What is Accounting? What a management accounting can do for you?
It's no doubt Hong Kong is acted as an international role in the global market providing secure, stable and professional corporate services to all-level of business, from SMEs to MNC or even listed companies. This is the reason why more and more entrepreneurs start-up their business here and explore their vision in the heart of Asia.
Imagine being a boss and run a business yourself, what makes you better understand the business status after putting so much effort to get your sales? "Accounting" is probably the only tool to help you.
What is accounting? In Hong Kong, similar to other countries, accounting is generally categorized into two types: 1) Management Accounting; and 2) Financial Accounting. For a business starter, management accounting can help them identify their sales and costs in a regular basis. Professions recommended that "Bookkeeping" or "Keep-the-book" in a regular basis would definitely enhance the efficiency and effectiveness when making any management decisions – "Data + Analysis = Information".
In the commercial world, accounting is aptly called the "language of business" because the way you discuss your business to all related parties for examples banks, vendors etc. simply like learning a new language. To enable this language to convey the same meaning to all people as far as practicable it is under certain principles, frameworks, concepts and standards over a period of time.
If you can't handle yourself, you better find a corporate service provider with qualified and experienced accountants to reduce your operation risk in long-run.
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Seeing the forest for the trees
Corporate governance in China is lousy
CAN you trust Chinese accounts? Many investors fear (and several short-sellers are betting) that the answer is “no”. Sino-Forest, a big forestry firm listed in Toronto, is a case in point. Last year Muddy Waters, a short-seller, accused it of running a Ponzi scheme, which it denies. On January 31st Sino-Forest released the final report of independent investigators into the charge. Insiders crow that the gumshoes found no smoking gun. The gumshoes grumbled that, lacking access to all the evidence, they were “not able to reach definitive conclusions”.
America's SEC is trying to force the Shanghai office of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, a big Western accountancy firm, to hand over papers related to Longtop, a Chinese software firm that was delisted by the New York Stock Exchange last year. Deloitte refuses, saying this would violate Chinese laws on “state secrets”. Deloitte may have a point. If it co-operates, its local staff could be jailed under Chinese law.
Many accountancy problems spring from reverse takeovers, when a Chinese firm buys a foreign one to acquire its listing. T. J. Wong of the Chinese University of Hong Kong has analysed 200 Chinese reverse takeovers in the West, and found that many have run into trouble. The troubled outfits are typically smallish private ones that opted for a backdoor Western listing because they could not list in Hong Kong (where reverse takeovers are barred).
Western accountancy firms have taken flak for lending their good names to dodgy Chinese firms. But the international boss of a Big Four accountancy firm says this is unfair. The first 156 Chinese reverse takeovers were not audited by Western accountants, he says, but by their Chinese rivals. He insists the Big Four have greatly increased their vigilance in China.
Michael Thompson of the China Europe International Business School argues that Chinese corporate-governance laws are better than people think. They call for independent directors, separate the chairman's role from that of the chief executive, and grant shareholders many rights.
The problem with many of the firms whose accounts are currently under scrutiny is that they were registered in such places as the Cayman Islands, outside the reach of Chinese law. And the loophole that allowed them to list in America via reverse takeovers is an American loophole, not a Chinese one.
China's biggest corporate-governance problem is not its laws, but its government's willingness to enforce them even-handedly. William McGovern of Kobre & Kim, a lawyer and former SEC enforcement official, argues that aggressive action by American regulators after the Enron debacle restored confidence to American markets. China risks a similar crisis of confidence now, but Mr McGovern observes that its regulators have yet to act decisively at home or to co-operate with foreign agencies such as the SEC. Not all Chinese firms are crooked—but until China gets serious about regulating its companies, investors should remain wary.
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The Russian banking system
The 2008 – 2010 crisis and its aftermath
The reality was very different, and the 2008-2010 crisis brought problems for many borrowers. Moreover, during the crisis period the government poured money into the economy and in the first place directed help at the state banks, leading to a centralization of the banking system: today 60% of capital and shares are in the hands of the state banks. During the crisis period 200 billion dollars of gold and currency reserves went on supporting the ruble exchange rate.
The Russian banking system’s problems are not over, and this is particularly evident in two areas, if one compares it with Western countries: inflation, for which the Central Bank is responsible, and interest levels on the credit market. Despite the rapid growth of the economy during Putin’s presidency, inflation in Russia remains very high, at 9-10% - about five times the rate in Europe and the USA. In other words, on this scale Russia is clearly lagging behind the leaders in the world economy. But this does not appear to have happened by chance, since during Putin’s presidency the money supply increased by a factor of 28.
To some extent it can be explained by the populist politics of those years: the growth in spending on social welfare and government projects has required ever more cash, and as Russia’s Central Bank is heavily dependent on the government its issues are determined by the latter’s needs. It is no surprise that inflation does not want to fall (inflation cannot want anything), despite all the vocal interventions of governmental organizations.
As a result of this high inflation rate, Russia has a higher interest rate, which makes some investment projects uneconomic. Here too it lags behind Europe by a factor of 4-5, which incidentally makes it worthwhile to attract money from foreign banks. The last few years have seen a trend towards foreign banks entering the Russian market, which has improved services and brought down interest rates. Russia’s wish to join the World Trade Organization has forced her to reconsider her attitude to foreign banks, which until now were bound by a limit of 25% of the market sector.
At present Russian banks are actively seeking capital investment on the international markets, but during the crisis period there was a significant decline in the number of reliable borrowers, leading to the current drop in interest rates. However, ordinary Russians have lost some of their financial optimism and are less happy about building up debts to the same extent as before the crisis.
'The Russian banking system is very young in international terms, so it is not surprising that after 20 years of reform it is still not perfect.'
The Russian banking system is very young in international terms, so it is not surprising that after 20 years of reform it is still not perfect. But as the Russian population becomes more finance-literate and gains more experience in the world of credit, competition in the market will gradually become healthier – provided, of course, that the government does not throw a spanner in the works.
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Russian banking system is underdeveloped according to international standards