Among the more significant of these changes was the extension of the Gauteng conference from a one day event to that of two days. The organisation also implemented break-away sessions which enabled delegates to participate in only those presentations they felt most relevant to them.
James McKerrell, Director and Chairman of the Association, described the national conference as a success, adding that there was a definite rise in overall attendance.
“We believe that the changes we made certainly added value and reflected the changing requirements of the marketplace. Traditionally attendance at the Gauteng regional event has been very strong and we have had requests to extend this in order to facilitate higher numbers and strategic networking between members,” said McKerrell.
“Another key point raised in the feedback we have collated has been the request for break-away sessions. We are sure that attendees would like to gain maximum value from their investment in attending the conference and participate in all presentations, but time and other pressures do not necessarily allow for that. We believed the break-away session format is a credible and effective solution,” he added.
The Association also secured the participation and involvement of Jeremy Maggs who facilitated the Tax panel discussion on the first day of the Johannesburg Conference. Mark Kingon, Group Executive of Business Systems at SARS, formed part of the panel.
“The panel discussion was very popular and lived up to its reputation as an effective platform to discuss and interact over issues that affect professionals across various markets in the country. This is an apt time for deliberation over labour issues that continue to shape trade and commerce, but, perhaps more significantly, that impact hugely on the lives of people. And it is people that represent the backbone of any society,” McKerrell continued.
There were also a number of milestones achieved this year, including the presentation of a Payroll learning bursary to the value of R20 000 from Accsys, a long-standing member of the Association, as well as the appointment of a new member to the committee.
The Association also made a donation to the value of R35 000 to the organisers of the Payroll Giving initiative.
“Our role in the market is to safeguard the interests of human resources and payroll professionals. We add value by raising and discussing issues that affect operations and the lives of those in whom company’s entrust their most valued assets, including finances and technology. We also aim to empower individuals and member companies through knowledge, support and our well known ability to lobby government on critical issues,” McKerrell said.
Executive committee members expressed their thanks to all those who attended and made the event possible.