Company Auditors
Company Auditors: Who are They and What do They do?

Section 717 of the Companies Act 2015 states that an auditor in a private company must be appointed for each financial year unless the company’s directors resolve otherwise that an audited financial statement will be required. According to the Act, failure to appoint a company auditor must be reported to the Cabinet Secretary within 7 days. Failure to give this notice is a criminal offence. Company audits are an integral part of a company’s management process. Audits provide credibility to a set of financial statements and they give both the shareholders as well as the government confidence that the accounts are legitimate and fair. Audits also help to improve a company’s internal systems and controls. In this article we’ll look at some of the duties of company auditors and why company audits are so important.

  1. REPORT ON A COMPANY’S ACCOUNTS

Company auditors must give a true view of the company’s state of affairs and profit or loss of the company for that financial year. In their reports auditors must disclose whether the annual financial statements have been prepared using the relevant frameworks. They must also give a report of whether the company’s financial reports have been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Companies Act 2015.

  1. ENSURE PROPER COMPANY DOCUMENTATION

When making their reports, company auditors must ensure that their reports contain statements of whether they obtained all the information necessary for the audit. They must also keep true and proper books of a company’s accounts. This means that they must ensure that the balance sheets as well as the profit and loss accounts are in accordance with the books of accounts and that they are true and accurate representation of a company’s state of affairs.

There are numerous reasons why company auditors play a major role in ensuring that a company’s internal systems are legal and in compliance with the set laws. Company auditors are important for the following reasons:

  1. DETECT AND PREVENT FRAUD

Recurring annual analysis of a company’s financial operations as well as maintaining strict internal control systems play a major role in the detection of fraud and irregularities. Auditors help companies with the modification of their internal control systems which keep companies in check in order to avoid a world of legal trouble. In addition, companies that are known to have diligent and rigorous audit systems deter potential acts of company fraud by employees or partners.

  1. ENABLES COMPANIES TO FULFIL THEIR BUSINESS OBJECTIVES

Companies with effective audit systems are able to pursue and obtain their various corporate objectives. When a company’s internal processes are under constant surveillance and monitoring, it is easy to maintain adequate records. These well-kept records promote operational productivity and helps companies to improve their function in the areas that may not be doing well.

  1. RISK ASSESSMENT

Auditors are tasked with calculating the possible risks of the mismanagement and misstatement of a company’s financial records. Lack of a proper system of internal controls such as an audit system can prevent interfere with a company’s financial reports. This would make it difficult for a company to adequately allocate resources to its various departments making it difficult to accurately determine how well the company is doing. Lack of proper auditing leaves the company vulnerable to legal and financial problems which would otherwise be prevented by having proper control systems.

Setting and sticking to new year resolutions
SET AND STICK TO YOUR NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS

It is an ‘unspoken’ tradition at the beginning of every year to come up with a set of New Year resolutions. We sit down, take note of and, examine our lives. We think about what we’d like to change and improve so, we set ambitious goals we hope to achieve at the end of the year. Naturally, the same goes for business owners, company heads and entrepreneurs. These goals often sound like “this is the year my business will take off”, “this is the year we hit that financial goal”, “this is the year we expand”. However, by the time the end of the year rolls around, we look back and we have barely accomplished these goals. Thus re-starting the cycle of putting these goals off for the next year. The thing about goals is that they are just a list of wishes that can only be realised when matched with effort, time and hard work. In this article we’ll look at some of the ways in which you can stay on track and stick to your business and career goals.

  1. BE REALISTIC

Every business owner wants to achieve various financial goals and bring in money from their business. Most especially you want to grow and branch out. You must remember to remain realistic so as to avoid disappointment and quit your race. For instance, set a financial goal based off the profits you made in the previous years and aim to do better. If you’re an entrepreneur just breaking into the business, you could begin by setting small monthly goals that you keep up with. Remember the smaller and more realistic the goal is, the more likely you are to achieve it. The more goals you achieve, the bigger

  1. KEEP TABS ON YOUR GOALS

After setting your business goals, it is important that you keep referring back to them to ensure that you’re still on track. One way to do this is by taking some time during company meetings to address these goals and find out where everyone is in relation to the set goals. This mission driven stratiegy will motivate everyone to work hard towards achieving these goals. Ensure that all your activities are in alignment with your goals and take small steps each day to make sure you follow through. When you make decisions and take action based on your goals, you are more likely to ‘fail forward’.

  1. SHARE YOUR GOALS

Sometimes setting goals and actually following through on them can be very difficult especially if we have no one to hold us accountable. Sharing your goals with a trusted individual(s) with a great work ethic and mind-set can be very helpful in this case. This could be family members, friend(s) or even trusted colleague(s). Sharing your goals creates another level of accountability and expectations. The knowledge that other people are aware of your intentions and are there to help you allows you to stay focused on the actions steps. While this trick can be effective, remember you’re the most important componenent. Don’t saddle yourself down with judgements and fears of disappointing your accountability partner. You can’t shame yourself into your dream life!  

  1. DELEGATE TASKS

When running a business, it often feels like you have to carry the all the weight of ensuring that goals are met. This is not the case. Business or company goals are a team effort. Delegate responsibility to other members of your team and staff – have them set goals based on the main business goal.  You’re more likely to achieve goals by properly delegating tasks in addition, it promotes employee satisfaction by promoting a sense of purpose.

  1. GIVE YOURSELF A PAT ON THE BACK

When you finally accomplish your goals – especially the small ones, be sure to treat yourself. Celebrating yourself and your milestones is an important aspect of achieving goals. It boosts your confidence and encourages you to set even more ambitious goals. Motivate yourself by celebrating your journey forward. Making resolutions and sticking to them is no easy feat and so it is essential you appreciate the effort you’re making.

We all have goals and ambitions we hope to accomplish in this new year and that’s fantastic. At the end of the day however, it is up to you to ensure that you stay focused and disciplined enough to achieve your goals. These tips are to make your strategy  more structured but only if you put in the work as well. Hold yourself accountable and have the end goal in mind and you’ll be sure to see some results at the end of the year.

Mediation and Conflict resolution
Mediation & Conflict Resolution in the Workplace

When working in close proximity with others on a daily basis, disagreements and disputes are expected to come up. Naturally, people with different personalities and different backgrounds will have different ways of handling situations. Disputes usually occur when one or more people fail to come to an acceptable agreement on a matter. In some cases these conflicts are one-time occurrences and resolve themselves however, in other situations intervention is required to prevent the situation from escalating. Every employer has a duty to provide a clear, well written procedure on how to handle disputes. Generally, most companies will have Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) as an option before turning to legal solutions. This is because ADR is both cheaper and less time consuming. In this article we’ll look mediation as a mode of resolving office disputes.

WHAT IS MEDIATION

Mediation is the process where a third party i.e. a mediator, essentially, helps parties to settle their disputes by a process of discussion and narrowing differences. The mediator helps the parties to arrive at an agreed solution. In Kenya Mediation is provided for as a mode of dispute resolution under the Mediation Act of 2020.

ADVANTAGES OF MEDIATION

  1. Confidentiality

One of the many advantages of mediation is the benefit of confidentiality. Mediation is a confidential process. Mediators cannot disclose any information revealed during the mediation process. Mediation is a private process and not subject to public knowledge and possible media attention as can be the case with civil litigation. This way matters can be handled privately.

  1. Time & Cost Effective

Mediation is a quick and inexpensive method of dispute resolution. Mediation generally takes less time to complete, allowing parties to find a solution sooner than going to court. This saves the company’s resources and time.

  1. Preserves Working Relationships

Many disputes occur in the context of ongoing work relationships due to various infringements of employees’ rights.  Mediation provides an avenue to address all parties’ interests while also preserving working relationships in ways that would not be possible in a win/lose decision-making procedure i.e. in court proceedings. Mediation can also make the termination of a work relationship more amicable.

  1. Autonomy

Mediation gives parties autonomy over their negotiation process. Parties who negotiate their own settlements have more control over the outcome of their dispute. Parties have an equal say in the process. There is no determination of fault, but rather, the parties reach a mutually agreeable resolution to their conflict.

  1. Focuses on Parties Interests

In court litigation or arbitration, the outcome of a case is determined by the facts of the dispute and the applicable law. In a mediation, the parties can also be guided by their interests. As such, the parties are free to choose an outcome that is oriented as much to the future of their relationship as to their past conduct. When the parties refer to their interests and engage in dialogue, mediation often results in a settlement that creates more value than would have been created if the underlying dispute had not occurred.

As a company it is important to have an established mode of dispute resolution that can be turned to before things escalate and parties end up in court. Should you like to explore your options, the Kenyan Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the Dispute Resolution Centre and Mediation Training Institute are currently the main bodies that offer

New Labour & Company Laws in Kenya 2021

The law does not exist in a vacuum; it exists solely to regulate human interaction within our societies. As society grows and populations diversify, the need to amend various laws arises to fit our changing needs. Our labour laws for instance are constantly being amended in order to reflect the demands of the current labour market and workforce. Amendments ensure the promotion and protection of both employers and employees’ rights. On 30th March 2021, President Uhuru Kenyatta signed into law the Employment (Amendment) Act, 2021. One of three Employment Amendment Bills introduced in 2019 and the only one currently passed into law. This Act was operationalised on 15th April 2021 following its gazettement through Kenya Gazette Supplement No. 53. In this article we’ll look at some of the newly enacted labour and company laws related to your Human Resources.

  1. THE PRE-ADOPTIVE LEAVE

Section 29A has been introduced to the Employment Act. This Section provides that in the event that a child is placed in the continuous care of a person who is an employee under the Employment Act, that employee is entitled to 1-month pre-adoptive leave with full pay.

Previously, qualification for the pre-adoptive leave was based on sex and marital status. In addition, the leave period was 3 months for married female employees and two weeks for married male employees. With the new amendment, both male and female employees are entitled to 1-month pre-adoptive leave regardless of one’s marital status.

In order to apply for this leave, an employee is required to notify their employer in writing, their intention to place a child in their custody at least 14 days before the placement of the child. This notice to the employer must be accompanied by the relevant documents including a custody agreement and an existing certificate from a registered adoption society.

An employee who takes pre-adoptive leave has a right to return to the job they held prior to the leave. This amendment is a progressive move in Kenya’s employment laws with respect to adoption.

  1. HYBRID & VIRUTAL MEETINGS

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Business Amendment Act now enables both private and public companies to hold virtual and hybrid meetings where their previous articles did not allow them to do so.

  1. NSSF, NHIF & NITA PAYMENTS

The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) as well as the National Industrial Training Act have all been amended under the Amendment Act. The amendment harmonised the due date for the respective payroll deductions. Both the NHIF and NSSF deductions will now be due on the ninth day of every month while the Industrial Training contributions will be due on the ninth day of the month following the end of the financial year. The NSSF Act also now provides that in the event where a contribution has not been paid on or before the ninth day of the month, a five percent (5%) penalty of the respective contribution shall apply.

These amendments aim at increasing employer compliance with respect to payroll deductions.

https://www.lexgroupafrica.com/index.php/notices-publications/161-new-changes-to-the-kenyan-business-laws-here-s-what-you-need-to-know

EMPLOYEE RELATIONS

Employee relations is the process of managing the relationship between employees and the organisation as well as the relationship among employees. in order for employees to be productive and perform at their best, the need to have a safe and conducive environment. A key aspect of this conducive work environment is the relationship the employees have with each other. When employees have a good working relationship, they are more productive as this promotes communication, collaboration and cooperation among them. In today’s article we’ll look at why employee relations are important in the workplace.

  • HAPPY EMPLOYEES MAKE A HAPPY ORGANISATION

The happier your employees are, the more productive they will be. It has been proven that the most successful companies know how to manage their employee relationships in order to maximise on their satisfaction and ensure employee retention. When employees are happy in their workplace, they work harder to ensure the company as a whole succeeds. There are a number of ways an organisation can ensure that their employees are happy. Employers can show their appreciation work well done and rewording exceptional performance. The company can also organise team building trips to build and improve the relationships among employees.

  • DISCOURAGE CONFLICT

In most cases, conflict is something we all try to avoid especially so in the workplace. It is important to note however that sometimes disagreements may arise due to the presence of diverse individual opinions and work strategies. Sometimes, this conflict may be productive as it may lead to new ideas effective problem solving skills and also provides an opportunity to explore and expand their creativity. Employees who relate well with each other are able to explore their opposing ideas in a civil manner which in turn fosters innovation.

  • EMPLOYEE EMPOWERMENT

The positive relations among employees provides a great social circle and also opens up avenues for the company’s success. When employees are able to openly connect with each other and network, they are able to grow separately from the company and this may then provide them with the tools they need to venture into new individual projects. When employees know that they can count on the support of their colleagues, they are more likely to work towards the success of the company because it ensures that everyone will succeed. companies can also empower their employees by allowing them to take part in certain decisions that affect them and providing learning opportunities that will enable them to achieve their career goals.

  • REDUCES THE WORKLOAD

Research has shown that one of the leading causes of burnout is work overload and many employees experience this at least once over the course of their careers. A company with positive employee relations is able to identify the top performers and split different workloads among them. When everyone is on the same page, and working together to achieve a common goal, tasks become manageable and less daunting.

  • REDUCED EMPLOYEE TURNOVER

Employee turnover refers to the gradual loss of talented employees in a company. High employee turnover rates can negatively impact an organisation as it puts a strain on the company’s resources and remaining employees as the increased workload fall on them. When employees feel valued, they will utilise their skills to ensure the success of the company. a company with good employee relations will have attractive benefits and wages that encourage employees to stay on. Employees who are satisfied with their work environment are less likely to quit.

https://www.managementstudyguide.com/importance-of-employee-relations.htm
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-employee-relations-important-organization-sampurna-majumder
IMPROVING YOUR EMPLOYER BRANDING

The term ‘employer brand’ refers to an organization’s reputation as an employer, how it presents itself to potential employees and employees as well. Employer brand differs from the general corporate brand reputation that is often targeted towards customers. Employer branding deals with the attraction, retention and engagement strategies that enhance a company’s appeal to employees. Simply put, employer brand management addresses the reality of the employment experience. This enables companies to find the best talent in order to achieve their goals and effectively engage these employees to maximise their retention. In this article we’ll look at some employer branding strategies that you can use to boost your company’s reputation.

  1. DEFINE COMPANY GOALS & OBJECTIVES

Organizational goals inform employees the direction in which the organisation is headed and how it will get there. Employees can then assess whether these goals align with their career development and if they would want to work for your company. Employees are more enthusiastic when they know exactly what is required of them and the rewards available for meeting and/ exceeding the company’s expectations. This also makes it easier for employees to contribute to company growth and for managers to do their jobs effectively in order to improve productivity. Objectives are also key in establishing standards of employee evaluation as they act as yard sticks to identify the success and failures of the organisation and its employees.

  1. HIGHLIGHT YOUR EVP

Whether you’re hiring one employee or 100, you have to be able to answer the question, “why should I work for you?” An Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is essentially the “why” around your organisation. It is what attracts and attracts your top talent and what you as an organisation promise to your employees. Your EVP outlines how your company sets itself apart from competitors. Many top ranking companies take time to come up with the best EVPs because this is the foundation of a company’s employer branding and attracts the best talent.

  1. BUILD YOUR MARKETING GAME

Jeff Bezos, founder and executive manager of Amazon once said that “A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person.” And this sentiment is entirely true because a business is only as good as its reputation. It is therefore important to get the word out about your company as this helps to build and maintain your company’s reputation. Marketing will provide insight about your company that will attract potential employees. Invest in a good marketing team that will enable you to reach your target audience and inform potential employees on the benefits of working for your company.

  1. DEVELOP A RECRUITMENT PLAN

Your employees can either make or break your company and this is why it is important to hire the best. Knowing your company needs, will enable you to conduct proper interviews and find the right people for the job. Begin by defining the role these employees will play in your company and what your expectations are as well as the ideal person for this role. A good recruitment plan will result in a successful hiring process.

  1. WORK ON YOUR EMPLOYEE RETENTION

Companies that are known for having high employee retention often attract the best talent. Having a high retention rate means that a company is able to keep its employees long-term. This results in less time and resources spent on recruiting and training new employees. Employees that have had a long working relationship with their company are more loyal and committed. Retaining valuable employees is important because vital company knowledge that would otherwise be lost to competitors is maintained. Find ways to keep valuable employees happy through company rewards and benefits and recognition and appreciation for work well done.

https://builtin.com/employer-branding/employer-branding-strategy

https://blog.smarp.com/employer-branding-9-steps-to-build-successful-strategy

https://beamery.com/resources/blogs/employer-branding-definition-process-strategy-and-resources

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