Drakenstein Municipality, Western Cape, works with CaseWare Africa and achieves a clean audit using new Treasury guidelines

The Drakenstein Municipality in the Western Cape has worked with CaseWare Africa to become one of the first municipalities in South Africa to align their reporting with National Treasury guidelines as set out in the mSCOA Annual Financial Statements Specimen. Drakenstein Municipality, encompassing Paarl, Wellington, Gouda, Hermon, Saron and Simondium, recently announced that it had received a clean audit opinion from the Auditor-General in the 2019/2020 financial year. Drakenstein Municipality managed to achieve all of this despite the Covid-19 lockdowns and all the additional complexities that municipalities had to face.

mSCOA Specimen Financial Statements

mSCOA Specimen financial statements

Bradley Brown, Chief Financial Officer, Drakenstein Municipality, has high praise for CaseWare’s professional team. “The guidance and dedication of the CaseWare team during the compilation of our Annual Financial Statements (AFS) for the year ending 30 June 2020 was unsurpassed. Our personnel could, at any given time, liaise with them for assistance with changes to the AFS’ and on all occasions they were greeted with extreme professionalism – which we feel is reflected in this achievement,” says Mr. Brown.

He goes on to confirm that a clean audit report – or unqualified audit report with no material misstatements, was issued to the Drakenstein municipality, from the Auditor General of South Africa, with the first-time implementation of CaseWare’s template. “Not only is the outcome a huge achievement but we also did not receive a high-level overview report regarding casting errors or notes, not agreeing to the head statements. This was definitely not the case in previous years,” adds Mr. Brown.

Stephan van der Merwe, Product Manager – Public Sector at CaseWare Africa, a division of Adapt IT, says amending the reporting format to align with the latest guidelines from National Treasury, would have been a complex process in a normal year. However, 2020 was further complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, making on-site collaboration near impossible. But despite these challenges, the CaseWare Africa team collaborated virtually with the Drakenstein municipal finance team in assisting to implement CaseWare’s new software and using it to prepare Annual Financial Statements.

The CaseWare mSCOA Specimen Financial Statements solution aligns with the National Treasury’s mSCOA Annual Financial Statement Specimen, as issued in July 2019.  The CaseWare solution is powered directly by the datasets that municipalities submit to National Treasury as part of the mSCOA reforms. This greatly streamlines the process in preparing financial statements, as importing data into the financial statements is completely automated and seamless. “By automating the annual financial statement preparation process, finance teams in municipalities don’t have to waste time collecting all the appropriate information they need, locating and correcting data errors and implementing new requirements in isolation, but rather focus their attention on the actual financial statements.” says Mr. van der Merwe.

“Helping municipalities to automate their financial statement preparation processes using our software, has been an important focus for the CaseWare Africa business over the last decade. Drakenstein Municipality was one of the first adopters of our new mSCOA Specimen Financial Statements and we are absolutely delighted that they could successfully prepare their 2019/2020 financials using our solution,” Mr. van der Merwe adds.

In conclusion, Mr. Brown reaffirms the importance of the business relationship between Drakenstein Municipality and the CaseWare Africa.

CaseWare solutions allow us to be competitive and help us build our customer portfolio

It has been a hard and tiring journey for us trying to get a solution to our time consuming and exhausting preparation of the annual report and financial statements which not only has strict time lines but requires quality output.

This journey came to an end about two years ago when we met Caseware Africa. Caseware Africa’s software has made our preparation on quality financial statements fun and timely.

 

 

 

With the use of Caseware, we are now able to complete the preparation of the financial statements and review them in less than a month, giving management and the board humble time to review and approve the statements. Previously we had to call for an ADHOC board to approve the statements given that they would be ready the last day of the statutory timeline.

Thank you Caseware Africa. – NHIF (National Hospital Insurance Fund)

Caseware adds to the bottom line for busy accounting firm

Using CQS CaseWare Working Papers, H&K Accounting Solutions partner Hugo de Rosnay produced eight sets of annual financial statements in under two hours. And in doing so, he says he has full confidence of complete compliance with IFRS requirements, while also being afforded scope to take on more clients.

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“As a sole business owner, the productivity boost from using CQS CaseWare is remarkable. The payback period on the price of the software is also negligible: after using it to do three sets of financial statements, it has paid for itself,” says a delighted de Rosnay.

He says the first time use does take a little longer, owing to the requirement to set the software up, but after that it is plain sailing. “Efficiency is very important when producing financial statements. Most clients have theirs done within the first month of year end; with CQS CaseWare, it is quite possible to do thirty to forty sets in that month.”

Most importantly, stresses de Rosnay, that is achieved with no compromise in quality. “The solution supports the delivery of an efficient and professional service to my clients. And I depend on CQS to keep me updated on IFRS and to ensure I am compliant with my clients’ Annual Financial Statements. In short, CaseWare is efficient, professional and easy to use.”

“As a sole business owner, the productivity boost from using CQS CaseWare is remarkable. The payback period on the price of the software is also negligible: after using it to do three sets of financial statements, it has paid for itself,”

Hugo de Rosnay

Don’t miss a minute with CaseWare Time

Accounting professionals tend to feel strongly about CQS’ CaseWare solutions. That’s because once they start using software specifically designed to support their work, it becomes indispensable. That’s certainly the case for Mary-Anne Fanner, proprietor of Compu-Accounting, a company which provides accounting and tax consultancy services.

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“We’ve relied on CaseWare Time for the last 8 years, but still remember when we first moved to it,” says Fanner. “That’s because it paid for itself within two months.”

Keeping track of time spent on clients was formerly done in a spreadsheet, continues Fanner. “This was inadequate as the possibility of missing billable hours was always there. With CaseWare Time, that problem is eliminated. You can easily review work in progress through the month gauge if enough has been done to bill in that month. With reports pertaining to client history, you can instantly see if the client is worth writing down for non-billable hours,” she says.

The solution also supports improved staff productivity. “You can manage your staff far more efficiently regarding their billable and non-billable time. You can also see baselines and compare each year’s productivity against the preceding years,” Fanner notes.

And with an accurate record of which employees have turned in the most billable hours, CaseWare Time makes it easy to decide on bonuses and annual increases based on productivity reports.

“CaseWare saves time, improves productivity and efficiency, while providing an instant view of the company performance at any time. There is much more to CaseWare Time than just billing, it’s a management tool. It gives me more control and allows me to effectively manage my practice. Would I recommend it? Absolutely.”

“That’s because it paid for itself within two months.”

Mary-Anne Fanner

No more versioning challenges with SmartSync

The ease with which electronic files can be duplicated can cause challenges with versioning, particularly when working collaboratively. This was an administrative reality for busy accounting practice Zomersig Accounting Services, which operates in the Western Cape wine-making region. However, with the implementation of SmartSync, the company has eliminated this source of frustration and given its team of professionals a productivity boost.

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That’s according to Arend Neethling, manager at Zomersig Accounting Services. “Before migrating to SmartSync, the method was to simply copy CaseWare files from the server onto a laptop, work on the files, and then copy them back.”

The drawbacks to this approach include the inadvertent creation of multiple versions of the same files, resulting in the potential for confusion and hampering efficiency.

Neethling says the previous Caseware Working Papers deployment required substantial bandwidth which made it difficult to collaborate. “Even on a simple local network, only one person could work on a CaseWare file and enjoy good access speeds,” he remarks.

The introduction of SmartSync has solved most of these issues, Neethling says. “With a lower bandwidth requirement, multiple people can work on the same file on the same server with no slowdown.”

He adds that the introduction of uncapped internet is a further bonus, as most clients are more than happy to let visiting accountants or auditors use their connection. “If a Sync copy is made before field work, a VPN connection can be employed to ensure that the server copy is always up to date.”

Not only does this eliminate the problem of versioning, but it also minimises the risk of lost work.

He has particular praise for the performance of SmartSync in dealing with the larger clients of his company which typically require collaboration within CaseWare Working Papers. “Collaboration on these tasks definitely saves time. Efficiency is also improved, as every person is able to work at the processing speed of his or her computer, whereas in the past, performance was limited by network bandwidth. Due to this, files requiring collaboration have almost zero slowdown.”

Any accounting company that has collaborative work as part of its business processes would do well to consider SmartSync, Neethling believes.” Even the implementation is simple. Installing SmartSync is seamless and the only training required is a slight education of users to click a little tick mark when opening it. The software takes care of the rest.”

In short, he says “SmartSync has made things easier and has increased file fidelity.”