Dive into the world of financial triumphs with ‘The Worlds Times,’ where our featured financial consultants share their success stories. From driving business development strategies to uncovering and mitigating fraudulent activities, each segment unfolds real-world examples of expertise. Explore how these professionals stay updated on tax laws, tackle complex accounting issues, and navigate ethical dilemmas. Join us on a journey through transformative impacts on clients’ financial well-being and effective risk management. Discover the secrets behind maintaining trust, satisfaction, and ethical integrity in the dynamic realm of financial consulting. ‘The Worlds Times’ promises insights, strategies, and a commitment to excellence in the ever-evolving landscape of financial services.
We started the interview by asking, “Describe a successful instance where your financial consulting strategies drove significant business development for a client.”
Garvey replied, “Our client was a startup company requiring contract work to develop its operations and to enter the marketplace. We worked with the client to recruit and train skilled personnel, develop, and implement its organizational structure, prepare the bid documents for the jobs, obtain the jobs, and supervise and oversee the successful execution of those jobs.”
The Worlds Times: Share an example of how your expertise in fraud planning and investigations uncovered and mitigated fraudulent activities.
Garvey replied, “An investigation revealed that our client was losing money through errors, lack of internal control, fraud, and other irregularities. We introduced the client to internal controls systems, in particular segregations of duties and supervision, fraud planning and mitigation. Within one year the client cut its losses by 80% and improved the efficiency of its operations.”
Staying Ahead of Tax Trends
The Worlds Times: How do you stay updated on tax laws, and can you share a specific challenging tax issue you resolved for a client?
Garvey replied, “Taxation changes are announced during the presentation of the Annual Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure in Parliament by the Minister of Finance. Our company follows the Minister’s presentation and obtains the updates from the Inland Revenue Department (IRD). Where updates are issued during the year, we also obtain the revised tax measures from the IRD.
Our client had poor financial records and as a result was subjected to estimated taxes annually. In turn these estimates were always in dispute and attracted high outstanding interest and penalties. First, we sanitized the financial records to bring the Statement of Income, Statements of Financial Position, Statement of Cash Flow, and Statement of Changes in Equity, and related Notes up to date. Then we were able to discuss the discrepancies with management. In the end our organization provided the client with an up to date set of Financial Statements, updated tax computations and compliance and massive reduction in outstanding tax liabilities.”
The Auditing Imperative
The Worlds Times: What’s the most critical aspect of auditing for you, and how do you ensure accuracy? Share an example of a challenging audit and your approach.
Garvey replied, “Proper planning and execution of the audit is critical. To ensure accuracy we approach the audit with an open mindset since we are always prepared to conquer the challenges faced during the execution of our programs. The verification of non-current assets where a client has a wide range of specials tools and equipment including spare parts can be challenging. In these cases, we engage specialists to track, identify and value the assets before including them in financial statements.”
Financial Reporting Excellence
The Worlds Times: Describe a situation where your accounting expertise improved a client’s financial reporting. How do you tackle complex accounting issues?
Garvey replied, “In this case our client had a disorganized, disjointed, and segregated accounting system. One system dealt with sales, another with stocks, and an additional system for payroll processing, which was separate for the human resources system and the financial statements preparation system. Our organization sourced an integrated accounting solution, trained the staff in its use, and rolled out the system to replace the scattered approach used previously.
Our approach is to research, investigate and analyze the problem presented by our client, identify, and provide guidance on the selection of the optimal solution, assist during the implementation and roll-out phase, and remain until the new system is up and running as prescribed. If the client agrees, we can perform a periodic review on the performance of the new system.”
Navigating Financial Trends & Crafting Success Stories
The Worlds Times: How do you stay updated on financial services trends, and can you share an example of a transformative impact on a client’s financial well-being?
Garvey replied, “Apart from the mandatory requirement to undertake 40 hours of continuing professional development of which 21 hours must be verifiable annually, our team utilizes short and medium length courses offered by leading institutions. The topics are based on updated financial services trends and range from data analytics and corporate governance to artificial intelligence and its possible impact on business. One of our clients recently needed a review of the value for money provided by the deployment of its mobile banking app in rural areas to support unbanked customers. Our knowledge of this cutting-edge technology was used to perform the analysis and advise the client on a range of options.”
Risk Navigation Mastery
The Worlds Times: Discuss your approach to assessing and managing financial risks. Share an example where your strategies helped a client navigate challenges.
Garvey replied, “Risk management is a vital part of our planning. Our assessment of financial risk is a three-prong process. First the risk must be examined in isolation. In isolation the assessment looks at the organization and the risks specific to that organization. Second, the industry risks to determine what risks are occurring or expected to occur in that context. There are risks that are either inherent to the organization and its industry or are systemic to that that area. Third, we look at risks in a wider context, namely the risks that can affect the organization and the industry externally.”
Navigating Choppy Waters
The Worlds Times: Share a scenario where you managed a challenging client relationship effectively. What strategies did you use to maintain trust and satisfaction?
Garvey replied, “The time needed to perform the tasks set out in our engagement. Our remit was to develop a standard, step by step, audit procedures guide for the future auditing of a department. Within one week the client requested the completed version of the audit guide. We informed the client that we had only just begun to map out the different processes performed by the department. The client’s representative presented to the board of directors that we should be replaced on the grounds of inefficiency. The CEO in his wisdom allowed us to carry on.
In the end, the task would take 18 months and the finished product would contain three hundred and forty steps. The CEO and the department thanked us for a job well done. Our audit guide remains in use today.”
Ethical Integrity in Action
The Worlds Times: Discuss how you navigate ethical dilemmas and compliance challenges in financial consulting. Share a specific situation and the measures you took.
Garvey replied, “Ethics is a core value of our organization and profession. For us ethical dilemmas and compliance challenges are simple, our organization does not allow the fee income to cloud our judgment. Most instances the client is aware of the size and contribution of fee income to the organization and uses that leverage to flex ethical guidelines and compliance regulations. One of our huge clients wanted us to look away when a manager overrode internal controls and began to use the company as his personal wallet. We pointed out the dangers of this approach verbally and later in writing to management. They ignored our opinion on this matter. We walked away from the job.”
Lastly, we asked, “Would you like to say anything else to our viewers?”
“As consultants we continue to strive for excellence. Our task is to remain on the leading edge in technology, uphold ethical and technical standards and assist clients in developing and maintaining their business performance.
We aim to provide value for money in our work and use our assignments to promote prosperity.” Garvey concluded
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