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Economy

Sage Highlights Benefits of Payroll Automation

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Sage Highlights Benefits of Payroll Automation

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

It is no doubt that the Federal Government has taken the issue of taxation very serious especially due to shortfall in revenues that usually come from the sale of crude oil.

On July 1, 2017, the government commenced a tax amnesty period for Nigerians and businesses to ensure they regularise their tax books before the end of March 2018.

According to Sage, many business managers and entrepreneurs think of running the payroll as a simple matter—what could be hard about paying your employees the right amount of money on payday and giving them a payslip? But the Nigerian regulatory environment is becoming more complex and the payroll is at the centre of compliance.

Income tax regulations are changing and tax authorities are looking closer at whether employers are meeting their obligations. They also seek to ascertain if the right earnings are declared and whether the right taxes and statutory deductions are included in payroll calculations. It has become increasingly important to ensure that your annual returns are filed and submitted promptly and accurately to the relevant tax authorities.

Failing to comply– whether through deliberate evasion, late payment of payroll taxes or underpayment as a result of a miscalculation – is a major business risk.

If you make a mistake when calculating statutory deductions such as Pay-as-You-Earn (PAYE), National Housing Fund (NHF), Pension Fund and National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), you will face fines and penalty interest. It may also be bad for your business’s reputation.

Because compliance is complex and the risks of non-compliance are high, Nigerian businesses are concluding that spreadsheets and other manual methods are no longer sufficient to meet their changing payroll needs. Instead, they are looking to automated solutions to keep records and do payroll calculations, which will enable them to meet all their payroll compliance requirements.

Payroll automation software, with solutions available for businesses from start-ups to mid-sized companies and larger enterprises, will take care of calculating the complex formulas for the various deductions, generating compliance reports, and keeping accurate records.

According to Sage, that makes it easier to perform accurate calculations, file submissions on time and generate reports and electronic payslips.

Automation saves hours of manual work for the person responsible for payroll administration. It also ensures that your employees receive accurate, on-time payments and payslips, which helps keep your workforce happy.

Automation makes it easier to keep track of changes to tax regulations that impact on payroll tax calculations and various changes in legislation. The software is constantly updated to align with the latest tax laws and tables, so you don’t need to update your spreadsheet formulas or learn to make new manual calculations when changes are made or required. This reduces the risk of human error.

The firm noted that payroll fraud is one of the most common white-collar crimes in the business world; what’s more, erroneous payments can cost your business.

A robust payroll solution puts tight financial controls in place. It helps to reduce these risks by giving managers better visibility into transactions, providing an audit trail, and providing a set of controls, checks and balances that help to prevent errors and fraud. It closes many of the gaps where fraud and human error can sneak in.

Nigerian business builders and entrepreneurs don’t go into business to manage admin and red tape, which is where automation makes a difference.

Sage noted that, “Our vision is to make tasks such as payroll administration invisible by 2020 so that you can focus on business strategy, workplace satisfaction, customer satisfaction, and other areas of your business that give you a competitive advantage.”

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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Economy

MTN Declares N10 Per Share Dividend as Revenue Hits N2.0trn

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MTN N10 per share dividend

By Dipo Olowookere

Shareholders of MTN Nigeria will receive a N10 per share dividend for the financial year ending December 31, 2022.

The board proposed this cash reward in a regulatory notice filed to the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited.

The payment is only for shareholders who have the company’s stocks as of March 27, 2023, with the payment date fixed for April 20, 2023.

The telecommunications giant is rewarding its investors with this money amid a very profitable accounting year.

Details of its financial results showed that the revenue generated in the year under consideration improved by 21.5 per cent to N2.0 trillion compared with the N1.7 trillion achieved in the preceding year.

The improvement in the total turnover was due to increases in its mobile subscribers by 10.5 per cent to 75.6 million, active data users by 15.3 per cent to 39.5 million, and active fintech subscribers by 57.5 per cent to 14.9 million.

More people had reasons to join the MTN network because of the decision of the company to “invest in the resilience of our business and networks, expanding coverage and capacity.”

In the year, MTN cut its expenses by 21.2 per cent to N941.9 billion from N777.2 billion, with employee costs dropping to N45.1 billion from N48.4 billion, helping the operating profit to rise to N733.3 billion from N584.8 billion.

With a finance income of N13.8 billion versus N11.9 billion in FY 2021 and finance costs of N213.1 billion versus N160.0 billion a year earlier, the profit before tax closed at N534.0 billion as against the N436.7 billion recorded in the previous year, while the profit after tax stood at N358.9 billion, in contrast to N298.7 billion in FY 2021.

“2022 was challenging due to global macroeconomic and geopolitical volatility, resulting in higher inflation, supply chain uncertainties, foreign exchange volatility and availability.

“In Nigeria, Inflation reached a 17-year high of 21.5% in November before moderating slightly to 21.3 per cent in December, bringing the average for the year to 18.8 per cent and putting pressure on consumer spending.

“To curb rising inflation, the Central Bank of Nigeria increased interest rates four times in 2022, bringing the Monetary Policy Rate to 16.5 per cent – up by five pp during the year. This was further raised by 1pp in January 2023 to 17.5 per cent,” the chief executive of the firm, Mr Karl Toriola, said.

“In line with our dividend policy and guided by our ambition to create shared value for our stakeholders, the Board of Directors has proposed a final dividend of N10 per share to be paid out of distributable net income.

“This brings the total dividend for the year to N15.60 kobo per share, an increase of 18.9 per cent, delivering economic value to our shareholders,” he added.

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Economy

Buhari Tasks MOFI Board to Grow Assets to N100trn

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MOFI board

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The newly inaugurated board of the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) has been given the mandate to grow its Assets Under Management from the current value of N18 trillion to at least N100 trillion in the next 10 years.

A statement issued on Wednesday by Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, disclosed that the charge was given at the State House, Abuja, during the inauguration of the MOFI board shortly before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting today.

The President also tasked the new board to “be the clearinghouse for the management of federal government investments and assets in line with global best practices with a view to ensuring that these investments are delivering superior risk-adjusted returns to the government.”

He also called on the new MOFI to “work with other MDAs to create a consolidated national asset register with a view to converting these assets into cashflow-generating entities to support the government’s revenue drive and; partner with the government with a view to using government-owned investments and assets to support the government in delivering on its social and economic obligations to the citizenry.”

To this effect, he directed the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, to commence the process of amending the MOFI Act and other legislations to institutionalise this reform further and ensure that MOFI is restructured and repositioned to become a trusted custodian and manager of Federal Government investments and assets.

President Buhari said the event was significant as the restructured MOFI will help identify “what we own” and how to get the best out of them.

According to him, the MOFI Act of 1959, now Cap. 229, Laws of the Federation, 2004 “explicitly empowers MOFI to enter into commercial transactions of any description on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria in its own name. As a result, MOFI was used as a Special Purpose Vehicle across different sectors to invest in commercial entities over the last 64 years. To put this in context, MOFI was created even before Nigeria’s independence.”

Speaking further, the President said, “MOFI was not structured to be governed or resourced to deliver on the expected mandate. MOFI’s peers, on the other hand, that were deliberately set up with the institutional framework, governance structure, and execution capacity, have gone on to make major social and economic impacts in their respective nations. Many of these have become global brands for investing domestically and internationally.

“As part of the governance structure, there will be a Governing Council headed by me, a Board of Directors under the leadership of a former Minister of Finance and an Executive Management Team headed by Dr Armstrong Takang.”

President Buhari reminded members of the Governing Council as well as the Board of Directors that this administration expected much from them. Specifically, he tasked Ministers who are members to “create an enabling environment that will facilitate the creation of a National Asset Register that will be harnessed to strengthen our fiscal and economic realities and the optimization of our investments and assets that will be under the purview of MOFI.”

In her remarks, Mrs Ahmed thanked President Buhari for his support and approvals that have made the restructuring and repositioning of MOFI possible, assuring him that Council members and the Board will ensure that the new MOFI delivers on its mandates.

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Economy

US Stocks May Give Back Ground Ahead Of Fed Announcement

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US stocks

By Investors Hub

The major US index futures are currently pointing to a lower open on Wednesday, with stocks likely to give back ground following the strong upward move seen in the previous session.

Traders may cash in on gains by US stocks yesterday ahead of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement this afternoon.

While the Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates by 25 basis points, traders will look to the accompanying statement for clues about the outlook for further rate hikes.

After a slightly cautious start, stocks climbed higher on Tuesday thanks to sustained buying across the board.

Investors picked up stocks right through the day’s session, digesting a slew of stronger-than-expected earnings updates and the latest batch of economic data.

Data showing a slowdown in the pace of growth in US labour costs helped raise expectations that the Federal Reserve will soften its aggressive approach to fighting inflation.

The major averages all ended with strong gains. The Dow ended with a gain of 368.95 points or 1.09 per cent at 34,086.04. The S&P 500 surged 58.83 points or 1.46 per cent to 4,076.60, while the Nasdaq climbed 190.74 points or 1.67 per cent to 11,584.55.

The Dow gained about 6.6 per cent in the month, while the S&P surged nearly 3 per cent, and the Nasdaq gained as much as 11.5 per cent.

Data showing a drop in labour costs has reinforced the view that the central bank will likely slow the pace of its monetary policy tightening and raise the interest rate by 25 basis points.

The central bank’s accompanying statement will be in focus for clues about further interest rate hikes.

On the economic front, data from the Labor Department showed employment cost index wages in the US increased by 1% on quarter in the fourth quarter of 2022, after rising 1.3 per cent in the previous quarter.

The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index in the United States decreased 0.8% month-over-month in November of 2022, the same as in October and marking a fifth consecutive decline.

A report from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said the Chicago PMI in the United States fell back to 44.3 points in January of 2023 from 44.9 in December and compared to market forecasts of 45. The reading pointed to a fifth consecutive month of contraction in business activity in the Chicago region.

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