Finance Indaba Africa 2018: Sage BEE 123 was a godsend for its clients when the B-BBEE codes were overhauled in 2015

MD Saul Symanowitz explains why the technology platform is so useful.

Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment has become an important component of doing business in South Africa. However, understanding the B-BBEE Codes, planning a strategy, managing one’s Scorecard and preparing for your B-BBEE audit can be a complex and administratively intensive process. 

One of the pillars within the B-BBEE scorecard, for example, is Preferential Procurement, which technically is now part Enterprise and Supplier Development, requires companies to know the B-BBEE credentials of every single one of their suppliers. Collating a compiling that information is a massive amount of work and presents a significant administrative challenge. The Sage BEE 123 software has fantastic technology that automates muchof the process that would otherwise have to be executed manually. For example, it will do a lot of automatic calculations to determine what value suppliers are adding to your scorecard.

"In addition, we have a special Module built into our Software that enables companies to source the BEE Certificates of their suppliers for them instead of having to request them directly and capturing them into their records. This all stems from our very large database of around 30,000 certificates," says Sage BEE 123 MD Saul Symanowitz, adding that the changes to the codes in 2015 caused something of a panic in businesses because it changed the rules on how points were scored. Things that would have earned companies significant amounts of points no longer had the same impact on the scorecard and, because the company made a significant investment in its development team, it was able to respond relatively quickly to those changes in the codes. 

Says Saul: "We updated and revised the Software and spent a lot of time with our clients to help them understand the new Codes so that they could make the transition more seamlessly. Our solution is holistic in that we build the software that gives companies an indication of their scoring but, similarly, we provide an Advisory service to help our clients understand what is happening in this field and apply it practically to their businesses. And this is important because, while the big overhaul in the Codes happened three years ago, there are still many small changes and updates that are being made, as well as Sector Charters being aligned  "

As software providers, Sage BEE 123 really needs to keep its eyes on the ball for new developments so that it ensures that the system is regularly updated in accordance with any changes in policy and legislation. The biggest positive for clients is that this can be done relatively easily because the tool is web-based, which means they are always accessing an up-to-date system when they log on.  Lastly, without a tool like Sage BEE 123, Saul argues employees often need the time and expertise to build complex spreadsheets, which are never going to be as accurate or feature rich as software dedicated to this specific solution, or they would need consultants who often come with a hefty price tag.