Among the many items and documents to include in a South African Business Visa application is a Chartered Accountant Certificate (CAC).
This is also referred to as a Factual Findings Report, which falls into the area of Assurance in Accounting Services
The CAC (Chartered Accountant Certificate) is a certificate recognising that at least an amount of ZAR 5 million in cash is to be invested in the Republic of South Africa or has already been invested into South Africa.
A South African Chartered Accountant must confirm the funds’ availability in the overseas account and ensure that the investment is foreign direct investment (FDI). If the money has already or partially been transferred to South Africa, the Charted Accountant needs to trace how the money came from overseas into South Africa.
Role and Significance of the Chartered Accountant Certificate
“Chartered Accountants are professionals who work on the fundamental principles Integrity, Objectivity, Professional Competence and Confidentiality. As a knowledgeable, independent, objective third party, Chartered Accountants provide assurance that the information provided by the investor is an accurate reflection of their assets.”
Ashley Davis, Senior Management
B.Com: Entrepreneurship CA (SA)
The significance of the certificate can’t be overstated, and for a number of reasons is a necessity for your business visa application.
It demonstrates and articulates your and your business’s financial stability. This is key to ensuring the DTI recognise your financial ability to establish and subsequently sustain a business in South Africa.
The government also needs to be sure of your tax compliance status and revenue generation. Having a CAC guarantees a level of transparency that the DTI will appreciate.
As stated prior, confirmation of the FDI must be provided by a registered CA’s certificate. To receive said certificate, you must provide sufficient financial documents such as bank statements and Forex documentation.
These documents can be prepared by a registered CA, and their role will be to ensure that the financial information presented, are accurate and comply with all the relevant South African regulations and accounting standards.
There are several things you will require before taking your application to a CA for their certificate of approval.
If you have not yet invested any money into South Africa and your money is still overseas, the registered South African Chartered Accountant needs to be able to verify the money in your account overseas. The CA needs to have a copy of your most recent bank statements and needs to be able to verify this information with the banking institution
If the money, or part of it, has already been transferred to South Africa, the CA needs to be able to verify the money trail. This means that the CA needs to see bank statements from abroad, showing that the money left the foreign account, as well as the bank statements or notary accounts, showing the money being deposited into the South African account. Supporting FOREX documents also need to be provided. The CA needs to be able to verify all these steps. If a third party was used to make the international transfer, additional supporting documents are needed.
The investment amount must of course also reach a minimum threshold, which in South Africa is ZAR 5 million. An inability to invest this amount will require a waiver to be acquired from the Department of Home Affairs.
Once the registered CA has issued your CA certificate, it can be added to the DTI application.
The CA Certificate is an incredibly important document and imperative for the DTI application.
Accuracy and success come from preparation, and the best way to be prepared during your business visa application process is to begin well in advance of your proposed trip to South Africa.
The process of acquiring not just the visa itself, but any supporting documents you need for the visa, can take a long time, and the time it takes can vary wildly from individual to individual.
Make sure that when looking for a registered CA to assist in your application, you seek advice from relevant authorities and ensure that you choose the most qualified and experienced CA for your business. You should ask them if they have issued CA certificates for Business Visa applications before.
Finally, be honest and open with your CA. Make sure that there are no inconsistencies and that your financial documentation is up-to-date and accurate.
A CAC is an incredibly crucial document for your business visa application. It assures the DTI that you and your business have sufficient financial resources to support your Southy African business idea.
It’s essential that with whomever you consult regarding your application is qualified and has the relevant experience working in your sector. Forgoing sector-specific experience, ensure they come with quality references and a successful track record. If all goes well, your CAC will accompany your Business Visa application to a successful outcome.
Written by Simon Carletti, PR and Creative Supervisor