Understanding, implementing and monitoring your BEE score is as important as monitoring your company’s financial performance. Since your scorecard is also based on your financial period, ensuring the initiatives are implemented prior to your next year end is critical. The need for a monthly BEE report has become as essential as your monthly management accounts. Monitoring can be achieved using internal staff, software or BEE professionals and consultants.
What else can you do to ensure compliance? Follow these 10 steps to ensuring you receive a compliant BEE certificate:
1. UNDERSTAND AND EDUCATE YOURSELF ABOUT B-BBEE
Lack of understanding leads to lack of correct implementation. Go on courses, sign up to newsletters and ask your local business development agencies, industry bodies or chambers of commerce to alert you when they run information sessions. Many companies are now upskilling staff to become BEE champions, or employing transformation managers to ensure they maintain compliance.
2. UNDERSTAND HOW BEE AFFECTS YOUR BUSINESS
Is a compliant BEE certificate a requirement for your customers, your licence, or your industry? If this is the case, the risk of non-compliance could cost you millions.
Are you competing against other suppliers? You need to know what their score and level is, and stay one-step ahead.
3. UNDERSTAND THE LEGISLATIVE REQUIREMENTS FOR YOUR BUSINESS.
Are you required to submit employment equity reports, workplace skills plans or pay the skills development levy? Failure to comply with these legislative requirements could severely impact your score.
There are different scorecards for different sized businesses, and some industry sectors have scorecards specific to their industry, e.g. the marketing advertising and communication sector (MAC).
4. ASK A SPECIALIST
Use a consultant or ask your verification agency to give you guidance. There are many areas in the codes where the spend required to meet targets can be mitigated in some way or made in a more cost effective way. If considering changes to ownership, ensure that you understand the implications of 10%, 25%, 30% or 51% ownership. Each of these milestones can lead to a very different outcome on your score.
5. USE THE CORRECT TOOLS
Online scorecards and standard documentation can assist with record keeping, tracking and implementation of BEE in your business. There are many software providers on the market, providing tools which can help you to track and manage your score and even your suppliers’ scores.
6. UNDERSTAND THE INDICTORS FOR SCORING POINTS
Each element has indicators against which points are measured – make sure that you understand how to obtain a maximum score for each element, in the most cost effective way.
7. KEEP A RECORD OF EVERYTHING
No points are awarded without evidence. Ask your verification agency for a list of documentation they will require for verification. A verification audit is a paper intensive and document oriented process. Inadequate proof could mean no points.
8. DESIGN POLICIES AND STRATEGIES TO ASSIST YOUR BUSINESS TO SCORE POINTS
Is your training spend targeted correctly across the required race and gender groups? Do you require suppliers to provide BEE certificates? Do you have an existing supplier/customer who you can assist with enterprise or supplier development? Put policies in place that support your chosen strategies for compliance. E.g. ensure you obtain new BEE certificates from your suppliers on an annual basis.
9. SELF ASSESSMENT AND MONITORING
Constantly monitor your scorecard as you do your management accounts. Your procurement, enterprise and development, skills and socio-economic development points are all based on spend in a prior financial period. There is nothing you can do to change this once the year is over. Don’t miss the opportunity to close gaps before your year end.
Once you have implemented BEE in your business and collected the documentation required, have your achievement verified by an accredited verification agency.
For further information on obtaining a BEE certificate, please contact our BEE Verifications team.