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UP-TO-DATE: Keeping you informed of business today

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Sequel to a Long Walk to Freedom

Nelson Mandela had penned an incomplete draft of a sequel to his best-selling biography, A Long Walk to Freedom.

The sequel will be published by PAN Macmillan next year and will be a full account of Mandela’s time as president. It is based on a personally written draft that forms part of the archives of Nelson Mandela Foundation, according to a statement from the foundation.

Mandela had started working on a manuscript provisionally titled The Presidential Years in 1998, his widow Graça Machel said in the statement.

‘He wanted to put on record his own reflections of those important years in his life when he was president of South Africa,’ she said.

The sequel ‘will be candid and clear-eyed about the difficulties faced in the office, but also about fault-lines that run through contemporary South Africa’, according to the statement.

Source: Business Report, 25 March 2015

The profits of an MBA

Why on earth would you consider adding a notoriously expensive and demanding MBA to your already impressive qualifications?

For starters, you’d be learning to apply management concepts, enhance your consultancy skills, advise businesses on strategic plans and business models, beef up you leadership skills, and – most importantly – network with a bunch of other ambitious, hardworking careerists representing a range of industries.

CAs(SA) can benefit most from an MBA if it’s completed at the right stage of their career. Those who have a level of relevant experience that makes them suitable for an executive role are in the best position to complete an MBA. The MBA qualification is not as relevant as it could be to a CA(SA) who wants to become or remain a deep specialist in their organisation. If, however, they are looking to lead and manage the business, obtaining an MBA from a good school will significantly enhance the success of their transition to a leadership role.

 Graph 1

 

 

Trends of the workplace

 

Trends

 

10 tips for keeping your data safe in the cloud

  • Choose a reputable provider
  • Educate your end-users about the basics of information security
  • Install antivirus and antimalware software on your laptops and desktop computers, and keep up to date with the latest definitions
  • Enforce strong passwords
  • Get serious about mobile security
  • Keep software up to date with latest security patches
  • Apply two-step verification
  • Be careful about where you log into cloud services
  • Keep your passwords secret
  • Check the security certificate is valid and issued by a reputable certificate company

 

Source: Steven Cohen, Managing Director for Sage One Accounting AAMEA

Announcement of SAICA annual general meeting

The Annual General Meeting of members of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) will be held at SAICA Integritas II, 5 Zulberg Close, Bruma Lake,  Gauteng, on 25 June 2015 at 09:00.

Due and proper notice of the aforementioned meeting will be provided via the following means:

  • Electronic mail – if you are registered on our database as a member capable of accepting communications from SAICA in this manner, and
  • SAICA website – visit www.saica.co.za

Proxy forms will be available on the SAICA website: www.saica.co.za on or before 10 June 2015.

If you do not receive the notification or proxy form timeously, please contact the SAICA Call Centre for assistance at 0861 072 422 or +27 (11) 621 6600 or email lindenin@saica.co.za.

Issued by:

Welsh Gwaza

Senior Executive: Legal and Governance

The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants

ACCOUNTING

Darrel Scott CA(SA) re-appointed as an IASB member

Darrel Scott CA(SA) has been re-appointed as an IASB member for a second term effective from 1 July 2015. Darrel will continue serving as the chairman of the IASB’s SME Implementation Group during his second term. Download the press release on Darrel’s appointment from the IASB website.

New members of the FRSC announced

New members of the Financial Reporting Standards Council (FRSC) have been announced. Most new FRSC members are SAICA members. Suresh Kana, Christine Ramon, Johan Brink, Garth Coppin, Bruce Mackenzie, Khaya Dludla, Dumisani Manana, Dawn Earp, Naidene Ford-Hoon, and Kim Bromfield have been re-appointed to the FRSC.  Adv Rory Voller, Matshepo Faith More, Anuradha Sing and Tania Wimberley will be serving their initial three-year term at the FRSC.

Accessing IFRSs from eIFRS Professional

The new Standards Comparison Tool on eIFRS Professional shows the differences between the Standards as effective for this year, last year and next year. eIFRS is the source for authoritative, annotated versions of Standards and other supporting documents. The new eIFRS can be accessed from the SAICA website.

JSE shares findings from its proactive monitoring activities conducted in 2014

The JSE has published its Report Back on the Pro-active Monitoring of Financial Statements in 2014, which provides an overview of the proactive monitoring activities undertaken during 2014 and highlights specific focus areas that listed companies should be aware of for 2015. Access the report from the JSE website.

Update on the new revenue standard

The IASB and the US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) have tentatively decided to propose improvements to the new revenue standard (IFRS 15 – Revenue from Contracts with Customers) to clarify the guidance on licences of intellectual property and identifying performance obligations. Take this opportunity to express your concerns on IFRS 15 before it becomes effective by making a submission to the IASB and FASB’s Joint Transition Resource Group for Revenue Recognition (TRG).

Investor perspective on insurance contracts accounting

Stephen Cooper, an IASB member, has highlighted a few of the changes to be made to the draft insurance contracts standard that will particularly benefit investors including changes relating to the measurement of the insurance contract liabilities and discount rates. For more information access the February 2015 edition of the Investor Perspective from the IASB website.

ASSURANCE

AGSA issued 2015 Audit Directive

On 11 February 2015 the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) issued the 2015 Audit Directive (General Notice 125 of 2015) as published in Government Gazette 38464 for audits performed in terms of the Public Audit Act 25 of 2004 (PAA).

The directive outlines the requirements for:

  • Audit functions performed in terms of the PAA
  • Audits of public entities and other institutions not performed by the AGSA – Section 4(3) of the PAA
  • Auditees for which legislation is not prescriptive in respect of the financial statements – Section 14(2)(b) of the PAA
  • Timing and submission of information for audit purposes – Section 15(2)(b) of the PAA
  • Assessment and recognition of the financial reporting frameworks applicable in the public sector – Section 20(2)(a) of the PAA

This directive replaces General Notice 263 of 2014, issued in Government Gazette 37505 of 2 April 2014.

This directive is effective for financial periods beginning on or after 1 April 2014 and is applicable until further notice. A similar notice will not necessarily be issued annually.

The directive can be downloaded from the SAICA website.

TAX

When has payment been received by SARS?

It appears that SARS is of the view that payment has only been made once the relevant amount is reflected in its bank account (for example, the SARS External Guide: Provisional Tax, 2015 states at page 13 that ‘where payments are done electronically, provision must be made for your bank’s cut-off times and for a clearance period that could take between two and five days’). Further in terms of SARS External Guide: Payment Rules, any payment made and placed in a SARS drop box on a business day must be received by 15:00. Where payments are received after 15:00, this will be deemed to have been received on the first following business day.

The legal position seems unclear as to the exact date of payment, especially EFT and eFiling payments (see Integritax 1819). In terms of section 162(2) of the Tax Administration Act 2011, the Commissioner has the right to prescribe the manner of payment, including electronic payments. However, based on the Supreme Court’s judgment in Stabilpave v SARS (615/12) [2013] ZASCA 128 (26 September 2013), though dealing with cheques, SARS’ right and practice to prescribe the method of payment to which the taxpayer must adhere could result in a transfer of risk to SARS of the particular payment method. The result would be that payment is effected once the taxpayer has complied with the method and not when the payment is honoured by the bank through crediting the SARS account.

ETHICS

The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants

The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) has been releasing exposure drafts to update and amend the Code of Conduct for Professional Accountants.

Exposure Draft:  Proposed Changes to Certain Provisions of the Code Addressing Non-Assurance Services for Audit Clients

The code currently includes provisions that permit the auditor to perform certain services for audit clients that are public interest entities in the case of an emergency, where these services are not normally permitted. The code also explicitly states that the auditor shall not assume a management responsibility. The code also addresses the performance of routine and administrative activities by an audit firm.

The IESBA has stated that the following changes will be made to the code:

  • The exception provisions that permit an audit firm to provide certain bookkeeping and taxation services to public interest entity (PIE) audit clients in emergency situations will be withdrawn
  • Management responsibility will be clarified and more guidance provided, and
  • The concept of ‘routine or mechanical’ services relating to the preparation of accounting records and financial statements for non-public interest entities audit clients will be clarified and more guidance provided.

The IESBA also approved corresponding and conforming changes to Section 291 of the code pertaining to the provision of non-audit services to assurance clients that are not audit clients. The changes will be effective approximately one year after the release of the final pronouncement.

Exposure Draft: Long Association of Personnel with and Audit or Assurance client

The code addresses the threats to independence that may be created by using the same senior personnel on an audit or assurance engagement over a long period of time. The IESBA suggested the following in the Exposure Draft with regard to the audit of public interest entities, with a comment deadline of 12 November 2014:

  • The individual who has acted as engagement partner during any time during a seven-year period will be required to cool off for five years
  • Any other key audit partner (including the quality control reviewer) shall be required to cool off for two years

 

Consultation Paper: Structure of the Code

The IESBA is currently considering the rebranding of the code and aligning certain definitions of terms used in the code with those of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board. The IESBA is also considering the rewrite of the code in simple English.

Exposure Draft: Proposed Changes to Part C of the Code

This Exposure Draft deals with professional accountants in business and their ethical responsibilities with respect to the presentation of information and the imposition of pressure by superiors to breach the fundamental principles in the dode. The Exposure Draft also deals with facilitation payments and bribes. The Exposure Draft’s comment deadline was 15 April 2015.

Responding to Suspected Non-Compliance with Laws and Regulations

At the January 2015 meeting the IESBA considered a revised draft of the proposed provisions on responding to non-compliance or suspected non-compliance with laws & regulations (NOCLAR). Topics discussed included:

  • The factors to be considered in determining whether or not to disclose NOCLAR or suspected NOCLAR to an appropriate authority
  • A draft rationale for the proposed response framework which outlines the framework’s strengths in guiding professional accountants in assessing the implications of NOCLAR or suspected NOCLAR and the possible courses of action in responding to it, and
  • Provisional illustrative examples

 

Review of safeguards in the code

The IESBA also approved a new project dealing with a review of safeguards in various sections of the code and to consider whether changes should be made. This was discussed at the April 2015 meeting.

For more information please visit the website: www.IFAC.org/eth

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