Am I alone in feeling indignant when a potential client demands a copy of ones latest financial statements as part of their vendor application? Each big corporate has differing expectations to include you in their preferred suppliers list, many of which make sense, to ensure you are a bona fide, tax-paying supplier – but when they have to pay you for your services not vice versa – is this reasonable and realistic? And, when it is one employee wanting a two-day course, it rankles! AND they ignored my request for their financials instead!
I like your chutzpah!
I also loved the way you reversed the request! Like a boomerang! You're not alone. Everyone's misreading the PFMA and tender requirements, yet some people in high places still manage to get away with tenderpreneurship!! You just need to learn to work the system ...
Most of us are professional in our day to day business dealings. We should demand a certain level of professional courtesy from our clients, wouldn’t you agree?
The beauty of being a service providers is that you have the freedom to choose which business relationships are right for your organisations, just as your clients have the freedom to choose their providers.
Here is another thought, would you consciously do business with a client who has reputation for not paying for services rendered, or is unethical in their business conduct?
I agree, Ann, this is utter nonsense. Supply them with a cancelled cheque instead. Your financials are your private business. I always refuse to supply financial statements and have never been turned down as a vendor.
Ann, you are not alone in this. I like the way you reversed the request though. That takes guts..... I wish I had done that with one or two of mine as well. I have good, clean financials, but like another member said, they are private.
I, as a rule only respond to the Financials request if it's for a Tender RFP from Government. I do comply together with my BBEEE certificate, Tax Clearance Certificate and all the other stuff normally asked for. This is because I know that Government will not penalise me for being who I am (Small or even Micro business).
Well, I hope all the good advice works for you. Unfortunately though most companies have these rules, and they don't stop to consider how stupid they are for really small (low value vendors). But getting around them is another thing altogether. And we know that it does not cut down on bad deals getting done!
If the value is too low, ask yourself if it is worth the trouble - supplier forms can take up to 3 hours to complete, and each one is slightly different so you can's even use a standard template.
I'm so glad that I'm not alone in this struggle. I've lost much sleep and energy with these Vendor Applications. Once the documentation (a trolley load no less) has been submitted, then the endless explanations start. Trying to explain to persons in the private sector, that you're trying to register a Public FET and we don't have the same registration papers but similar is something I have up till now not been successful at.
I gave up completely on one registration last year, when I was asked what the Company Registration No. of the Department of Education was. The consultant assisting me could not wrap their head around the fact that we operate under the auspices of the Department of Education.
I do think that there should be categories in which each concern registers, with the necessary process for each.
I feel the same when a company or government department wants me to complete their endless BEE questionaire instead of accepting the BEE certificate I have already obtained. That what certification is for; to ensure one only does it once. But no. Each must create his or her own forms and they must be completed in full however inappropriate they may be. And I thought it was only SETAs we had to worry about......
Ian, I agree with you - it is this type of beaurocracy that kills small businesses. Only when one runs a small business does one truly understand the concept of non-income-generating time - a lot of big businesses and government lose sight of this because a procurement manager has to justify his/her position by filling their desks with reams of paper. I am not saying for one minute that documented proof of various things are not necessary to ensure prudent procurement practices, but for goodness sake, keep it to the minimum. We pay enough for our annual BBBEE certificates - why then still have to waste time to complete a load of forms that add no value?
Wow, thank you everyone for your supportive comments. We all seem to be in agreement that bureaucracy such as this undermines the potential of small business entrepreneurs to do what only we, in our numbers, can realistically do – turn our economy around. We, after all, have the flexibility to move with our markets. No top-heavy structures slowing us down. There absolutely should be a set methodology to prove ones suitability as a preferred supplier – sadly not set up by the Government because they defeat the objective by wording everything in such a way that every other entity understands it differently.
I did talk that particular h-u-g-e corporate around and they have agreed to no financials – good thing we run EQ courses so that I’ve learnt about catching more flies with honey than vinegar!
You are NOT alone!! We have flat refused (in a polite professional manner) to send our audited statements out and sometimes it lands us in the "NO" box straight away and other times they will accept a letter form the auditors in lieu. We were once offered a view of another Provider's financial statements by an official ????!!!!! Needless to say we do not do business with them any more and there onwards decided to be very cautious about our docs. I think in general the docs we are expected to supply, are a total overkill and things like a Tax Clearance certificate have no meaning any more. But a certified copy of this and that with a stamp from a police station who does not even read the document- means more???? EEEEEEEK.
You can go to your bank and ask them to provide you with a Letter of Confirmation that you are in good standing with the bank and 'good' for normal business engagements.
That should suffice.