Ten years ago former accountant Mr. Christopher Timbrell became former accountant Mrs. Christine Timbrell.
Christopher had surgery to alter his gender and became Christine but still remained married to his wife, Joy.
Yesterday, three Appeal Court judges in the UK gave a ruling which links to a number of discrimination issues.
Under 2004 legislation, as a transsexual Christine is entitled to enjoy the full status of her gender. However, married transsexuals are only allowed to have their gender recognized if they dissolved their marriage. This is where the problem for Christine occurred as although she had the sex change operation she still remained happily married to her wife Joy and they didn’t get divorced.
This meant that Christine was still treated as a man for pension purposes and therefore became entitled to a pension at 65 rather than at 60 which is when a woman becomes entitled to a pension.
Christine argued that she was a woman and it was a violation of her human rights to be forced to get divorced to become entitled to a pension at 60. The three Appeal Court judges found in Christine’s favour and also added that she was a victim of discrimination.
Christine, aged 69 who has two children with Joy from before the sex change operation, will now receive backdated pension payments going back to when she was 60.
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.png00Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2010-06-25 11:39:402010-06-25 11:39:40An accountant can make 65 become 60 but it takes rather extreme measures.
So the World Cup is in full swing but what got all the publicity yesterday involved a team of attractive female Dutch fans rather than a team of footballers.
36 young blond Dutch fans wearing bright orange mini-dresses were removed from the stadium at half time and two of them were arrested and then released on bail.
But what exactly was their crime and why all the media attention?
Their crime was that they were alleged to be part of an ambush marketing campaign by Bavaria, the Dutch brewer.
Ambush marketing is where companies which are not official sponsors of tournaments aim to get their marketing message across without making any payment to the tournament organisers.
The mini-dresses the ladies wore were promotional dresses provided by Bavaria in the run up to the tournament and when they all started clapping and swaying in unison in these dresses they understandably attracted a lot of attention. Unfortunately for them this attention was not only from the world’s press but also FIFA representatives that were on the lookout for ambush marketing.
Anheuser Busch’s Budweiser is the official beer of the tournament and no other beer company is allowed to promote itself within World Cup stadiums. FIFA receive significant amounts of money from official sponsors and therefore are keen to protect their sponsors.
Another example of ambush marketing involving a major sports tournament was at the 2009 British Golf Open. Hugo Boss sailed its corporate sponsored yacht just off the coast of Turnberry, Scotland where the golf course was located.
As a result of this the BBC who were filming the golf had little choice but to show the Hugo Boss yacht in the background of a lot of shots. Great advertising for Hugo Boss!
Back to the Dutch girls and the 2010 World Cup though and it’s safe to say that whatever the outcome of this situation it’s no doubt been a success for Bavaria. More people have now probably heard of Bavaria beer as a result of the arrests than if the girls had just been left in the stadium to sway and clap in unison and enjoy the rest of the game!
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.png00Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2010-06-16 11:43:142010-06-16 11:43:1436 attractive Dutch ladies, Hugo Boss and an ambush. It’s all happening at the World Cup.
It’s tough to qualify as an accountant. The exams are difficult and it’s hard work. The rewards, both financial and non financial however, can justify all of this hard work.
If you work for a firm of accountants then the fee income of the company is largely based on the hourly charge out rates of the employees. I’ve got a feeling though that no matter what your position is within your company you won’t be able to command a charge out rate of £900,000 per hour!
On Friday however a mystery individual paid $2.6 million (approximately £1.8m) for lunch with Warren Buffett, the 79 year old billionaire head of investment giant Berkshire Hathaway and world’s 3rd richest man.
Arguably the most famous and respected investor in the world, Mr. Buffett auctioned his time in aid of the Glide Foundation, a San Francisco charity . Assuming a 2 hour lunch the winning bid of £1.8m results in an impressive hourly equivalent of £900,000.
The winning bidder can take seven of his or her friends along to the New York steakhouse, Smith & Wollensky and are free to ask anything although Mr. Buffett will not be disclosing what he is buying or selling.
Of course, I’m also assuming that someone will make the reservation for the meal rather than risk turning up and not being able to find a table for 8 people as the restaurant is fully booked…
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.png00Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2010-06-14 07:01:252010-06-14 07:01:25How much would you charge for an hour of your time? £900,000 would probably be ok as long as lunch was included….
Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York and former wife of Prince Andrew, has been in the news for all the wrong reasons.
Evidence came to light last week of the former member of the British royal family accepting money in used bank notes to arrange access to her husband ($40,000 as an initial payment of an agreed total of £500,000). Many people were shocked as taking money to arrange access to people in influence could look like corruption.
The Duchess of York (no longer referred to as “Her Royal Highness” following previous run ins with the more senior royals) may be in greater trouble than the public relations mire and financial trouble that she admits to being in.
If the Duchess was not planning to include full and frank disclosure of the cash received (or what some people may call “bribes”), she appears to have been engaging in activity that could look like money laundering. Accepting payment in notes and coins is often fairly good evidence of wanting to disguise the origin of the funds.
Now whilst money laundering shouldn’t normally be an issue for an ex-Princess, money laundering is big news for professionals, especially professionals practising in the European Union. The EU’s third Directive on money laundering requires that all accountants and tax advisors are effectively trained in detection of money laundering.
Penalties for non-compliance with this can be severe. Money laundering, or facilitating money laundering, under UK law can carry a criminal sanction of two years’ jail time.
This could be an interesting bit of gossip to follow for students! Maybe the Duchess should use some of those used bank notes to engage the services of a good lawyer?
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.png00Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2010-05-31 05:08:282010-05-31 05:08:28The “Princess and the Pea” is a famous fairy tale but should there be a new version called the “Princess and the Pound Notes”?
We mentioned in a previous blog about Nike publicising their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) policies on their website.
Asda, Britain’s second biggest supermarket chain has gone one step further in being transparent with regard to their CSR policies.
In the past they have been criticized by some campaigners for the low wages and poor conditions that were present at some of their clothes manufacturing locations in Bangladesh. Their company website states that as part of their efforts to increase transparency it has now put in webcams at two if its clothing factories in Bangladesh.
This should help reassure customers that they are treating their suppliers ethically and are not employing them under “sweatshop conditions”. The webcam shows clothes being made and you can clearly see the conditions that are present.
The supermarket chain has said that it has also installed webcams at its head office and at an automated cow milking machine at one of their suppliers.
Press reports however have indicated that not everyone is happy with the webcams with some people arguing that it is a case of spying on the workers as opposed to proving how ethical and transparent the company is. Either way, it’s certainly a novel way to utilise technology.
I guess the question we should be asking ourselves though is how would we feel if we had a webcam looking at us at our workplace – would we feel reassured or spied upon?
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.png00Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2010-04-07 18:22:432010-04-07 18:22:43So, how would you feel? Re-assured or spied upon? It’s a good ethical question.
Last week the UK chancellor unveiled his budget. The general consensus seems to be that it wasn’t a particularly exciting budget with the chancellor playing safe on most things.
What has caught the public eye though is the announcement that duty on cider (an apple based alcoholic drink) would increase by 10% above inflation. This would add approximately 5p to a litre bottle of cider. This has upset the cider drinkers and thousands have joined facebook groups hoping to get the decision reversed.
We mentioned the C&C group in a previous blog about spreadsheets. The C&C group own the Magners cider brand which is one of the best known cider brands in the UK.
The change in duty imposed by the chancellor is a classic case of how the “P” (Political) in PESTEL can impact on a company. Magners has reacted quickly to this though by launching a press campaign saying that they will cover the increase in duty and will not increase their prices.
The C&C group may meet the “P” again soon though as there is discussion about the Scottish government introducing minimum unit pricing for alcohol in order to try to curb the health problems involving alcohol that are present in Scotland. The C&C group dominates the Scottish lager market with the brand Tennents.
So, if somebody asks you what is the link between cider, lager and PESTEL you now know the answer.
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.png00Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2010-03-29 00:34:062010-03-29 00:34:06There’s trouble brewing with PESTEL
First of all congratulations to all CIMA students that received their exam results yesterday and were successful. Your hard work paid off so very well done! We’ve heard from a number of you that were successful and those are always the best type of emails to receive from students!
If your results weren’t as expected though and you didn’t pass then better luck next time.
Various papers have performance management within the syllabus. A rather unusual method of managing performance was recently reported by the press.
Japan’s Keihin Express Railway Co., in an effort to promote a friendlier customer service, has implemented something called “smile scanners” at its stations to assess the smiles of their employees!
Employees have to look into a camera every day and have their smiles scored by a computer that analyses their facial features and gives feedback. The quality of the smile is reportedly rated on a scale ranging from 100 to zero.
Is it effective? Can the scanner distinguish between an artificial and a genuine smile? The jury is still out.
While we at ExP love technology, we’re not sure we would submit to such assessment, at least not before our morning coffee!
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.png00Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2010-01-22 02:16:342010-01-22 02:16:34CIMA results and performance with a smile…
One item that people should be aware of is that management accounting and financial management are similar to the extent that they are both concerned with resource usage. But there are differences.
I was lucky enough to have recently flown on the new Airbus A380 super jumbo and that got me thinking about some of the financial management issues that Airbus face. Designing and producing the A380 must have been a phenomenal exercise and a real testament to man’s engineering skills. It’s capable of carrying over 800 passengers and has a range of nearly 15,000 km. It’s a fantastic machine.
But what has this all got to do with the difference between management accounting and financial management? One difference is that management accounting tends to deal in short-term timescales whereas financial management is generally more concerned with the longer term. Whilst the longer term is generally considered to be more than one year be aware that certain industries and companies have a distinctly longer “long-term”.
From inception to delivery the A380 took nearly 10 years and the long term view taken by Airbus is certainly longer than some businesses in for example the IT or fashion industries. Some of the businesses in these industries have distinctly shorter “long-terms”.
Anyway, despite the millions spent on design and development of the A380 there was one disappointing thing about my flight and that was I fell asleep during the film and missed the ending…
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.png00Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2010-01-18 18:41:062010-01-18 18:41:06Remember the short term and long term
In terms of examples of risk management and corporate governance, UK based banking group Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) just gives and gives. It’s an unfolding story that continues to grow.
RBS was a big success story in the last decade, showing very fast growth and taking over bigger banks such as Nat West. Its considerable returns appear to have been won, rather predictably, by taking a high level of risk. Previous blog entries have mused on the wisdom of having fired their risk manager.
The banking group was saved from collapse by receiving vast emergency support from the UK government. This was controversial but almost everybody agrees that it was necessary in order to avoid a collapse of the entire banking system. Such a collapse would certainly have made the recession very much worse.
The British public thus became an involuntary shareholder in RBS. Indeed, the UK government now holds a controlling interest in RBS, though it’s been keen to avoid interfering much in the management of the bank.
The image of bankers in the UK at the moment is very tarnished. Most people who have an opinion on senior bank staff have an unfavourable opinion; often seeing them as people who were over-rewarded for taking excessive risks. Many resent having to bail out a bank ruined by unwise risk management.
So it came as a surprise to many when the directors of RBS said that they intended giving bonuses and pay increases to many staff last week. This provoked anger from the government and outrage from the public. The RBS board stated that they would resign if they weren’t allowed to pay the bonuses, as failing to pay people well would result in loss of talented staff.
It has to be questioned whether the board have ever studied stakeholder management and the Mendelow matrix. With 70% of the ordinary shares, the government is a key player; the views of the public must be respected. If that means the synchronised departure of the board of RBS, so be it. Bankers’ salaries and bonuses have been in an inflationary spiral in recent years and some bank must be the first to bring their salaries into the realm of sustainable expenses.
It will be interesting to see if the directors follow through on their threat, back down or are even removed from office by the shareholders (ie the government). Whatever the outcome, their credibility is arguably much tarnished.
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.png00Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2009-11-29 19:56:102009-11-29 19:56:10RBS directors threaten to resign
You may have heard of easyJet. You may have flown with easyJet. You may be Stelios, in which case the public thinks that you own easyJet, but you actually only own a minority interest. The public also thinks that you’re the CEO, but actually you’re not even an executive director.
What you do own, if you happen to be Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou is approximately 66 million easyJet shares and the easyJet brand, which you licence to easyJet.
Sir Stelios is the public face of a company that he founded and grew to a state of financial health where it could buy its most bitter rival, list on the London Stock Exchange and generally grow up rather quickly. He resigned as an executive director in 2003, becoming a non-executive.
In 2008/09, he had a major difference of opinion with the executive directors over the strategy of the company. Having been outvoted, Sir Stelios (a non-executive director, remember) sought to increase his equity ownership of the company again to a level where he could appoint some favoured nominees of his own as executive directors; thus giving him (a non-executive director) effective control once again.
Sir Stelios was naturally acting in the best interests of the company as he saw them. The Tyson report lists four duties of a non-executive director (see our ExPress notes if these don’t trip off your tongue! /expand/14-p1_professional_accountant.html) These include scrutinising executives, but not sacking them if they disagree.
It all makes it easier to see why the UK Combined Code requires that non-executives should be paid a basic salary only and have no shares or share options in the company, as well as requiring you to wait at least five years outside the company if you’d previously been a senior executive there!
https://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.png00Stevehttps://www.theexpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/styleguide-EXP-4.pngSteve2009-10-07 18:51:142009-10-07 18:51:14When is a non-executive not a non-executive? Ask Stelios!
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