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The difference between a stokvel and an illegal pyramid scheme

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There are roughly 810,000 active stokvel groups consisting of over 11 million South Africans, collecting an estimated R50 billion annually. Nearly 40% of South Africa’s adult population are members of a stokvel. Recently there has been an increase in illegal pyramid schemes or Ponzi schemes, which continue to pop up around South Africa.

SPACs – writing blank cheques for an IPO?

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‘Blank cheque’ companies are attracting billions of dollars from retail investors and hedge funds in search of capital gains and access to private market returns. These Special Purpose Acquisition Corporations (SPACs) promise firms a simpler, cheaper and alternative path to a public listing. They also come with caveats that investors should carefully examine.

The audit expectation gap

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The South African and other global economies have fallen victim to corporate failures that resulted in devastating effects on investors and the public. When such corporate failures do occur, the role of the auditor is often brought under scrutiny; particularly as it relates to the role of the auditor in detecting fraud, resulting in an increased focus on the audit expectation gap.

A financial strategy allows us to live well and end well

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A question that’s not asked often enough is whether the way we go about retirement planning is necessarily the best way. All too often, this milestone is overshadowed by the pressure of whether we’ve saved enough to see us through our next life stage: a new stage in which our future is directly correlated to how well we’ve managed to plan in the past.

Being responsible with credit is more important than ever

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The lowering of interest rates that formed part of government’s response to COVID-19 have been a huge help to most South Africans as they faced the combined challenge of a loss of income while still needing to keep up their repayments on their home, vehicle and personal loans and other credit agreements.

Common money saving mistakes and how to avoid them

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With the cost of living increasingly expensive, it is important to know how and where to save money. In this way, you can get a handle on your finances and feel more in control. We all have different money management styles. Along the way can find ourselves making mistakes, which can cost us a lot and possibly set us back on our money saving quest.

Regulating cryptocurrencies necessary for mass adoption

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The infamous case of South Africa’s Mirror Trading International (MTI) has been crowned as the world’s largest cryptocurrency Ponzi scam. A total of around $589 million was lost, affecting hundreds and thousands of investors, according Chainanalysis’ 2020 Crypto Crime Report.

What professional bodies do to minimise misconduct and crime

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The primary responsibility of every accountant is to serve the public interest first. But, as asked by the Roman poet Juvenal, 'Who will guard the guards themselves?' Who ensures accountants remain accountable? This is the function of professional accountancy organisations (PAOs), and it is the reason every accountant should be a member of such an association.

Compound interest is the reason your small business should save more!

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Business liquidity is king, especially in a time of crisis. But small business owners who take an uncompromising approach to their liquidity provisions do a disservice to their long-term sustainability and future growth potential.

Medical Schemes and the need to provide for a vaccine

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One of the most contentious and eagerly awaited topics of 2021 is government’s vaccine roll-out plan to immunise South African citizens against COVID-19. Never in recent times has a microscopic germ had such a catastrophic impact on the world.

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