The staff at SA Institute of Business Accountants (Saiba) have been busier than ever during lockdown, lobbying government and regulators on behalf of members, filtering through the morass of news to keep accountants up to date on the latest developments and – crucially – assisting members to keep their heads, and those of their clients, above water during these challenging times.
It hasn’t been easy, but nothing is these days.
Here are some of the latest innovations at Saiba:
A document hub has been created with a guide explaining what services can be delivered by accountants during lockdown, with sample letters and permit to travel applications (for those allowed to do so); https://saiba.org.za/essential-services/.
The document hub also includes guides explaining the various financial relief packages from government, as well as a Tax Relief User Guide explaining the various tax relief schemes available from SA Revenue Services;
Enhanced member services / benefits
IAFEI logos: Saiba membership certificates for CBA- and CFO(SA)s now include the IAFEI (The International Association of Financial Executives Institutes) logo, validating your membership of a prestigious international network of finance executives and accountants.
Membership discount: There is a 50% discount on membership fees for those who sign up for a subscription through the Saiba academy (sign up here: https://saiba.academy/). This is only applicable to new members who sign up for membership and who successfully sign up for one of our courses.
Saiba’s Practice Management Conference is being held virtually during lockdown, but there is a wealth of content from top opinion leaders in the industry with crucial guidance on how to survive the lockdown. This, you do not want to miss. You can register here: https://saiba.academy/maintain/practice-management-conference-2020/
A Workplace Plan is available to members in good standing. This provides a detailed plan on the health and safety requirements for business permitted to operate under Alert Level 4 lockdown. Please note that members are expected to ensure their own health and safety, and that of their clients and employees, by following the rules as determined in the regulations, including the adoption of a Workplace Plan. A template has been made available to SAIBA members in good standing via their online profile https://accounts.saiba.org.za/login.
Expanded communication channels: Saiba has expanded the range of communication channels to keep members up-to-date on the latest developments, using emails, SMSes, Facebook and, more recently, through the creation of Practice Support Network Groups across different regions of the country.
Introducing our Personal Portfolio Consultants (PPC): You may have noticed that Saiba has changed the way it engages with its members. A team of highly trained PPCs is now tasked with taking care of member needs, membership and CPD issues, upskilling career paths, professional licences – and anything else that the Saiba community requires. This has proven to be extremely successful as measured by the higher level of engagement with members, and in fulfilling Saiba’s promise to do everything in its power to advance your career and knowledge path as an accountant.
Extended working hours: Saiba staff are working extended working hours during lockdown in order to better support our members.
New Practice Support Network Groups: The creation of Practice Support Network groups, using Whatsapp as the primary communication tool, are intended to provide more localised support to accountants. Groups have already been established in the East Rand, West Rand, Sandton, Jacaranda (Pretoria), Fourways (North Johannesburg), Pretoria North, Pretoria CBD, Port Elizabeth, and soon to be joined by Kwazulu-Natal and Mossel Bay. Members who want to join one of these groups can do so by completing their details here. If you need more information, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to enquire.
Facebook competition to win R10,000: Saiba has launched a competition on Facebook offering R10,000 to the winner, alongside a campaign to ensure members upskill themselves during lockdown. The draw takes place on Friday, 8 May 2020. You can find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/sainstituteforbusinessaccountants.
Soon-to-be-launched: Trusted Business Advisor licence
Soon to be launched is a new professional licence available through Saiba called the Trusted Business Advisor. This will be a critical professional qualification that will allow Saiba members to develop a new set of skills intended to provide guidance (and turnaround advice) to clients.
Annual Practice Licence (APL)
BAP(SA)s in good standing will be automatically registered for the Annual Practice Licence (APL) on 6 May 2020 once they complete an initial declaration. They will receive a provisional licence, valid for six months, which will be made permanent subject to completing a series of assessments within six months of the initial declaration. The APL certificate will be available in an electronic format that can be printed or posted to all social media platforms. Members will be notified during this week once the application process for their APL certificates becomes available.
The APL certificate will confirm that the member is:
- in good standing,
- up to date with CPD,
- committed to excellence,
- authorized to perform the permitted services, and
- capable of assisting SMEs with funding applications.
That’s a taste of just some of the innovations introduced by Saiba in recent weeks, with plenty more to come. Keep checking in at Accounting Weekly for more updates.