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Firstly, happy Agents Day for the 27th August. Thank you for your continued support.
I attended a seminar recently to do with the regulation of the Estate Agents’ industry. My word it has come thick and fast since the middle of last year. A lot of what’s required has actually always been required, but what seems to be the difference now is that there is a new management structure in the EAAB which resides below the governing body, which has been bolstered with some heavy hitters intent on achieving compliance.
The amount of non compliance so far is a concern because it’s actually easy to comply.
Firstly, take FIC (Financial Intelligence Centre) registrations. It’s a simple process over the internet and obligations are really mostly limited to reporting of cash transactions over R25,000. Once the report has been done over the web, the transaction can proceed like any other transaction. Despite the simplicity of registration and fairly small obligations, only 3,600 of 12,000 agencies have registered. The deadline for this was December 2011.
Another point that seems to be creating confusion is the requirement to be audited. So let’s be clear. Every Trust account AND EVERY Estate Agency has to be audited. Now, you might say that you are operating as a CC or sole prop and therefore don’t have to be audited, well, the EA Act overrides this and says irrespective of your corporate identity you have to be audited 4 months after year end. This was applicable to all entities with a year end after March, but some additional reprieve has been given here in terms of time. As an ex practicing CA, I suggest the best way is to get hold of a smaller auditing firm and start the negotiating process of what is required and also discuss the prickly point of costs. Remember the more up to date and organized your books are, the cheaper your auditing fee should be!
In the mean time happy selling – as I mentioned last quarter, the tide has changed for the good!!!
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