Newsletters

  • December 2019 | Sometimes the Best Management Is To Take a Back Seat

    01 December 2019
    Will your business prosper, or will it fail? Your management style will always be a critical factor in deciding that, and the art of successful management requires that you understand when to get actively involved in an issue; and when to take a back seat while your staff team get on with it. But that’s not always easily achieved. Should you join the current fad for “Management By Walking Around”? What do you do about hostile employees? How should you handle criticism? ...
  • November 2019 | Celebrating the life of Lize-Marie Steyn

    01 November 2019
    Celebrating the life of Lize-Marie Steyn - A brilliant light that left us far too soon. Gone before she had the chance to graduate, she received a posthumous degree in Financial Accounting from Unisa on 1 October. We are grateful that Lize-Marie was able to receive her final marks before her passing. Ms Steyn touched so many lives while working with us at Middel and Partners, her presence will be greatly missed.Not preparing a comprehensive business plan for your business, and not updating...
  • October 2019 | A Tip for Anyone with Too Much Debt – Try the ‘Snowball Method’

    01 October 2019
    (Note - if you know (or employ) someone who might benefit from a pointer or two on how to bring their levels of debt under control, please do pass this article on to them.) Being heavily indebted is one of the most stressful and demoralising things a person can experience, and in these hard times a lot of South Africans are struggling to keep their heads above water. High levels of debt are also bad for the country, with 60% of our economy dependent on consumer spen...
  • September 2019 | Be Ready For SARS Employee Audits

    01 September 2019
    With SARS struggling to meet its revenue targets and individuals carrying the bulk of the tax burden, we can probably expect SARS to increase its audits of employees’ tax returns.  Forewarned being as always forearmed, we discuss the implications for both employees and employers, with suggestions on how employers should have their employees handle queries (whether they do it themselves or through their own tax advisers).  An audit can be a costly, stressful and time-consum...
  • August 2019 | Don’t Let a Death or Disablement Destroy Your Business

    01 August 2019
    Your business could be in serious trouble if a shareholder suddenly dies, or if a key player in the business is disabled or dies. How can you manage these risks?  A good start is to take out the correct insurance cover upfront. Appropriate policies can both reduce the risks to the business and provide financial assistance to an affected shareholder’s families.  We’ll discuss what “buy/sell insurance” is and what its benefits are, then we’ll have a l...
  • July 2019 | How Tax Returns Will Be Easier This Year, and Should You File if You Earn Under R500,000?

    01 July 2019
    The dreaded Tax Season is once more upon us, and you’ve probably picked up news of the increased R500,000 personal income tax threshold to replace the previous one of R350,000. What does that mean for you in practice and what are the limitations and provisos applicable? Be careful here - even if you qualify for exemption from having to file a tax return, it might pay you to lodge one anyway. Read on for thoughts on that, plus some useful details on how SARS has (as it puts it) “i...
  • June 2019 | How You Can Detect Fraud in Your Business

    01 June 2019
    Running a business brings many rewards, but also a host of risks and challenges. One of the more common of those is internal fraud. It can devastate your business and its reputation, undermine staff morale and jeopardise relationships with your suppliers, your investors and the compliance authorities.  The danger is that it can happen to anyone, at any time – no one is immune. Fortunately every business, from the largest corporate to the smallest SME, can reduce its risk of fraud ...
  • May 2019 | Small Businesses: Make The Most of Your Tax Breaks!

    01 May 2019
    Small businesses face many challenges, not the least of which is the tax burden. Both our high tax rates, and the complexity of our tax compliance system, can be particularly hard on smaller and newer enterprises. Fortunately however, some relief is available to qualifying businesses in the form of both turnover tax for micro businesses, and tax on SBCs (Small Business Corporations).  Don’t be one of the many uninformed taxpayers who miss out on tax breaks like these!&n...
  • April 2019 | Expat Tax: How Will The Changes Affect You?

    01 April 2019
    South African expatriates have until now enjoyed a “183/60” tax exemption in respect of foreign income. That will change with new legislation recently passed, and forward planning is important here. So if you yourself aren’t a working expatriate but know someone who is (a relative, friend or colleague perhaps) please think of passing this article on.
    We look at what the changes are, whether they will affect you, when they will take effect, and what y...
  • March 2019 | What does Budget 2019 mean for you?

    01 March 2019
    Budget 2019 is important for our economy as a whole, and we must hope that Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s "It is time for us to sow the seed of renewal and growth" presages a new era of prosperity for us all. But how does Budget 2019 affect you and your business in a practical sense? For a change, relatively few tax adjustments were proposed – we list them for you and discuss their impact. Equally important is our list of taxes that have been left unchanged. We end of...
  • February 2019 | Directors: The Potential Liabilities You Face When Issuing Shares

    01 February 2019
    The Companies Act imposes a raft of important duties on directors, one of which is to ensure that the company remains a going concern with adequate liquidity and solvency.  Which means that you may on occasion have to find further funding in order to satisfy the going concern test. Or perhaps you need to raise more money for a program of major expansion. Either way, one option could be to issue new shares.  Be careful though of the Act’s requirements when it comes to setti...
  • January 2019 | Interest Rates in 2019 – Which Way Will They Go and Why?

    07 January 2019
    As Nobel Prize-winning physicist Nils Bohr put it, “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it is about the future.” Humorous but true. Nevertheless the question of where interest rates are likely to move in the future affects us all, and businesses and investors in particular would love to have a handle on what to expect. In pursuit of answers we discuss the recent interest rate increase and what we might be able to glean from it by analysing the arguments put forward bot...
  • December 2018 | Let’s Be Realistic and Positive in 2019

    01 December 2018
    2018 has certainly presented us South Africans with some major challenges. But as we start winding down and reflecting on what the future has in store for us, let’s be sure to keep in mind the many positives we take into the New Year with us. So join us in looking at some of the “big problems” we face, and in asking whether they are in fact as insoluble as we tend to think. The bottom line is this - how can we make meaningful inroads into our problems, and how do we ensu...
  • November 2018 | When Hubris Grows, Can a Market Crash Be Far Behind?

    01 November 2018
    It’s not easy to make informed investment decisions in this Age of Information Overload, nor will it ever be possible to accurately predict the next big boom or crash in the stock markets. But economists suggest that there may be a few pointers to help us decide when the chances of an imminent crash are increasing.  We discuss two such potential pointers – interesting concepts that are well worth keeping an eye on. We’ll tell you how to do that yourself, and when yo...
  • October 2018 | Is your business compliant with the new PAIA Act

    01 October 2018
    Please ensure that your business is compliant with the new PAIA Act.   In terms of Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA), 2000 all businesses need to have a PAIA Manual and submit a copy to South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) website. The purpose of PAIA is to promote the right of access to information, to foster a culture of transparency and accountability in South Africa. Furthermore, PAIA is aimed at encouraging an open democracy where individuals fr...
  • September 2018 | Do You Need Business Interruption Insurance?

    01 September 2018
    Statistically, almost three quarters of businesses that suffer a major catastrophic event (like a flood or a fire) never recover. 43% never trade again and a further 29% go out of business within two years. Fortunately you can easily protect your business from that sort of risk by insuring not only against loss of assets, but also against loss of profits whilst you get the business back up on its feet again. Read on for our suggestions on what to insure for, and if you ar...
  • August 2018 | The New Travel Allowances: How Do They Affect You and Are They Working?

    01 August 2018
    The 2018/2019 tax year sees important changes to how, as an employee, you can be reimbursed for your business travel expenses. Both employers and employees should know how they will affect you in practice. We discuss the three types of travel allowance, the new changes, the reasons why SARS has made them, and the administrative burden and other considerations for employers. That’s all important of course, but your bottom line question is always going to be “What’s best f...
  • July 2018 | Your 2018 Tax Season Deadline: Brought Forward By Three Weeks?

    01 July 2018
    Tax Season 2018 for individuals has just opened, and as always you should start getting everything together now because late lodgement of returns will expose you to totally unnecessary penalties and interest.  We discuss whether you need to submit an income tax return in the first place, and if so whether you are affected by the new 31 October deadline. We’ll also take a look at why SARS has brought the deadline forward by three weeks and at the benefits to both taxpayers and SARS...
  • June 2018 | Lessons for Your Business: How Does the World’s Most Successful Company Keep Growing?

    01 June 2018
    Launching your business onto a sustained (and sustainable) growth trajectory has always been the Holy Grail for SMEs as much as it is for the big corporates. But how do you achieve that? Jeff Bezos recently shared with Amazon shareholders just how important the company’s deployment of high standards “at all levels of detail” has been to Amazon’s phenomenal success.  Let’s analyse Bezos’ 6 key principles for realising and maintaining high standards,...
  • May 2018 | Practical Tips on Cash Flow

    01 May 2018
    Cash flow, as Richard Branson has pointed out, is literally the life-blood of your business. So quite apart from your legal duty (assuming that you are a company director) to ensure that your business can meet all its short term obligations, it is vital for you to keep an extremely close eye on both your inflows and your outflows. We share some practical advice on managing the 5 most important aspects of cash flow…SMEs in particular should take note of the opportunities presented b...