Tag Archive for: Global Mobility

This article serves to describe our lived experience from a longstanding Relocation Destination Service Provider (DSP) in the Relocation Industry, Relocation Africa. Founded in 1993, our footprint is the continent of Africa where they provide Mobility services to the Relocation Industry.
Price is an important factor in making any purchasing decision, but when it comes to our most important assets, our people, quality should play a much larger role in influencing the purchasing decision than for other products or services.
Price is just a number. Quality is an ideal we strive for in our business, and as a business that embraces the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, we see a constant improvement and positive influence in the quality of our service and in our decision making by keeping these SDG’s top of mind.
This focus on quality delivers a direct benefit to our clients and it is why we have received several global awards for the quality of our service, even though our volumes across the entire continent of Africa are a fraction that a competitor will be delivering in one 1st world city – we are extremely proud of these awards, and they reflect our focus on providing high quality service. “Best value for money” is a common phrase used in the service industry. The best definition to capture the message of this article is the United Kingdom’s Department of Finance’s definition; “the most advantageous combination of cost, quality and sustainability to meet customer requirements.” Sustainability is deeply rooted in influencing the choice of quality over price.
Is there a disproportionate focus on price rather than quality in the global relocation industry? Our investigations show that there are certain sectors in our industry where this appears to be the case. The pressures that this new COVID reality we are all trying to navigate puts on all business brings costs front and center for all, however the duty of care for employers hasn’t reduced – if anything it has become greater and bringing this debate to the fore is vital to ensure that all international assignees are receiving the appropriate care from their employers.
The drive towards throwing technology at the problem is vital, both for cost saving as well as planet saving, however it can’t replace the services delivered and the human imperative – it can complement and enhance them – an app can’t drive you to a house or provide emotional support to a concerned spouse … well, not in Africa … yet.

The world has come to a complete standstill due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many industries, companies and businesses have been affected by this, compelling them to restructure the way business is conducted. The global mobility and relocation industries are some of the industries that have been severely impacted by the global pandemic. This in turn has affected the mobility industry, ultimately affecting the relocation industry. Relocation Africa, mobility, relocation, and immigration business has been largely affected by this pandemic.

In efforts to combat the spread of the virus and ensure the safety of their citizens, states have enforced bolder border entry restrictions, travel bans, and quarantine adherences. This has made managing the expatriate and international assignee workforce complex and challenging. Relocation Africa, situated in a continent that has been administered severe travel restrictions from third world countries while undergoing a slow vaccine rollout. Relocation Africa provides a variety of Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration and Expatriate Tax services across the continent of Africa, assisting individuals and corporate clients settle into new environments as efficiently as possible.

The mobility, immigration and relocation industry has had to change the way they conduct business, to resort to flexible and remote ways in engaging their mobile expatriates and international assignees. At Relocation Africa has had to change their normal procedure/ operations of mobility and relocation to accommodate the travel restrictions and their clients.

Relocation Africa has flexed all its programs. Adding new services such as remote packing up for clients, remotely or virtually selling products for countries who are not in the country, conducts virtual and adjusted services such as opening bank accounts to allow expatriates to do this more remotely. Relocation Africa has also extended its online platforms to include more information that is readily available to its clients. Relocation Africa has also had to ensure that all training and expectation management has considered COVID-19 protocols and to ensure each assignee safe and prioritised. We have also attempted to communicate more extensively to all our clients as we cover a large geography with very different regulations, border closing and re-opening, as well as immigration regulations that are adjusting as the pandemic changes.  We would like you to connect with us on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter to ensure you are getting our updates on service offerings as well as travel updates and border regulations.






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Comparing to Europe, North America and Oceania, many things are different in Africa. So is Global Mobility. Changing that perspective is what this article is all about.

The ability of sending talent around the world for business-critical purposes, is essential for any international business no matter there the headquarter is located. The key to success is neither a generous salary package nor the destination itself. Success with Global Mobility is closely tied together with structure, predictive-ness, collaboration between stakeholders and access to the right support & information when the assignees (and partners) need it.

For many companies in Africa, Global Mobility is a fairly new discipline, but following our 5-step guide below will bring you significantly closer to your goal and we guarantee it will raise the employee satisfaction tremendously!

1. Recognise the need

Everything starts with understanding your company needs. Spend a little time on considering where you are now and what has been done so far. Allow yourself as a company to admit mistakes and listen to your employees as well as your supporting staff to pick up their experiences with the process (or lack of process) and which challenges they have met trying to support international assignments whether long or short term. Where are your delays? How is your money spent? What’s the quality of the services you buy? What is your compliance level? Can you stand an external audit for an ISO certification? We are here to listen, take notes and help you getting an overview of where you are on the Global Mobility Maturity Barometer right now.

2. Understand the game

Global Mobility is not a singular service. It is a myriad of disciplines ranging from compliance topics such as immigration, employment law, tax and insurance to strategic support such a relocation, in-country destination services and trainings within culture, language & security to minimize the time to productivity and maximize the employee experience. Once you know where you stand right now, it is time to fill the gaps of knowledge and understand the game of Global Mobility.

We will provide you with an overview of Global Mobility topics to take into consideration and at the same time train and guide you through the individual topics, so you know what it is all about and can start navigating in the Global Mobility industry.

3. Build your vision

What you want to achieve should always be closely connected to you overall business strategy. Global Mobility should never have it’s own strategy. It depends on how you want to grow the business; which markets your company wants to succeed in; where you have a lack of talent/management/technical skills now and in the future; where you strategically want to be present and not the least: where your talent is available. Once your company vision is clear and you know what Global Mobility is all about, you can start building your Global Mobility strategy.

We only have one promise: we will challenge you in this process! Together we will explore how you can move from no-practice to best-practice and find the blind spots (we all have them) in your company.

Design your framework

When you have your vision in place, it is time to make processes tangible and design your policy hand in hand with your delivery process. This is where you tie it all together. You make a plan. You decide, what you want to do, how much you want to pay and who you want to do it for you.

Having a framework is guarantee for no-trouble down the road, but it covers your back and enables you to focus on the singular problem when they occur, because you’ve got the rest organized and people around you know what to do and what they are expected to deliver.

At this stage, we work as Siamese twins with you. We draft your policies and processes based on your current level og maturity and your vision for the future. We make a plan for you to achieve your goals and we stand by your side providing advice and guidance when selecting your future suppliers worldwide.

4. Taking it forward

Nothing is perfect and Global Mobility is a moving target, where you constantly need to fine tune and keep yourself updated on news. Our best advice is to join on-line groups, participate in webinars and seminars and stay close to your provider. Ask questions, read newsletters and request annual reviews of the collaboration with all your suppliers, partners and – not the least – assignees and their accompanying partners.


How do we support? Relocation Africa is offering Global Mobility Advisory services in order to provide you with efficient support to work through the above 5 steps within a 3-6 months timeframe. Engaging with us, you will have a combined Global Mobility expertise, coaching, mentor and sparring partner in the project and once you are ready to take it forward, we will step out of the process and just be on stand-by if you need us.  Contact us on info@relocationafrica.com.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], Martin23230 [2].

Data analytics and automated robotic processes – two concepts that have become business game-changers.

– Shohana Mohan (Relocation Africa Expatriate Tax Consultant)

Just how far can artificial intelligence (AI) take us in ensuring that we maintain levels of compliance and ensure efficiency in the world of tax?

Tax technology is the new normal in enabling the business process, improving efficiencies in the integrity of critical data sets and acting as a safety net during business interruption. Increasing the integrity of data ensures that it can be used for diagnostic reviews and to provide definitive tax solutions for businesses.

Tax compliance? Software can enable the tax function through robotic process applications (RPAs). Business risk management and control frameworks can therefore be automated to collate real-time information to provide businesses and tax reviewers with dashboards of reliable information.

For tax practitioners, capacity and resource planning is a critical aspect in the tax life cycle. Prescribed timelines provided for in the Tax Administration Act must be adhered to. Pegging key milestones based on the alternative dispute resolution process can help the tax practitioner to act within the prescribed timelines and for the taxpayer to keep abreast of the developments in the dispute resolution process.

Volume submissions, including bottlenecked deadlines, can include provisional tax filing, employer tax declarations and Vat submissions due simultaneously – with RPAs ensuring accurate transfer of data and extrapolation for specific disclosures, with minimal manual intervention.

Through customised automation and interface of an organisation’s enterprise resource planning (ERP), the submission of tax and related declaration information, and the ultimate upload onto the Sars easyFile platform, should be less of the focus. Time is well spent when resources are in a position to free their time to focus on more risk management aspects (such as whether specific fringe benefits are being included in remuneration, subject to employees’ tax withholding).

AI for global mobility

Globally mobile employees require specific tax reporting and disclosure in multiple jurisdictions. Lack of tracking of travel associated with physical presence in a jurisdiction can create tax risks for the business. For example, creation of potential permanent establishment risks for corporate income tax purposes can be triggered by the physical presence of an employee in a specific jurisdiction. Building AI to inform the physical presence of an employee can trigger specific red flags for business through an automated process, thereby assisting businesses to reduce potential tax risk.

Gathering of information is a time consuming process for a person who is a tax resident of one country and non-resident in another where they physically render a service. Different tax treatment in the resident and non-resident locations present opportunities for the taxpayer to claim certain tax relief, such as overseas work days as non-sourced income. Data from a single data entry perspective can help business to mitigate tax risks and enables the employee to remain tax compliant in the locations in which work is performed, thereby reducing reputational risk for new start-up businesses in foreign locations.

Is AI necessary, and what could go wrong?

Non-compliance includes the non-rendition of a return or not submitting specific information as required in the form and manner required by Sars. Lack of accurate data, coupled with gearing toward submission deadline, can lead to inaccurate submissions being made to Sars, in which case the risk of audit is high and underpayment of tax is subject to specific penalties. Having clearly defined automated processes, attaching to specific timelines and deliverables assists in on-time submission of documentation or responses to Sars.

Automating the tax return life cycle, including the dispute resolution processes, can significantly enhance the service offering for most tax practitioners. Although RPAs operate as enablers within the tax function, artificial intelligence cannot replace the tax technical and advisory in its entirety. Typical process flows to enable the compliance function should therefore be automated and pegged with specific milestones. Automating processes to reduce manual intervention and error is critical in providing a value added service offering.

Death by automation

Methodology is important in order to understand the objectives for RPAs and other automated processes.

* Automation for data sets, mining of data: Data analytics plays a vital role in enhancing the quality of the data extracted in order for accurate advice and estimations of tax liability to be provided. Analysing data sets can be used for the different tax disciplines; for example, data extracted can be used for various transactional tax reviews, such as employees’ tax (PAYE) and Vat.

* Automation for tax technical: Tax advisory as a specialist tax function makes use of specific facts and circumstances to present possible tax outcomes. Infinite permutations and ‘what if’ scenarios can present significant challenges for the tax practitioner and should be cautioned. Reliance on automated tax opinions and solutions should be cautioned given that specific carve-outs (indemnities/disclaimers attaching to use of the software) may result in the taxpayer not having recourse at a later stage.

Automating an arrangement of principles to achieve a tax technical outcome can be achieved by automating the process elements used to provide definitive results, advice and recommendations. However, manual intervention based on tax technical is applied on a case by case basis.

AI following the shift

Recent legislative changes are making reporting a key requirement for multi-jurisdictional entities. The Country by Country Reporting Standards legislation mandates the form and manner in which multi-jurisdictional entities are required to report in terms of the headquarter reporting regime. RPA can enable the compliance requirement to ensure the integrity of the data that gets extracted, allowing sufficient time for resources to focus on the critical aspects linked to the technicalities of such reporting.

The devil is in the detail. Having a trusted RPA with a reliable method for reporting and disclosure can make the world of tax a little more certain!


Relocation Africa provides a range of Expat Tax-related services. These include services relating to tax advisory, compliance, and calculations. To find out more, visit our website by clicking here.

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: Franck V [1], [2].