Special Feature – ITC Results

The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) is delighted with the excellent results of the Initial Test of Competence Exam (ITC) released on Friday 28 March 2014 The ITC (previously known as Part I of the Qualifying Examination, QE) is one of the prerequisites for registration as a prospective chartered accountant [CA(SA)]. The examination…

VIEWPOINT: Is civilisation sustainable?

This month’s column examines a recent NASA-backed study that states that the fall of the Roman Empire and the equally (if not more) advanced Han, Mauryan, and Gupta empires, as well as so many advanced Mesopotamian empires, all bears testimony to the fact that advanced, sophisticated, complex, and creative civilisations can be both fragile and…

LIFESTYLE: Motoring: Mercedes-Benz CLA 200

After successfully reincarnating the A-Class from a mum’s taxi into a hot hatch, Mercedes have gone further by creating a hot four-door coupé sedan. The CLA looks like it is built off the same platform as the A-Class but, in actual fact, the two are very different. The test car had the optional Edition package,…

VIEWPOINT: Habitual overconfidence

One of the most common behavioural biases is the tendency to be overoptimistic. Like the children in Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon who are all above average, we tend to overestimate our own skills and chances of success. This overestimation, in turn, leads to overly positive self-evaluations, which are often unrealistic – resulting in overconfidence. Confidence…

INFLUENCE: Monetising big customer data

Senior finance executives are taking increased responsibility for analysing big data in ways that produce actionable insights into the customer base. Their involvement marks a shift from a traditional focus on reporting what happened in the past, to forecasting what needs to happen in the future. The motivation to do this is simple: to boost…

VIEWPOINT: Stepping ahead by stepping aside

An unexpectedly shrewd observation I heard from Lord Sebastian Coe at the Discovery Leadership Summit held recently in Sandton really got me thinking. Considered one of the best middle-distance runners of all time, the British Olympic champion set 12 world records over four distances, achieving four gold and three silver medals in the Olympics and…