Agriculture

Agriculture

Agriculture contributes significantly to the South African economy. The health of the agricultural sector depends on the sustainability of farming methods. Farming practices must therefore not only protect the long-term productivity of the land, but must also ensure profitable yields and the well-being of farmers and farm workers.

The strength of our relationship with our agricultural clients is based on a close understanding of the sector and its specific challenges. The sector is diverse, and our audit, accounting, tax, business consulting, and management advisory services are therefore customized to the needs of individual clients based on a thorough understanding of the industry.

Our experience in the agriculture industry includes:

  • Wineries
  • Livestock farming
  • Crop production
  • Aquaculture
  • Agrichemicals
  • Farming equipment manufacturers

Our Services

Middel & Partners helps advise and assist farmers to stay competitive and profitable in the long run. In today’s challenging financial environment, every agricultural enterprise must be run as a business to ensure sustainability. One way we do this is by getting actively involved with not only our clients’ financial processes but also with their B-BBEE initiatives. This is done in a way that makes sense from a business perspective while at the same time mitigating the relevant risks. At Middel & Partners we help you manage your agricultural business with first class skills and resources, as and when you need them.

Audit, Accounting & Tax Services

The Middel & Partner’s Agricultural Sector team comprises agribusiness professionals with extensive experience. Our clients includes small to medium domestic agribusinesses as well as large multinational organizations. More importantly, we understand the political and economic trends that impact the agricultural industry. A proven track record across a wide variety of agricultural sectors, from the farm gate, along the supply chain, to the end underscores our capability.

Our audit services to you go beyond just a financial statement opinion. Middel & Partners can help you identify and manage risks in control, compliance or operations, as well as generate value-added ideas and solutions. The focus of our relationship is for us to add value to you and your business at all times. These include:

  • Focussing on understanding your strategic business plans and operational processes in addition to the financial statements;
  • Performing a thorough risk assessment to develop the audit plan;
  • Developing an audit that builds on a growing understanding of your internal policies and procedures, while recognising the importance of internal controls
  • Including subject matter and industry experts in the audit process as part of your service team;
  • Assessing your financial statement compliance; and
  • Emphasizing continuous and open communication with management.

In terms of the new Companies Act most small companies no longer require an audit but only an independent review of their financial statements. We are experts at performing these independent reviews, which is also more affordable than an audit.

In the Agriculture Sector we work with you to provide internal audit services. These range from full outsourcing to co-sourcing and project by project assistance. Part of the offering is sector-wide risk management systems and related services that can help improve your business operations.

The internal audit team works closely with your external auditors and members of the audit committee. Your internal audit function is reviewed against IIA (The Institute if Internal Auditors) Standards. Our internal audit staff can help you develop a holistic approach to the internal audit so that it meets the needs of your business.

The internal audit approach is constantly evolving, with Middel & Partners bringing new ideas and resources to projects as the organisation’s needs change.

The monthly accounting services will ensure that you, the business owner, are left to focus on running your business, while we take care of your accounting work.

Accounting services include:

  • Writing up the cash book;
  • Preparing the bank reconciliation on a monthly basis;
  • Accounting of purchases and expenses (including supplier general ledger);
  • Accounting of income from the relevant system;
  • Maintaining an asset register, which includes documenting of all the assets according to their asset category and calculating depreciation on a monthly basis according to Practice Note 19 of the SARS;
  • Preparing a balance sheet and income statement on a monthly basis for management purposes; and
  • Preparing and submitting VAT returns.

It is important that payroll functions properly and in line with legal requirements. This can be impacted by factors such as farm worker strike action and numerous legislative changes affecting employee rights.

Professional payroll services include:

  • Preparation of the payroll on a monthly basis;
  • Furnishing salary advices to employees;
  • Providing detailed reports of earnings, deductions and leave;
  • Calculation of amounts due for PAYE, SDL and UIF;
  • Issuing of IRP5s at tax year-end;
  • Manage communication from the SARS and other institutions relating to the payroll;
  • Submit reports to assist with returns received from the Compensation Commissioner;
  • Advising the amount payable to the UIF and submitting the UIF report to this Fund;
  • Advising the amount payable to the SARS in respect of Skills Development Levies;

For smaller entities, the main purpose of annual financial statements is to determine a taxable income on which the Income Tax calculation will be based. For larger entities the annual financial statements are important to shareholders, banks and other institutions that place reliance on them. It is therefore important that your annual financial statements are drafted by a competent firm that is well acquainted with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

Middel & Partners has 20 years of experience in drafting annual financial statements of the highest quality. These will then form the basis of your Income Tax return to SARS or the subject of your external audit.

Taxation has become a complex science in its own. Our specialist tax team have become the scientists in developing efficient tax practices. With a national network of offices and diverse range of expertise Middel & Partners is able to deal with all types of tax issues on behalf of a client.  

We offer the following relevant tax computations and tax returns:

  • Dividends Tax
  • Capital Gains Tax (CGT)
  • Provisional tax
  • Indirect tax
  • Pay As You Earn (PAYE)
  • Income tax
  • Value Added Tax (VAT)

Specifically in the Agricultural Sector, Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) has become a significant factor for sustainably operating in the South African business environment. The benefits of compliancy range from qualifying for Ggovernment tenders and obtaining regulatory licensing; to retaining your most valued clients.

Most companies in the agriculture sector are measured in terms of the AgriBEE Sector Codes. Middel & Partners has comprehensive experience in these Codes, especially in the wine and fruit industry of the Western Cape and the livestock and maize industry of the Highveld and Free State areas. Transformation within agriculture is one of our core competencies. 

In October 2011 the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) was appointed by the South African Government as the new “Regulatory Body” over the B-BBEE verification industry. Middel & Partners was one of the very first auditing firms that received the relevant accreditation, required by IRBA. We have a specialized B-BBEE department with partners focused on delivering a truly professional service in B-BBEE related services.  

Advisory

The Middel & Partner’s Agricultural Sector team comprises agribusiness professionals with extensive experience. Our clients includes small to medium domestic agribusinesses as well as large multinational organizations. More importantly, we understand the political and economic trends that impact the agricultural industry. A proven track record across a wide variety of agricultural sectors, from the farm gate, along the supply chain, to the end underscores our capability.

Middel & Partners consultants are specialists in providing high quality business advice on a variety of agribusiness related matters.  We offer bespoke advisory services in areas including:

  • Full farm business financial and performance appraisals;
  • Diversified enterprise appraisals;
  • Business/enterprise budgets and cash flows;
  • Business/enterprise benchmarking;
  • Joint venture arrangements (contract farming, share farming, machinery sharing);
  • Farm management;
  • Negotiation with banks and other financial institutions;
  • Land purchase and rental negotiations;
  • Long term business strategy, including succession planning.

Within the Agricultural Sector, our research team provides valuable information on commodity price forecasts and benchmark information that is critical in decision making. 

Middel & Partners provides independent and objective valuation consulting services. Understanding of the Agricultral sector enables us to deliver reliable valuation opinions and advice you need to make well informed decisions in a complex operating environment.

The focus is to assist you to improve your business performance. This is achieved in part by an ongoing, balanced reading of the challenges within the Agricultural Sector. Specialist skills and industry knowledge are combined to add value across agricultural operations. Tailored propositions and strategies are developed to meet specific industry needs.

The agriculture sector has unique opportunities and challenges at present. Technology, for example can help you run your business more efficiently. However, implementation often comes with multiple challenges. With our support and commitment behind you, navigating a way forward is made easier. Our ultimate goal is to assist our agricultural clients to improve their financial performance using systems and strategies that are most practical.

Maintaining a clean record with SARS requires obtaining accurate and reliable tax advice on a continual basis, despite ever changing tax laws.

Are you aware that there are numerous tax requirements and incentives that apply specifically to farmers?

We will ensure that you are kept up to date so that your record with SARS stays clean and you only pay the tax you legally have to. We are a technically strong tax practice consisting of leading tax advisors who have saved our farming clients thousands of Rands in taxes.

In terms of the latest legislation, Ownership is now a Priority Element on the B-BBEE scorecard and therefore businesses wishing to compete with already black-owned companies need to seriously consider bringing a black shareholder on board.

In the agriculture sector this poses some unique challenges with which we are able to expertly assist. We have comprehensive experience in advising entities seeking an appropriate empowerment partner. We also offer reliable advice and support in structuring negotiations with prospective partners. This ultimately ensures that your B-BBEE transaction is concluded and finalized so that it complies with the AgriBEE Sector Codes and is in the business’ best interests. 

The agribusiness restructuring and turnaround experts at Middel & Partners can help farm management stabilize finances and operations. This helps to reassure all parties that proactive steps are being taken to enhance value. Our expertise across the agribusiness industry enables us to quickly determine the key issues and react immediately to client challenges.

For clients in crisis, our team can develop liquidity forecasts, improve cash flow management, obtain additional financing, negotiate loan covenant waivers and guide complex debt restructuring. We also provide analytical and advisory services to primary lenders and unsecured creditors of distressed borrowers.

We will ensure that we fully understand your requirements: From buying or selling a business, to raising or restructuring equity or debt, to undertaking due diligence reviews and independent assessments of value.  Our role is to advocate for your position, challenge conventional wisdom and employ creativity and skill in devising and executing a favourable solution that meet your unique needs.

The staff compliment plays an integral part of the farming expenses and it should have a positive and an effective impact on the business’ operational and financial results. Our experience in evaluating and identifying shortcomings and restructuring for an effective work force would be to the benefit of the business’ operations. This includes fostering an enabling positive attitude and achievable results. 

Our Clients

  • Rustenburg Wines
  • Ernie Els Wines
  • Reliance Poultry
  • GSI Group
  • Ecochem
  • Giltford Piggeries

Partners responsible for this industry

Pieter Venter
Anton Fourie