We continue to evaluate our software, our network and third-party services to rectify the problem experienced by Sage Accounting Cloud customers in South Africa.
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. Our immediate focus is on maintaining service levels as more customers login, but we acknowledge that some customers will continue to experience problems.
Current data suggests that customers who are unable to access the service the first time are successful if they wait 10 minutes and try again. We recognise that despite a 24/7 global effort, this experience remains unsatisfactory for customers. For this, we are truly sorry.
We also recognise that some customers need to file tax returns before the deadline of midnight on Friday 29 January. To date, 85% of customers who need to run a tax report for a tax submission deadline at the end of this month have done so, in line with this time in November.
As per our update yesterday, for customers unable to meet this deadline because of Sage Business Cloud Accounting issues, SARS has confirmed that it is willing to review our customers' applications for remission. As requested by SARS, Sage will provide a database of the VAT 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. Unfortunately, SARS cannot accept an application for remission from Sage on behalf of our customers nor can SARS 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 focused on maintaining and improving the experience, but we know how disruptive this is for customers. A dedicated escalation team is in place at our call centre to respond to customer calls, and we promise to communicate directly with all customers to address their frustration in the coming days when the service is stable.
EVP, Africa and Middle East