Do you have children? Have they ever told you a lie? Even a small teeny weeny lie?
Well, if they have then although you may not be particularly pleased with them, it may actually mean that they have good memories and excellent thinking skills.
Psychologists at the University of Sheffield tested 135 children and found that those children that lied performed much better than the honest children in the group.
The children in the study were aged between 6 and 7 years old and during the study they were given a trivia game. The answers to the trivia game were on the back of the card which they had been given. Initially, each child was in a room accompanied by one of the researchers but the researcher then left the child alone with the card with the answer on the back.
Before leaving the room the researcher told the children not to look at the answer but what the children didn’t know was that when they were alone in the room there were hidden cameras which were monitoring whether they would look at the answers on the back.
25% of the group subsequently cheated and looked at the answers on the back of their cards but claimed that they hadn’t cheated when the researcher returned to the room.
At a later stage, all of the children had to perform a separate memory test and the research found that the children who had lied performed significantly better than those children who didn’t lie.
Dr Tracy Alloway, project lead from the University of North Florida was also involved in the research and said that “this research shows that thought processes, specifically verbal working memory, are important to complex social interactions like lying because the children needed to juggle multiple pieces of information while keeping the researcher’s perspective in mind”.
This has got me thinking as a lot of the readers of this blog are accountants or studying to be accountants.
“Thought processes”, “verbal working memory”, “juggling multiple pieces of information” and “keeping other people’s perspective in mind” are all skills which many accountants need.
Does this mean that you would make a good accountant if you were a good liar when you were a child?
Whatever your answer is, I’m not sure I would believe you…
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Young-accountant.jpg7691361Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2021-01-07 09:00:252021-01-07 16:31:38Would a good liar make a good accountant?
Does your weight affect the amount of money you earn?
That’s an interesting question and researchers from the universities of Strathclyde in Glasgow and Potsdam in Germany have come up with a potential answer.
They analysed data from nearly 15,000 working men and found that men within that the recommended Body Mass Index (BMI) health range earnt more than those who were outside of the range.
Individuals who were underweight on the body mass index were found to earn 8% less than those who were in the top end of the healthy bracket. They found that the effect was more prominent in manual jobs where no doubt the extra strength of the guys in the healthy weight bracket helped increase their earnings.
What was perhaps surprising though was that there was also a difference in earnings in white-collar office jobs. They found that in the more middle-class occupations the rewards peaked at a BMI of around 21.
It wasn’t just men who were impacted though. The study also looked at the weight and earnings of 15,000 German women and found that the slimmest earnt the most and the obese the least.
Jonny Gifford, of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development was quoted in the press as saying “it is depressing that, in this day and age, looks are in any way a factor in how much people are paid”.
I have to agree with him as organisations should employ people on the basis of their abilities as opposed to how heavy they weigh.
Anyway, best dash as I’ve got a doughnut to finish…
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Office-donuts.png9441678Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2020-12-22 07:08:122020-12-22 15:17:33Pass the doughnuts…
Do you wish you had a better memory? Perhaps you do but you can’t remember whether or not you do.
If this is the case then help may be at hand.
University researchers have suggested a simple technique which could improve your memory.
Dr Mark Moss from Northumbria University led a research study which found that students studying in a room with the smell of the herb rosemary (in the form of essential oils) achieved 5% to 7% better memory results than students undertaking similar studying in a room without the smell of rosemary.
Dr Moss reported that the sense of smell in humans is highly sensitive and sends messages to the brain which can set off reactions and responses.
In the case of rosemary, the smell could well result in a better memory.
This view isn’t new though as ancient Greek students used to wear garlands of rosemary in their exams and Ophelia, the young noblewoman in Shakespeare’s play Hamlet said “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance.”
So, in conclusion, the next time you are studying hard for an exam it may be an idea to buy some rosemary essential oils to help your memory.
That is of course, if you can remember to buy some in the first place…
(Details of some of the work done by Northumbria University can be found here).
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/rosemary_memory.jpg32095705Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2020-12-01 22:27:222020-12-08 22:15:48Remind me – what was I going to buy?
Should you employ good-looking people or not so good-looking people?
Whilst the obvious answer would appear to be that it doesn’t matter what a person looks like as long as they can do their job properly, researchers in Japan have found out that the attractiveness of an employee can have an impact on the sales of a business.
Interestingly though, it’s probably not the correlation most people would think applies.
Researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong studied retail sales in shops and found that the more attractive the shop assistants of the opposite sex were, the lower the sales were. The researchers found that male shoppers were less likely to go into the shop if the more attractive woman in the research study was serving.
Even if they entered the shop with the attractive shop assistant in it, only 40% of them bought something. This compared to 56% who purchased something when a less attractive assistant was serving.
Lisa Wan of the University said “attractive service providers can lead consumers to become self-conscious or embarrassed. This is especially true when the provider is of the opposite sex. Even when the attractive salesperson is the same sex, consumers may feel a sense of inadequacy through self-comparison.
In either case, the shopper may avoid interacting with physically attractive providers, rendering the salespeople ineffective”.
It’s worth mentioning though that the scientists undertaking the research were monitoring a shop selling figures from Japanese comics and the male shoppers were obsessed with computers.
“Male shoppers obsessed with computers” – surely they would only notice the female shop assistant if she was holding a computer?
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/ExP-blog-geek.jpg9381668Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2020-11-19 16:47:142020-11-24 21:41:52Should you employ good looking people?
Whilst a lot of companies around the world are struggling or going out of business due to the Covid-19 pandemic, some are doing very well.
Apple is currently the world’s most valuable company and it’s share price has shot up during the pandemic. Like a lot of tech companies, Apple’s valuation has increased as it’s expected to do well in the post Covid-19 world where people are more reliant on tech as they work and shop remotely.
Apple’s valuation is pretty spectacular and at the time of writing the value of Apple is $2.3 trillion (or to write it in it’s full glory $2,300,000,000,000).
To put that into perspective, the valuation of Apple is now higher than the value of the 100 largest companies in the UK – the market value of the FTSE 100 (the 100 largest companies in the UK) is $2.1 trillion compared to Apple’s $2.3 trillion.
Apple’s shares also recently rose by 3.4% due to a four-for-one stock split.
As the name suggests, a stock split is where the shares are split into more shares. The underlying value of the company doesn’t change as it is merely dividing the shares into a larger number of shares.
For example, if you held 1 share before the split which was worth $8, after the split you would hold 4 shares which (in theory) would be worth $2 each so your total holding would still be valued at $8.
Each individual share in Apple though was trading at over $500 before the split and after the split the equivalent value of the new shares was up by 3.4%.
One of the reasons share prices can increase when there is a stock split is that the shares are now within the reach of a larger proportion of individual buyers.
Some individuals who may not have been able to afford to spend $500 on a share may instead be able to spend $125 on a share.
This “opening up” to a wider range of shareholders can cause the share price to increase.
Either way, I’m sure that shareholders of Apple are pretty pleased with the performance of the company.
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Apple_valuation.png9441678Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2020-09-03 16:03:262020-09-03 16:03:43An Apple for 100 Companies..
Which of the following two motor manufacturers would you say is the most valuable?
The first one produced 2.4 million cars whilst the second one produced 103,000.
This isn’t a trick question but an illustration of how market valuation is very much based on expectations of future rather than historical performance.
The car manufacturer who produced 2.4 million cars was Toyota and up until yesterday was the highest valued motor manufacturer in the world.
The company that only produced 103,000 cars was Tesla and yesterday it’s shares increased to above $1,000 for the first time. This valued the company at £207 billion which was over $6 billion more than Toyota was valued by its investors.
So, despite only producing approximately 4% of Toyota’s production, Tesla is currently the most valuable motoring manufacturer in the world.
There are views that the market sees Toyota as a lumbering giant who is being slow to get into full electric vehicles whilst Tesla is leading the way in terms of the future of driving and electric vehicles in particular.
Tesla certainly seems to have turned the corner. After years of making losses, Tesla has reported 3 straight quarters of profits and is now worth more than Ford, General Motors, Honda and Fiat Chrysler combined.
As well as being pretty innovative in terms of their car designs, Tesla have come up with an impressive idea for their car names.
Earlier this year, Tesla’s Senior Director of Artificial Intelligence Andrej Karpathy gave a presentation on the use of artificial intelligence for full self driving.
During the presentation it became clear that the names of the cars spelt out a nice marketing message.
Their current car models are the Models S, 3, X and Y which near enough spells out SEXY (they couldn’t have the Model E as Ford had already trademarked that so Tesla called it the Model 3 but stylised the 3 so that it looked like E).
They also have 4 vehicles in the pipeline.
Namely, the Cybertruck, the All-Terrain Vehicle, the Roadster and the Semi.
The first letters from the names of the 8 Tesla vehicles spell out SEXY CARS…
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/tesla-car-range.png9441678Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2020-07-02 14:19:242020-07-05 12:53:35The most valuable car company is…
I’m not sure where you work or what your office is like but my guess is that it’s not as historic as where you would work if you were successful in applying for this job.
The Royal Family has advertised for a new Management Accountant to look after the “Privy Purse” (the British sovereign’s private income). The job is based at Buckingham Palace.
Candidates for the job need to be qualified and should have “outstanding problem-solving skills”. They will need to produce management information and financial accounts and the advert promises that “no two days will be the same and the deadlines we work to will stretch you. Yet in all that you do, you’ll rise to the challenge and deliver faultless accuracy and a first-class service to this unique organisation”.
It’s not just a solid knowledge of figures that they require as the advert goes on to say that candidates need to demonstrate that they are “as good with people as you are with numbers, which is crucial given the customer focussed nature of this role”.
Now let’s get down to the exciting part and how much are they prepared to pay for this position?
According to leading recruiter Robert Half, the average salary for a Management Accountant in London is currently £58,100.
The salary that is being offered for the Royal job is £40,000.
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/queens-accountant.png9441678Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2020-02-24 18:04:002020-03-04 21:01:03Fancy working for the Queen?
One of the five fundamental ethical principles is Integrity.
Being straightforward and honest is a vital characteristic of being a professional accountant.
Most people who are studying for their professional exams have one thing on their mind. Namely, to pass their exams but four students who were studying for their ACCA exams had other things on their minds and at the same time, were not the brightest individuals out there.
What they planned to do was to register for some Computer Based Exams (CBEs) and then whilst sitting the exams they would use their mobile phones to take photos of the computer screen showing the questions. They would then sell these photos with the questions on them via the internet.
The four individuals involved, Chen Yiyun, Hiujiao Ru, Zehui Gong and Ziying Wang decided to sell the questions on Taobao Marketplace, a Chinese shopping website.
They no doubt thought that this was an extremely clever way of making some money. What could possibly go wrong by taking photos of the questions and then selling them online?
One of the other fundamental ethical principles is that of Professional Competence.
Now, if these individuals had even a minuscule amount of Professional Competence, they would have reviewed the photos before selling them.
Alas for them they didn’t review them.
If they had reviewed them, they would have seen at the top of the computer screen in the photos their ACCA student registration number and the exam centre.
ACCA were made aware of the questions being for sale and made a test purchase on the Taobao Marketplace. Given the student registration numbers were on the screen, they didn’t need a team of top detectives to identify the individuals involved.
Unsurprisingly, the four individuals are now ex-students of ACCA having been found guilty of misconduct and they were ordered to pay costs ranging from £3,500 to £7,000.
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/ACCA-exam-cheating.png9441678Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2019-11-28 22:38:372019-11-28 22:38:38Exams for sale….
The accountants amongst you will be well aware of the different methods of setting the price of a product or service.
Going rate, cost-plus and perceived value are all fairly common but what about basing the price of your service on the size of ocean waves?
This month, Alaska Airlines have segmented the market nicely and are targeting surfers by offering discounts on flights to Hawaii. These discounts are based on the forecast size of the waves which they hope the surfers will soon be surfing.
They have teamed up with surfline.com who forecast the size of the waves and the higher the forecast waves, the higher the discount.
The discounts start off at 10% for waves up to 10ft (3m) and go to a maximum of 30% for waves above 21ft (6.4m)
All in all, a nice way to target surfers
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/unusual-pricing.png9441678Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2019-11-14 21:12:362019-11-08 21:28:14Wave hello to a discount
Until recently, Steve Easterbrook was the boss of McDonalds. He had been with them for a long time having started working for them back in 1993 as a manager in London.
Mr Easterbrook no doubt had a lot of affection for the
company he ran but it turned out that he also had a lot of affection for a
colleague as he had started dating a lady who also worked for McDonalds.
Although the relationship with his colleague was consensual,
it didn’t go down too well with McDonalds.
According to the company, Mr Easterbrook had “violated company
policy” and shown “poor judgement” (by “poor judgement” I assume that refers to
him having the relationship rather than the choice of who he had the
Now, whilst some people may say that it was a consensual relationship
between two adults so let them get on with it, the key thing here is that it
was against company policy and the two people involved had agreed to the
company policy when they joined the firm so it’s a straight forward case of a
breach of that policy.
More and more companies are having either outright bans on
any relationships or are requiring individuals to disclose any relationships (I’m
not a legal expert here but it does raise some interesting questions as to what
is the definition of a relationship and how quickly after reaching that definition
you need to notify your employer – is it minutes, hours, days…).
Mr Easterbrook won’t be short of funds to carry on wining
and dining his new love as the termination package is pretty significant. He
earned nearly $16m last year and will receive 26 weeks of pay on his departure.
Bloomberg estimate that his total leaving package which includes
previously granted shares will be in excess of $37m.
That should buy a few romantic meals at Burger King for the
two love birds.
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/McDonalds-boss-1.png9441678Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2019-11-07 22:47:402019-11-29 13:34:10You can’t McFlurry Love
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