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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How to Achieve the best Outcome in an Audit

An internal audit, as we all know, is carried out for a number of specific purposes, the main one among which is to assess the adherence to the industry guidelines for quality and processes. Helping the organization meet the requirements of processes and standards, which are usually issued by regulatory agencies and other relevant bodies and boards, is the main aim of an internal audit. An internal audit seeks to bring about quality through standardization of many of the processes that go into the product.

In the context of the food industry, this adherence is all the more important, because food contamination is quite a serious issue in all parts of the world. According to statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); about one in seven Americans, or close to fifty million, get sick from consuming contaminated food. More than an eighth of a million people get hospitalized for this reason, and some 3,000 people lose their lives due to food contamination in the US every year.

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The major challenge in food contamination is to identify the source of the contamination. Since we humans eat a variety of foods in our meals, it is difficult to zero in on the exact source. Our food is usually consumed in variety, and most of it is from different and varied sources. If all of our food were derived from just one source, this task would have become interminably easier. But this is not the case; hence, the problem in identifying the source of the food contamination.

Means for ensuring quality

An audit is a sure method of identifying and preventing food contamination. An audit is a continuous process that is planned, specified, and carried out at set intervals and documented to determine the quality of a product. A food audit does all this to food products. It adds strength to the process of preparing, distributing and consuming food, and provides confidence that the food that we consume meets the standards set out for its quality and safety and has gone through the prescribed processes. This is the essence of a food audit, and this is described as such by the Global Food Initiative.

The main aims of an internal audit for food are twofold:

Apart from helping a food facility to locate and set right issues pertaining to the Quality Management Systems; a food internal audit identifies a problem before it gets detected by an external audit, and rectifies it. Doing so at this stage will prevent the problem from reaching the end consumer. All these conditions can be met when the internal audit is objective, is done with commitment and conviction, reviews the quality programs, and is comprehensive.

  • An effective food internal audit also ensures that the facility is adapting and implementing quality systems, which leads to involving top management into making improvements over time.
  • The FDA, many regulatory agencies from around the world and the ISO –in the form of 19011, and to a lesser extent, the ISO 9001, 14001 and 22000 –all have standards for food safety. An internal food audit should ensure that these are being complied with.

Get complete understanding of internal food audits

All the finer aspects of an internal food audit will be explained in detail 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, the speaker is Ruth M Bell, a Food Safety/Quality and HACCP Management Consultant, Auditor and Trainer based in the UK.

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To derive the benefit of the deep and varied experience that Ruth Bell brings to food quality, food technology and food audits; please enroll for this webinar by visiting Food Technology for Non-Technologists

The purpose of this webinar is to provide Internal Auditors with an overview of the tools and information they need to carry out thorough and productive audits. Ruth will give them the knowledge of how to achieve the best outcome in an audit. The learning from this session will help internal auditors gain knowledge of:

  • What an audit is and why they’re carried out
  • The skills and qualities needed by an auditor
  • Audit documentation and preparation
  • Audit techniques
  • How to judge non-conformances

This is a session that is highly useful for those involved directly in food quality audits or those who work with them. These include HACCP Team Members, Technical Managers, Production Managers, Engineering Managers, and Consultants.

Although meant for internal auditors, those planning to become Internal Auditors in the food industry, and Consultants; the learning from this webinar will benefit just about anyone involved in the auditing process, be they auditees or supervisors.

Ruth will cover the following areas at this webinar:

  • Audit Process
  • Audit Preparation
  • Audit Techniques
  • Questioning Techniques
  • Non-Conformities and Corrective Action Close Out
  • Audit Follow-up and Close Out.

MS Excel can be a wonderful tool for carrying out umpteen functions

Mastering MS Excel formulas and functions can make a miracle out of this program. When used optimally, MS Excel can be a wonderful tool for carrying out umpteen functions and optimizing work related to a number of departments. For example, the Accounts Department can do a number of important functions such as loan repayment calculation, generating a profit and loss statement, solve complex mathematical and engineering problems, and carry out anything that involves addition, subtraction, multiplication and other functions with utmost ease.

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This is because MS Excel has a number of built-in tools. If a user knows how to use these; it could be a real blessing, because it carries out a number of complex tasks at the touch of a button. The user of MS Excel only needs to know how to use these functions. The features range from simple sum and average to the IF and VLOOKUP functions.

Goes beyond calculating and arriving at data

The major advantage of maximizing the use of MS Excel is that it saves lots and lots of time for the user. Be it a student or an accounts executive; MS Excel helps them to make the best use of time, as they will be required to spend a lot lesser time on functions since MS Excel does it for them.

Calculation of and arriving at data is not the only function MS Excel is capable of carrying out. Calculating someone’s exact age in days, combining text items from several cells into a single cell or converting a list of lower case text items to capital letters are just some of these. And what is MS Excel’s capability in relation to creating financial data and models? It is perfectly useful here, too.

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Discover the ways of optimizing the use of MS Excel

Want to understand how to make MS Excel work magically for you? Then, a webinar from Compliance4All, a leading provider of professional compliance for all areas of regulatory compliance, will show you how. The speaker at this extremely useful session is none other than Mike Thomas, a subject matter expert in a range of technologies including Microsoft Office and Apple Mac, who has worked in the IT training business since 1989.

From the time Mike founded theexceltrainer.co.uk; he has produced nearly 200 written and video-based Excel tutorials. To be able to make your MS Excel a much more efficient program and help it save you enormous time and resources; please get the most out of the learning from this webinar by enrolling for it at Creating complex functions the easy way

1ec5ef5b-96a1-4353-96c2-c9a26ad2adc5This session is ideally suited for any Excel user who needs to go beyond the basics of using formulas or simply wants to become more comfortable and productive in using Excel formulas and functions. Any Excel user who deals with large lists needs these tools and techniques to effectively manage the lists and become more productive. This program can be a good fit for anyone who is above the entry level.

Mike will cover the following areas at this webinar:

  • Creating formulas to perform mathematical calculations
  • Copying formulas and the difference between absolute and relative references
  • Assigning names to cells and using them in formulas
  • Using functions to combine text strings from multiple cells
  • Using functions to change text from lowercase to uppercase and vice versa
  • Using functions to perform calculations on dates and times
  • Using the IF function to automate data entry
  • The VLOOKUP function
  • Creating complex functions the easy way.

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.

Learn how to future-proof VLOOKUP by using Excel’s Table feature versus referencing static ranges

Professionals in a wide number of industries and businesses find the VLOOKUP function in Excel very useful. Why this is so is that it helps in locating an exact value. Using VLOOKUP, an MS Excel user can find a specific piece of information in the spreadsheet. This is very useful when there are very many values in a grid. In other words, the VLOOKUP function is ideal for locating an exact one from among a number of values. Using VLOOKUP, users can return data from other locations in a worksheet.

An indication of the functions that VLOOKUP performs can be had from its expansion, which is Vertical Lookup. It works by searching for the specific item in a vertical manner. As opposed to normal values that can be performed manually; VLOOKUP function helps users to go further by enabling them to perform more complex tasks such as unit sales for a period of time at a certain price or its variables.

If the user wants to calculate the unit sales of say, a clothing material from one date to another at a certain price; VLOOKUP is extremely handy. This can be expanded to any number of brands sold by the business for any date or unit price, which is why this function is considered very useful.

We can understand the VLOOKUP function in MS Excel by drawing a parallel with “Control F”, or the “find” function in MS Word. In MS Word, it is possible to use this function to go to the exact word, whereas using VLOOKUP; the user can get down to much more, like the entire object’s associated values.

Get professional help to understand VLOOKUP better

An exploration of this function is best made with expert help. At a webinar that is being organized by Compliance4All, a leading provider of professional trainings for all the areas of regulatory compliance; Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA, will explain the way in which this program can be tweaked. David Ringstrom is a nationally recognized instructor who designs and teaches Excel courses that are based on over 25 years of consulting and teaching experience. To gain the benefit of experience that David brings into MS Excel, please register for this webinar by logging on to http://www.compliance4all.com/control/w_product/~product_id=501297LIVE?Wordpress-SEO

What makes this presentation different is that the presenter will demonstrate every technique at least twice: first, on a PowerPoint slide with numbered steps, and second, in Excel 2016. He will explain the differences in Excel 2013, 2010, or 2007 both during the presentation as well as in his detailed handouts. David will also give participants an Excel workbook that will include nearly all the examples he will be using during the webinar.

Alternatives to VLOOKUP do exist

However, using VLOOKUP isn’t always the most efficient approach. Hence, David will explain alternatives such as the INDEX and MATCH, SUMIF, SUMIFS, SUMPRODUCT, IFNA, and OFFSET functions. He will explain the limitations of VLOOKUP. In addition, he will also help participants understand the ways of future-proofing VLOOKUP by using Excel’s Table feature versus referencing static ranges.

One of the major gains of this learning session is that the participants will be able to improve the integrity of their spreadsheets with Excel’s VLOOKUP function. In addition to helping participants learn the ways of performing dual look-ups; the speaker will also help them get clarity on the user actions that can trigger #REF! errors. Participants will be able to use the IFERROR function to display something other than an #N/A error value when VLOOKUP can’t find a match.

He will cover the following areas at this webinar:

o  Future-proofing VLOOKUP by using Excel’s Table feature versus referencing static ranges

o  Using the SUMIF function to summarize data based on a single criterion

o  Learning why the INDEX and MATCH combination often is superior to VLOOKUP or HLOOKUP

o  Using the MATCH function to find the position of an item on a list

o  Using the IFERROR function to display something other than an #N/A error value when VLOOKUP can’t find a match

o  Improving the integrity of spreadsheets with Excel’s VLOOKUP function

o  Learning about the IFNA function available in Excel 2013 and later

o  Using the SUMIFS function to sum values based on multiple criteria

o  Using VLOOKUP to perform approximate matches

o  Seeing what types of user actions can trigger #REF errors

o  Performing dual lookups, which allow you to look across columns and down rows to cross-reference the data you need.

Analyzing financial statements is an indispensable insight for managers

Financial statements are the ultimate indicator of a company’s financial health. Number crunching is a very important exercise that all executives at all levels of an organization need to be familiar with. Yet, given the heavy jargon that goes into financial statements and the complexity most of them have; many managers feel put off and don’t generally like to pore over financial statements.

The company’s financial statement is intended to provide insights into the most important aspect of the business –the financial one –to managers and executives at all levels and in all disciplines. Marketing, finance, HR, customer service, and sales need financial statements to get a grasp of and gain perspective of the financial health of the organization.

Financial statements are critical for helping understand the business

Despite financial statements being the surest indicator of the most important aspect of any business organization –Finance –most managers lack the perceptiveness needed to understand and analyze the meaning of numbers. It is often that they devote some much time to running their business that the priority that needs to be accorded to understanding financial statements gets buried and takes a backseat.

A perceptive analysis of financial statements is the foundation to getting the business in order. Wading through the numbers helps the organization to dig into the market trends, understand where they are getting it right or wrong, and then use financial statements to draw proper conclusions and take appropriate action. It is important to understand financial statements for another critical reason: The competition should not understand our financial statements faster and better than we do!

Trend and ration analysis of financial statements

But how does one make sense of heaps and heaps of seemingly unintelligible numbers? Numbers in themselves, without the necessary nous to decipher them, make little sense to any executive. A few techniques do exist to help understand the meaning of numbers. An effective model for assessing the financial condition and results of operations of any business is that of using trend and ratio analysis. Getting a grasp of this model will empower financial and other executive teams to derive the maximum benefit that accrues from a crystal clear understanding of financial statements.

Imparting this understanding is the intent of a webinar that is being organized by Compliance4All, a leading provider of professional trainings for all areas of regulatory compliance. Miles Hutchinson, an experienced CGMA and business adviser, will be the speaker at this session.

In easily comprehensible terms, he will explain how participants can imbibe the sagacity needed to quickly and thoroughly analyze the financial condition and results of operations of any publicly traded company. All that is needed to gain this highly useful understanding of financial statements is to register for this webinar by logging on to

http://www.compliance4all.com/control/w_product/~product_id=501197LIVE?wordpress-SEO

Attending this highly useful session on financial statements gives Financial Executives, HR Managers, Accounting Managers, Department Managers, and Business Unit Managers the ability to discern numbers and help understand where these numbers lead the organization to.

These are the areas this webinar on financial statements will cover:

o  Review the components of the annual report of a prominent publicly traded company and learn how to use this wealth of information

o  Use the annual report to perform a fundamental financial analysis

o  Learn the various types of financial analysis and their purpose

o  Learn the key ratios to evaluate a company’s liquidity, leverage and operating performance

o  Identify the key benchmarks to help determine whether a company’s ratios are in line with competitors

o  Understand horizontal and vertical analysis and how they can be used to identify key trends

o  Bonus: receive our advanced excel hosted financial model complete with all ratios, horizontal and vertical analysis

o  Use our model to perform financial analysis on other company financial statements, including yours

o  Receive benchmark information to use in determining the quality of your analyses

Learn about resources available to perform comparative studies between companies in the same economic sector – even private companies.

Optimizing the use of Microsoft Outlook

From the time of its introduction by Microsoft in the late 1990’s, Microsoft Outlook has been a standard package for innumerable organizations around the world. Part of the world famous Microsoft Office system, Microsoft Outlook is a very popular personal information manager.

In the two decades of its launch, Microsoft Outlook has undergone various improvements. The additions that are made to it are aimed at improving user experience and adding features that go on to make it more useful for users.

Needs to be put to full use

Despite its being in the market for such a long time, many users do not know the full extent to which Microsoft Outlook can be put. When explored fully, Microsoft Outlook offers a bouquet of features that go beyond just sending and receiving mails and making appointments on the calendar.

The ways of optimizing Microsoft Outlook for office use and making it a more useful personal information manager will be the content of a webinar that is being organized by Compliance4All, a leading provider of very cost-effective professional trainings in all the areas of regulatory compliance.

Understand the ways of optimizing the use of Microsoft Outlook

At this webinar, Mike Thomas, a subject matter expert in a range of technologies including Microsoft Office and Apple Mac, who is a Fellow of The Learning and Performance Institute and has worked with and for a large number of global and UK-based companies and organizations across a diverse range of sectors, will be the speaker.

To get a better understanding of how to put your Microsoft Outlook package to much better use, please register for this webinar by logging on to

http://www.compliance4all.com/control/w_product/~product_id=501148LIVE?Wordpress-SEO

Control Microsoft Outlook; don’t let it control you

Mike will offer simple and easy guidance on how to put Microsoft Outlook to far greater use than people are normally used to. Microsoft Outlook. The point about Microsoft Outlook is that if it is put to the right use, it facilitates a number of functions that the user will find thorough useful and beneficial.

If it is not, Microsoft Outlook has the potential to throw the user’s work schedule into disorder, as many of its functions can confuse the user who does not know how to use it to the maximum.

Mike will show participants of this webinar the simple way of controlling Microsoft Outlook, rather than letting Microsoft Outlook control the user. He will cover the following areas at this session:

o  The 4D’s of email management

o  Configure Outlook for distraction free productivity

o  How to use Rules to automate email processing

o  How to use Quick Steps to automate a series of actions

o  The benefits of Tables

o  Creating data visualizations using Shapes and SmartArt

o  Converting emails into Tasks

o  Using Categories to tag emails, calendar items and Tasks

o  Using Views to display information in a way that suits you.