Finance chiefs say bitcoin is ‘real’ but many think it’s in a bubble right now

Bitcoin is a “real” asset but it’s currently in a bubble, according to a CNBC survey of global finance bosses, with many calling it a “fraud.”

Ninety-seven chief financial officers (CFOs) on CNBC’s Global CFO Council were asked their view on bitcoin. Out of the 43 that responded, 27.9 percent said the cryptocurrency is “real but in a bubble.” Another 14 percent said that bitcoin is “real and still going higher.”

Meanwhile, 27.9 percent said bitcoin is a “fraud” while 30.2 percent of CFOs said they don’t know enough about the digital currency to have an opinion.

Of the finance chiefs based in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, 41.7 percent said that bitcoin is “real but in a bubble” compared to 20.8 percent in the U.S. and 28.6 percent in the Asia Pacific region. A third of respondents in EMEA also think bitcoin is a “fraud,” higher than their counterparts in the other regions across the world.

Karim Hajjar, chief financial officer of Solvay, and a member of CNBC’s Global CFO Council said, that the “jury is out on bitcoin.”

“It’s not a currency we are using for a multibillion dollar business … it’s something we are curious about, we are very very open to, but we haven’t found a way to really integrate it into our business,” Hajjar told CNBC in a TV interview on Tuesday.

“If a hypothetical customer comes to us and says, ‘I have a bunch of bitcoins to buy your products,’ first thing I’ll probably want to do is not turn them away but probably find a way to sell those bitcoins before I commit to the order and then really make sure we meet the needs of that customer.”

Bitcoin hit an all-time high on Sunday, breaking above the $8,000 mark for the first time ever. The price of the cryptocurrency is up over 700 percent this year.

The rapid rise of bitcoin has sparked fierce debate over the the future of the digital currency. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon famously called bitcoin a “fraud” and said anyone who buys it is stupid. UBS meanwhile called bitcoin a “speculative bubble.” And regulators have also been keeping an eye on bitcoin with some clamping down on trading. China recently banned cryptocurrency exchanges.

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HDFC Bank offers virtual accounts to PayZapp users

HDFC Bank will soon start offering digital savings bank accounts, credit cards and instant loans to users of its PayZapp app. The bank also plans to enrol additional merchants for acceptance of electronic payments to increase its present network of 1.2 million shops to 5 million in 18 months.

PayZapp, which was launched two years ago, has more than 14 million users. Over half of these are young users who do not have a bank account. “We are marrying a lot of our strategies by integrating changes that are happening in the market into our own business activity.

HDFC Bank is already a scale player in cards and loan assets. We will use our digital back-end strengths in these businesses to bring more scale into PayZapp,” said Parag Rao, group head for marketing, credit cards and payments business.

According to Rao, PayZapp has the potential to become a 50-million customer franchise with capability for instantly opening accounts and offering credit cards and loans.

HDFC Bank is already the market leader in credit cards with over 1 crore in circulation. It currently issues 2.5 lakh new cards every month. The PayZapp platform is expected to take this to 5 lakh a month. The offered savings account will be a completely digital product and the credit cards virtual, with an option to receive the plastic version. The instant loans would be powered by fintech (financial technology). “Fintech lending is the new kid on the block, which has brought a different way of  sourcing customers for loans,” said Rao.

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Shockingly few Americans are putting money in a 401k

There’s a lot of hoopla surrounding President Trump’s new tax plan, which is reportedly considering capping pre-tax 401(k) contributions at $2,400 a year , a far cry from the current maximum contribution of $18,000 for 2017, and $18,500 for 2018 .

But the reality is this: Two-thirds of Americans aren’t even saving money in a 401(k) , let alone maxing out their contributions each year.

In fact, according to data from Vanguard, just 4% of people earning below $50,000 a year max out their 401(k) at the current limits, and 11% of people who make between $50,000 and $100,000 do. People making over $100,000 are the most likely to max out their 401(k), perhaps unsurprisingly, with 32% making the highest allowable contribution.In some versions of the rumored tax proposal, additional retirement savings would still be possible, but would be directed to a post-tax Roth 401(k) instead, reports Business Insider’s Lauren Lyons Cole .

Roth 401(k) contributions are deducted from your paycheck, just like traditional 401(k) contributions. Both types of accounts share the same maximum contribution and investment options. The only difference is when you pay taxes.

Saving in a traditional 401(k) is cheaper today because it allows you to postpone paying taxes until you begin taking withdrawals in retirement. That’s one reason financial professionals like the account so much – theoretically, people will put more money into the account if it takes less of their paycheck to do so.

And yet, only 41% of workers are saving in a 401(k) at the 79% of American companies that offer a plan to employees, Bloomberg reported earlier this year.

Roth 401(k) contributions are deducted from your paycheck as well, but the amount is funded with your take-home pay instead. Meaning, for every $1,000 you save for retirement, you’ll have to fork over $200 or so to the IRS $200, depending on your tax bracket .

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Crypto-Mania Grips Hong Kong as City Looks for Life Beyond Banks

In the mid-1990s, Johnson Leung embarked on a career in shipping. In the early 2000s, he moved to finance. And now, he runs a Hong Kong startup that aims to improve how container ships are booked using blockchain technology.

Many in Hong Kong hope the city can make a similar leap. The shipping and banking hub, which has struggled for years to nurture a domestic technology industry, is embracing the blockchain revolution as it looks for new sources of growth.

Skeptics say it’s a risky bet on an unproven technology — one with more than its fair share of hype and, in some cases, fraud. But a growing number of Hong Kong entrepreneurs and policy makers are convinced the online ledger system that underlies cryptocurrencies like bitcoin will eventually reshape everything from financial services to supply chains. They say the city’s laissez faire approach toward regulation, along with its expertise in finance and logistics, make it a natural hub for blockchain startups.

“I don’t see why Hong Kong can’t be a leader of blockchain technology,” said Leung, who co-founded 300cubits.tech after more than a decade in the financial industry that included stints as a research analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Jefferies Group LLC. “It’s so new that it’s not like any country has a huge advantage compared to us.”

Hong Kong’s government has been throwing resources at the technology. The city’s monetary authority is developing its own digital currency and is testing blockchains for trade finance, mortgage applications and e-check tracking. Hong Kong’s securities regulator has joined R3, a global consortium that develops blockchain technology for financial transactions, while a government-backed research institute has worked on a blockchain-based system for tracking property valuations, among other initiatives. Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd., the city’s publicly-traded exchange monopoly, plans to start a blockchain platform for early-stage companies and their investors next year.

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Challenges to analyzing financial statements

Analysis of financial statements, or Financial Statement Analysis or FSA, as the discipline is called, is the application of one’s analytical ability into understanding the financial statements of a company. This analysis is made to get insights into how the company has been performing financially over a defined period of time. Based on this understanding, financial analysts make forecasts of how the company is expected to perform in the future, based on certain parameters.

Financial experts get down to understanding the way in which one of the company’s most vital ingredients, finance, is performing. FSAs are the most truthful indication of not just how the company has been performing, but also how its performance is going to lead the company in the future. Being an important tool in analyzing the financial health of the company; FSAs reflect the financial state of the company. These statements help the management decide on the company’s future decision-making relating to investment.

Viewed by many stakeholders

Financial statements are critical statements from a company. They are viewed and analyzed by a number of internal and external sources. While the company’s board of directors, management, and employees belong to the group of people who analyze FSA’s internally; customers, shareholders, banks, lending institutions, the general public and the government are some of the external analysts of FSAs.

Financial experts analyze FSAs in two important manners: Horizontal and Vertical. At their barest, horizontal analysis represents the history of the company’s financial performance over a varied period of time, while vertical analysis is made of a fixed period of time.

Types of Financial Statement Analysis 

Ratio analysis

Ratio analysis is one of the important techniques of Financial Statement Analysis. It is the analysis of how the company has performed in core areas of its business.

DuPont analysis

Another important analysis tool of Financial Statement Analysis is what is called DuPont analysis. It extends the ratio analysis method by taking note of the areas of strengths and weaknesses in the company’s financial statements. It breaks up the aspects of the company’s financial statements into the sources, such as equity, investments or others, from which the company is earning its revenues.

Challenges in Financial Statement Analysis

Financial Statement Analysis comes with its challenges. Financial Statement Analysis works in a vacuum. There is no theory or point of reference to which the Financial Statement Analysis is made. It is based purely on each situation, and is thus vulnerable to extreme volatility in the analysis. The fact that a company’s Financial Statement Analysis is positive in a certain situation under certain factors is no indication of how it would be in the future, in different situations. There are too many large variables involved in Financial Statement Analysis.

When a company is operating a number of businesses; it is difficult to evaluate the performance of each of the businesses, especially if the businesses are diverse. There are no fixed parameters to judge the performance of each of them.

Also, when accounting practices change; the whole character of Financial Statement Analysis undergoes a metamorphosis. This makes it necessary to completely redraw the practice of Financial Statement Analysis.

Financial Statement Analysis is not always accurate in analyzing the strengths or weaknesses of many of the company’s intangible resources.

Get to understand the ways in which Financial Statement Analysis works

A complete understanding of Financial Statement Analysis, with a clear definition of the challenges involved in this practice, will be given at a webinar that is being organized by Compliance4All, a leading provider of professional trainings for all the areas of regulatory compliance. At this webinar, Kevin Chenoweth, who has expertise in designing project plans for multi-million dollar Oracle R12 financial leading to under budget and on-schedule projects, will be the speaker.

To get insights into the challenges involved in Financial Statement Analysis; please enroll for this webinar by visiting Financial Statements & Valuation

Kevin Chenoweth will cover both the telecommunication and technology industries at this session, and will show how company operations can be improved. He will also offer recommendations on trend and ratio analysis as applicable to diversified industries. He will also help participants evaluate sales trends and develop ways to increase sales.

He will deconstruct financial statements and help identify key drivers of organic and inorganic growth. This session is of high value to those involved in Financial Statement Analysis, such as Accounting Staff, Finance Staff, IT Staff, Sales & Development Staff, Business Directors, Auditors, Company/Business Owners, and Finance Managers.

The following areas will be covered at this webinar:

o  DuPont Analysis

o  Cash to Cash Cycle

o  Real Options for Decision Making

o  Understanding organic and inorganic growth

o  Ratio and Trend Analysis

o  Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis.

Cash management in ERP systems and Reconciling bank statements

Cash management is a major component in ERP systems such as Oracle. It is a module that offers information about the most critical component of the business, namely cash flow. Cash management processes and analyzes all of the business’ cash and bank transactions from a number of sources such as:

o  The payments made to a supplier as reflected in the invoices

o  The value of receipts got from the business’ sales invoices

o  Single or isolated payments not from any of these above categories

Another important role performed by the cash management module is that using it, the organization’s Finance personnel can analyze financial transactions of all kinds that happened during a selected period of time. Cash management in ERP also gives Finance the inputs that help them understand where the funds are coming in from, and how they need to be allocated and spent so that the company meets its payments-related obligations.

Functionality of Cash Management module

Usually, cash management modules in ERP systems are built to accommodate the following features:

o  Tracking Supplier Payment

o  Tracking the way in which sales invoice amounts receipts are made

o  Helping to forecast the cash flow

A learning session on cash management and bank statement set up and reconciliation

Do all these aspects of cash management sound confusing? It is to address these confusions and issues related to cash management that Compliance4All, a leading provider of professional trainings for all the areas of regulatory compliance, will be organizing a webinar.

Kevin Chenoweth, who has wide-ranging expertise in designing project plans for multi-million dollar Oracle R12 financial leading to under budget and on-schedule projects and has helped organizations complete full life-cycle implementations in the Oracle financials modules through effective leadership, will be the speaker at this webinar.

To hear Kevin offer his insights into cash management, which is a result of his having implemented Cash Management processes for both technology and manufacturing SMB and Fortune 500 companies such as Comcast and having addressed their particular challenges in streamlining their bank account structures and relationships to align them with their changing business structure and accounting systems; just enroll for this webinar by logging on to   http://www.compliance4all.com/control/w_product/~product_id=501331LIVE?Wordpress-SEO

The wealth of the speaker’s experience

During this course, Kevin will offer guidance and understanding about the fundamentals of Cash Management in ERP systems such as Oracle. Another important related activity, namely bank statement formats, will also be discussed, along with how to and when to apply them.

Kevin will discuss all the challenges associated with bank statement set up and reconciliation, namely how to handle various deposits in transit, outstanding checks, service charges, and non-sufficient fees. During this explanation, he will illustrate the experiences he had earlier in his career at organizations such as ComCast, where he helped prepare its merger with Time Warner with important works like streamlining its zero-balance accounts and regional banks.

Kevin will cover the following areas at this session:

o  Bank reconciliations for various types of transactions

o  Streamlining of accounts to match company strategy

o  Consolidation of accounts to match company strategy

o  Preparation of banking relationships for a merger

o  Zero Balance accounts and how to manage them

o  Understanding of cash flows in strategic initiatives

o  How cash flows interact with financial statements

http://www.managementstudyguide.com/cash-management-module-erp.htm

Most common mistake is failure to prepare Form 1099-MISC

The IRS 1099-MISC form is one of the very important forms that need to be filled by a number of entities such as businesses, estates, trusts and non-profits at the end of each calendar year.

The IRS 1099-MISC is filed and filed for each person to whom a payment has been made during the year:

  • royalties or payments made to brokers for a value of at least $ 10 in place of dividends or interest that is tax-exempt;
  • payment of not less than $600 in the following categories:
  • rents
  • services carried out by a non-employee
  • awards and prizes
  • income payments from other sources
  • payments for healthcare and medical items
  • proceeds from crop insurance
  • payments made in cash to buy aquatic creatures from a person who is in that business or trade
  • payment made from a notional principal contract to either an estate, partnership or individual;
  • attorney fees
  • proceeds from a fishing boat
  • Direct sales of consumer products of a value of not less than $5,000 made to a buyer and meant for resale in any outlet that does not qualify to be a permanent, regular retail establishment.

Areas in which mistakes are made in filling up IRS 1099-MISC

The fact is that the IRS 1099-MISC form is the IRS 1099 form that comes with the maximum errors. Why is this so? What are the kinds of errors that people who file the IRS 1099-MISC are most prone to?

Among the most important areas in which people make errors most commonly in the IRS 1099-MISC form are these:

–       Mismatch between the payee’s name and the payee’s Identification Number, with confusion over the Social Security Number, or Taxpayer’s Identification Number, or Employer’s Identification Number. In many cases, the amount is seldom entered incorrectly in the provided boxes

–       Many people make errors in preparing Form 1099-MISC for payment of services of a value of over $600

–       Another major area in which errors occur in filling up IRS 1099-MISC is in the section in which to fill up the requisite amount, whether in Block 3, Block 7 Nonemployee Compensation, or Other Income.

Get to understand the proper method of preparing, filling and filing IRS 1099-MISC

It is to help overcome these fallacies that Compliance4All, a leading provider of professional trainings for all the areas of regulatory compliance will be organizing a learning session. At this webinar, which will be spread over 90 minutes, Greta Hicks, a former IRS Revenue Agent and Regional Training Coordinator, the author of IRS Examination and Appeals Procedures, and pilot tester of on-line continuing education courses for Checkpoint Learning, will be the speaker.

Want to gain insights into the workings of the IRS 1099-MISC?

Then, please register for this webinar by logging on to http://www.compliance4all.com/control/w_product/~product_id=501195LIVE?Wordpress-SEO

At this session, Greta will equip participants with the timeframe required for preparing to file for IRS 1099-MISC. She will state the correct methods of preparing for and filing these forms. By the time participants complete this course, they will have had a clear understanding of how to evaluate the W9 and prepare an IRS 1099-MISC with all the blocks appropriately ticked and completed, with suggestions about the content of each of these boxes. They will be able to select the entities and payments reported on Form 1099-MISC, will gain the confidence required to ensure that the Name and EIN, ID, and SSN match, and also be able to ensure that amounts are in the correct block.

To help participants get a clear idea of filing for IRS 1099-MISC, she will explain the following:

o  Review W-9 for accuracy and completeness

o  Match W-9 SSN, EIN, and TIN to IRS records

o  Entities that should send 1099 MISC

o  Entities who should receive a 1099-MISC

o  Block by block instructions of 1099-MISC.

At this webinar, Greta will cover the following areas:

o  What name and EIN/SSN goes on the 1099-MISC?

o  How do I know what amount goes in which block?

o  Example: Block 3, Other Income, versus Block 7, Non-Employee Compensation

o  Example: Block 7, Non-Employee Compensation Paid to Attorneys or Block, 14, Gross Proceeds Paid to an Attorney

o  Example: Block 6, Medical and Health Care Payments

o  Select the entities and payments reported on Form 1099-MISC.

https://www.irs.gov/uac/about-form-1099misc