For Vuyolwethu (Vuvu) Ndlovu, Executive Director of Amino Consulting, providing SME’s with a host of accounting and tax services is not just a business but a passion. “I can relate with my clients because I know what’s at stake in starting a company. SME owners face a host of pressures, which is why it is important to have a company like Amino as a partner to manage administration issues which directly impact the business and can be daunting for those without a financial background.”
Ndlovu has been running Amino Consulting, a 100 percent black-owned company, for the last three years and providing financial management accounting, tax, secretarial, consulting, strategy and business development services to SME’s and medium-sized enterprises.
“We offer solutions to clients that will get them started in business and help them understand certain practices that will keep them out of trouble with the law.”
Before starting the business Ndlovu held various positions at investment banks both locally and internationally. In 2015 she and her husband Nceba Ndlovu – also an accountant – joined forces and Amino was started. Both Vuvu and Nceba are members of The Southern African Institute of Business Accountants (SAIBA).
Amino currently services a range of clients from start-ups to medium-sized enterprises with a turnover of up to R50-million. “We believe in servicing a range of business owners with different needs. Some of our clients’ needs are simple and others more complicated but it’s all about enhancing a clients’ business and their growth,” she explains.
In addition to running Amino, Ndlovu also holds a number of directorships. She sits on the Audit Committee of the Kwa-Zulu Natal Gaming and Gambling Board, is a non-executive director of Paycorp Group and a Trustee of the Paycorp Empowerment Trust.
Marvin: How do we teach more SME’s about tax and how it can work in their favour?
Vuvu: The lesson for SME’s is not so much in tax as an isolated subject. The lesson lies rather in the overall approach to finances and financial success. Tax and tax planning, financial planning, accounting, etc – these are all important building blocks for SME’s.
Being compliant in all tax affairs favours the SME’s in a number of ways. Some of those ways are:
1) You avoid unnecessary penalties, interest and additional taxes.
2) If you do business with the state or corporates, you are able to obtain your company’s tax clearance certificate.
3) You have peace of mind – knowing that this one area of your business finances is compliant
Marvin: How much money can I make annually without paying as much VAT or tax as a small business?
Vuvu: VAT and Income Tax are separate taxes and their application is different.
VAT – you only have to register for VAT when you make taxable supplies (i.e. turnover from goods and services that attract VAT) of R1 million in a twelve-month period. Before the R1 million Rand mark, one can voluntarily register when their taxable supplies exceed R50,000. So, if your business turnover is below these amounts, you do not have to register for VAT and there will be no requirement for you to submit VAT returns.
Income Tax – The Income Tax rate for companies in South Africa is 28% of taxable income. (Taxable income is income less expenses and adjustments)
Marvin: Also if I want to buy a home and I’m a business owner what advice can I can get to reach that goal?
Vuvu: If you want to approach a bank for funding, the one thing that one has to display is affordability. To demonstrate affordability, you normally have to submit payslips and bank statements that show an inflow of funds at regular intervals. In small businesses, the owner must also pay herself a salary and generate a payslip for herself (and other employees). It is also important to have separate bank accounts for the owner and the business. The business should then pay a regular salary to the owner. Over time, the trend of cash inflows and outflows tells your story of affordability. The goal of the business owner is to improve the level of affordability.
Marvin: How does one access corporate finding to help a small business?
Vuvu: In my experience, small business owners are either self-funded or have a loan from a financial institution. However, depending on your industry and demography of the directors in your business, there might be special funding available to you. It is therefore important to understand your industry well, know the corporate players in the industry and do your research.