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

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Digital trends of 2015

Below is a sampling of the key digital trends that are getting the most investor attention in 2015 (in no particular order):

  • Social shopping: Think Amazon meets Facebook, with executions like one-click ordering from Instagram. It appears this generation of shoppers prefers to do it with their friends for recommendations and reviews. No surprise: it can be compared to the offline analogue of going to the mall with your friends.
  • Digital currency: From Bitcoin to Beyond. World currencies beware, new digital currencies are being developed that will reinvent how monies move around globally in the future.
  • Mobile payments: Needing your wallets and credit cards will be a thing of the past, as your mobile apps via your phone will replace that need.
  • The Internet of things: With each turn of the innovation wheel, old-school products are getting smarter, connected to the web. From thermostats to refrigerators, entrepreneurs are reinventing most everything.
  • 3D printing: Once an incredible dream, and now a reality that is revolutionising many manufacturing sectors, helping them to lower costs compared to original techniques.
  • Wearables: Glasses, watches, apparel, you name it. If it is not already here with players like Google Glass and Fitbit, it is coming in many new ways for you … and your pets!!
  • Drones: Drones are no longer being used only by governments. They are now being used by private companies. Watch out Fedex & UPS, Amazon is coming by air to a home by you.

 

Source: George Deeb in Forbes, 16 January 2015

Password protection

A study by Stellenbosch University has found that only one in five local computer users regularly changes his or her passwords, even though most people are aware they should.

Users of internet banking portals, e-mail and even social media must re-think their online password strategy – or risk becoming victims of cyber criminals, the report says.

Until more sophisticated protection, like biometric and voice recognition, is widely adopted, passwords will remain necessary.

Source: Financial Mail, 7 May 2015

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.

Pinterest valuation at $11 billion

Less than a year after being valued at $5 billion, Pinterest has joined the 11-digit valuation start-up club.

Pinterest, an online scrapbooking service, disclosed in March that it raised about $367 million in a new round of financing from new and existing investors. It valued the company at $11 billion, putting the start-up in roughly the same range as the Silicon Valley darling Dropbox and the data analysis company Palantir Technologies.

Source: International New York Times, 16 March  2015

Deloitte is first of Big 4 firms to name a female CEO

After nearly three decades of working at the world’s largest accounting firm, Cathy Engelbert was appointed in March 2015 as Deloitte’s chief executive in the United States, making her the first woman to lead any of the country’s big professional services firms.

While Deloitte’s percentage of female partners is not significantly higher than that of other top firms, the company has been the first to break several high-profile diversity barriers in the past, such as appointing a female board chairman and a minority CEO.

Engelbert rose through the ranks of Deloitte as an accountant, though she will now oversee its portfolio subsidiaries, which employ roughly 65 000 people who focus on consulting and tax services as well as auditing and accounting. This US arm of Deloitte reported nearly $15 billion in revenue for fiscal year 2014, marking several years of growth.

Like many such firms, Deloitte holds elections for its CEO and chairman roles every four years. After being selected by the board’s nominating committee, the candidates need to garner at least two-thirds approval among Deloitte’s voting partners and principals.

Source: Washington Post, 11 February 2015

HBR Survey

How do employees want to get criticism?

‘If I’ve done poor work, I prefer to be told bluntly rather than gently or diplomatically.’

Strongly agree – 17%; Agree – 33%;

Neutral – 17%;  Disagree – 28%;

Strongly disagree – 5%

Source: Harvard Business Review, January–February 2015

#MyEverywhere gets going

In an effort to change negative perceptions about South Africa, which worsened after the xenophobic violence, global company Visa and SA Tourism (SA) have joined forces to launch a pro-South African digital advertising campaign.

#MyEverywhere aims to change the way the world sees South Africa and how South Africans see themselves. The campaign targets the influential ‘millennials’ demographic, who have grown up sharing their stories and experiences through social media. At the height of the xenophobic violence, tourism authorities said potential visitors to the country were raising questions about safety.  The campaign has been running since May and ends in June.

Source: Financial Mail,  21 May – 27 May

ACCOUNTING

Update on the effective date of IFRS 15 – Revenue from Contracts with Customers

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) is expected to publish an Exposure Draft proposing a one-year deferral of the effective date of IFRS 15. Information on the new revenue standard can be accessed from the IASB website.

Impact of IFRS 15 on Circular 9/2006 –Transactions giving rise to Adjustments to Revenue/Purchases

Entities that have adopted IFRS 15 should not refer to this Circular 9/2006 for guidance. This circular applies only to those entities that are still applying IAS 18 – Revenue. Matters on discounts, rebates and extended payment terms are addressed under ‘variable considerations’ in IFRS 15.

New features of eIFRS

View the video showing all the new features of eIFRS on the IASB website.

SAICA draft Circular on Applying IAS 19 – Employee Benefits issued for public comment

SAICA is seeking comments by 12 June 2015 on ED 352 – Circular x/2015 – Applying IAS 19 – Employee Benefits – Guidance on Certain Application Issues Pertaining to Post -Employment Benefit Plans. The draft circular on ED 352 can be downloaded from the SAICA website.

SAICA Accounting Practices Committee (APC) submissions

APC submitted comment letters to the IASB on the following exposure drafts:

  • ED 349 – Classification and Measurement of Share-based Payment Transactions: Proposed Amendments to IFRS 2 – Share-based Payment. In its response, the APC disagrees with the proposed amendments to IFRS 2 and recommends that a comprehensive review be performed on IFRS 2.
  • ED 350 – Disclosure Initiative: Proposed Amendments to IAS 7 – Statement of Cash Flows. The APC believes that it is premature to issue ED 350.

The detailed comment letters can be downloaded from the SAICA website.

2015 Financial Instruments Guide issued

The 2015 Financial Instruments Guide offers a single reference point for those who need to have a detailed knowledge on financial instruments accounting. The guide can be purchased on the IASB website.

ASSURANCE

IAASB released Auditor Reporting: Illustrative Key Audit Matters

IAASB released the publication Auditor Reporting: Illustrative Key Audit Matters, which illustrates how the concept of key audit matters (KAM) may be applied in practice in accordance with ISA 701, Communicating Key Audit Matters in the Independent Auditor’s Report. Members are encouraged to visit the IFAC website for more details.

IRBA Guide for RAs: Assurance Engagements of a Medical Scheme issued

On 11 March 2015, the Committee for Auditing Standards (CFAS) of the IRBA issued the Guide for Registered Auditors: Assurance Engagements on the Annual Financial Statements and Annual Statutory Returns of a Medical Scheme, which is effective for engagements on accounting periods ending on or after 31 December 2015. Early adoption is encouraged.

The auditor reports included in this guide were approved and prescribed for use in December 2014 (for 31 December 2014 period ends) and have already been issued by the Council for Medical Schemes.

The guide can be downloaded from the IRBA website.

FAQs for auditors of estate agents

The EAAB has published FAQs to assist auditors of estate agents in applying the requirements of the Estate Agency Affairs Act. The FAQs can be accessed on the EAAB website.

Online submission of estate agents’ auditor’s reports to EAAB

With effect from 1 March 2015, the auditor’s reports on the estate agents trust accounts should be submitted online to the EAAB. Members can visit the EAAB website for more details.

IAASB’s issued ISA 720 (Revised)

On 8 April 2015, the IAASB issued the International Standard on Auditing (ISA) 720 (Revised), The Auditor’s Responsibilities Relating to Other Information.

The revised standard:

  • Clarifies the auditor’s involvement with ‘other information’, which is defined in the standard as financial or non-financial information included in an entity’s annual report, other than the financial statements and the auditor’s report thereon
  • Includes new requirements related to auditor reporting on other information that complement the changes arising from the new and revised Auditor Reporting standards issued in January 2015

ISA 720 (Revised) will be effective for audits of financial statements for periods ending on or after 15 December 2016 and can be downloaded from the IFAC website.

TAX

Tax practitioner registration

When registering as a tax practitioner, your SAICA membership details must correspond with the details that SARS have on their records. Should there be a difference, SARS will reject the confirmation of the tax practitioner’s registration. As best practice it is advised that you submit a RAV01 to SARS on an annual basis to ensure that your details correspond with your membership details at SAICA. You can complete the RAV01 form in your eFiling profile and select the registered controlling body (RCB) you belong to. If SAICA is your RCB, complete the tax practitioner survey and ensure that the information given agrees to the RAV01, as this will be used by SARS for verification. Please note that if SAICA is your RCB you must be a CA(SA), AGA(SA) and AAT(SA) to register and that SARS will issue your PR number.

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