Archive for the ‘Business Systems’ Category

Future-of-banking“I’ll be informing our Fraud Department about you” said the bank call centre to me.
“You’ll be in breach of our Terms & Conditions” said another.
Welcome to the world of bank switching.

They say we change banks less often that we change spouses.  For me so far: banks 4, wives 1.  I started off life with Oldlands Bank Ltd.  Then off to Northshires Building Society.  Followed by Widget International Offset Mortgages.  Now Nu Bank PLC.

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Computer failure.jpgBeware of the Windows 10 April Upgrade.  If your computer is running Avast, disable it before you upgrade.  I did not and it caused my main computer to get trapped in a upgrade-half-done paralysis.  Stuck in a loop with no access to the desktop.  No access to command prompt.  Stuck stuck stuck.

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women-haiti-phoneRing, ring, ring – and the thread of your discussion goes ping!  We’re discussing a complex accounting issue with my Haitian colleagues, in three languages (English, French, Creole).  Then … a shrill jingle… the phone is picked up.  And poof! The thread of thought is broken.  On another day I was in a personal 1-to-1 conversation with a Haitian friend … a shrill jingle… the phone is picked up.  And poof! A sheepish smile “sorry, I won’t be a moment.”

If I’m honest – after many visits to Haiti, I still get annoyed.  For a people who value personal relations so highly, I wondered why is an incoming call given such priority over face to face conversation.

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Haitian graveyard

I was so pleased with the hospital budget planning, and outcome.  A sudden patient death was a shock. Cause of death – our budget?

This more complicated than you might think. The patient had all their care to date at Hospital Convention Baptiste d’Haiti (HCBH) in Cap-Haïtien in north Haiti. That day the patient suddenly arrived with a haemorrhage.  The doctor prepared for surgery.  Unfortunately when they were to announce start, there was an emergency elsewhere. Another patient was now in surgery and was being anesthetized.  The hospital had one anaesthetist.  So it called upon a sessional anaesthetist as backup.  But they were not available.  HCBH called the government hospital in town, but they could not help.  Then called the Roman Catholic hospital that was not too distant.  They could help.  The patient was rushed off in the ambulance, but it was too late.  They died.

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Gained in translation

Posted: 1 April 2017 in Business Systems, Haiti
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In Translation.JPG

What on earth has Bill written here?

Lost in translation.  So much is.  The geographic and cultural distance is just so so great.  From my English-English into their schooled Haitian-French to mother tongue Creole thinking.

  • From their cash bookkeeping that is authorisation and fraud-control focussed
  • into my patterns of management accounting and forecasts. (Quite frankly my financial projections based on their figures must seem to them as just so much fiction. Leaps of Bill’s imagination.)

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Bank crook.jpg

Yet an earlier HBOS scandal

Last week Judge Martin Beddoe jails HBOS banker who “sold his soul for bling and swag”.  The noise and clamour over Trump, Brexit, etc, cannot quite distract from the low hanging stink over business practices.  BHS, Sports Direct, even Volkswagen.  As an accountant and an HR professional, I am well aware of audit and legal compliance.

“Why does all this still happen so much?” “Why are there so so few convictions?” “Where are the whistle blowers?”

Last Week
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Creative budgeting 1Have you played Budget-Tango?  Between a charity that supports other institutions, say a hospital, school, homeless project, there is a dance.  Where the donor and done strut around eachother. It is Budget-Tango.

Your charity or grant making body seeks to support an independent organisation or project, in UK or elsewhere, with some funding and some management and budget advice.  Their show – but your help too.

Opening Moves of the Dance
It starts when they send you a copy of their budget.  Very nice to get one at all.  Do not be surprised at the number of front line services that do not have them.  The Chief Medical Officer/ Principle Housing Director/ Emergencies Director did not enter their vocation to sit in the office playing with spreadsheets and accounting jargon.  But you’ve got one – hurrah!

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