Creating digital, unambiguous, accurate and reusable versions of financial statements is one of the core capabilities of the XBRL standard. Flexibility is key are governed by official accounting standards contain specific types of information are influenced by norms and habits within industries are extremely flexible — different organisations can and will have dramatically different reports The last point — flexibility — is what makes creating digital versions of paper financial statements a complex challenge.
Written by Ng E-Jay 18 March In an attempt to shore up the faltering reputation of Singapore as a financial hub and to beef up regulations governing the marketing and sale of investment products, the Monetary Authority of Singapore MAS released a draft consultation paper last Thursday outlining what is acceptable sales practice and what crosses the line into mis-selling and deception.
See here and here. The draft consultation paper is open for public feedback until 23 April. Some of the key recommendations include: However, three issues remain inadequately addressed, which I discuss below. Product Pushing In my opinion, inadequate attention has been paid to the compensation structure of Representatives and insurance agents selling financial products which gives them an overwhelming incentive to push products, as well as the practice of many managers who set quotas for their sales representatives primarily based on volume of products sold, neglecting intangible issues such as fostering good client-representative relationships and forging long term trust between customer and company.
Although representatives working in banks often get a reduced commission payout in exchange for a basic salary, they are also under tremendous pressure to generate high sales volume in this competitive investment market.
These factors lead to a sales climate that strong favours product pushing over concentrating on what is best for the client. For instance, I personally know of representatives who are forced to sell investment-linked insurance products Financial statements paper to their clients even though many of these clients would be far better off purchasing term policies and investing the remainder of their money in products like Exchange Traded Funds or low-load mutual funds which have far lower distribution cost structures than ILPs.
High commission-based remuneration and the intense focus of managers on sales volume are the main reasons why product pushing remains prevalent. These factors are not new to the insurance or investment industry, and is a global phenomenon that has been entrenched for many decades.
Some steps towards dealing with the evils of product pushing, such as introducing fee-based remuneration, which compensates representatives based on the financial plan he or she produces for the client rather than the volume and type of products sold, have been initiated in Singapore.
Providend Pte Ltd, for example, is a financial advisory company that has introduced fee-based remuneration, and they have experienced some measure of success attracting clients with their independent, platform-neutral model.
MAS has not done enough to aggressively steer the financial planning industry towards this healthier alternative. Other jurisdictions are studying ways to address this issue. At this stage, MAS will formalise the expectation in the Fair Dealing Guidelines for the board and senior management to focus on ensuring that the remuneration structures are not only driven by sales volume but better align the interests of representatives and customers.
I would like to see far greater focus on this issue as well as a greater push toward fee-based remuneration which would go a long way towards promoting truly independent and client-centric financial advice. Whistle Blowing There also needs to be a better whistle-blowing mechanism put in place by MAS allowing representatives and sales managers to confidentially report on malpractices taking place within their firms.
Last year in December, Mr Tan Kin Lian revealed on his blog that he was approached by a bank relationship manager who wished to confess to giving wrong information to investors of failed credit linked notes due to his ignorance about the risks of the product.
According to Mr Tan, this relationship manager had agreed to sign a statement to this effect. A wrongful act cannot be covered up by telling the Representative to keep quiet about it.
From this example, it can be seen that there is an urgent need to institute a robust whistle-blowing procedure that will allow sales representatives and managers to alert the authorities to wrongdoing and compel the authorities to take swift follow-up action.
Transparency and Accountability Of course, all the preceding discussion would be in vain if there is inadequate transparency and accountability by MAS to the general public. Despite all the actions taken by MAS and the banks to address the fallout of the Lehman-linked structured products fiasco, MAS has never revealed why it allowed those dubious products to be sold to the unsuspecting public in the first place, and why it allowed those products to be marketed to retirees.
Only large institutions should ever dabble in such products, as it is only they who would have the research capabilities to fully comprehend such products and manage their own risk and exposure.View Notes - Financial Statements Paper Part 1 from ACC BSBHOOPIA2 at University of Phoenix.
Financial Statements Paper: Part I Bambi M. Snyder ACC/ February 18, The information in this%(19). Liquidators for Abraaj Group said they have been unable to find key financial statements for the troubled private-equity firm and have identified what they consider unusual borrowing practices.
Work Plan for the Consideration of Incorporating International Financial Reporting Standards into the Financial Reporting System for U.S.
Issuers. The Treasury publishes monthly and annual (year end) financial statements for the government reporting entity. These provide information on the government's assets and liabilities, revenue and expenses and cash flows.
Financial statements (or financial report) is a formal record of the financial activities and position of a business, person, or other entity.. Relevant financial information is presented in a structured manner and in a form easy to understand. They typically include basic financial statements, accompanied by a management discussion and analysis.
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