For the financial officer of every municipality around South Africa, the preparation and submission of accurate and professional annual financial statements is a matter of paramount importance. However, the financial statements must comply with a number of standards, chief among which are the Generally Recognised Accounting Practices, or GRAP.
The level of transparency and detail in the GRAP Financial Statements, together with the well-defined and described GRAP practices, result in world-class municipal financial reporting. “With the knowledge that CQS has of these standards and the constant time pressures we understand that municipalities face, we designed CaseWare to remove some of the hassle in the AFS preparation making it much easier and allowing faster turnaround times year on year”, said Ross Hampton, Divisional Director, CQS. Indeed, more than 80 public entities and 150 municipalities around South Africa use CaseWare to prepare their annual financial statements. That’s because CQS maintains a network of expert content partners which consistently provide the most up-to-date disclosure for GRAP and National Treasury requirements. This minimises risk for public sector organisations and ensures statutory compliance. In addition, CaseWare’s built-in validation immediately brings any discrepancies to the accounting officer’s attention, dramatically increasing efficiencies and accuracy, and reducing risk. Chief financial officer, Tlaks Matlakala at Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality in the Free State says “By using the CaseWare’s Working Papers solution, specifically designed for municipalities, we are able to produce Annual Financial Statements which are always fully compliant with applicable legislation. It provides the perfect guideline for preparation; it is updated with all disclosure requirements which means we don’t have to scratch our heads to figure out the standards.” Once set up and with everything mapped out, Matlakala says it is a matter of importing the information from the financial management software and voila, everything falls into place. “That means a major saving in time which contributes to the efficiency of the municipality. With CaseWare Working Papers, accountants can spend their time on other pressing issues, while the Annual Financial Statements are accurate and professional,” he adds.
View this article as it appeared in Government Digest.