ENS (Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs), Africa’s largest law firm, has taken top honours in two prestigious international tax awards and was also one of two firms shortlisted in the South African Tax Firm of the Year category at the prestigious European Tax Awards in London.
The European Tax awards are judged according to size, innovation and complexity and included all accounting, legal and other tax advisory firms in the country.
The 60-strong tax team was named South African Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year at the European Tax awards hosted by International Tax Review in London and placed in the top tier of an International Tax Review poll of South African Transactional and Tax Planning Companies.
The tax team operates in specialised areas including human capital, dispute resolution, VAT and customs, transfer pricing, merger and acquisitions, international tax and financial services.
“We are very proud of these awards as they celebrate our specialised, multi-disciplined approach. Being the only South African law firm to be shortlisted in the European tax awards, having won in the Transfer Pricing category and being named the only African firm to achieve top tier status in the poll, positions us favourably for expansion into Africa which is a key focus for us in 2012,” says Peter Dachs, Head of Department for Tax in Cape Town.
Bernard du Plessis, head of ENS’ Tax Department in Johannesburg, says that size, although not conclusive, indicates what the tax team is capable of taking on.
“Innovation measures the ability of the firm to demonstrate solutions that differ from the norm; and complexity assesses whether or not issues out of the ordinary were addressed and if the advisor showed ingenuity. In order to place first, a firm must show excellence in each category.”
Broad range of services
Dachs adds that the International Tax review poll is voted for by readers of International Tax Review, which includes tax directors and CFOs at large multinational companies, and is highly regarded internationally.
“As a firm, we strive to develop the highest level of experience and range of services. We are very proud to be placed in the top tier for Transactional Tax and Tax Planning as it recognises our understanding of the regular changes to tax legislation in Africa and our ability to offer an integrated service, wherein clients receive the best possible tax and legal advice,” concludes du Plessis.
5 Ways SMMEs Can Best Use An Incubation Centre
Here are some tips on how entrepreneurs can make the most of these incubation centres.
Incubation centres play a meaningful role – not only in South Africa but around the world – as they groom SMMEs and give them access to opportunities that will help them survive in a competitive marketplace. These centres help entrepreneurs modernise their businesses with world-class technology, while providing insights that can help turn ideas into products. Incubation centres offer infrastructure and support, knowledge-sharing and a unique environment that helps strengthen their businesses.
Earlier this month, Cisco South Africa launched its R10 million Edge Incubation Centre in Pretoria where 30 SMMEs per year will have the opportunity to make use of the platform and speed up their entry to market. The centre gives SMMEs access to complete business facilities including workspaces, video conferencing and collaboration platforms, boardroom and training facilities, and access to global Cisco experts who can help them develop business ideas in a digital world.
Here are some tips on how entrepreneurs can make the most of these incubation centres:
Gain insights from global experts using the latest Webex technology and collaborate with other SMMEs. Utilise the meeting spaces to drive commercial sales initiatives with the help of business support facilities.
2. Resources & Equipment
Make use of laboratories and tools like cloud-based facilities, smart interactive whiteboards for content sharing, video conferencing, and meeting rooms. Utilise the high-tech customer demo centre as a practice platform.
Take advantage of the enablement programmes as well as the ongoing training and development. Knowledge transfer will always help your business. Utilise the technical support and business insights to grow your business and make it competitive in the digital economy.
This is your main tool in a digital marketplace. Make use of the high-speed broadband facilities and develop your digital skills because you will need it.
Don’t forget to utilise the pre-sales support as this may give you the edge in the marketplace. Gain insights and experience and use it to your advantage.
9 In 10 Workers Want A Festive Gift From Their Employer To Make Them Feel Valued
29% Would like to receive vouchers from their company.
As the festive season approaches, digital print company instantprint have revealed what managers can be doing to show staff they are appreciated.
Over 9 in 10 workers (94%) want a gift from their employers to make them feel valued, appreciated and happy this Christmas.
The research, which surveyed 1,500 UK office workers, also revealed the most in demand gifts that employees would like to receive from their employers:
- 29% would like a gift voucher
- 8% would like an early finish
- One in five (20%) would like a free bar at the company Christmas party
- One in ten (10.3%) would like a physical gift
- 7% would like a charitable donation to be made in their name.
Different sections of the workforce had varying demands. IT professionals would prefer an early finish this festive period, with 35% in the IT department choosing this as their ideal Christmas gift.
Senior management seem to have a more selfless approach to the gifts they would like to receive. One in ten (11%) said they would like a charitable donation to be made in their name, compared to the average demand for this present of just 7%.
There was some difference between men and women too. Women are the ones really pressing for gift vouchers, with 33% saying they are the ideal present, compared to just 23% of men. Male employees seem to prefer a free bar, with 22% choosing this, compared to just 18% of women.
James Kinsella, CEO and Co-founder of instantprint, said about the research:
“Most organisation take part in the festive period, with decorations, Christmas parties and office Secret Santas.
“But this research highlights how important a small show of gratitude can be for your workforce. Something as simple as an early finish, free bar at a party or a Christmas gift voucher can make employees feel valued and appreciated. This in turn can help boost employee morale, loyalty and productivity in the workplace.”
South African Students To Battle In Universities Business Challenge To Win Up To R50 000
Students will compete in a simulation that encourages business skills.
Cognity Advisory’s Universities Business Challenge (UBC), sponsored by General Electric (GE), launched in July this year, has seen 500 students from 13 different universities across South Africa participate in a business simulation competition, that’s designed to develop their entrepreneurship skills. The challenge is now down to just 10 teams from five different universities (approximately 50 students), who will travel to Johannesburg to compete in the two-day final event on the 5 and 6th December 2018.
The ten teams competing in the final includes three teams from the North West University, two from Mangosuthu University of Technology, two from the Vaal University of Technology, two from the University of Limpopo and one from The University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN). These teams will be competing for the chance to win up to R50,000.
The aim of the UBC, now in its second year in South Africa and 20th year globally, is to tackle South Africa’s high level of youth unemployment. Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) that South Africa’s official unemployment rate increased by 0.3 of a percentage point to 27.5% in the third quarter of 2018.
The competition simulates a business environment, with students given a problem to solve. The simulation is designed to foster skills such as analytical thinking, problem solving, commercial awareness and team-working. The challenge is designed to empower young people and equip them with the necessary skills to succeed in business.
Tope Toogun, development advisor and CEO of Cognity Advisory says, “Students are very prepared in terms of theory when they leave university, but not the practical skills they need to start and run a business. Seeing as of formal businesses it’s really important that these students know how to build a business on their own or at the very least, in small teams.”
Toogun explains how the simulation encourages business skills, “The students competing in the challenge learn all about managing people, customer service, working in teams and how to create a start up without even realising they are being exposed to all these skills. These are the skills that will separate the members in the final. Students must work as a team and make instinctive decisions.”
Cognity Advisory is engaging students through social media competitions and newsletter updates. These competitions include spot prizes for students who post an image or video and receive the highest engagement on it.
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