Mafia Buzz Issue 3

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Accountancy SA

Note: I do not summarise these articles because you should read them yourself.

Page 2: The Eastern, Central and Southern African Federation of Accountants has developed a guide to assist SMEs that are required to prepare financial statements in recognition that IFRS may be burdensome for small entities (Really? Burdensome?) You do not want to know what their proposals are.

Page 4: The APC is aware that up to now in SA many entities that receive or allow cash discounts and rebates have been accounting for them incorrectly. Why? GAAP/IFRS is, and has always been, very clear as to how to account for these items. If auditors have been allowing the companies to incorrectly account for these items the auditors and the companies should be disciplined. Why is a circular required in this regard? To protect the members of SAICA? I thought that the IRBA was to take a tough stand against such blatant contraventions of GAAP/IFRS? Regarding the settlement discounts, see the IFRS Buzzes for further commentary.

Page 7: IFAC has published a paper on business planning for SMEs. It can be accessed from their website

Page 9: Estienne de Beer writes about change agents.

Page 13: I have seen some horrendous things in GAAP but never anything as stupid as what is being proposed in this article. Accounting standards have completely lost the plot and it is time for preparers to see these standards for what they really are – a total and utter joke. To avoid going to jail and the fines imposed for not doing these stupid things, we will do them. But then it will be necessary to prepare a second set of financial statements that tells the story like it is. I will deal with these stupidities in an IFRS Buzz.

Page 21: Grant Thornton has established that 65% of SA business owners are more stressed than a year ago. I can understand this with what is happening in our profession.

Page 22: Elmar Venter and Tania Tomes deal with the situation of when a lease is not a lease (SIC 27)

Page 28: Jackie Arendse explains that if companies and CCs did not obtain valuations for their capital assets at 1 October 2001, the portion of any capital gain made on disposal of an asset prior to this date will be subject to STC on the liquidation of the entity. Note that the entity will be able to use the TAB method to calculate the capital gain on which CGT is payable but any gain made will be included in revenue reserves for STC purposes.

Page 33: Prof Nerine Stegmann gives the results of the headline earnings survey. I cannot understand why “some feel that it (headline earnings) might undermine the credibility and integrity of SA financial reporting.” Are these people saying that additional information is not allowed to be presented in financial statements to clarify the reported results? What about “core earnings” that some present? Do they want these banned as well. Have these commentators ever bothered to ask the users what they need?

Page 43: There were some interesting stats and comments given on the recent Part 1 Q.E. results. I really must be getting old because I truly do not understand them. Would you like to try?

Although more males (917) than females (867) passed the examination, the pass ratio between the two was higher for the female candidates (42,33%) than the male candidates (45,07%). [What is a “pass ratio between the two?? And 42,33% is higher than 45,07%? Wishful thinking?]

Pass rate among females was higher than among males (40,74%) with the respective numbers for 2005 having been 43,84% (female) and (male). [Maybe this is some new language that I am not familiar with.]

Despite these significant highlights, Ignatius Sehoole, SAICA’s executive president says: “SAICA is currently re-examining the qualification process in lieu of wanting to develop the most efficient system of delivering top CAs (SA).” [Does he want a system that makes all equal?]

Business Day

There was a very confusing article by Sanchia Temkin stating that the new accounting standards were to become mandatory in 2009. The article started by stating that SA companies have been given a reprieve until 1 January 2009 to implement the new accounting standards. All hell broke loose! What has really happened is that the IASB has said that it will not publish any new major standards for a while to allow companies to get the existing ones up and running. When I used to be quoted in the past by journalists, I used to insist on seeing the final draft before publication. Journalists can be dangerous if given carte blanche! (7th August)

The Joint Municipal Pension Fund, which lost R1,4bn from speculating on maize futures, [what is a pension fund doing speculating with pensioners’ money???] is suing the JSE, the Financial Services Board, Deloitte, PwC and 21 others for the loss. Russell Loubser, the CEO of the JSE, said that he found the lawsuit “amaizing” [sorry, could not resist this]. [I really feel sorry for the pensioners of this fund. They work all their lives, thinking that they are saving for their retirement only to find that the people to whom they entrusted their investments are a bunch of fools. If you are forced to contribute to a retirement fund, see your contributions as an expense and take responsibility for your own financial security in your old age.] (16th)

In the Management Review section of Business Day Jonathan Cook looks at the problem I suffer from called “Urgency Addiction”. He defines it as an unhealthy, physical and psychological dependence on the adrenaline rush and validation experience delivered by handling urgent matters. Indicators of this killer disease are:

  1. Monitoring time excessively.

  2. Going at too fast a pace.

  3. Accepting time demands at work.

  4. Giving up personal time.

  5. Losing the ability to enjoy the present moment.

  6. Possessing an inadequate sense of the future.

  7. Believing time will be controlled by working faster.

The only symptom that I do not have is (6) above, which means that there is no hope for me! As a possible solution the article gives Stephen Covey’s “Urgency addiction matrix”


Not Urgent


Crises, pressing problems, deadlines, meetings

Preparation, prevention, planning, building relationships

Not important

Interruptions, phone calls, mail, meetings, pressing matters

Trivia, time wasters, excessive TV

The trick is to operate in the important/not urgent block.

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