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
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.