In December, new B-BBEE Codes come into effect. Sage BEE123's Saul Symanowitz explains how to weather the changes.
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 your scorecard and preparing for your B-BBEE audit can be a complex and administratively intensive process.
Changes to the B-BBEE Codes announced in 2015 caused something of a panic among businesses, because the rules on how points are scored changed. Things that would have earned companies significant amounts of points no longer had the same impact on the scorecard.
For example, one of the pillars within the B-BBEE scorecard is Preferential Procurement, which is now part enterprise and supplier development, requires companies to know the B-BBEE credentials of every single one of their suppliers. Collating and compiling that information is a massive amount of work and presents a significant administrative challenge.
To respond to these changes, it is helpful if organisations have a trusted supplier of B-BBEE-related software tools, directories, information, training interventions, advisory services, YES implementation support, as well as enterprise and supplier development solutions.
Sage BEE123 is one such supplier. “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 40,000 certificates,” says Sage BEE123 MD Saul Symanowitz.
At the time of the 2015 changes, Sage BEE123 was instrumental in helping their clients to be prepared.
“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,” says Symanowitz.
As software providers, Sage BEE123 keeps 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.
Symanowitz argues that without a tool like Sage BEE123 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.
As of 1 December 2019, the new Amended B-BBEE Codes come into effect. The Sage BEE123 software has the technology to automate much of the process that would otherwise have to be executed manually.
Find out how your company can get ready for the amended B-BBEE Codes at this year’s Finance Indaba Africa on 16 and 17 October at the Sandton Convention Centre.