Home Practice Management Draftworx is a great South African success story (and proud partner to...

Draftworx is a great South African success story (and proud partner to Saiba)


Draftworx is a great South African success story with nearly 8,000 customers in 22 countries. It was started nearly 10 years ago and has never stopped growing.

Founder Earl Steyn recognised the need for a tool that would guide accountants and their clients through an increasingly complex regulatory landscape, not just in SA but around the world.

Draftworx was created to assist clients accountants in meeting their regulatory and compliance obligations, and to make sure their financial statements are professional, polished and detailed.

The SA Institute of Business Accountants (Saiba) has a long-standing relationship with Draftworx, with a new offering now being made available to Saiba members – Draftworx Cloud, which provides access to financial statements and working papers through a web browser, any time, anywhere.

“Producing professional-looking financial statements is the goal of all accountants,” says Nicolaas van Wyk, CEO of Saiba. “This is a requirement of regulators, SA Revenue Services, Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) and, of course, Saiba, which exists to raise the level of professionalism and technical competence of our 8,000-plus members. Saiba is subject to reputational risk is members do poor work at the ground level.

“We value our long-standing relationship with Draftworx, which we feel offers an indispensable tool for accountants.”

The level of compliance requirements is growing for SA accountants. Oversight bodies include the CIPC, the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (Irba), the BEE Commission and, for professional bodies offering accounting designations, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). Draftworx ensures the quality of reports supplied to these bodies meets the highest quality standards.

Draftworx is a fully integrated, compliant, automated drafting and working paper suite designed in collaboration with accountants. Steyn explains why this is important to Saiba members, and accountants everywhere: “Saiba members cover the full spectrum of business, from sole proprietor to SMEs and even large organisations. This covers accounting officer engagements, independent reviews, and full IFRS. Draftworx ensures compliance with IFRS, providing full working papers to ensure they comply with accounting standards and legal requirements.”

Van Wyk says when members join Saiba, they sign on to certain standards, including its code of ethics and quality control standards.

There is a presumption in preparing financial statements that each and every line item is verified by the accountant. “The final product must be both legal and accurate,” says van Wyk. “We highly recommend that all our members have an automated working paper system like Draftworx because you could fall foul of the regulations – whether from the CIPC or Sars – which may ask for working papers.”

In collaboration with Saiba, Draftworx has customised its solution to focus on Saiba members’ needs.

“Some accountants still think they can use Excel, but that poses a risk that you can make a mistake that goes undetected,” says van Wyk.

The range of products offered by Draftworx include Draftworx Cloud, its Desktop version, Working Papers, XBRL (pre-linked to CIPC’s XBRL codes, allowing for a five minute submission), full working papers and, of course, financial statements (covering IFRS, IFRS for SMEs, Consolidations, CC, Trust, Body Corp, NPO, NGO, Sole Proprietor, Partnership and a Monthly Management Pack)

A unique aspect of Draftworx is that there are no monthly fees. You only pay per engagement, which can be as low as R50 for a sole proprietor. A full licence – advisable for large accounting practices with more than 30 clients – costs R6,000.

Steyn explains that the pricing model has been made attractive to encourage wider use, with fees low enough to suit all pockets.

“This is also something that would be attractive to part-time accountants, and there are plenty of these in SA,” says Steyn.