials confirm.

The Assured Bookkeeping team wishes you a fantastic festive season and all the best for 2013, both personally and in business!

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Payroll software

Are you using a specialist payroll system such as Pastel Payroll or VIP to manage your payroll? If you are not, and are relying either on Excel or a pen, paper and calculator, then you should think of changing! Here are three excellent reasons to change from your ‘manually’ processed payroll to a payroll service that runs on specialist payroll software:


Your payroll software will align to SARS’ legislation which is constantly being updated and changed & therefore your payroll will always be accurately calculated, with employees receiving the correct remuneration SARS has embarked on the appointment of companies as agents to collect outstanding tax owed to SARS by individuals in their employ. By using payroll software, any ITA88 Agent Notifications from SARS are easily managed.


PAYE reconciliations are now done twice each year and eventually they will become monthly. PAYE reconciliations are processed quicker if the payroll is run via payroll software rather than manual PAYE reconciliations


Errors can easily occur with manual payroll calculations. You need to ensure that you have accurate monthly EMP201 submissions to SARS, otherwise you will be exposed to penalties and interest.  Payroll software also enables you to manage Leave – all types of leave can be recorded – & it maintains leave balances to ensure that all employee Leave statistics are correct.

Another benefit is that, as well as knowing that their take-home pay has been accurately calculated,  your employees will be provided with professional payslips which are beneficial to them when applying for loans etc.

So, do you agree that it’s time to change to specialist payroll software?

Purchasing and maintaining a specialist payroll system in-house can prove to be expensive and so many businesses choose to outsource the management of their payrolls to bookkeeping companies, such as Assured Bookkeeping, or accountants.

Thanks for taking the time to read this article! Please feel free to post a comment.

Ian Blackburn of Assured Bookkeeping (Pty) Ltd

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If you are a business owner, you need to be aware of The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) which replaced CIPRO as a result of the New Companies Act.

Within CIPC’s remit are

  • Profit Companies (Pty Ltds, Public Companies, Personal Liability Companies, State Owned Companies)
  • Close Corporations
  • Non-profit Companies (NPC)

CIPC’s responsibilities include the following:

  • Registration of Companies, Co-operatives and Intellectual Property Rights (trademarks, patents, designs, copyright) and maintenance thereof
  • Promotion of compliance with relevant legislation
  • Enforcement of relevant legislation
  • Report, research and advise Minister on matters of national policy relating to company and intellectual property law

CIPC – did you know that …………?

  1.  It is a legal requirement for all companies (including Non-profit companies) and close corporations to file annual returns with CIPC on annual basis.
  2. If you do not file an annual return and pay annual duty for 2 successive years, CIPC will send you a notice of an intention to deregister your business. If you do not respond, your business will be deregistered. This means it will cease being a legal entity and will be unable to trade. Directors or members can be held personally liable for debts of the business
  3. CIPC requires that business postal and physical addresses relate to the site from where the business operates. This means use of “addresses of convenience”, such as an auditor, is no longer acceptable. This applies to all businesses – both new and existing
  4. If you don’t provide CIPC with correct addresses, you risk your submissions to CIPC being rejected.

As a business owner, you need to be aware of CIPC and how it relates to your business.

Thanks for taking the time to read this article! Please feel free to post a comment.

Ian Blackburn of Assured Bookkeeping (Pty) Ltd

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Credit control is a set of measures and procedures adopted by a business to ensure that its customers pay their invoices.

Here are a few tips for you to consider in order to optimise your business’s credit control.


1.     Make your payment terms very clear

  • Include your payment terms on contracts and invoices
  • Don’t forget your credit period and the interest charges on overdue payments


2.     Run credit checks on potentially large customers


3.     Build good relationships with the people that pay your invoices


4.     Generate clear and accurate invoices

  • Don’t give clients the opportunity to delay payment by querying their invoice
    • Ensure that the descriptions of the products or services provided are correct
    • Include the client’s order reference number
    • Send the invoice to the correct person


5.     Always send invoices out on time

  • Rather than wait until month end, why not send invoices out immediately after the products or services have been delivered?


6.     Create a credit control process

  • Have a schedule for chasing payments. For example:Always adhere to your schedule!
    • When to invoice
    • When to send out statements
    • When to chase payments
    • When to chase payments in firmer manner
    • When to threaten legal action
    • When to implement legal action


7.     Chase late payments immediately

  • Phoning clients tends to be more effective than emailing or sending letters
  • Keep a record of phone calls (date, time, person spoken to, what was discussed) as well as copies of emails and letters


8.     Deal with excuses

  • We often hear the same excuses for the non-payment of invoices, so have an answer to each of them in order to push past them and receive your payment!


9.     Change your credit policy for problematic clients

  • Don’t supply customers again until their accounts are up-to-date
  • Don’t give clients that are bad payers extended credit – maybe even reduce their credit limit


10.  Thank customers who pay on time! Let them know that you appreciate it.


Thanks for taking the time to read this article! Please feel free to post a comment.

Ian Blackburn of Assured Bookkeeping (Pty) Ltd





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Following on from my previous article, here are 5 more common bookkeeping mistakes that small businesses typically make:


Cash flow and profit are different. Cash flow is the rate at which money comes into and goes out of your business (i.e. the availability of cash), whereas profit is the reason that we are in business!

If you own a small business, it may have a negative short-term cash flow but be profitable in the long term, due to you having to pay suppliers before you get paid by your clients. On the other hand it could have short-term positive cash flow but still be unprofitable – for example a restaurant that collects point-of-sale income and that pays its suppliers on 30 days terms.

Your bookkeeper’s monthly management accounts will give you an accurate picture of your company’s true financial position.


Time is money, but many business owners do not put enough value on their time. How you apply your valuable time to your business is extremely important to your business. Many business owners juggle several hats at once, including the bookkeeping hat. However bookkeeping is often very technical and business owners are usually better off hiring a specialist, rather than doing it themselves. The cost of outsourcing bookkeeping is usually saved several times over in terms of time saving (the value of your time) and the elimination of errors when meeting your obligations to SARS.


Many business owners don’t save receipts, especially for small amounts. However many small amounts quickly add up and if there is no record of something being purchased, it is unlikely to be recorded in your books. This can result in over-stated profits and overpayment of tax to SARS, as well as you not being able to claim back VAT from SARS on purchases without receipts.


If proper checks are not in place, employees may have opportunities to steal or to commit fraud. This can have a significant impact on a small business. A third party bookkeeper often brings a fresh pair of eyes to a business and will suggest and implement solid internal financial controls.


You will encounter problems if the person doing your books does not implement formal bookkeeping practices. Recording income and expenses to the correct categories ensures that your profitability is being generated accurately. Knowing the different ways in which taxes are applied to the different income and expense categories can also result in tax savings.

Thanks for taking the time to read this article! Please feel free to post a comment.

Ian Blackburn of Assured Bookkeeping (Pty) Ltd

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