At one stage or another as a business professional you’ll have to make a speech or presentation in front of a group of people. Sometimes it will be in front of a large group of people.
The chances are that you’ll probably feel a bit nervous as surveys consistently show that public speaking is one of the most feared aspects of business life.
Over my career I’ve been lucky enough to see some excellent presentations and have also seen some not so good presentations as well.
I’ve never seen a speech at the United Nations though but you would think that the speeches made at the UN, together with the delivery techniques of the speakers would be first rate.
India’s minister of external affairs did his country’s first speech since India recently began its 2 year term as a temporary member of the UN Security Council.
Mr Krishna, aged 78, is a very experienced diplomat and delivered a speech on the subject of security and development.
He took his notes and got off to a confident start.
It all suddenly started going a bit wrong though when after a couple of minutes he read out the phrase, “I’d like to express my satisfaction regarding the happy coincidence of having two members of the Portuguese-speaking countries”.
Further into the speech he then started stressing the importance of improved coordination between the UN and the European Union.
It was at this stage that a colleague interrupted him to advise him to stop reading as he had in fact mistakenly picked up the wrong speech and was reading the speech that had been prepared by the Portuguese representative.
So, the next time you are preparing a speech maybe it’s an idea to write your name in big capitals at the top of your notes.
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.png00Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2011-02-23 19:10:342011-02-23 19:10:34Is India about to join the European Union?
I received a call first thing this morning from an individual that shall remain nameless. He was really pleased as he had just received his ACCA exam results and he had passed his final two exams.
He was so pleased that he actually said today was better than his wedding day (hence the decision for him to remain anonymous in case his wife who is also an accountant is reading!).
ACCA exam results day and wedding days certainly are memorable and over in Hong Kong, the fast food chain McDonalds has seen a gap in the market and are diversifying into McWeddings.
Had this been launched on 1 April then I would have been tempted to assume it was an April fool’s joke but no it’s genuine and may well make business sense for the company.
Anyone who’s been to Hong Kong will know that it’s a buzzing, fast moving place. Traditional Chinese weddings can be very expensive and for those couples that have dated in McDonalds then why not take it a step further and get married in McDonalds?
The McDonald’s “Warm and sweet wedding package,” starts at HK$9999 (approximately £800) and the first couple to get married at McDonalds did so last week on Valentine’s Day. It’s not clear though at this stage whether the ceremony replaced the words “would you like fries with that” to “would you like a wife with that”.
Many congratulations to everyone that has been successful with their ACCA exam results today and if the enjoyment from receiving your results is better than your wedding night then all the hard work was definitely 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.pngSteve2011-02-21 08:29:212011-02-21 08:29:21Getting your exam results: better than your wedding day?
To put it bluntly, in order to pass the ACCA exams and qualify as an accountant you have to be intelligent.
You will have needed to have put in a significant amount of work over the last few months to cover all of the main areas of the syllabus.
Now whilst no training company knows for sure what will actually be in the exams next month our ACCA exam tips identify areas which we believe you should have covered particularly well.
Being properly prepared though isn’t just applicable for people who are trying to pass their professional exams.
If your chosen method of progressing in life is to be a getaway driver for a gang of jewellery shop raiders then I guess there should also be an element of preparation.
A shop raiding gang in Essex in the UK put 19 year old Mohammed Alasow in charge of being their getaway driver.
It took his colleagues a mere 20 seconds to break open the shop window with a pickaxe and sledgehammer. They managed to grab £9,000 of jewellery and jumped into the getaway car where Mr Alasow put his foot down and the car shot off at speed.
Alas for the poor driver and his friends the car didn’t get very far as it ran out of petrol and stopped in the middle of the road a few miles away.
Things got even worse for the gang as a kindly policeman stopped to see if they needed some help and spotted a sledgehammer, masks and jewellery on the back seat of the car. Fast forward a few months and they were recently jailed for 8 years.
Now being a getaway driver and forgetting to fill the car with petrol doesn’t really indicate a thorough preparation for the role.
Back to a more respectable profession and in terms of last minute preparation for the ACCA exams then we advise that if you haven’t done so already to print off a copy of our free ExPress notes from www.theexpgroup.com and review them in the run up to the exam. These notes cover the key areas of the syllabus and are a perfect last minute revision aid.
Also, don’t forget that the exam papers will be marked using scanning technology. The scripts will be completed as normal by students but will be marked on screen by the markers.
It’s important therefore that you use a black pen in the exams. If you use anything else such as coloured pens or pencils there is a risk that the scanning technology may not pick up your writing.
Good luck with your final revision and click here for the links to the our ACCA exam tips.
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.png00Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2010-11-26 16:25:272010-11-26 16:25:27ACCA exam tips released today and I hope you’ll be better prepared than this person…
A few years ago things were fairly simple when it came to deciding what was a computer and what was a phone.
A computer tended to fill a room and a phone was attached by a wire to the wall.
Then along came mobile phones and laptop computers.
It was still possible to tell the difference though. You held the phone to your ear to make calls and you used your fingers to type on the computer keyboard.
In April of this year the Apple iPad was released. This was a tablet PC and although if you were clever you could make internet based phone calls it wasn’t possible to make calls via a mobile network.
Samsung have just released their 7-inch Android-powered tablet here in the UK. This is slightly different to the iPad in that it is designed to make calls and is now available on all the major mobile networks.
So, is it a phone or a computer?
In fact do we care anyway?
Well, if you’re a lucky person that has been provided with a Samsung galaxy tab by your employer then yes, you probably will care whether it’s a phone or a computer.
For UK tax purposes, a phone provided by an employer is a tax free benefit (i.e. you will not be charged income tax on it). A computer on the other hand is a taxable benefit and generally the value on which tax will be applied will be equal to 20% of the cost of the computer.
So, in summary, if you were provided with a Samsung Galaxy Tab phone by your employer it’s tax free.
If however you’re provided with a Samsung Galaxy Tab computer by your employer you will be taxed on it.
As well as a tax discussion, the Samsung Galaxy Tab also provides an interesting example of some of the challenges companies can face when launching products in different countries.
The photo to the left shows the Galaxy Tab when it was first launched in the European country of Romania.
There is a button marked “Porn” clearly visible on the screenshot.
This isn’t what you may think though and doesn’t provide a short cut to adult related content.
It is in fact an abbreviation that Samsung initially used for the “home button”. “Porn” was used as an abbreviation of the word “Pornire” which means “start” in the Romanian language.
Samsung quickly changed the abbreviation following its launch.
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.png00Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2010-11-22 12:33:032010-11-22 12:33:03Is it a phone or a computer and what on earth does that button do exactly!?
“Never write something about somebody else in an email that you would feel embarrassed about if that message ended up pinned to the office noticeboard”.
The thought behind this was that it’s easy to fire off an email but once it’s sent it can quickly be forwarded by other people and isn’t always guaranteed to remain confidential.
A certain male member of staff at the pwc Dublin office will no doubt from now on be thinking twice before he hits the send button on any of his messages.
A couple of weeks ago on what must have been a quiet afternoon in the office he sent an email to 14 male colleagues.
Sending emails to colleagues isn’t in itself a bad thing but the message was in fact asking his friends to rate the attractiveness of some recent female new joiners to the firm.
It also included staff photos of the ladies in question, all of whom were trainee accountants.
The subject line of the email was “this would be my shortlist for the Top 10”.
A colleague replied an hour later after obviously undertaking a detailed peer review and came up with a somewhat un-gentlemanly comment about whether one of the ladies justified being in the top 10.
Such is the ease with which emails are sent that within a few days the message had been forwarded to thousands of people and had “gone viral” around the globe.
My guess is that over the years the majority of employees in most companies have at one stage or another got together over a drink after work and debated the attractiveness of their colleagues.
Taking photos from the staff directory and emailing them though is probably on a different level. pwc are understandably taking this matter seriously and have reportedly launched an investigation.
Now before any ladies out there start accusing this of being purely a male problem it’s worth reminding people about former Deloitte employee, Ms. Holly Leam-Taylor.
In an email sent last December Ms Leam-Taylor’s message entitled “Deloitte first year analysts Christmas awards” asked her female colleagues to vote on which men in the office they considered to be the most attractive.
This message also “went viral” and became a global internet hit.
The conclusion to this article?
Well I guess it’s not to preach about whether or not you should make top 10 lists but rather if you do then don’t put it in an email as it may well end up being pinned on a global noticeboard.
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.png00Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2010-11-17 01:33:442010-11-17 01:33:44Out of the pwc girls and the Deloitte guys who do you think are the most attractive?
When you speak with your lawyer, you can say almost anything and be confident in the knowledge that the lawyer will be able to preserve the confidentiality of your discussion.
Most people probably assume the same thing when having discussions with their accountant, especially in the context of discussing tax planning opportunities with a tax advisor.
Unfortunately, English readers should pay careful attention to the decision in a recent case, R (on the application of Prudential PLC) v HMRC, EWCA Civ 1094 if you would like the full legal citation.
This Court of Appeal decision stated that client privilege only extends between a lawyer and a client. This means that any discussion between a client and an accountant cannot be guaranteed to be confidential.
This is an English legal case, which is binding in England and Wales only, but the judgment is based on common law, so is likely to be highly influential in jurisdictions based on the English system globally.
As the accountancy and legal professions increasingly compete, especially in the area of tax advice, this gives a significant advantage to the legal profession over the accountancy profession.
Who would you rather seek advice from: a lawyer who you are confident cannot be compelled to reveal the content of your discussion, or an expert accountant who is unable to promise confidentiality?
If you talk to a lawyer about this then they may well say they were pleased that they had this advantage over accountants.
Note of course though that if they felt like it they wouldn’t have to disclose what was said in your conversation…
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.png00Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2010-11-01 01:54:192010-11-01 01:54:19Who can really be trusted to keep a secret? Accountants or lawyers?
For the first time their quarterly sales exceeded $20 billion. In my opinion though the really impressive thing about the published figures was their cash balance.
They have total cash and marketable securities (stocks and shares, etc that can be readily converted to cash) amounting to a staggering $51 billion.
To put this amount of money in perspective, if they took their cash and put it in an empty company and then listed this “cash only company” on the London Stock Exchange, it would not only make it into the FTSE 100 but the “Apple cash company” would in fact be the 18th largest company quoted on the London Stock Exchange!
The blog entry here provides some thoughts on what else Apple could do with their cash if they decided to go on a shopping trip.
One of the growth areas of Apple can be found within their Apps business. Apps are “applications” (in effect software to use on their devices). 3 billion apps were downloaded in the first 18 months after their launch.
Apple has a very slick and professional marketing strategy.
Apple’s iPhone adverts such as the one below famously state “There’s an app for that” and finish with “There’s an app for just about anything”.
As well as having a very creative approach to their advertising Apple has also taken a very commercial and sensible approach to matters.
Last week the phrase “There’s an app for that” was officially classified as a trademark of Apple.
This means they will be able to prevent competitors benefiting from the phrase.
It will probably result in adverts such as the one below by US network carrier Verizon being prohibited. Verizon parodied it’s competitor A&T (a carrier for the iPhone in the US) with this “There’s a map for that” advert.
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.png00Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2010-10-22 04:19:582010-10-22 04:19:58According to Apple there’s an App for…something that I shouldn’t say…
On Tuesday, Microsoft were due to launch their much anticipated Windows 7 phone system. The launch event was scheduled to take place in New York with a start time of 3.30pm.
“Joe O” works for the electronics firm LG who were one of a number of phone companies that were expected to launch Windows 7 phones to coincide with the Microsoft event.
The phone companies however were under strict instructions not to announce anything until after Microsoft’s big launch.
Alas, poor Joe who is based in the UK made a slight mistake when he thought the launch time was 3.30pm UK time rather than 3.30pm New York time. The end result was that LG’s official UK blog revealed details of the phone and what it was capable of doing under the new Microsoft system some 5 hours before Microsoft started the official event.
The error was spotted by LG pretty quickly and the post was withdrawn but it was too late as it had already been picked up by a number of other websites.
Now, picture the scene. You’re part of a project team that has been working on a major project for some time. The “partner” to your company on this project is none other than the mighty Microsoft. The world’s press are anxiously awaiting the launch event and then you press a button which releases the news to the world some 5 hours early.
What would you do?
No, honestly, what would you do?
Deny it? Blame it on somebody else? Say it was a technical error?
Joe did the honourable thing and posted the following on the LG blog:
Yes, that early slip may have been my fault, I may have failed to notice the time zone was EDT, not BST, but let’s not kick a man when he’s down. And I was down, literally hiding under my desk ignoring my constantly ringing phone.
Please consider this my public confession… And remember “to err is human; to forgive divine”.
Showing that Joe has a good sense of humour he also posted the following animated GIF on the blog.
In today’s ever increasing global business environment this is a useful reminder that it’s important to remember the more simple areas of international business.
We all make mistakes though and well done to Joe for his excellent recovery!
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.png00Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2010-10-15 01:50:382010-10-15 01:50:38We all make mistakes at work and I know you shouldn’t laugh but…
On Monday it was reported that China’s Bright Food Group was investigating the potential purchase of Britain’s United Biscuits for up to £2.5 billion.
Whilst on the face of it one food company buying another food company isn’t that exciting it does raise some interesting points.
Importantly, it also makes you think of whether Jaffa Cakes are in fact biscuits rather than cakes…
First of all though in classic Michael Porter’s Competitive Advantage of Nations terms then particular countries are considered to be strong in certain industries.
Germany for example is renowned for the production of high powered cars such as Audi, BMW and Porsche. Japan is a world leader in high tech cameras such as Canon, Nikon and Pentax.
Britain on the other hand is a powerhouse in the production of biscuits. After all, who needs luxury cars and high tech cameras when you can have a lovely cup of tea with a nice biscuit or two?
Secondly, the fact that another company from a so called emerging market is now potentially making a significant acquisition of a company in a more developed market sends an interesting signal about the current trend of globalisation.
Both these points are all very well and good but what’s this all about a biscuit or cake discussion?
United Biscuits produce some household name products including McVitie’s biscuits, Hula Hoops and Twiglets. They also produce Jaffa Cakes.
Jaffa Cakes were the subject of an infamous tax case a few years ago. To cut a long story short the debate was whether a Jaffa Cake was a cake (considered to be a basic foodstuff and hence not liable to VAT) or a chocolate covered biscuit (considered to be a luxury food product and hence liable for lots of VAT).
So, how on earth can you decide whether a food product is a cake or a biscuit?
The deciding factor was that when a cake is left to go stale it gets hard whereas when a biscuit is left to go stale it goes soft.
The argument went to a VAT tribunal (which is in effect a type of Court) and as part of the evidence put forward a 30cm Jaffa Cake was baked and left to go stale (and hard) so as to convince the tribunal that it was in fact a cake.
The final result was that Jaffa Cakes are indeed cakes so you can now have your cake and eat it (VAT free).
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.png00Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2010-10-01 04:23:262010-10-01 04:23:26£2.5 billion but can you have your cake and eat it?
Things have changed. You won’t be hearing much about PricewaterhouseCoopers any more.
Is this breaking news? Does this mean that we will be talking about the Big 3 rather than the Big 4?
Should PricewaterhouseCoopers partners and staff be rushing to recruitment consultants to get another job?
There’s no need to panic as all is well with the company. What they have done though is undertaken a rebranding exercise.
The company has commonly been referred to as PwC since it was established via a merger back in 1998 between Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand. With effect from Monday though they will now officially go by the name of pwc.
As part of a multi-million pound make over not only will the company be known as pwc but the corporate logo and corporate colours have changed.
The new logo incorporates the letters “pwc” in lower case along with a 6 rectangle symbol in shades of orange and red.
According to pwc, the brand was refreshed “in order to strengthen, and modernise how it represents its worldwide network to its clients, its people and the communities in which it operates.”
Global brand consultants Wolff Olins designed the logo in collaboration with PwC employees and clients. The complete rebranding process reportedly took two years.
From a personal point of view, I like the new logo and orange/red spectrum colours which I think are nice fresh, clean colours.
What about people from some of the other accounting firms? My guess is that they must be relieved. With KPMG having blue/white, Ernst & Young black/yellow and Deloitte navy/green it must have been a relief all round that pwc went for orange/red.
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.png00Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2010-09-22 16:41:062010-09-22 16:41:06Has the Big 4 become the Big 3?
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