Our Group is home to many industry-leading specialists who operate across several payroll & HR disciplines. We refer to our partners as Associates. In November 2022, we kicked off an initiative to showcase our individual Associates.

During April, we had the pleasure of speaking to Leslie Venter, and we’re thrilled to present an exclusive interview with Leslie, founder of Contraserv, a financial and professional services company with over 20 years of experience in the payroll, clocking, time and attendance, and biometric access control industries.

Can you tell us about Contraserv and its scope of operation?

Contraserv is a financial and professional services provider based in Kloof, KZN. We serve clients across South Africa and internationally, with some of our multinational clients featuring an extended presence across Mexico, the US, and Germany. Our focus for international clients is on time and attendance as well as biometric access control solutions.

What led you to start Contraserv?

I have been in the payroll industry since 2000 and noticed a gap in the market for a comprehensive solution that covers organisations from clocking in all the way to getting paid, including all statutory requirements that come with it. My experience working with clocking systems and my years in the payroll industry gave me the background to start Contraserv.

What services do you offer?

Our services include clocking systems, time and attendance systems, as well as the software, implementation, and support of biometric hardware.

From a payroll perspective, we offer all the bells and whistles, from payroll outsourcing, payroll as a service (cloud-based payroll), to payroll consulting services.

We have an extensive network of partners across the country that assist with extending our bouquet of services to include HR.

Can you tell us about any experience or qualifications you have that are relevant to your work?

Absolutely. I am proud to say that I am a registered Tax Technician with the South African Institute of Tax Professionals (SAIT). In addition to my SAIT credentials, I have obtained several certifications and partnerships through my work at Contraserv. We are a Sage One Qualified Advisor, a Sage VIP Business Partner, and a PaySpace Strategic Partner.

Furthermore, we are registered distributors of Jarrison Systems, Suprema, Morpho, ZKTeco, and Hikvision Biometrics.

Lastly, in addition to being an Associate of Nowicki & Associates, I am registered as a Certified Payroll Practitioner by the South African Payroll Association (SAPA) and was in the first group of members to complete the Level 5 Diploma in Payroll Administration when it was registered with the Services SETA.

These certifications, in particular, recognise my expertise in payroll processing and compliance in line with South African payroll laws and regulations.

What makes Contraserv different from its competitors?

We provide a one-stop-shop approach that covers everything from clocking systems, time, and attendance through payroll and ultimately getting people paid accurately and on time, all while staying on the right side of the law and in good standing with the likes of SARS and the labour department. Because of this approach, we eliminate errors and disparity for clients between clocking systems and payroll output, and this single-solution approach eliminates breaks in communication and frustration for our clients.

Our many years of experience in both these fields complement each other in assisting our clients with setting up streamlined processes and proper integration by automatically synchronising leave and employee master files, as well as creating readily usable export files for importing hours worked into their respective payroll systems.

Can you describe some challenges that your clients commend you for overcoming?

There have been several challenges over the years, but we have always been able to assist our clients with solutions to any issue that arises. We pride ourselves on providing exceptional service and being a reliable partner for our clients, with a strong emphasis on building solid business relationships with them.

We have completed many automation and integration solutions for clients who have had extremely time-consuming manual processes, saving huge amounts of resources and being able to reduce or reallocate employees more efficiently.

What was your dream for Contraserv when you started it back then? Where did you see it in 5–10 years from launch?

My dream for Contraserv was to create employment for people, to teach the payroll skill that was overlooked in many formal qualifications, yet is one of the most important roles in the organisation, to ensure that payroll professionals and their importance are both recognised and empowered, and to assist in elevating the role of the payroll professional in organisations.

We continue to grow, and our goal is to become the leading provider of comprehensive payroll and time and attendance solutions in South Africa.

How involved are you in the day-to-day running of Contraserv?

I am very involved in the day-to-day operations of Contraserv. Our clients are our top priority, and I am always available to ensure that we provide them with the best possible solutions and service. Relationships are super important, and staying close to clients is imperative to ensure we never lose touch with their ever-changing requirements and the challenges the industry throws at them.

What advice do you have for businesses weathering tough times?

In tough times, businesses should keep an eye on overheads and remain very personally involved with clients; don’t lose that personal touch and relationship. Remain aware of changing requirements and opportunities.

During the pandemic, for instance, our clients were presented with many new challenges to eliminate physical touch and exposure to COVID-19, which greatly impacted the use of fingerprint readers. As their partner, we needed to remain ahead of the curve to cater to changing requirements. While we had always implemented readers with dual capabilities, allowing our clients the option of using cards on their existing readers, an extended investment of resources was made to offer alternative solutions. We were able to offer facial recognition systems with the option of temperature recordings and rejecting access or activating a notification when the employees did not wear masks or exceeded allowable temperatures.


Leslie Venter’s journey as the founder of Contraserv is inspiring and insightful. His vision of creating employment opportunities, teaching overlooked payroll skills, and empowering payroll professionals has led Contraserv to become a well-known provider of comprehensive payroll and time and attendance solutions in South Africa.

With its focus on customer service and reliability, Contraserv has set itself apart from its competitors by providing a one-stop-shop approach that eliminates errors and frustration for its clients.