I think the education and knowledge that you acquire both during your studies and continuing professional education are fantastic.
At the start of my career when I worked for one of the Big 4 I spent several years in the Audit department and this was a great opportunity to find out how a variety of different companies worked.
Sometimes though it has to be said that the term “auditor” doesn’t always have the most exciting of images to the general public. People may think that an auditor is merely somebody who checks other people’s work.
To be honest though a simple piece of rebranding whereby “auditors” were known as “financial detectives” would go a long way to removing some of the negative perceptions that some people have in terms of the excitement of the profession and could create a whole new generation who want to become auditors financial detectives.
Now, whilst most people have heard of the term “auditor” a lot of people don’t really fully appreciate how it works.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) have got a website called “True and Fair” which in their own words aims to “help you find out anything you would like to know about the process known as audit – or to use its full title “Audit of Financial Statements”.”
I think it’s an excellent site and if you are an auditor and want friends or family to find out what your job entails then you should direct them to it (although admittedly if you’re on a first date with somebody and they ask you what you do then maybe say you’re a financial detective).
For any of you that are attempting an ACCA or CIMA paper with an auditing content it also makes for very good background reading.
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.png00Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2014-07-25 20:31:362014-07-25 20:31:36You’re not an auditor, you’re a financial detective…
Japan is famous for the long hours that some of their office workers undertake but there is now an invention that will maybe ease things a little bit for hardworking office staff.
A new tie called “Nemuri Tie” is now on sale in Japan.
Nemuri Tie means pillow tie in Japanese and if the advertising is anything to go by it will enable hard pressed office workers to grab a quick sleep at their desk.
It’s a relatively simple design in that it’s a normal looking tie but it’s got an inflatable pillow in it which can be blown up to provide a handy place to rest your head when you fancy a nap.
It can be inflated when the user is wearing it so there’s no need to keep on taking your tie off and putting it back on every time you fancy a sleep.
The Sleep Tie is currently on sale for just under £20.
It’s not clear whether the tie is stain proof for anyone that dribbles in their sleep.
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.png00Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2014-02-06 00:59:362014-02-06 00:59:36Do you ever feel tired at work? If so, then maybe you should…
Have you ever dropped a cup of coffee at work? What about spilling a glass of water?
Maybe a more interesting question to ask a forklift truck driver that (currently) works for the Kerry Logistics in Australia is “have you ever dropped a container full of 462 cases of a customer’s wine that were worth £664,000 and all the bottles were smashed?”
Unfortunately for this unlucky forklift truck driver the answer is yes.
The container held 2010 Mollydooker Velvet Glove Shiraz bottles of wine produced by winemaker Sparky Marquis which sell for £122 each.
Mr Marquis told reporters that he was “gut wrenched” that the wine bottles had been smashed. The container held one third of his winery’s annual production and was destined for delivery to the United States.
There are two important business lessons to be learnt from this.
Firstly, always make sure that valuable items are insured. Sensibly the wine was insured so the winemaker won’t be out of pocket.
Secondly, there’s no harm in having a sense of humour.
Mr Marquis was quoted as saying that when the logistics company opened up the container “they said it was like a murder scene.” With a touch of classic Australian humour he added “but it smelled phenomenal”
Author Robert Louis Stevenson once wrote “Wine is bottled poetry”.
I can imagine the words that came out of the forklift driver’s mouth when the container was dropped were anything but poetry.
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.png00Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2013-06-08 04:34:462013-06-08 04:34:46Look on the bright side. At least it smells nice…
Fast food is big business but for Subway, the world’s largest restaurant chain with 38,000 restaurants in 100 countries, something isn’t quite big enough.
Subway is famous for their “Footlong” sandwiches whose name implies should be a foot long (12 inches / 30 cm).
Their “Footlong” has been the backbone of their advertising for a number of years and any company’s advertising should be accurate and shouldn’t be misleading.
Well up step Australian Subway customer Matt Corby who purchased a Footlong and measured it before eating it. He then took a photo and posted it on Subway’s Facebook page with the request “subway pls respond”.
The photo is shown above and as can clearly be seen the Footlong isn’t in fact a foot but is 1 inch short at 11 inches.
Was this evidence that Subway had been deliberately misleading their customers by calling it a Footlong when it should have been called an “11 inch long”?
Does the extra inch matter?
Well, things took off quickly on Facebook and there were soon more than 100,000 likes and over 5,000 comments to Matt’s post. The shock discovery that the Footlong was an inch short of bread soon spread around the world.
Subway quickly supplied the following statement to the Chicago Tribune newspaper:
“We have redoubled our efforts to ensure consistency and correct length in every sandwich we serve. Our commitment remains steadfast to ensure that every Subway Footlong sandwich is 12 inches at each location worldwide.”
Is this going to be a good enough solution to the problem of the missing inch of bread?
Unfortunately for Subway within hours a number of lawsuits were filed in America in connection with the missing inch.
One of the lawsuits filed by Mr Buren from Chicago for example is claiming that the Footlong sandwich product is false advertising and as a result he is suing the company for $5 million.
Now, I’m an accountant and not a lawyer but if he’s successful the $5 million will buy an awful lot of 1 inch pieces of bread…
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.png00Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2013-01-24 15:19:412013-01-24 15:19:41When is a foot not a foot?
I can therefore say in all truthfulness and honesty that I think Ernst & Young is a great company.
They have some tremendous people working for them and the students I’ve met over the years have all been fantastic.
If I’m really honest and truthful though I have to say that in my opinion there is a bit of a question mark over some of the performances in the video below.
The video was apparently taken at an EY recruitment day event and I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether you think that EY did a good job on the song-writing side of things and whether the employees that joined in with the singing, hand clapping and swaying with such rhythmic precision should stick to doing consulting and client work.
Now to be fair it has to be said that the recruitment event where the EY song was filmed was held 12 years ago so things have no doubt changed since then with the recruitment techniques used. It’s not clear though whether there was a slump in people applying for positions with EY 11 years ago.
Now, all of you that have just had a great weekend and are reading this in the office on a Monday morning, join together and start singing “Oh Happy Days, Oh Happy Days…”
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.png00Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2013-01-21 06:52:402013-01-21 06:52:40Should Ernst & Young have done this?
Here’s an interesting question. If you resign from your job, what should your resignation letter look like?
Should it be simple, brief and straight to the point or should it be sent to the whole office and include various accusations about your boss including a certain, how shall we say it but, adult liaison in a meeting room with a colleague?
Well if your name is Kieran Allen then the second option appears to be the correct answer.
Mr Allen used to work for MEC, one of the leading media agencies in London. Yesterday he resigned and his resignation letter contains some pretty juicy accusations.
Now whilst this isn’t the first resignation letter that contains some juicy accusations it is the first resignation letter with juicy accusations that has gone viral on the Internet and as a result has been seen by millions around the world.
To avoid a knock at the door from some lawyers, I’ll keep the manager’s name anonymous (although if anyone wants to see the full letter then a simple search on the Internet will reveal it!) but Mr Allen claimed that he left MEC after 2 1/2 years of “loyal service” because of the treatment he received from his manager.
Mr Allen claimed he was forced to take time off work due to stress after being overloaded with work by the manager and he claimed the manager made him feel like a complete outsider on his return.
We’ve all been overloaded with work at some stage or other so this is initial claim isn’t that exciting.
The more interesting accusations though were when he claimed in his letter that the manager “regularly made sexist and other bigoted remarks” and “took a female colleague out for a drink on the day he interviewed her, then took her back to the MEC offices that night and had sexual relations with her in the meeting room on the 3rd floor”.
Mr Allen then went on to say that all of these allegations were “common knowledge throughout the team”.
Some people will applaud Mr Allen for his resignation letter whilst others (no doubt including his manager) will say that he should have kept his issues to himself.
Either way there are some serious lessons to be learnt from all of this. For example, it’s probably advisable to make sure you knock on the door of the meeting room on the 3rd floor at MEC before opening it…
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.png00Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2012-09-26 15:24:532012-09-26 15:24:53Is this the best or worst resignation letter ever?
One of the key attributes of finance and business people should be ethical behaviour. Note that I say “should be” as not everyone seems to agree with this approach.
Former Deloitte UK employee Nahied Kabir seems to have a slightly different view of what is acceptable in terms of ethical behavior.
Here’s a quick multiple choice question for you to see how ethical you are compared to Mr. Kabir.
Question – You’re struggling a bit with your professional exams and your employer’s policy is that if you don’t pass your exam within 2 attempts you’ll lose your job. Do you:
a) Focus your efforts on passing your exams. Or,
b) Focus your efforts on forging two doctor’s certificate.
Now, in my opinion (and hopefully in your opinion as well!) the correct answer is (b) (a).
Alas for former Deloitte employee Mr. Kabir he chose option (b).
In summary, Mr. Kabir failed an exam twice and at a meeting to discuss terminating his employment contract with Deloitte he produced a forged doctor’s note.
Deloitte let him sit the exam again and he passed this time. He then had a further 3 exams to sit and you guessed it he failed all 3.
At the next meeting to discuss things with Deloitte he claimed that he failed due to the ill health of his mother. He then produced a second forged doctor’s note from another doctor claiming his mother was suffering from ill health.
Proving that as well as being a pretty rubbish accountant he was also pretty bad at forging letters, the forged letter from the second doctor was exactly the same as the forged letter from the first doctor with the exception of only 4 words!
It’s probably no surprise to you that Mr. Kabir is now no longer working with Deloitte and the accounting body he was sitting his exams with (ICAEW) have published their report on the disciplinary action they took against him.
Again, it’s probably no surprise that he was “declared unfit to become a member of ICAEW”.
There’s no news yet whether Mr. Kabir is planning a successful career as a bank note forger…
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.png00Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2012-09-10 10:27:102012-09-10 10:27:10Should this former Deloitte accountant become a doctor?
Anyone that works within the international arena of accounting will be aware of the discussions over the years about the convergence between IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) and US GAAP (US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles).
Whilst there are similarities between the two sets of accounting rules, importantly there are also differences.
The majority of the G20 (in effect, the 20 largest economies in the world) already use IFRS but over in America they are pretty attached to the US GAAP rules.
The IASB (International Accounting Standards Board) has been working closely over the years with its US counterpart, the FASB (Financial Accounting Standards Board) to minimise the difference between the two sets of rules.
Following an announcement last week by the US Securities and Exchange Commission which failed to include a clear action plan about adopting international accounting rules, it looks like the IFRS supporters may be losing a bit of patience.
Michael Prada, the chairman of the trustees that oversee the IASB was critical of this lack of an action plan and was quoted as saying:
“While recognising the right of the SEC to determine the method and timing for incorporation of IFRSs in the United States, we regret that the staff report is not accompanied by a recommended action plan for the SEC. Given the achievements of the convergence programme inspired by repeated calls of the G20 for global accounting standards, a clear action plan would be welcome.
For the benefit of both US and international stakeholders, the Trustees look forward to the SEC resolving the continued uncertainty regarding the US’s commitment to global accounting standards.”
Or to put it in less diplomatic wording, “for goodness sake can you please get on with it”.
In summary it looks like there’s not going to be true global accounting standards in the immediate future.
One thing for sure though is that IFRSs seemed to be going from strength to strength. In the words of Hans Hoogervorst, the Chairman of the IASB:
“IFRSs have already achieved critical mass as international standards and with more than two thirds of the G20 now on board, the momentum behind them becoming global accounting standards is irreversible. We are confident in our mission to achieve a single set of high quality global accounting standards and we continue to work to serve investors and other users of IFRSs across the world.”
So all that hard work in learning the various IFRSs in your professional exams looks like it will be worth it.
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.png00Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2012-07-23 11:35:082012-07-23 11:35:08Will we ever see true global accounting rules?
If you work for one of the top firms of accountants in the world and you’re an audit partner it must be [a refreshing change/really annoying – delete as appropriate] when you yourself are audited.
Well in the UK this has just happened for some of the major accounting companies.
The Professional Oversight Board is one of the bodies that works towards improving the quality of audit work and audit firms. They have just published their 2011/12 inspection reports and there were some interesting findings.
Their public report on their inspection of PwC for example commented on a number of items including PwC’s “audit transformation programme”.
The POB said that
“During the year, the firm launched its Audit Transformation programme, the stated objective of which is to enable audit teams to focus on key judgment areas, standardise the firm’s approach and improve audit quality. However, the guides issued to date under the programme appear to focus on improving audit efficiency by reducing audit hours.”
The Report then went on to say that
“The programme also includes increasing the use of the firm’s off-shoring capability, now through two overseas centres, one in India and the other in Poland. Work performed in 2011 by these centres accounted for about 4% of the firm’s core audit hours and is expected to increase to 6% in 2012.”
The POB work was quite thorough as they also looked at PwC’s “staff performance evaluation” forms where interestingly they found that “approximately a quarter of the appraisal forms and objectives for the following year were signed off after the due date.”
The good news for PwC was that the vast majority of the 14 audits that were examined by the POB were either performed to a “good standard” or an “acceptable overall standard”.
Unfortunately for them though there was one audit which was singled out as requiring “significant improvement”.
In case any of you are interested in reading the reports on PwC and some of the other major accounting companies, they can all be found here.
Somehow though I don’t think the partner responsible for the “significant improvement required audit” will be showing all his friends a copy of the report.
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.png00Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2012-06-18 23:14:072012-06-18 23:14:07Good and bad news for PwC…
It doesn’t matter how good your answer is, if the markers can’t read your handwriting you won’t get the marks. It’s as simple as that.
As well as having the requisite technical knowledge students must have the necessary exam technique to ensure a pass. One of the more common complaints from markers is that sometimes the handwriting on exam scripts is so bad that they simply cannot read the answers. If they cannot read the answers then they cannot give you any marks.
Whilst it’s probably a bit late now to radically change your handwriting style, there are some simple steps you can take to make your script more readable. An easy one is to leave a gap between each paragraph. This breaks up the text on the page so that it doesn’t look too cluttered and will be easier for the marker to read.
Another point is to practice writing answers under exam conditions. Some of the papers are “written style” papers rather than a numerical one so you must get used to writing under exam conditions. The last time you probably wrote for 3 hours was at the last exam session! Everybody tends to use computers more and more these days and it’s relatively unusual to be writing significant amounts by hand. Practice writing answers under exam conditions and then give your answer to a friend or family member and see if they can understand it!
This was brought home to me the other day when I was talking to my niece. When I mentioned that as a child I used to write notes to fellow students and pass them around the class, she looked at me as though I was a dinosaur. Nowadays they don’t handwrite them but instead send phone text messages to their fellow students. Writing by hand will soon become a thing of the past…
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.png00Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2012-05-28 18:58:132012-05-28 18:58:13It doesn’t matter how good your answer is, if the markers can’t……
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