8 to 10 November 2017
Since 2012, Empacta e.V. has organized a global event for the globalized accounting world once every year. After our meetings in Istanbul, Starnberg (near Munich), Dubai and Berlin, E17 is now our fifth event. The events are always focused on a special topic: In this year, we have selected the challenges of transnational accounting environments.
We believe that in recent years a new quality has developed in the world of financial management and accounting, which is no longer “inter”-national but “trans”-national. What we mean to say with this is that there is not only an accounting practice between the national environments, but truly already a new common practice that goes beyond the national concepts.
There are both risks and opportunities in this dynamic field. We will tackle these challenges from difficult corners and perspectives. As in the last years, the upcoming Empacta event also intends to bring together leaders and technicians, users of financial statements and the authors of financial statements, programme managers and accountants, and (this is also already a kind of tradition in the E events) a scientific feed-back session.
We are glad that we could win lecturers from three continents: There will be inputs from Africa, Asia and Europe.
Empacta is an association of international auditors - with a living membership, financed by membership fees, independent from state resources or funds, designed to promulgate the development of the accounting profession as a truly globalized profession. The last general assembly decided to select this wonderful location at the interface between East and West, between different cultures. Our member firm Moustasharoun is proud to host this year’s Empacta event E17 in Byblos, Lebanon!
E17 is the flagship event of Empacta, the association of international auditors. As in the years before it is a three–day event, each day with a different profile:
- a view on the control profession from a scientific perspective
Each day also offers activities for mixed audiences.
By subscribing to this event, you can take part in one of the exciting challenges of our time: the dynamic emergence of accounting as a global language! Indeed, accounting could serve as a global language for mutual reconciliation. However, this option is merely that – an option. It depends on us whether we will make use of it. E17 will offer the tools!
Many financial controllers face the problem of how to control remote locations in other parts of the world, across cultural borders: a controller in, say, Frankfurt is required to control a project in the jungles of Sumatra. Project sites might be not accessible, because travel budgets are restricted, or simply because “roads are blocked and airports are closed”, because of an ongoing crisis. How to control funds under these circumstances? Which techniques of remote control exist? How to control a first-level controller on site? How to overcome the ubiquitous cultural gap? The session includes a guide to elementary electronic techniques, as well as role plays of how to control remote controllers. The workshop session is designed for the needs of controllers, project managers, accountants, auditors and leaders of transnationally operating entities.
Globalization was a project of the merchants: it brought to us IFRS and an idea that accounting could serve as a global language. But alongside this process of commercial globalization there was also the globalization of nonprofits. There are now supra-national networks who monitor food security, air purity, human rights, gender equality, usage of public funds, transparency, all aspects of ecology. There are globalized NPOs which promulgate child care, workers’ rights, professional standards, emergency relief, football, the Olympic spirit or any other idea. We will work on two sets of questions:
If we ask: is reporting in the NPO world as standardized as in the commercial sphere? Is the performance comparable? – the answer is a clear “no”. Which initiatives exist to standardize accounting and reporting in this area? How could this look like?
If we ask: can globalized networks establish financial discipline? – The answer is a clear “yes”: by membership an efficient control can be established. But who controls the controllers? Which laws govern this field? And will thoroughly controlled members not change to an association with less strict control? How to get financial discipline into the flea circus? Are more and more internal rules really a satisfying answer?
The workshop session addresses the financial management needs of small and middle-sized transnational networks, as well as of supra-national organizations.
One example of the interrelations between accounting and accounting environment is the interrelation between accounting and climate change: it is the effect of the tiny, little figures like CO² concentration in the atmosphere or the percentage of ocean acidification, which has never been entered into accounting, although these figures have been known and measurable. How could we ignore these figures for such a long time? General accounting principles are based on acceptance – an acceptance that accounting brings in social responsibility. Thus the question arises whether accounting in the current form, with an ignorance of obvious globalized side effects, still has or will have general acceptance. It seems that the reference framework, the national GAAPs and GAASs are too narrow in order to reflect the effect. What will accounting look like in the future, in the age of climate change? What will be the role of the NPO-industry in this process? Is there an alliance of “those who account” and “those who monitor”?
The workshop will demonstrate how output related figures and financial accounting could be interlinked and used to establish a deeper public acceptance: there is a link between accounting, financial reporting, fundraising and the formulation of financial claims.
In the last couple of decades the world has experienced rapid and often contradictory change in the political, economic, environmental and technological fields. To remain competitive institutions have found that they have to adapt and manage these changes or die. In the Non-profit sector the traditional NGO has also been under threat as organisations have had to also put in place measures not only to survive but also to increasingly show that their work is having an impact. Local NGOs with little and financial support to manage change initiatives have been most at risk. Scholars have come up with different models to help organizations better manage change but these have been mostly for the profit making sector and their usefulness has been questioned as up to 70% of change programmes fail. In this study Kudzai looks at the relevance of these change models to NGOs and also examines what factors contribute to the success of change programmes by local NGOs operating in volatile environments such as Zimbabwe.
In emergency situations non-profit organizations receive funds from many different sources. The funds are earmarked for tackling the crisis, they do not allow to strengthen the financial capacities of the NPO. The organisation is struggling to implement all its projects, but it does not have any reserves and its financial sustainability remains weak. How to prevent this risk of financial burn-out? Donors prefer strong and sustainable partner organizations, but they are often unwilling to contribute to their financial sustainability. What can an NPO do to build up unrestricted reserves under these circumstances? Could it charge calculatory cost, e.g. for rent, salaries and vehicle use or administration lump sums to donors and keep the savings for itself? Which ways are ethically correct and which are not? What would be a reasonable amount of reserves and which indicators could be used for this? What could donor organisations do to support their partner organizations in increasing their financial sustainability?
Frequently, administrators think that ethics are only for Sunday speeches, while “administration” is perceived as a neutral technique. In sharp contrast to this, the author believes that ethics and administrative techniques are deeply bound to each other. Far from being neutral, accounting techniques deeply influence the mindset of the leaders, and vice versa. An excellent example is the DDD – the Donor Driven Director. Only too frequently, directors try to comply with even the most capricious donor requirements: thus the character of the Donor Driven Director is borne. Indeed, it is like this: a mission driven approach of the organization would require other accounting techniques than a donor driven approach. We will learn, what a donor driven accounting approach means, and what negative impact this could have on an organization. This topic will be illustrated by examples from the field. We will learn how these effects could be mitigated or prevented. We believe that there are excellent techniques how the incremental chaos of the donor reports could be limited and hedged in. “Best practice” examples will be presented and discussed.
Integrity is the cornerstone of the accounting profession. But how is “integrity” translated into our mother tongue? Is the wording easily translatable? In English, “integrity” has an important double meaning, describing – once - an ethical value, similar to “honesty”, and, second, the “unity” or “unviolated wholeness” of a group. Both concepts are heavily dependent on each other: groups only exist, if there is a sign which makes a difference – for instance, a certain value. Values only exist, if groups claim them. But what was there first, the group or the value, the chicken or the egg? How is it possible that a group declares that its distinctive feature is that this group is bound to a higher standard? Is it moral to be moral? Can we invent moral rulings and then impose them on others? Is a universalistic accounting principle possible, or are we bound to communitarian accounting groups which co-exist? Does it require a pure ethical moment to erect new moral rulings?
In this workshop session we will address frequent ethical dilemmas, which accountants, controllers or auditors face in their practice. These dilemmas will be addressed in role plays. Participants will learn how to behave in concurring ethical environments.
This lecture is designed as a case study of the potential conflicts between traditional and modern concepts of integrity, based on the experiences in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mr. Anatole Bashugi, Chartered Accountant, will demonstrate the techniques and methods, how, in the traditional societies, integrity is created. These techniques are rich in methodology. The person develops a second nature with values such as mutual respect, solidarity, respect for authority , hospitality, credibility. These values are transmitted by a specific Congolese forms (fairy tales, proverb, chant, riddle, legend, fear, games, dance, rites of initiation, palaver ...) to have a man integrity, respectful, honest, worthy. The subsequent change and its causes will be discovered through our presentation.
Mr. Thomas Werner, Chairman of EMPACTA, economist and social pedagogue, CEO FWS GmbH, Certified Public Accountant (USA), Chartered Accountant (IE). Since 20 years, Mr. Thomas Werner has specialized in audits for the non-profit sector. He performed audits in 41 countries for internationally operating charities. Mr. Werner will prepare a workshop on remote control. You can be sure that a lot of challenging role plays will be part of the show!
Chair of Applied Ethics and Director of Ethics Center and the Department of Ethics in Science of Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena (since 2002), President of the Global Applied Ethics Institute, President of the Ethical Commission of the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences, member of national bodies, research focused on medical ethics, business ethics, and the concept of dignity. Participants of E16 know Prof. Knoepffler from his sensitive approach to our inherent ethical dilemmas. As a respond to frequent requests, he also agreed to perform a session questions of integrity in this year.
Mr Kudzai Midzi is currently completing his dissertation on "The relevance of Change Management Strategies for NPOs operating in turbulent Environments" at The Global Development Institute at the University of Manchester. A member of the Empacta Board and Director of KFM Consultants in Harare Zimbabwe, Mr Midzi has 21 years of audit experience in more than a dozen countries. He has been an FWS audit partner in Zimbabwe since 2010. Kudzai worked as as a Regional Audit Specialist within the United Nations Structures before running KFM Consultants which offers financial management and internal auditing services to NPOs. He will present a paper on Accounting for Climate Change.
Frank Fabel, CEO FWS GmbH, CPA, Master of Arts (History, Economics, Communication Science) . Blogger and author of scientific articles Mr. Fabel has 20 years of experience with public sector audits in 41 countries, among them also 145 audits for supra-national organisations, in which he served as lead auditor. Mr. Fabel designed and performed lectures for NPO-financial controllers and project leaders in Europe, Asia and Africa. Mr. Fabel will read a lecture on the accounting issues in internationally operating networks.
Mr. Anatole Bashugi Bahogwerhe is Administrator at the Bukavu Superior Institute of Commerce in the Democratic Republique in Congo. He is a Chartered Accountant since 1994 and head of one of licensed audit firms in DRC, BEDAP. He has more than 20 years of experience in financial and administrative management of international, local NGOs and savings and credit cooperatives. He also heads the CFPRO (Center for Continuing Education and Capacity Building in the OHADA Accounting System). As a part of the new structuring of the corporation of the accounting experts of the DRC, he was one of the first licensed chartered accountants of the DRC under the number ONEC / EC / 000093/16.
Participants of the Practitioner ́s Workshop have the possibility to take part in a multiple choice test. You receive individual feedback from the facilitators on your answers. Participation in the workshop will be certified on the basis of a successful examination.
Relevant audit, accounting and third sector journals (e.g. Accounting, Auditing, and Accountability Journal) will be approached to design a special issue on development NPO audits to take forward the issues developed at the event.
On 3-5 main themes or topics that are co-authored by academics and professionals.
To keep advancing the topic for the coming years through research, scholarship and contribution to discussions/practice of NPO audits.
I took part in E16 in Berlin and it was one of the most specialized and useful workshop I have ever attended. I appreciated the mixture of short theoretical inputs, international discussions amongst donor, receivers and auditors and the marking exercises we did together. The seminar changed my mind in accepting risks, because I learnt to estimate and to minimize them. I was surprised by the experience that even the understanding of law and figures can change between different cultures. This is something I would not have learnt without the vital and tolerant interexchange amongst participants from 5 continents. Sonja Grolig
Compliance and Controlling officer in the German branch of Pontifical Society of the Holy Childhood
Victory Byblos hotel is 40 minutes away from Beirut International Airport and is situated just 1.5 km away from Byblos old souk & historical castle. The beach is only walking distance away. You can reach the nearby mountains within 20 minutes by car.
You can write to the hotels with the indicated e-mail addresses. Please remember to mention the code “EMPACTA” for the reserved contingent. If you need any assistance or if you have any further suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me personally: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yours cordially, the EMPACTA Board
|Thomas Werner||Kudzai Midzi||Maria Vatamaniuk|