With the personal tax season of 2016 officially open, our attention is naturally drawn to financial matters. When it comes to tax, we need to have our eyes on the ball and the right experts batting for our team or the consequences can be severe. Today we celebrate a small business that makes it their business to bring the skills, knowledge and professionalism (that you usually only get from big tax and auditing firms) to micro, small and medium enterprises – Payroll Supremacy.
Payroll Supremacy’s story starts with its two directors, Penny Smith and Carien van Dijk. Infused with a deep passion for their respective fields and inspired by a love for helping others, Penny and Carien made the big leap from the corporate world in favour of starting their own business specilising in Payroll, Tax and Accounting.
Before starting Payroll Supremacy, Penny and Carien both worked in the FirstRand Group Tax Department. Penny is internationally renowned for her payroll experience as an Auditor for SARS. She has also served on many external committees and assisted numerous of companies with the running, implementation, maintaining and auditing of their payroll systems. Carien is well known in her industry as a legal tax specialist. She started her tax journey at PriceWaterhouseCoopers and thereafter became the Senior PAYE and Tax Administration Act Specialist for FirstRand Group. She also serves on many external professional bodies, obtained her Master’s Degree in Taxation and is also a Tax Lecturer at Varsity College in Sandton.
Their collective experience positions them with the perfect expertise to offer a high quality service, but as with all small businesses, they also experience a variety of challenges. Carien explains that many businesses stick with the person they know to do their books, tax and payroll rather than opting for the person that has the most up-to-date knowledge and experience. ‘Most of our clients, in the beginning, consisted of businesses that were being audited by SARS (or already owed SARS money). Only then did they realise that something had gone wrong – that the person assisting them was not updated or in some cases had no idea what they were doing.’ She continues: ‘We always use the following metaphor to explain the latter situations. You have a very serious heart problem, but you only consult with your house doctor and can’t understand why a 15 minute consultation and hand-full of pills is not working … we have specialists in each industry for a reason.’
Their entrepreneurial journey has taught them both very valuable lessons. Carien shares that she has learned the importance of not only seeing an opportunity, but seizing it too.
‘Our initial inspiration came from Richard Branson’s book Screw it. Let’s do it! Making the decision to move away from stable employment to start your own business, in a sometimes volatile market, is everything but easy, but not impossible. Many people tell us that they would love to do what we did, but it is not the right time or they still have to tie up some strings etc. Here is our advice – hold onto your faith and pro-actively take the plunge (i.e. not just a step, you must commit and go all in). Never look back as the past has nothing new to say to you … only look forward, make decisions, make mistakes and learn from it all to constantly improve yourself.’ Lastly, they believe that success lies in the ability to understand your own and your team’s strengths and weaknesses. To all support each other and become one united force. It’s like a puzzle – where one person lacks another person fills, and together we are better than apart.’
Today, Payroll Supremacy permanently employs six full-time employees and uses over five specific skill contractors.
They encourage the nation to join the #SmallBizFriday movement and support small business for the following reasons:
- Small businesses stimulate the economy.
- Small businesses go the extra mile. You, as the client, are not just another number in their database but their core business.
- The money spent at a small business stays local and (apart from the tax paid) is used by the business to cover direct costs, like salaries.
- Small businesses create jobs for locals in their communities and bring innovation.
Small Business Friday is brought to you by the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC) and Nedbank (Title Sponsor) and encourages all South Africans to interact and support small business everyday; especially every Friday and even more so on Small Business Friday, the first Friday of Spring every year. This grows local communities, drives job creation and ultimately builds the nation. With your support small business will be able to employ more, therefore reducing rates of unemployment and harvesting the entrepreneurial spirit.