PwC sloppiness 55 billion euros error


(Reuters) – The German government tried to deflect responsibility on Monday for a 55-billion euro accounting blunder that has exposed it to charges of ridicule for being inept and hypocritical after its steady criticism of Greek bookkeeping practices.

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has summoned executives from the nationalized mortgage bank Hypo Real Estate (HRE) to explain how they made a simple accounting error that ended up raising Germany‘s total debt load by 55 billion euros.

Schaeuble, in the awkward situation of being humiliated by the windfall that will cut Germany’s debt levels, will also demand answers at a Wednesday meeting from the PwC accountancy firm that signed off on the report.

Schaeuble’s spokesman Martin Kotthaus tried to deflect any blame, saying the ministry received a certified statement from auditors that the balance sheets had been checked and approved. He said it was too early to tell exactly who messed up.

“It’s annoying, to put it diplomatically, when corrections of this dimension are necessary,” said Kotthaus, who was grilled at a news conference. “We had a certified audit of the annual accounts for 2010 and it said everything was in order.”

Kotthaus said the bank itself was responsible for its annual report.

The German media nevertheless mocked Schaeuble, saying the 55-billion euro accounting error put Berlin in the same category as the Greek government for failing to report accurate figures. Inaccurate reporting of Greek deficits contributed to the euro zone sovereign debt crisis that has hit Europe hard.

“Incredible but true,” wrote the Rheinische Post newspaper. “The nationalized bank HRE made a staggering 55-billion euro miscalculation. It’s scandalous that bank managers, certified public accountants and government supervisors made an error of this dimension. This kind of sloppiness reminds us of Greece.

via Germany mocked for 55-billion euro bank accounts error | Reuters

Use an SA company to trade in the free zone

This is a photo showing the construction of Li...

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)-registered companies will have to be located within the free zone or they will lose their registration, a senior government official has reiterated.

“The UAE’s federal law stipulates that any company registered by a free zone has to have a presence in that free zone and, therefore, it has always been mandatory for any DIFC registered company to be located in the centre or it would lose its registration,” Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, Chief Executive Officer, DIFC Authority, told ‘Emirates24|7’.

“However, we work closely with the registered firms to ensure that their location transition to DIFC is as smooth as possible and would not disturb their business plans.”

A number of DIFC-registered companies were allowed to conduct business outside its premises due to lack of space in 2007 and 2008 with companies also taking advantage of lower rents than the free zone.

Total leasable commercial space in DIFC’s own buildings stood at 1.217 million square feet as of June 2011, while total commercial office space within third party developers was at 769,000 square feet. Earlier this year, DIFC said about two million square feet of commercial office space was likely to be handed over by third-party developers in the next 18 to 24 months.

This website reported earlier that occupancy level in DIFC Gate District has remained at over 95 per cent, while third-party developments within the free zone have leased 58 per cent of their office space.

Realty agents believe that most of the DIFC-listed companies have already moved base to the third party developments within the free zone  where rents are lower than the Gate District.

A senior official of a company, which moved its office to Liberty House, told this website: “We directly negotiated with the owners and managed to get a good deal… just that we had to sign a long-term lease.”

via DIFC firms must be located within the free zone – Emirates 24/7

55.5 billion euro accounting error

Log-lin graph showing an exponential pattern i...

The discovery and deletion of a 55.5 billion euro ($A74 billion) accounting error at a troubled bank under government protection should ease Germany‘s debt levels, the Finance Ministry reports.

German media were agog at the discovery, caused by a double booking of debt held by FMS Wertmanagement, the so-called “bad bank” created from the insolvent parts of HRE bank, which was nationalised in 2009.

Freeing up the cash means that German debt, as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), should slide from 83.7 per cent to 81.1 per cent, said the ministry on Saturday.

The ministry said the problem was caused, essentially, when staff subtracted funds when they should have added them.

via 55.5 billion euro accounting error

Turnover Tax is dangerous for small business

People filing tax forms in 1920


Warning: New Turnover Tax from SARS could be SARS’s way of ripping you off!

Remember the saying: When it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Why would SARS offer you a New Tax System if they were going to make less money?

Of course they are going to make more money out of Turnover Tax!

And this is how they are going to do it:

They are going to try convince thousands of young small businesses to give up their virtual NO TAX status for one in which they could be liable to pay up to R38 000 EXTRA TAX EACH YEAR!

The only reason SARS can give is that you may need to fill in 7 or so less TAX FORMS!

But who cares?

For R38 000 I’ll fill in 20 extra tax forms!


Current system:

Small CC business turning over R999 999 per year

has no profit after expenses and member draws salary of R200 000 and pays R33 430 on salary

R33 430 is the ONLY TAX this business pays

Turnover Tax system:

Small CC business turning over R999 999 per year

has no profit after expenses and member draws salary of R200 000 and pays R33 430 on salary

R33 430 PLUS R37 930 TURNOVER TAX =

R71 360 is the TOTAL TAX this business pays!!

Now please, where is the benefit in that?

Turnover Tax is a SCAM – A scam from the heart of government, trying to rob the struggling, poor man in the street and having the cheek to ask him to thank them for it!!

Our advice: Don’t touch turnover tax with a barge pole.

Government should be sent away ashamed of itself for such brazen greed and deception with its tail between its legs, to go think up some other scam to throw at the rich for a change…

Small businesspeople are going to have to do their calculations VERY carefully before jumping into the turnover tax system boots and all!


via Turnover Tax is dangerous for small business

Payment pitfalls for provisional taxpayers

Over the past few years, significant changes have been effected to the provisional tax rules. However, not all provisional taxpayers have kept abreast of these changes. The result? These taxpayers often do not fully understand their tax obligations and end up over-paying or, worse, under-paying their tax and having to fork out significant amounts of cash to pay the South African Revenue Service (SARS) the resultant penalties, additional tax and interest for non-compliance.

This article sets out the more important tax rules of which individual provisional taxpayers should be aware. It also highlights some common pitfalls that are usually overlooked and provides some tax tips.

via Payment pitfalls for provisional taxpayers – Personal Finance Tax | IOL Business

Global logistics hub

Satellite view of Salalah

Salalah Free Zone is delighted to pledge our support to the development of the new sea-air cargo corridor with Oman Air and the Port of Salalah. We are focused on creating opportunities that promote international business growth and enhance trade routes by providing competitive connectivity and efficient flow of goods and services. This is an important step in supporting the Omanv  government’s policy of economic growth and diversification, and in realising our vision of becoming a global logistics hub,” Eng. Awadh added.

Ali Tabouk, Salalah Free Zone’s chief commercial officer, said, “The ongoing expansion at the Salalah port and international airport, combined with Salalah Free Zone’s established infrastructure and customer-focused value proposition will provide the favourable elements to attract industrial, trade and logistics activities. We are committed to collectively work together to attract new foreign investment in Oman.”

Salalah Free Zone and Oman Air jointly launched the new Sea-Air-Free Zone Salalah Hub at Thailand‘s Global Logistics Network conference held last month in Bangkok, presenting the concept to 300 international logistics and supply chain specialists focusing on their combined logistical and operational synergetic offering.

According to Tabouk, talks are underway with a number of international investors from Europe and Asia that have shown a keen interest in SFZ’s expansion to establish regional distribution and logistics centres in Salalah due to its competitive offering and global reach.

via Salalah Free Zone to join forces with Oman Air and Port of Salalah to develop global logistics hub | Salalah Free Zone |

Netflix’s Accounting Rules Are Hidden Risk for Investors

The Netflix watch instantly plug-in for U.S. s...
Diagram of Streaming Multicast

Image via Wikipedia

In late 2010, Tilson pointed out that Netflix‘s “acquisition of streaming content” on the cash flow statement wasn’t immediately being recognized under “acquisition of streaming content library” as an expense in the income statement.

For the third quarter of that year, Tilson noted that even though streaming-content costs were $115 million (up 74%), the associated amortization expenses increased only 17%. He noted in his presentation that from the first quarter of 2007 through the third quarter of 2009, acquisition costs were roughly equal to the amortization expense. Yet, starting in the fourth quarter of 2009 (when streaming-content costs started to accelerate), the two diverged.

via Netflix’s Accounting Rules Are Hidden Risk for Investors – TheStreet.

Cochin Port invites bidders for free warehousing zone

Cochin Port Trust

KOCHI: Cochin Port Trust (CPT) on Thursday issued a notice inviting expression of interest to set up a free trade warehousing zone (FTWZ) at Willingdon Island. The last date for submission of expression of interest is November 21, 2011.

The CPT will offer 102 acres of land located at the southern end of the island to set up a port-based FTWZ. Even though ports like Mumbai already have a FTWZ, the CPT aims to develop it as a full-fledged international logistics hub, along the lines of Jurong in Singapore and Jebel Ali in Dubai.

via Cochin Port invites potential bidders for warehousing zone – Times Of India

Accounting firms can help Singapore stay competitive

Teo Chee Hean

Accounting firms can play an important role in helping Singapore stay competitive in the financial services industry while also devising innovative business models, said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean on Monday.

Mr Teo pointed out that the accountancy sector, with its adherence to international standards and regulation, will play a crucial role in helping other businesses grow while also thriving as an industry in its own right.

‘We want Singapore to be a global accountancy hub that offers high-value-added professional accountancy services, that is a home for global accountancy organisations and serves as a thought and practice leader in the design and implementation of global accounting practices and standards,’ he said.

Singapore aims to raise the accounting sector’s contribution to the economy from 0.4 per cent now, to 1 per cent over the next 10 years.

via Accounting firms can help S’pore stay competitive: DPM Teo.