Gauteng Business News

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GOVERNMENT: EOH Poised to Contribute to Public Sector


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"The array of tailored asset management solutions offered by our business has generated newfound interest from the South African public sector," says Justin Scharneck, Senior Consultant at EOH Public Sector.

This awakening is also influenced, to an extent, by government’s clarion call to all municipalities, national and provincial Departments to achieve clean audits by 2014, through the launch of Operation Clean Audit 2014, indicates Scharneck.

“The campaign, launched in October 2009, is being driven by the Minister for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Sicelo Shiceka. This bold initiative is aimed at sustaining quality financial statements and management information. Its core objective is the improvement of service delivery, and this should go a long way in further building public confidence in government”, says Scharneck.

“A clean audit speaks for itself, so there is a big drive nationally for government Departments and municipalities to implement systems and internal controls to assist them in achieving this objective,” says Scharneck.

“Typical challenges faced by provincial and national Departments include the incorrect application of SCOA item codes, misclassification between minor and major assets, as well as a need for improved monthly reconciliation between the asset register and BAS”, indicates Scharneck .

“Our clients require a holistic, best-of-breed asset management solution which is tailored to their industry-specific needs. Our solutions leverage off our expertise and knowledge of the public sector.

Many Departments still have their asset register in Excel format, which leads to them receiving repeated audit qualifications .The asset management solutions at our disposal allow us to offer the Departments a best of breed solution to migrate from an Excel-based asset register to a register which meets the requirements of National Treasury. Our technology ultimately assists these entities in ensuring that assets are used effectively, efficiently and economically. Given its positioning within the EOH group, EOH Public Sector can service our client needs, using the robust technology at our disposal as an enabler on projects”, he adds.

EOH Public Sector has developed what it refers to as the STAR methodology to guide the roll-out of its solutions in the public sector, an acronym which refers to its commitment to Skills transfer, Technical advice, Audit evidence and Reconciliation.

“These are four elements – or pillars, if you will – that we believe contribute to improving business processes and the control environment of our clients, particularly the Departments,” says Scharneck.

EOH Public Sector does its utmost to transfer skills to the relevant staff within the Departments, so that they can continue to successfully manage the asset management process. EOH also advises its clients on asset management related issues, ranging from the financial accounting elements of asset management to delivering a solution that is tailored to the client’s needs and requirements.

EOH Public Sector’s focus on audit evidence refers to the process of managing source documentation in the audit trail. “The lack of audit evidence can lead to a disclaimed audit opinion, and so the timeous availability of relevant, reliable audit evidence to the auditors is critical,” explains Scharneck.

“It is important for Departments to be cogniscant of the need to ensure that their processes and internal controls operate regularly and in the prescribed manner throughout the financial year – a system is merely customised to enhance the operation of manual processes. The old adage ‘garbage in, garbage out’ still holds true. It is important that clients extract business value from of our solutions,” comments Scharneck.

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