Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Accounting Ethics - The point of Ethical Practices in firm and Personal Finance

Do you know about - Accounting Ethics - The point of Ethical Practices in firm and Personal Finance

What is ethical accounting? The idea of accounting ethics deals with the moral and values-based judgments and decisions an accountant or accounting group confront daily in their practice. Due to the nature of their work as communicators of financial information to firm managers, shareholders, and the normal public, as well bookkeeping and auditing of firm entities, accountants and accounting agencies are held to the highest standards of transparency and morality in regards to their research and the information they convey. Accounting can be used as a way to study how and why a firm may effect or fail, but above all it is a public service; those who practice it must make judgments and decisions that can sometimes supersede the interests of their clients in favor of the interests of the public at large.

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Failure to apply ethical standards to accounting creates the opportunity for manipulation of facts and information that, if used to mislead, could cause a man to invest under false pretenses, or a firm to report its finances fraudulently to its shareholders. It is of the utmost importance that the public be able to trust accountants and accounting, because their financial future, and that of their family or business, could be at stake.

Why is it foremost that accountants and accounting firms be ethical?

Over the years there have been any large accounting scandals in the United States, and in the world at large, which caused hidden investors and public shareholders to lose billions of dollars, and giant businesses and accounting firms to fold, because of falsified or incorrect information given out about the clubs in which the money was invested. The Enron scandal is possibly the most recent and glaring example of unethical accounting causing broad negative effects, including the loss of billion in shareholder assets, the closure of the Arthur Anderson auditing firm, and the subsequent loss of 85000 jobs when the unethical practices were reported and the firm dissolved.

Ethical accounting is not only foremost to hidden businesses or individuals for reliable information about their respective financial states, but has a responsibility to the public to contribute transparent evaluations of publicly held firm entities. Ethical accounting can help eliminate the serious problems raised when incomplete or incorrect information about firm or personel is disseminated, recovery money and jobs and helping to increase stability in financial markets.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Globe Life insurance

Do you know about - Globe Life insurance

Globe Life insurance is a fully owned subsidiary of the S&P 500 traded Torchmark Corporation, a company with nearly billion in assets under management. Torchmark's investment briefcase does not spend in subprime loan-backed securities or products, thereby enhancing the capability of its holdings. Torchmark specializes in getting affordable life and supplemental condition insurance into the financial lives of working middle-class Americans.

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How is Globe Life insurance

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Glob Life insurance has over billion of life insurance in force, comprising an estimated 4 million placed and active policies. The condition and life insurance company has been in existence since it was formed in rural Oklahoma in 1951 by two men with ,000 in borrowed capital. Globe's great claim to fame among life insurers is that they have been prosperous at cutting out the middle man--in other words, customers can crusade for and buy life insurance online without having to talk to an agent. Globe life also provides condition insurance. Their unique product briefcase includes both adult and child term life insurance, accidental death insurance, and their Medicare supplement insurance. But what's more, the company has a child safe kit product, a tool which records data (picture, corporal description, and fingerprints) about a child which can be used if that child goes missing.

Since Globe Life enables anything to get life, accidental death, and condition insurance by way of the Internet without an agent, it can pass on the savings it enjoys (by not needing to finance agents) in its premiums to customers. In addition, there aren't any healing examinations that prospective clients need to pass, either. insurance applicants need only rejoinder a handful of health-related questions, although they are expected to rejoinder them surely and accurately. Their answers can be checked against the national bureau of condition and healing records, and if a claim is made against the company and an investigation uncovers inaccuracy or fraudulent answers on the part of the insured the benefits may be reduced or not paid out at all.

Globe Life also offers a special incentive whereby the first month's premiums on a life insurance procedure is only .00. And, their life insurance coverage begins immediately and comes with a full 30-day money back guarantee.

There are limitations with such kinds of insurance, of course. Globe Life policies are little to no more than ,000 of death benefit. What's more, the procedure expires at the age of 80 regardless of how much was paid into it in premiums. Globe does not offer cash-building policies. But, they are extremely touted for their superior buyer service.

The Am Best Corporation, which has been an independent ratings agency analyzing insurance fellowships since 1899, has recently given Globe Life its top rating of A+ based on the company's financial asset strength, corporate management, and integrity.

Some of the advice about its products and services that Glob Life offers to prospective customers is: "There is a good occasion [additional insurance] might be [necessary]. Inflation has weakened many insurance policies. Life insurance is the ideal way to supplement your existing insurance. It can be used to cover funeral expenses or other miscellaneous debts that are left behind....[You don't need to sit straight through a sales call or meet with an agent]. Globe Life insurance is handled conveniently online and straight through the mail. You can retell the materials in the privacy of your home and purchase your procedure directly online and straight through the mail without any covering pressure."

Given today's economy, cultural need for speed, and people's exceptional concern about private privacy, Global Life insurance company is filling an leading store niche.

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The touch of Financial Markets Regulation in the Southern African Region - Part Two -

Do you know about - The touch of Financial Markets Regulation in the Southern African Region - Part Two -

The State of Financial Markets in the Southern African Region

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Up to the end of 1994, there were 14 stock exchanges in the entire African continent. These were Cairo (Egypt), Casablanca (Morocco), Tunis (Tunisia) in North Africa; Abidjan (Côte d'Ivoire), Accra (Ghana), and Lagos (Nigeria) in West Africa and Nairobi (Kenya) in Eastern Africa. In the Southern African region, they were Windhoeck (Namibia), Gaborone (Botswana), Johannesburg (South Africa), Port Louis (Mauritius), Lusaka (Zambia), Harare (Zimbabwe) and Mbabane (Swaziland). In 2005, most of other countries in Southern Africa have advanced their own stocks replacement markets. They are Maputo (Mozambique), Dar-Es-Salam (Tanzania) and Luanda (Angola).

With the irregularity of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, and at a separate level, the Zimbabwe Stock replacement and the Namibia Stock Exchange, these markets are too small in comparison to advanced markets in Europe and North America, and also to other emerging markets in Asia and Latin America. At the end of 1994 there were about 1150 listed associates in the Africa markets put together. The shop capitalization of the listed associates amounted to 0 billion for South Africa and about billion for other African countries.

In the countries under review, stock markets are particularly small in comparison with their economies - with the ratio of shop capitalization to Gdp averaging 17.3 per cent. The microscopic contribute of securities in the markets and the prevailing buy and hold attitudes of most investors have also contributed to low trading volume and turnover ratio. Turnover is poor with less than 10 percent of shop capitalization traded annually on most stock exchanges. The low capitalization, low trading volume and turnover would advise the embryonic nature of most stock markets in the region.

We have gathered primary information on the current state of financial markets in Africa in general, and due to a microscopic time frame, it was not potential to collate, analyze and harmonize them. The format of this report cannot allow to take into observation all the data. From the most recent information, it becomes clear that with the ongoing reforms within the financial sectors in the countries under investigation, a lot of develop has been achieved in terms of regulatory and institutional capacity building. We could expect more results with the promotion of more open speculation regulations, allowing more financial flows in the region.

The sense of Financial Markets Regulation in the Southern African Countries

The financial systems of Southern African countries are characterized by high possession structure resulting in oligopolistic practices which create privileged entrance to credit for large associates but microscopic entrance to smaller and emerging companies. The regulatory framework must take into catalogue all the exact characteristics of these systems, and at the same time keep the normal approach potential to every regulatory instrument.

Financial systems in Southern Africa are also noted for their marked variations. Some systems, such as those in Mozambique, Angola and Tanzania were for a long period, dominantly government-owned, consisting mostly of the central bank and very few commercial banks. Up to date, Angola has not advanced a money and capital market, and the informal money markets are used extensively. Other systems had mixed possession comprising central banks, public, domestic, hidden and foreign hidden financial institutions. These can be further sub-divided into those with rich varieties of institutions such as are found in South Africa, Mauritius and Zimbabwe, and others with microscopic varieties of institutions as are found in Malawi, Zambia, Swaziland, etc.

Regulatory authorities in most of these countries have, over the years, adopted the procedure of financial sector intervention in the hope of promoting economic development. Interest rate controls, directed credit to priority sectors, and securing bank loans at below shop interest rates to finance their activities, later turned out to undermine the financial system instead of promoting economic growth.

For example, low lending rates encouraged less sufficient investments and discouraged savers from holding domestic financial assets. Directed credits to priority sectors often resulted in deliberate defaults on the belief that no court operation could be taken against the defaulters. In some cases, subsidized credit hardly ever reached their intended beneficiaries.

There was also tendency to join formal financial institutions in urban areas thereby development it difficult to contribute credit to citizen in the rural areas. In some countries, hidden sector borrowing was largely crowded-out by public sector borrowing. Small firms often had much strangeness in obtaining funds from formal financial institutions to finance businesses. Finally, the tendency of governments of the region to finance public sector deficits through money creation resulted not only in inflation but also in negative real interest rates on deposits. These factors had adverse consequences for the financial sector. First, savers found it unrewarding to invest in financial assets. Second, it generated capital flight among those unable or unwilling to invest in real assets thereby limiting financial resources that would have been made ready for financial intermediation. Coupled with this was the declining inflow of resources to African countries since the 1980s.

A viable financial shop can serve to make the financial system more competitive and efficient. Without equity markets, associates have to rely on internal finance through retained earnings. Large and well established enterprises, in singular the local branches of multinationals, are in a privileged position because they can make investments from retained income and bank borrowing while new indigenous associates do not have easy entrance to finance. Without being subjected to the scrutiny of the marketplace, big firms get bigger.

The availability of reliable information would help investors to make comparisons of the carrying out and long term prospects of companies; corporations to make good investments and strategic decisions; and contribute good statistics for economic procedure makers. Although sufficient equity markets force corporations to compete on an equal basis for the funds of investors, they can be blamed for favouring large firms, suffer from high volatility, and focus on short term financial return rather than long-term economic return.

In varied countries where domestic bond markets exist, these are commonly dominated by government treasury funding which crowds out the hidden sector needs for fixed interest rate funding. With minor exceptions, the international fixed rate bond markets have been terminated to African corporations. Thus the development of an active shop for equities could contribute an alternative to the banking system.

The development of financial markets could help to develop corporate capital structure and sufficient and competitive financial system. The capital structure of firms in Southern African countries where there are no viable equity markets are commonly characterized by heavy belief on internal finance and bank borrowings which tend to raise the debt/equity ratios. The undercapitalization of firms with high debt/equity ratios tends to lower the viability and solvency of both the corporate sector and the banking system especially during economic downturn.

Case studies in premium countries of Southern Africa

In all countries under study, both the historical background, the level of financial system development and the significance of financial markets structure and operations have considerably affected the nature of the regulatory framework. However, there are few countries whose objectives of financial shop liberalization were the basis for the development of a modern regulatory system. Mauritius and Botswana are examples which, together with South Africa and Zimbabwe, have advanced some of the most advanced and diversified financial markets systems in Sub-Saharan Africa. There is no doubt that economic and financial conditions of the economies of individual Southern African countries have played primary roles in shaping their financial market's regulatory framework.

1. Financial Markets in Botswana

An informal stock shop was established in 1989, managed and operated by a hidden stockbroking firm (Stockbrokers Botswana limited). In 1995, a formal stock replacement was established under the Botswana Stock replacement Act. The Bse performed remarkably well in terms of the level of capitalization, the value of the shares and the returns to the shares. The Bse contributed to the promotion of Botswana as a destination for international investment.

In 2004, the number of domestic associates listed was 18 while foreign associates listed were 7, and two in the speculation capital market. The Bank of Botswana introduced its own paper, BoBcs, since 1991, for liquidity supervision purposes, and there is a growing secondary shop for the instrument. In 1999, the Central Bank introduced an other instruments, the Repos (Re-purchase Agreements) and the National recovery Certificates with the objective to organize local money shop and to encouraging savings. In 1998, the International financial Services Centre (Ifsc) was established to promote world potential financial services.

2. Financial Markets in Mauritius

The Government of Mauritius has decided as a priority, to modernize and upgrading the financial system of Mauritius and recently took measures to develop the financial sector and to further join it with both the domestic cheaper and the global financial market.
Thanks to a well advanced network of commercial domestic banks, offshore banks, non financial institutions and financial institutions, the financial system is one of the most vibrant in the Southern African region.

The Stock replacement of Mauritius (Sem) started its operations in 1989, with only five listed companies. In 2004, more than 44 associates were listed, and the range of activities has expanded, state-of-art technology is being used in the dealings.

In September 2001, the settlement cycle on the Sem was reduced from five to three days, to be in line with major international stock markets. The short settlement cycle has since helped to heighten liquidity and turnover on the shop as investors are able to sell their securities three business days after buying the, thus reducing risks and bringing good integration to global markets through accurate adherence to international standards.

3. Financial Markets in Mozambique

In 1978, all hidden banks operating in Mozambique were nationalized and merged into two state owned institutions, the Banco de Moçambique (Central Bank) and the Banco beloved de Desenvolvimento (Bpd). After the adoption of a new economic orientation in 1992, the Government implemented an economic reform programme together with the financial sector reform. Foreign banks were allowed to invest in Mozambique and the regulatory and commercial activities of the Central Bank Bdm were separated. Banco de Moçambique assumed the Central Bank function while Banco Comercial de Moçambique Bcm led the commercial banking sector.

The financial sector liberalisation procedure allowed new institutions. Apart from the already operating standard Bank, new banks licensed since 1992 or resulting from liquidation of existing institutions include the Banco Internacional de Moçambique, the Banco Comercial de investimentos, Banco de Fomento, Banco Austral, African Banking Corporation Abc, Bmi, Ucb, Icb, Novo Banco, etc. There are also speculation banks, leasing associates and credit cooperatives. This increased number of financial and non financial institutions resulted in the development of an active financial sector.

In October 1999, the stock shop of Mozambique (Bolsa de Valores de Moçambique Bvm) was inaugurated. Its regulatory group is the Central Bank Bdm and its operations are still limited. With the technical withhold of the Johannesburg Securities replacement Jse and the Lisbon Stock Exchange, plans are underway to organize an international financial services centre, together with a state-of-the art information technology system.

4. Financial Markets in Namibia

The Namibian Stock replacement Nsx is governed by the Stock replacement control Act of 1985. Amendments to the Act have been recently adopted in order to bring the national laws in line with international standards.

The Nsx was established in October 1992 and is the most technically advanced bourses in Africa, and also one of few self regulated financial markets in Southern Africa. The Namibian Stock replacement Association, a self regulatory, non behalf organization, is the custodian of the license to control the Nsx. It approves listing applications, licenses stockbrokers and operates the trading, clearing and settlement of the exchange. Since 1998, the Nsx has used the most technically advanced supervision tools ready on the continent, which enable good surveillance and detailed client protection.

5. Financial Markets in South Africa

The South African Financial Markets system is the most sophisticated and involved with the vibrant Johannesburg Securities replacement (Jse), the Bond replacement of South Africa (Besa) and the and the South Africa Futures replacement (Safex).

The Johannesburg Stock replacement Jse was established in November 1887. Currently, it is governed by the Stock Exchanges control Act of 1985 [amended in 1998 and 2001]. The Jse is the largest stock replacement in Africa and has a shop capitalization of more than 10 times that of all the other African markets combined. The Jse provides technical withhold and capacity building, skills and information to the following exchanges in the region: Namibia, Mozambique, Mauritius, Tanzania and others in Africa (Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt, Uganda and Kenya). Since 1999, the Jse harmonized its listing requirements with the stock markets of Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The Besa was licensed in may 1996 under the Financial Markets control Act of 1989 [amended in 1998], and the Safex was established in 2001 as a Financial Derivatives shop and agricultural Products group of the Jse.

In June 1996, the Jse introduced the fully self-operating electronic trading system known as Johannesburg Equities Trading (Jet) and since May 2002, is using the Stock replacement Trading system (Sets).

6. Financial Markets in Swaziland

The Swaziland Stock shop (Ssx) was established in 1990 to promote local speculation opportunities. In 2002, five associates were listed. The Ssx has advanced new listing requirements in line with new international regulatory standards. A new safety Bill has been stylish in 2002, and should be in force by now. It will allow the licensing and regulation of all securities markets, operations and participants.

7. Financial Markets in Tanzania

The Dar-Es-Salaam Stock replacement (Dse) was incorporated in September 1996 under the Capital Markets and Securities Act of 1994. Its operations any way did not start until April 1998 with the listing of the first company. In October 2002, foreign associates were allowed to control on the Dse. Its regulatory group is the Capital markets and securities Authority (Cmsa). Plans are underway to facilitate the securing of increased financial resources from global markets.

8. Financial Markets in Zambia

The Lusaka Stock replacement (LuSe) was created in February 1994 under the 1993 securities Act. It is controlled by the Securities and Exchanges Commission (Sec). Its operations were boosted by the victorious issue of the Zambian Breweries, which raised up to Us $ 8.5 million to refinance a loan secured for the acquisition of the Northern Breweries in 1998. Most of the listings were the succeed of the country's privatization program.

A Commodity Exchange, the Agricultural credit replacement was also established in 1994, as an initiative of the Zambia National Farmers' Union, after the liberalization of the prices of agricultural commodities. The replacement provides a centralized trading facility for buyers and sellers of commodities and inputs. It provides also updated prices and some shop information for both local and international markets.

9. Financial Markets in Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwe Stock replacement Zse, is one of the oldest and most vibrant stock exchanges in Africa. It was established in 1890, but had sporadic trading until 1946. In 2002, it had 76 listed companies. The Zse operates under the Stock exchanges act, which is being amended to take into observation new technological requirements and to align its contents with international standards (improve the safety of share trading, transparency, central depository system, etc.).

The Zse is open to foreign investors, who can buy up to 40 percent of the equity of listed company, a singular investor can buy a maximum of 10 percent of the shares on offer. Foreign investors can invest on the local money shop up to a maximum of 25 percent per traditional issue of government bonds and stocks, and a singular investor can secure a maximum of 5 percent. Foreign investors are any way not allowed to buy from the secondary market. These investments qualify for 100 percent dividend and interest remittance.

Financial Markets Regulation in Southern Africa: which way ahead ?

The major issue in financial shop regulation lies in the fact that the legal and institutional framework of most countries is still inadequate to withhold modern financial processes. Examples of such inadequacy include outdated legal systems leading to poor enforcement of laws. The following challenges are very animated for further explore opportunities.

A cohesive and allinclusive legal framework is required under the proactive approach in order to use the contracts that clearly define the possession and obligations of all intervening operators. Such a framework should encourage discipline and timely enforcement of contracts, fostering accountability and prudent behavior on both sides of the financial transactions. prudent and sufficient financial intermediation cannot control without reliable information on borrowers, and some legislation on accounting and auditing standards, which also ensures honesty on the part of financial institutions, Similarly, for a country's financial markets to organize and control efficiently, legislation should fully join rules of trading, intermediation, information disclosure, take-overs and mergers.

Because of the role of financial institutions and markets in the development of a sound financial system, further legislation is usually needed for their operations to complement business law. These are prudential regulations, especially for banks and similar financial institutions that hold an leading part of the money supply, create money and intermediate between savings and investment. business law is an example of the kind of legislation needed. It not only governs the operations of business enterprises but also protects the interests of business stakeholders. Thus, public disclosure of information on the company's activities should be made mandatory on business supervision in the standard section of the associates Act. Such information, especially that relating to finance and accounting, should also be statutorily required to be subsequently verified and attested to by auditors.

Prudential regulations cover such issues as criteria for entry (listings), capital adequacy standard, asset diversification, limits on loans to individuals, permissible range of activities, asset classification and provisioning, folder attention and enforcement powers, special accounting, auditing and disclosure standards adapted to the needs of the banks to ensure timely availability of accurate financial information and transparency. The objective is to heighten the safety and soundness of the financial system.

There is real need for an leading legislation relating to financial markets which wish not only convenient policies but also legal and institutional infrastructure to withhold their operations, forestall abuses and safe investors. Investors' belief is primary to the development of the markets. Brokers, underwriters, and other intermediaries who control in these markets therefore have to succeed laid down expert codes of guide embodied in the legislation applicable to such institutions as finance and guarnatee companies, mutual funds and pension funds.

An other leading issue is the independence of regulatory authority, their number and the selection to organize self-regulatory agency. All these aspects should take into catalogue the objectives and system defined by the government, and also the exact development needs in the financial system.

A major challenge concerning the Financial Markets in the Southern African region is the harmonization of the national financial regulation and the compliancy with international requirements, together with the Sadc criteria and the international standards set by international organizations such as the International assosication of securities Commissions (Iosco), the International Accounting Standards Committee (Iasc), the Basel Committee on Banking supervision (Bcbs) and the obligations resulting from the Wto deal on financial Services (Gats). These key international instruments are beginning to be enforced and individual countries have to keep updating their financial markets regulations and upgrade the technical skills of their staff in payment of regulatory and supervisory operations.


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