The South African Payroll Association (SAPA) has announced the dates and venues of its annual national conference and the organisation’s directors plan to use the event to showcase what is being done to help drive payroll excellence.
SAPA has scheduled a two-day conference in Johannesburg on 05 and 06 September, as well as two half-day regional conferences on in Cape Town on 11 September and Durban on 13 September.
James McKerrell, chairperson of SAPA, says that a significant part of SAPA’s mandate is to empower payroll practitioners to deal with legislative changes, which require a greater level of compliance and governance.
“We believe that payroll practitioners strive for excellence, not only for the compliance aspect, but because it is in their nature to be absolutely ethical and always correct. SAPA needs to provide practitioners with all the possible tools and insight to achieve this level of ‘excellence’,” says McKerrell.
One of the more noticeable changes to this year’s plans for the SAPA Conference is the elimination of additional topics that may be related to payroll indirectly, but are not purely payroll in nature.
The focus this year is primarily on payroll, says McKerrell. “We have made this decision based on feedback from our members. In the past we have catered to a mixed audience of payroll practitioners, decision makers in finance and representatives from other areas of business. With our more focused approach, we hope to attract more payroll practitioners.”
Among the topics for discussion is legislation impacting payroll, labour laws impacting payroll, payroll compliance and controls, employee benefits as well as payroll education, amongst others.
The organisation is confident of the rate of growth within the South African payroll industry, its overall development and its strength in comparison with global counterparts.
According to McKerrell, the Association does its best to attend at least two international conferences per year to ensure that it understands what is happening globally and also to forge alliances with other associations.
“The local payroll industry is definitely more mature. In many instances it is ahead of international trends and best practices – this is mainly due to the fact that legislation, compliance and governance is very high on the SA agenda and the industry has had to ‘keep up and ahead’.
“The relationships we have with international organisations is reinforced by the fact that we have a joint focus and interest in ‘professionalising’ the industry and integrating global standards relating to payroll qualifications,” adds McKerrell.
Ultimately it is the recognition of payroll practitioners and their role in business by companies and decision makers that remains a core objective of the national conference.
Directors believe – and continue to make the call to market – that the more business recognises the major role that payroll practitioners play in business, the more everyone will benefit.