Software developer Sage has managed to fix Sage Business Cloud Accounting so that 85% of clients could run a tax report to meet the deadline for filing tax returns.
Sage said in a statement that it had experienced significant performance issues on Sage Business Cloud Accounting in South Africa since a planned upgrade to its technical infrastructure on 17 January 2021.
“We have been evaluating our software, our network and third-party services to rectify the problem. As of this morning, we are seeing a steady increase in the number of users successfully logging into the system and completing essential tasks, including month-end reporting and running tax reports.”
According to Sage, its immediate focus was on maintaining service levels as more customers log in. “We acknowledge that some customers will continue to experience problems and that, despite a 24/7 global effort, this experience remains unsatisfactory for customers. For this, we are truly sorry.”
Clients were angry when they could not file tax returns before the Friday midnight deadline.. Sage has been discussing the issue with the South African Revenue Service (Sars) and says Sars had confirmed that it was willing to review Sage clients’ applications for remission.
“As requested by Sars, Sage will provide a database of the VAT [value-added tax] numbers of affected Sage Business Cloud Accounting customers due to file VAT during this period. Once Sars receives a written request for remission from the customer, together with the standard supporting documentation for a VAT submission, they will check the customer’s VAT number against the database Sage provided.”
Sars cannot accept an application for remission from Sage on behalf of its clients and Sars cannot apply a blanket waiver of penalties.
“There is no question that this situation is below the standards customers expect from us. Right now, all our efforts are focussed on maintaining and improving the experience, but we know how disruptive this is for customers.”
Sage said a dedicated escalation team is in place at its call centre to respond to customer calls and promised to communicate directly with all customers to address their frustration in the coming days when the service is stable.